Comment Thread for the Usual Gang

As promised, the follow-up entry to “Delurk for a Dime,” so the folks who are not lurkers (and those who were lurkers up until a few moments ago) can have a place to discuss the previous entry. Please, if you’re a regular commenter here at the Whatever, comment here, not in the “Delurk for a Dime” comment thread, which is reserved for delurking purposes only. I thank you in advance for following directions.

81 Comments on “Comment Thread for the Usual Gang”

  1. Whatever you do, John, I would NOT recommend doing what I did on Cognitive Daily, which is offer to respond personally to all delurkers. It was fun for about the first 30 posts, then it got quite exhausting. I can only imagine what it would be like for your level of readership!

  2. Yeah, that would mess up my comment count, and also, I’m writing an article today. No time. Why do you think I put up a piece that doesn’t actually require my involvement?

  3. “While I’m very pleased to have those 100 folks comment — they seem to be mostly smart and engaging folks — I think it would be fun for those people who read but don’t usually comment to say hello.”

    And then there are the rest of us. :)

    I also seem to notice the same names all the time. It’s very nice when a new voice, even one I may disagree with, shows up. Then again, I’m also very new here. Not new enough to have that new car smell still, but new enough I’m still finding cool older posts of our host.

  4. I’ve commented more than once, so I don’t count as a lurker I guess, but I don’t think I’m much of a regular commenter either.

    Oh, and this is the first time I’ve seen the new background (I normally read through my RSS reader)… I like it.

  5. Hope you get lots of delurkers, John, and that many of them decide to stay delurked. I suppose I’m only a semi-regular commenter, but it would indeed be nice to add still more voices to the Whatever family.

  6. Gosh, I wish I hadn’t commented those many moons ago. I could have made someone $0.10. Curse my previous commentary!

  7. Long time reader… some time commenter. Definitely not technically a lurker, because I’ve commented reasonably often… but not exactly “one of the usuals” perhaps…

    I’m a semi-lurker.
    I’m a quasi-lurker.
    I’m the Diet Coke of lurkers… just one calorie, not lurky enough.

    /doctorevil off

  8. Another quasi-lurker here. I read Whatever daily because I love the random mix of topics. Plus I’m interested in the SF publishing industry, since I’m writing my first novel right now. But I think I’ve commented a couple times. So I won’t cheat and de-lurk down there.

  9. I, too, consider myself a semi-lurker. I used to comment more often, but have fallen a bit off of that wagon.

    But it’s always a fun read, both the posts and the comments.


  10. Another quasi-lurker here too… John, mebbe you should give a shiny nickel for each “intermediate level” lurker that posts in this thread… :-D

  11. I was going to de-lurk, but then I realized that I’ve posted a couple of times in the past year. Enough that I probably don’t qualify as a lurker.

    Ahh well. It’s a fun idea, though.

  12. I was going to call myself a lurker, but then I realized that I participated a lot in that religion thread not too long ago, but other than that, I haven’t commented much.

  13. I wonder how many of us fall into the gap between the poles of “lurker” and “regular commenter”? My commenting here tends to go in fits and starts, depending on how many people I’m having to fry with my death laser at the time.

  14. I think “delurk” needs to be added to the American lexicon. Maybe apply to get it added to Websters.

  15. Well POOP, i post maybe once a month, rather than the once an hour you see some folks doing here, and, “I don’t get me no shiny dime donated in me name!”

    Mr. Scalzi; this is a wonderful thing for you to do, but I suspect it’s just a scheme to get more people to read your books. That is, if they learn to read the young ones will need something, “to read,” and, heck, why not your books?

    All the best,


  16. Darn. I’ve made more than one (but less than ten, I think) comment over the last year, so I don’t count. Time to re-lurk for the next year, maybe?

  17. Mary, Justfred can’t be a stalker, I’ve known him since high school. And you can’t be a stalker, either, because I actually like you. And remember, you can’t stalk someone who likes having you around.

