Home > Metablogging > Lurker Week

Lurker Week

September 23rd, 2005

Via a chain of links starting at Crooked Timber, I found out that it was Lurker Day on September 21. This is the day when readers of blogs who don’t normally post comments are supposed to do so, ideally with some sort of comment about why they read the blog, how they found it and so on. Given that it’s Friday afternoon now, I’m making it a week instead of a day.

Don’t be put off by the term ‘lurker’ which dates back to the days of newsgroups, when there was a feeling that everyone ought to join in[1]. There’s nothing wrong with reading the blog and not commenting, but I’d really like to know that my page views aren’t all robots and spiders, so a short message from you, just this once, would give me lots of encouragement. Feel free to use a pseudonym; most of the regular commenters do.

fn1. Apart from which, if I can put up with ‘blogger’, anything goes.

Categories: Metablogging Tags:
  1. September 23rd, 2005 at 16:34 | #1

    Regular reader. Very occasional commenter. Not savvy enough to comment, but possibly smart enough to realise this. Cheers to yourself and the other heavy lifters here.

  2. NicM
    September 23rd, 2005 at 17:18 | #2

    I added your site to my FeedReader a month or so ago. Really enjoy it.

  3. doug
    September 23rd, 2005 at 17:32 | #3

    I read your site regularly (RSS is a wonderfull thing) and enjoy your writings. I find it very interesting to see the economics (something I’m completely ignorant of) approach to social and other issues. I comment very occasionally, but mostly just listen and try to learn.

  4. YankinOz
    September 23rd, 2005 at 17:45 | #4

    An infrequent visitor, relatively new to Australia, who visits to get a smart left-leaning take on Australian politics. I should probably find a counterweight on the right, but I haven’t bothered. The govt does a pretty good job of explaining itself, and Labor doesn’t; maybe that’s why I’m here.
    Not sure I’m frequent enough to qualify as a lurker, but I showed up today, and I’ve shown up before. First time commenter. The US blog I most frequently read is Brad Delong.

  5. September 23rd, 2005 at 18:09 | #5

    I’m a relative newby to this, but found your site early on. I stop in at least once a week, and also read other economics sites even tho I ain’t no economist. But, being the honest type I am, I have to admit that I’m often just as motivated by dropping my “name” as in learning a thing or two. But maybe that give and take is what blogging is good at. It’s good to have you more mature bloggers both as models and as encouragement. Thanks.
    There’s a Guambat lurking around here.

  6. September 23rd, 2005 at 18:54 | #6

    Is this similar to ‘talk like a pirate day’?
    Trawlin for virgin bloggers, me lad?
    If only i could shut up.

  7. Iain
    September 23rd, 2005 at 20:08 | #7

    And I thought it was global ceasefire day, UN day of peace, and all that.

    Silly me. Obviously it is important that we confuse Sept 21 with frivilous nonsense.

    A very grumpy lurker, who wishes that more economists would support the Terra Trade Reference Currency.

  8. Peter Fuller
    September 23rd, 2005 at 22:29 | #8

    I’m a very rare contributor – for reasons similar to Anthony. I check the site probably every second day, and read almost everything. I find both JQ’s posts and the comments a tonic for my aging brain cells. As mainstream media continues its inexorable decline towards tame mediocrity, blogsville becomes progressively more indispensable.

  9. holden
    September 23rd, 2005 at 23:20 | #9

    I’m a regular reader, coming in a few times a week.

    I’d simply echo what doug has already said. Thanks for all the great writing, John.

  10. September 23rd, 2005 at 23:26 | #10

    I’m glad to contribute to lurk like a pirate day.

    I enjoy reading what comes through on RSS. This blog and its comments are a vaulable resource for defending the $10 arguments that come my way.

  11. Tadhgin
    September 23rd, 2005 at 23:46 | #11

    Come here regular as.. but normallyy via CT.

