Are You Interested in Why I'm a Lurker on The Hive?

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.


I've chosen to become what you refer to as a "lurker" for awhile. I've created many topics and have always appreciated, enjoyed and learned from discussions here but want to take a break from daily participation and celebrate the perspective that quietly observing offers.

For those who are new here, I encourage you to comment and create topics of importance to you. I still remember the trepidation I felt when I was new to the Hive, that I was not worthy of participating. There are many intelligent people here with broad and deep knowledge of a diverse range of subjects. Never question that you're not their equal, participate and be comfortable in doing so.

Be willing to learn and willing to share. You will be rewarded!


Excellent observation — that we can move into and out of conversations (real and virtual) and perhaps benefit from those periods when we're mostly listening. (Though I miss your voice on these threads, @sooner.)

I've been a commentator on TPM for quite a while. However I've only recently joined Prime. If the topics are interesting, I comment. I don't know how to start a new topic.

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@downriverdem, when you reach the main page for The Hive forums, you'll see at the top right of your screen this icon:

Click on that. You'll have to devise a title for the topic, choose a category, and write a description. It's straightforward. Thanks for the reply. And welcome.


I'm a long time reader of TPM (since '07?). I joined Prime when it was first offered to support Josh, but never even read The Hive until a few months ago. I am, and have been, absurdly busy and rarely have the mental band width to contribute to a thread, let alone start one. But I've received so much value from other contributors and comments, I feel I have to dive in. When I can. Which is usually when I'm laid up from a viral infection and can't do much more than surf the web and think of cheeky things to say.....


Feel better! And please lay something cheeky on us!


Not a lurker, I just don't like seeing this thread bare! I will make one comment if you will allow me:

There are a lot of intimidating characters here, mostly because of the copious amounts of research they do and the knowledge they possess. For myself, I know full well when my input is not going to be up to snuff, so I stay back. It is possible that there are a lot of "lurkers" who are here more or less to read and learn.

The intensity of the moment often disguises, or temporarily obliterates common values and goals. Welcome back.


No matter how I feel, I'm going to a pho cook-off tomorrow and that should blast away the last of it.


Thank you for articulating this, @salbls My guess is that you are speaking for a goodly number of people.

The stats on "Republican Party Will Not Survive the Trump Presidency," a topic which I started a couple of days ago, seem to indicate that many people are reading but not commenting. Only 22 Hive members have posted comments on that topic. Yet the topic has been viewed more than 325 times. It seems unlikely that 22 people have each viewed the topic 15 times.

My wife and I were talking about Steve Bannon the other day. There have been so many comments in the media from various people about how scary smart Bannon is. We agreed that it's improbable. As she said to me, when a person with an internally coherent worldview expresses forcefully his or her opinion, some people judge him or her to be "brilliant." Yet the truly brilliant person who sees all the gray in the world, who expresses an opinion without being overbearing, who is always asking himself or herself, "What are the chances I'm wrong about this?" — that is a person whose voice needs to be heard, too.

The ability to express oneself clearly and eloquently is a great gift and/or a hard-earned talent. It should be celebrated. No one who is capable of doing it should be made to feel inhibited. At the same time, it would be wonderful if they made an effort to moderate their forcefulness and really work on making space for other people. After all, they themselves want to be read and heard, whether they admit it or not. Mutuality and collegiality are unambiguously good and desirable.


Not that I enjoy putting a negative spin on the topic, but it’s worth noting that many of us have suspected for quite a while that lurking among us are media types and conservative ... er... ‘watchers’. It’s been observed that words written here first, sometimes show up on publications only slightly re-worded. :unamused:


Just an FYI...spell checkers in Firefox for some reason dont work on the title. So double check your spelling (or hope a moderator is lurking close enough to correct it for you...happens all the time to me...both ways)


I defer to you and other longtime Hive members on this. If only @sooner, @salbls, and @pantala ever engage on this, from a positive point of view, then I'll be satisfied that it was worth giving some space for discussion of the issue. Thanks, @alphadad. I always look forward to your contributions.

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This has happened to me...while I find it extremely gratifying (and somewhat cheated) pushed me to start writing here and there on Medium, which I enjoy. I also enjoy writing topics here. I must admit though...topics here are usually off the top of my head (and my head is a VERY busy place). Some get buried...some of thousands of views, but you never know unless you write it down and share it. Its very surprising the topics that take off some times.
One thing for certain (I just took a look at the 450+ threads I've started)...people around here love talking about elections...US, Canadian, British, Australian, or Icelandic (argh...pirate party)


I think that besides the other reasons proffered for lurking, I would like to suggest the generally collegial exchanges here. It may be hard to "break-in" when the feeling is that old friends are engaging in friendly and sometimes spirited give and take. Making the first post (while fearing that you will be ignored) is a bit stressful for most people; at least it was for me.


Great topic... Thanks...

I'm sure there are quite of few here that wish I only lurked.

But I am totally addicted.

And I am home-bound right now.


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It happened to me on loath or loathe.

Although according to definitions either can be used.


Not me, OGD. We should have had a virtual party for you when you broke 5,000!!!!

:birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday: :birthday:

Oh I don't about this... but thanks...

Our fellow poster @martinheldt checks in with a grand total of 6951 likes.

He hasn't posted much lately but it's understandable.. I sure hope he and his lovely Lizzie are doing Okay...



Holy crap! I have 5000 likes too! That has GOT to be a typo. Or a travesty. Something.

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