I myself am not a lurker at present. I joined The Hive in August 2016, left for a while when I wrong-footed myself amid the intense Hillary-Bernie debate here, and recently returned and am having a great experience.
I've started five topics on The Hive, a couple of which have been productive of good discussion, the others less so.* I've contributed 250+ comments, some quite short, some longer than many of you probably wanted to read. I've also had private exchanges with a few Prime members. Sometimes it was to delve deeper into a topic than was likely to interest a wider readership, sometimes it was to offer an apology for unintentionally offending or upsetting a member of our community.
To repeat myself: I've enjoyed it. And as someone with a three-decade background in classroom teaching, I have an irresistible urge to do what I personally can do to engage the greatest number of people possible in the most civil and enlightening discussions possible.
So to those of you who prefer to observe The Hive from a distance, I'd like to issue a plea: tell us regular commenters what it would take to get your voices into our conversations, if indeed that's something you can imagine yourself doing under the right conditions. How would you complete the following sentences?
I don't comment (often) because ________________.
I can't imagine starting a new topic on The Hive because ________________.
I would be more likely to offer comment on The Hive if __________________.
Let me be clear: I am not offering any criticism of lurking. Really and truly. I do likewise in other venues. At the same time, if there is anyone who would like to participate actively and is worried that he or she doesn't have "anything to say," I'm sure I speak for others when I say that you yourself are surely wrong about that. We need as many voices as we can get. More voices equal more wisdom. When I stop believing that, I stop coming here.
*I'd be glad to hear from longtime participants by private message, if you have any suggestions for me about deciding on topics, writing the topic descriptions, good facilitation of discussion on those topics, etc.