    Potential migrant to Oz to boot (thanks to a beautiful Melbournian met while working in Canberra last year) so I like the take on Aussie politics/economy. Top marks all round!

  12. cp
    September 24th, 2005 at 00:40 | #12

    Regular reader but have nothing much to say, so I just lurk. It’s good to get thoughtful , insightful, articulate commentary on the goings-on back in Aus (and elsewhere).

  13. Alison
    September 24th, 2005 at 01:35 | #13

    I never comment but I do enjoy reading your website, John. I’m a left-leaning Australian with mediocre knowledge of economics; I especially like your well-set-out reasoning when you’re financially modelling some public policy proposal or other. I got to your site via CT (I think). Thanks for the time and intellectual energy you invest in your blog – I get a lot out of it.

  14. jerry
    September 24th, 2005 at 04:00 | #14

    I read your blog religiously but I am not clever enough to comment! 🙂

  15. Roger
    September 24th, 2005 at 08:04 | #15

    I’m with Jerry

  16. JH
    September 24th, 2005 at 08:33 | #16

    Started reading after hearing you get a room-full of dry economists to agree that the US FTA was not about free trade. Now that I’m overseas, your blog’s a good way to keep in touch with Australian issues without going through the filter of the Australian media.

  17. h
    September 24th, 2005 at 10:09 | #17

    I’ve been checking out your web site since you were at the anu, even before you had a blog:) Very few academics had at the time and probably still don’t have a web site with their articles, submissions etc which are not to dense to read and can be grasped by an average person… i.e someone like me. I was really pleased when you started a blog few years ago (cann’t remember now could it be almost three years now). You offer great commentary on many issues that are relevant and important in today’s society, covering both domestic and international topics, and you provide many pointers which is great, something that you certainly cannot get on commercial TV.
    Even tough you are an academic your writing is highly readable and enjoyable. I whish we had more academics, elites and other smart people who probably have a lot of smart and good things too say but simply don’t for either being political “chickens” or are just not interested in putting the effort to communicate their voices to the broader public.
    I read you blog daily,it’s a must and I feel a bit disappointed if there is no new entry every day…:), but at the same time I must admit I rarely put comments, so it’s time to stop being a “chicken”.
    So yeah in australian blog space you should be declared the bloger king.
    Keep up the good work, you rock!!!

  18. e sciaroni
    September 24th, 2005 at 12:30 | #18

    An American daily reader here. Originally I came here via Cooked Timber, now I come here first. I view Australian politics through your blog.

  19. ChrisW
    September 24th, 2005 at 13:14 | #19

    Started looking here a while ago after seeing you mentioned on Time Blair’s site … strangely, his readers were bagging the crap out of something you’d posted … anyway, I must confess his stuff was a bit of a laugh initially but is now just a bore and I don’t bother with his site much at all.

    I usually come straight to your page for my first ‘substantial issue’ fix of the day and like most folks above just lurk and don’t comment – more for fear of being exposed as a real goose than anything else.

    In any event … thanks for your efforts JQ … your site is a great read and much appreciated.

  20. September 24th, 2005 at 14:31 | #20

    I’m a frequent lurker, but don’t usually comment on blogs unless provoked by something particularly outrageous! But I really like your blog and read it most days, along with Henry Thornton – it’s a great way to tap into the more informal aspects of intellectual life in this country and to get some perspectives other than what most of the media serve up. The overall calibre of your contributors is high too (mostly!), and that makes visiting doubly worthwhile.

  21. September 24th, 2005 at 16:21 | #21

    Firstly the content is very good. It regularly challenges my opinions and forces me to question my assuptions. My writing skills as pretty bloodly ordinary so it take a fair bit of time for me to make a presentable post, so I lurk*.

    JQ’s blog makes for tasty interstitial reading at my primary place of employment where the cursed interruptions of ‘legitimate’ work tasks can seem unremitting. Telling myself that this makes me too time poor to research, fact check and then post here, I perceive the opportunity cost of lurking is less much less for me than posting is.