  18. I’m Chang’s cat. I guess I am not such a lurker, since I often sit near him when he posts. I hate it when he posts naked.

    Can farglebargle teach me to read? Without bacon on me?

  19. I’m Chang’s cat. I guess I am not such a lurker, since I often sit near him when he posts. I hate it when he posts naked.

    Can farglebargle teach me to read? Without bacon on me?

  20. I’m Chang’s cat. I guess I am not such a lurker, since I often sit near him when he posts. I hate it when he posts naked.

    Can farglebargle teach me to read? Without bacon on me?

  21. I read the Whatever every day, but I only occasionally am moved to fire off a barrage of comments. I try to do that only if I think I have a particular insight or expertise not showing up ’til that point.

    No, really.

    Okay, okay, I admit that sometimes I comment just because the conversation is interesting enough to short-circuit my restraint.

  22. Chang, you post nekkid? In front of the cat?

    Of couse, I used to know how to ride horses, and “posting” has a different connotation for me.

    Damn, I’m out of mental floss again.

  23. I think I’ve posted about three times in the last year, so I’m another semi-lurker. I’ve been reading the Whatever for several years, though. (Can’t remember for the life of me how I found it.)

  24. I don’t have a preferred spelling myself. Just whatever comes out of the fingers at any particular time.

  25. Add my name to that qauasi-lurker list. I hang around to see what John posts the closer he gets to a deadline.

  26. Another quasi-demi-lurker. I think I’ve posted about 4 or 5 times in the past year.
    I showed up here after the “Being Poor” list, and have stayed for the commentary and the rants and the bacon cats.

  27. Since I work in the Intelligence field, I guess I qualify a lurker no matter how many times I comment. It’s kind of like being a writer in as much as Heinlein once said, “It’s good work if you can get it, but do it in private – and wash your hands afterwards.”

    Chang: you named your cat George Foreman? That just totally rocks. But you post naked? Umm, I’ve been to your webpage, Dude, and…ummm, not so much. Now I’ve got THAT picture stuck in my head, thanks, thanks alot.

  28. I think I lurk more than I used to, but I think it’s because I’m not writing a thesis anymore. This means there are (well, were) at least TWO people using the Whatever to avoid writing projects. John is doing a public service for procrastinators the world over.

  29. Delurking reminds me to much of things like detoxing. Or maybe demystify (is that a word?). Might I suggest a more politically correct term?
    Is there a period when you can be considered an unlurker? This is day 3 for me on Whatever found via Amazon of all places. What category would I fall in?

  30. I made my boyfriend de-lurk from work, and told him it was for a good cause. I get excited when he posts on my site, so it makes me feel warm and fuzzy that he delurked for you too. (That Darn Satan is my bf.)

  31. Over in the delurking thread, Diego wrote:
    “By the way… I’m in my hometown Buenos Aires, Argentina. Just like Rico from Starship Troopers. I hope I don’t get bombed though.”

    Just to quibble and cause thread drift, I’ll note that the Johnny Rico and his parents did not live in Buenos Aires, his mother was just visiting there when the Bugs destroyed it.

    (This is in the book, dunno about the movie.)

    But welcome to the lurk-impaired community anyway!

  32. Can I send my zombies kids who came with me down to Columbus to see you but don’t post (but ask every day what’s in Whatever, they’re too lazy to read and sometimes we’re a bit too adult for a 12 year old girl) over to the delurking thread?

  33. Hmmm…I’m probably another somewhat quasi-lurker. I comment, but when it gets heated I run for cover.

  34. Hey, I just want to point out that the cat posted without my consent. His typing skills are better than the average cats. He’d have his own blog but for the fact that he gets frustrated over whether to go with WordPress or LiveJournal. Then he goes and humps a blanket.

    I never post naked. Okay, rarely. Okay, maybe weekly. Okay, maybe… Okay, so the words flow only when I am free of the bonds of clothing! Fine are you freaks happy? You with your clothes and words. I curse thee from my naked throne!

