Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Lurking In The Shadows Of Smartness

Hope everyone had a fantastic Easter holiday. I know I did, which is why there was no post on Sunday.

Now, onto other slices of my life.

Specifically, lurking.

For the past few weeks, I've been lurking around the blog world and the chat room. Not because I'm being anti-social, but because there are few things going on in the blog world and the chat room that I find easier to deal with by lurking around until the things either finish up or I get more comfortable in participating. Since this explanation probably sounds mighty confusing to you, I shall elaborate in my own unique style.

Wait, don't run away screaming. Honest, it won't be that bad this time. I promise. Here, have this fantastic micro brew to enjoy while reading this post. What? Soda is your speed? How 'bout a cold bottle from one of our local bottlers, which I might add, is a thousand times better than the majors. Comfy cozy? Kewl.


The major thing going on in the blog world that indirectly affects me is this nifty A-Z challenge that quite a few bloggers are participating in. Since it requires the individual to post something for the next 26 days, it quickly becomes a challenge for the average reader not only to keep up with all the fascinating posts and short stories (yes, one of my blog readers is writing 26 100 word pieces of flash fiction for the A-Z challenge) but to comment on them as well.

Since my blog subscriptions has recently increased by 10%, it now becomes somewhat harder for me to comment on everyone's blog when the posts have increased exponentially due to a cool blogging challenge. Because of that, I'm spending the month of April doing more lurking, more reading, more absorbing of interesting facts and less commenting. So if you don't see me on your blog comments with the usual degree of frequency that you're used to seeing, this is why. Trust me, I still enjoy reading your blog and will be there in the shadows lurking, but for now, comments will appear with a lesser degree of frequency.

As a direct result of these new found blogs, I've had to redo and reorg all my folders, including adding four new sub-folders. I also took the time to actually get a head count of how many blogs I actively subscribe to and read on a daily/weekly basis. As of today, that blog count stands at 110. If you factor in the blogs that I follow which are on hiatus and the blogs that I follow and don't subscribe to, it brings the new total up to 132.

And the main reason as to why my subsciption count is so incredibly high is two fold: One, I found a few neat blogs that were recommended to me, and thus followed and subscribed to, and two, I found a few other blogs via that strange thing called "networking", which I will cover in the next half of the post.

Chat room

Or to be more precise, forum. For the past three weeks, I've been doing a great deal of lurking in the Solstice Publishing writer's forum, which is directly due to the fact that I am sailing in very uncharted waters. While quite a few of my readers out there have a working familiarity with the publishing business, either directly or indirectly, I, by any stretch of the imagination, do not.

So I spend most of my time there reading and learning the ins and out of not only what it takes to publish a book, but how to market and publicize a book as well. I have commented a couple of times, mostly about blogs, since some writers are using the blogging platform to compliment what they use for Twitter and Facebook.

The other day, some of the writers were doing a type of networking called "follow me on my blog and I'll follow you on yours". I said to myself, why not? So I jumped in and started checking out the various writer's blogs that were being offered as links, and within a couple of days, not only did I pick up about five new blogs to read and subscribe to, but I picked up about six new followers in the process.

I'm still feeling my way through the publishing process, but at the very least, I've developed a greater understanding and appreciation on what it takes not only to put out a book but how to market and publicize it as well.

Oh and one more thing, if you're curious about those new blogs, please check out either my "Blogs That I Like To Read" list (because I threw a few new links up), or my follower's list, specifically the first row, as those contain the newest followers of this blog.


  1. I totally get it. I have some blogs that I reserve for lurking only, and it feels kind of luxurious to just be a voyeur and not have to think of a clever response. On the other hand, I wouldn't give up my blogging friendships - I just feel that there's a limit to the number of meaningful blog relationships one can maintain.

  2. I actually subtitled the A to Z Blogging Challenge as "aka What was I thinking?" on one post. Feel free to just come by when you can. It's been kind of fun so far.

    I can relate - now I'm coming by regular blog friends' blogs + all the A to Z people that come by, etc. It's blog mania. :)

  3. S.R.: I can definitely relate to blogging friendships. I have a small size core that I try to maintain with varying degrees of consistency, but overall, I enjoy all the blogs/bloggers that I visit on a daily/weekly basis.

    I enjoy lurking though, because although there are quite a few blogs that I enjoy reading, I don't feel comfortable with commenting on them.

    Lynn: I've been reading your A-Z to challenge and I must say its been a thoroughly enjoyable read.

    While yes, it's been blog mania, its the kind of blog mania that everyone can enjoy.