    * This post took me 30 minutes!

  22. Ann
    September 24th, 2005 at 20:56 | #22

    John, I came to your blog via Chris Sheil’s Back Pages during the election campaign, and pop in at least once a week. I don’t comment because I don’t wish to display my economic ignorance (!), but I love the quality of this blog, and the fact that your regular responders/respondees are always clever, witty and very rarely abusive to each other, unlike other sites.
    I find it interesting that most of your commentators are blokes though…I wonder if the women feel intimidated…

  23. John Armour
    September 25th, 2005 at 07:45 | #23

    Like “h” (Sept 24 10.09 am), I’ve been reading JQ since before the blog. I vaguely recall getting here via Margo and Tim Dunlop, before Tim got his own blog (when did Tim write that essay on Dairy Industry Deregulation ?).

    And like ChrisW above, JQ is one of the first sites I visit every morning, just to get my bearings for the day.

    JQ has given me the confidence to drop terms like “marginal utility” and “equity premium” into the dinner party without fear of getting sprung.

  24. Eleni
    September 25th, 2005 at 17:40 | #24

    I found your site via Tim Blair’s one day. I’m a UQ student and I’ve seen you around uni a few times. I keep meaning to tell you what a great beard you have but never have the nerve. I like the clear way you write, even though I don’t always agree. I never post, this is the only one.

  25. Anne Magarey
    September 25th, 2005 at 18:28 | #25

    John, I read the blog when I want to know what is going on from an economic perspective. I know very little about economics, but I am aware that there alternatives to ‘mainstream’ economics. I detest neoliberalism.

    I enjoy your blog, and CT too. I wonder how much time it takes, and whether it is part of your job description. I have followed up some of your articles, too, find them rather good.

    Keep up the good work, we need you.


  26. Mick Dare
    September 25th, 2005 at 19:35 | #26

    Been reading the site for about a year now. I can’t remember how I came across it, but since then I’ve been reading it fairly regularly. I generally don’t comment, as its rather intimidating.

    Cheers for the interesting perspectives ProfQ and the usual suspects. It sure beats Sixty Minutes 😉

  27. Harlow
    September 26th, 2005 at 08:37 | #27

    Been reading on and off for about a year and a half. As a former blog owner, I’m impressed at the effort that must be required to maintain the site for so long. Especially since it doesn’t win any DEST points.

  28. Kevin
    September 26th, 2005 at 13:15 | #28

    Regular reader but still a novice economist. Your site was the best way I had of keeping up with what was happening in Australia. Very enjoyable.

  29. hinze
    September 26th, 2005 at 17:04 | #29

    Found your blog six months ago or thereabouts, John, while googling for stuff I knew you’d written on privatisation. I drop in once a fortnight or once a month, usually when researching some economic-related news story that I’m trying to draw a political cartoon about (eg. the significance of the current account deficit, the rising price of oil, etc). I’ve never posted, and am not generally a blog visitor. But like Alison, I appreciate the effort you put into the blog. It reflects your commitment to connecting your work as an intellectual with the struggles that occur in society over the direction of public policy. Many thanks.

  30. Stephen Ziguras
    September 26th, 2005 at 18:54 | #30

    I found your blog from your website where I was looking for any recent work you’d done on employment policy. I visit once or twice a week, and I appreciate your incisive and thoughtful commentary. One of the things I like most is that you avoid the high-blown rhetoric and abuse that passes for argument much of the time, as do many of the posters to your site (admittedly not all). And while I read mostly to see what people are saying, occasionally, it forces me to do some intellectual work myself. Your posts about HECS, for example, made me completely rethink my attitude to it!

    I post every once and a while, but I often find that someone else has said what I wanted already.

    Cheers, and thanks.

  31. J
    September 26th, 2005 at 20:44 | #31

    Am at UQ, majoring in Economics. Been reading your site every now and then. Interesting perspectives to many economic issues!


