Lurkers and Influencers

I know that majority of you reading this post are subscribers who read Eternity Cafe in your email inbox. You've never seen a blog other than the time you went to mine to subscribe and haven't been back to one since. I know - I was exactly the same before I started writing it.

So my blogger friends, please be patient with me for a moment while I provide definitions for two words you and I have come to know.

Lurker -
Webster's defines a lurker as:
1 : to lie in wait in a place of concealment ...
2 : to be concealed but capable of being discovered; to lie hidden

Bloggers define a lurker as someone who reads your blogpost, visits your blog, maybe smiles or sheds a tear, and then moves on without ever leaving a comment or reply. On rare occasion, a lurker may tell you in person how much your blogpost meant to them. But never leaves a written comment.

Do bloggers like lurkers? Of course! We love ALL our readers, and to be honest, I'm a reformed lurker myself. Would I like more comments? Vell, of course, dahling, who vouldn't?
But that's not really what this post is about as you'll see.

Influencer -
Webster's defines an influencer as
1 : One who, or that which, influences.
    Influence: Verb
1 : Have and exert influence or effect;
2 : Shape or influence; give direction to;
3 : Induce into action

Most bloggers are writers (duh!), and in publishing, an influencer simply is one who tells others about a book. An author will often provide tips to be an influencer for his/her book, like writing a post or newspaper article, twitter or facebook, contacting local bookstore, etc. In fact, I'll be posting a review next week for one author who asked me (and hundreds of others) to be an influencer for her book. Her book is something I believe will be valuable to many so why wouldn't I want to use my little corner of the internet to share it with others? And someday, maybe you will be an influencer for my book (if it ever gets finished!)
But again that's not what this post is about.

So get to the point already! You may be lurking but I can hear you!
Okay, here's what I'm getting to.

In God's kingdom, there are lurkers and influencers, too.

Lurkers may go to church, listen to Christian radio, participate in fellowship, but rarely share the gospel with someone. They drink in, but seldom give out. They receive a word from God, but don't encourage anyone else. They may even keep their faith completely concealed from the outside world.

Influencers are like Andrew who upon meeting Jesus immediately fetched his brother, Peter, to meet Jesus too. Or like the woman at the well who after speaking with Jesus ran to the town to tell everyone about the Man who knew all about her. They're like the band members I met in a bar 30 years ago who had met Jesus the month before and were so excited to communicate their great news. Christ's influencers know they have something valuable that will be more valuable the more it's shared. And they look for opportunities to influence others to join God's family or to grow in His family.

It's true that some people are natural born influencers, and some natural born lurkers. But with the desire to become an influencer for Christ, comes the ability.

If you knew that a bomb was on an airplane, would you warn the passengers lining up to board the plane? That's the attitude to have to be an influencer.

But being an influencer doesn't always require speaking. An old adage says "Preach the gospel at all times, and sometimes use words." It is our daily lives, decisions, behavior that is the biggest influence to those around us.

But if you're anything like me, there are times that you wanted to speak, to encourage, to share, to influence, and you kept silent. Would you allow me to influence you now :)
Here's what I did:

Step out with baby steps.

A comment here.
An "I'll pray for you" there.
Seize a moment.
Then build from there.

They share freely and give generously to those in need.Their good deeds will be remembered forever.They will have influence and honor. Psalm 112:9


ps - and just in case you thought I was kidding with the blogger lurker definition, when I went to the dictionary I found it it's for real. Here it is, from Websters, lurker definition #3:
3 :to read messages on an Internet discussion forum (as a newsgroup or chat room) without contributing

pps - and if you've been lurking around Eternity Cafe, I'd much prefer this blog to be a dialog than a monologue. I'd love to hear/read your comments - and respond to them. So please pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee, and let's chat! And feel free to influence your friends to join in!


Kimberly Conway said...

Great post and so true.

Dawn said...

Lurking Rocks!

Jeanette Levellie said...

I never knew we had a word for it, but I feel kind of cheated when people say, "I love your blog," yet I've never had a comment from them.

I need feedback. Not for kudos, but to know if I'm connecting.

Great post, Susan. I love the analogy to God's kingdom. You are so wise.

Joy Vincent said...

I confess I'm a lurker. Most of the time it's because I'm not a computer whiz and can't figure out how to reply or comment. It took me while to figure out how to get to this comment box. While I don't have a lot of patience to check into people's various blogs, I do enjoy Eternity Cafe very much and frequently forward it to friends and family. It helps that the blog updates automatically come to my email. Otherwise I probably wouldn't go looking for it.

Jody Hedlund said...

I did a blog post a while back about why we all like comments. It truly validates what we're sharing. We pour our hearts into our posts and want our words to reach out and make an impact. So, when someone connects with what we say, we love to hear that!

quietspirit said...

Connecting is what we all aim for when we blog. I had a site at another location where I didn't know if anyone read what I wrote. It bothered me. I had the opportunity to shop around for a new site and found a home here. Thank you for saying what I wanted to say.

Lauren said...

but you dont like coffee... haha

:) love ya

Crown of Beauty said...

I'm here over from Joanne's place. Lovely opportunity to meet another blog author with a blog worth reading.

Love what you have to say about being a lurker or an influencer. I appreciate the lurkers who visit my blog, but like you, I often wish they'd come out in the open and speak up.

I define a lurker this way: a lurker is like someone who entered your front door, looked around your house, then left without saying hello, or goodbye.

For me, whenever I visit a blog, I leave a comment, even if just a short one. It's just an act of courtesy.

But, then you can't impose this point of view on everybody. I understand that there are many bloggers who feel that blogworld is a free world...people are free to come and go.

So, anyways, here I am today at your blog, and I'm glad I visited.

Will be back again one of these days!