  4. Because real life is getting in the way at the moment I'm finding it harder to read and comment on all the blogs I follow. When I do get time in front of the computer it's normally to write my own post because I'm so far behind on that too. The sad thing is, and I do find it a bit sad, is that I realise there is a great deal of "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" in the blog world. In other words if I don't comment on someone's blog, they won't comment on mine. I do understand it though, it's only fair really, but I'm just finding it hard to get to as many blogs as I used to all the time.

  5. I can totally relate. I'm so far behind on my reading and commenting that I don't think that I'll ever catch up!

  6. Joe: I totally sympathize about real life dropping in and shoving the cyber world gently to the other side. For me, real life is creating all kinds of havoc with my regular writing and thus the only writing I can do is in the blogs. And even that is becoming spotty as well.

    And as you say, there is a lot of "I'll comment on yours if you comment on mine" out there. I have no problem with that because I read blogs that for me defy commenting on.

    I'll always enjoy lurking because that's how I started life in the Cyber World and its the one thing that I'm most comfortable with.

    Mama Z: Like I stated, the amount of blogs that I read is quite large and sometimes quite impossible to read and comment on in one sitting.

    So I break it down into manageable segments. I read about about 1/3 during breakfast and another 1/3 to 1/2 at dinner time, and by the end of the week I gone through all of them at least twice.

    Doesn't mean I comment on every single one, but I have fun just the same anyways.

  7. You know, I never check out other blogs unless someone new comments on mine or someone recommends one. It doesn't occur to me to have time to be adventurous. At least not online :)

  8. M: Being adventurous is how I've found about 85% of the blogs that I currently read, including yours.

    The othe 15% come from people who either recommend someone else's blog, or if the person seems to be highly respected in the blogging community.

    And yes, it's far more fun to be adventuroush in the real world as opposed to being online. :D

  9. I appreciate you coming by my blog and I certainly don't mind lurkers. There are quite a few of them out there. I just hope that the few minutes you spend reading my blog bring a smile to your face or maybe make you giggle, ok smirk.

  10. I hear ya man! As my list of followers and blogs that I follow continues to grow, it becomes a daunting task to keep up with them all.

    I have a select group of blogs that I am sure to keep up on and comment on a regular basis. But to visit and comment on all of them is just impossible for me to do. I don't have that kind of time!

    Aside from commenting on my core group of blogs, I try like like hell to return the favor to those who leave me comments. Not always successful (actually never)

    I used to follow anyone who follows me but some of those blogs just don't interest me. So now I only follow the ones I find entertaining. It makes it easier to read and leave a meaningful comment rather than trying to leave a comment on something I have no clue about or don't care for.

  11. Dan: I used to the same early on when I'd started blogging, and although I still do it to a lesser degree, there are some blogs that I follow for the pure pleasure of either reading or rediscovering a former fellow blogger who had switched interests and started a completely different blog.

    Still, I do try to make at least one comment on every blog that I subscribe to per month.

    And I agree, it's very tough to parcel out your time when it comes to reading all the blogs you follow. I long since divided up my reading time this way:

    Monday thru Friday, one hour while eating breakfast, and one and a half hours while eating dinner; Saturday & Sunday, whenever I get some down time and during breakfast and dinner.

    Works for me and allows me to stay on top of my subscriptions.

  12. There is no method to the madness for me. I just comment on what I can, when I can.

  13. Dan: Sometimes having no method to the madness is the best that we can hope for and do.

  14. My buddy Nik Morton is an editor with Solstice and their Western branch. A very fine outfit.

  15. David: He's the one that I dealt with throughout the entire submission process of my novel, for which I am eternally grateful for.

    I have nothing but high praise for Solstice and like I said, I'm starting to learn quite a bit about the business side of publishing.

    And I'm getting a few ideas about marketing as well.


Go on, give me your best shot. I can take it. If I couldn't, I wouldn't have created this wonderful little blog that you decided to grace with your presence today.

About that comment moderation thingy: While yes, it does say up above I can take it, I only use it to prevent the occasional miscreant from leaving thoughtless and/or clueless comments.

So remember, all of your comments are greatly appreciated and all answers will be given that personal touch that you come to expect and enjoy.

G. B. Miller

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All the content that you see here, except for the posting of links that refer to other off-blog stories, is (c) 2008-17 by G.B. Miller. Nothing in whole or in part may be used without the express written permission of myself. If you wish to use any part of what you see here, please contact me at georgebjr2006@gmail.com