  32. what the
    September 27th, 2005 at 15:57 | #32

    Ann how do you know?

  33. Terje Petersen
    September 28th, 2005 at 01:06 | #33

    I presume you mean “How can Ann know that she detests neoliberalism, when she confesses that she knows very little about economics”.

    That was something I pondered also. It seemed a little like blind prejudice. Like the neighbour I had once who hated asians, even though she didn’t know any.

  34. Peter2
    September 28th, 2005 at 10:34 | #34

    Infrequent reader. very rare commentator. Blog recommended by a friend and I’m interested to hear what a cetrist/left economist (I dont know what bucket you’d like to be in 🙂 has to say.

    In response to Terje Petersen, who asks how anyone can hate neo-libs without knowing much about economics, I dont think its that hard. You dont have to know much about economics to ‘feel’ that the approach of neo-libs is typically cold and hard. No heart. OK, so my language is weighted, but if I replaced this with ‘rational’, ‘unemotional’, ‘analytical’ I dont think many woul disagree?

    In the end you get no feeling of emotion or warmth or wellbeing from neo-libs. They are interested in efficiency for its own sake, and even when they say that that such efficiency will have benefits for real people, I never get the impression that they give much of damn.

  35. Andrew Reynolds
    September 28th, 2005 at 12:58 | #35

    I know this is meant to be for lurkers, so I will keep it brief, just referring you to what I said to James (link) a few days back on the subject of “neo-libs” being uncaring.
    BTW, for the rest of the lurkers, I say join in – a lack of intelligence has not stopped many of the commenters here. The idea of commenting scared the willies out of me first up. Just say what you want – we can’t get back at you.

  36. Peter2
    September 28th, 2005 at 14:05 | #36

    Andrew Reynolds,

    I’ve read the link you referred to, and I’m afraid I’m not convinced. I’m not talking about you personally, but I still think it is fair to say that neo-libs are driven by abstract notions of efficiency rather than by communal wellbeing. They argue that communal wellbeing is the result of market efficiency, and perhaps this is true, but I dont get the impression that they empathise with the rest of the commune at all.

    If I can illustrate like this:

    stereo-typical neo-lib says :
    1) ‘An efficient market is better for everyone’
    2) ‘I care about everyone, so I will argue for freer markets’.

    I believe the neo-lib when he says (1) but do not believe him in (2). This doesnt make (1) less true, of course, but thats for another argument.

    This is why neo-libs are perceived as cold and heartless. And I have to say I think the general perception is accurate…. they believe in abstractions but dont seem to care overly for people. No compassion. No heart.

    Of course everything I have said here is a generalization. Some neo-libs have hearts, some wishy-washy wets are heartless, but overall I think the stereotypes are accurate….

  37. Andrew Reynolds
    September 28th, 2005 at 14:48 | #37

    Probably should be on the other thread. If you want a discussion on it, we should move it there.

  38. thicketed
    September 29th, 2005 at 07:32 | #38

    just passing thru. luckily happened upon your Singularity post at Crooked Timber. It was quite helpful as I thought it was some new age mysticism before today.

  39. Michael Shaw
    September 29th, 2005 at 11:44 | #39

    I enjoy getting the left-of-centre perspective from your blog. I also enjoy trying to follow the arguments which develop – though I generally give them the “Hobart wave”.
    Best wishes Michael

  40. Robbie
    September 30th, 2005 at 11:01 | #40

    I frequently visit your site, yet I have never posted a comment. I find your site interesting and informative. Perhaps I shall post again before Sept 21 2006. I also enjoy reading your regular bloggers’ knowledgeable comments, views and debates.

  41. tuohyred
    September 30th, 2005 at 13:47 | #41

    I visit your site regularly for a social-democratic antidote to the boosterism masquerading as economic commentary in the mainstream media. Thanks for your efforts, and I continue to marvel at your prodigious output.

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