  35. While definitely not a lurker, I don’t comment often enough. But I must say today….is that part of Starry Night you are using for your background? If so….bravo!

  36. Actually, David, it’s all of Starry Night, if you happen to have a 1920×1200 monitor.

  37. Semi-regular poster? I wandered in a few months ago and Just Can’t Get Out. I think I surfed in from Making Light. I like it here because it’s not mono-topic (although I think years from now, someone will still be talking about bacon, but that’s obsession, not mono). And Athena. But not in a child stalker kind of way, but in a I- was-like-that-but-I’m-jealous-because-my-parents-didn’t-think-they-should-encourage-it kinda way.

    I have to admit, when I read in an interview you get 20,000 visits, I kinda eeked! 20,000 people reading my snarky light? And now, well, now that many know Chang is traumatizing his cat with nudity.

  38. I’m a semi-demi-hemi lurker. I’ve posted three comments total, so I don’t quite qualify for lurker status, but I sure don’t comment very often.

    Apparently I’m in good company.

  39. Chang: I notice ol’ George Foreman there isn’t any kind Rex, how in the hell do you keep the fur out of the computer when he’s typing?

    I’ve got two of the perverse little beasts living in my house. They just teleported in from one of the inner circles of hell and attached themselves to my household when I was away in S. America. I’m convinced that if they had opposable thumbs, they’d have killed me in my sleep long ago. Instead they spend their time choking my computers with giant furballs, I collect enough cat hair from each computer on a weekly basis to knit another cat. And then to add insult to injury, the evil white one likes to sleep on top of the wireless keyboard on my main machine, which means every single morning the batteries are dead and the screen is full of random giberish. And be naked, around cats? Are you nuts? (hork) Cats are pointy on at least five corners, no way am I exposing myself to that kind of danger. I get paid to take risks, but I’m not crazy!

  40. Count me in with the quasi-commentor brigade. I post an average of once a week (I think). Some weeks I post every damned day, then John and his 100 won’t hear from me for a month. But since I’ve been reading and commenting on Whatever since the beginning of internet time (or 1998), I am far from lurker status.

    hugh57, don’t give my cats any ideas. They need consent, whether they ask for it or not. Granted, they tend to fall in the “not” column in that regard…

  41. I don’t qualify as a true delurker in the other thread (commented twice anonymously yesterday re: my preference for the green and the crabapples (called them berries)). I guess I should send my own check to RIF now…

  42. I’m join the many who are between regular commentators and lurkers; you update frequently and I catch all your updates, but have, to date, commented about 4 or 5 of them.

    Can my comment get .25 cents to RiF?

  43. I feel a bit guilty when I do comment, because I know you read comments and that subtracts from your serious (that is, money-earning) writing time. But what the hey.

  44. Maybe the regular commenters should take a collection to pay for some means of making sure that Chang is properly attired when commenting here on the Whatever. While I realize that this is hardly a black tie affair, I still feel that it requires a certain level of decorum. Or, at least, a distinctly reduced level of exposed scrotum.

    Plus there’s the fact that he might be posting from his toilet…

  45. Actually, David, it’s all of Starry Night, if you happen to have a 1920×1200 monitor.

    Wait a gol-durned minute. I thought your mondo-monitor was set to “portraitude”, but this image is disctinctly landscape-y.

  46. Being a generous sort, and in need of shiny new content, I’m running my own delurk contest at my Livejournal blog. Click my name to come over and spend my money for charity.

    (I hope this doesn’t violate the self-pimp rules.)

  47. You fools! Don’t you see? This is his way of trying to get us to shut up for the next year, thus saving his precious bandwidth which he so hoards. Waving a shiny dime in front of us and the carrot of giving to a noble charity.

  48. I remember a scrofulous English punk band called ‘The Lurkers’ – they sounded like the name. Glad I’m not one of them. On the other hand, I’m sure only the highest class of people lurk here.

  49. Well, RooK, the monitor works both ways, you know (I have it in landscape at the moment, in fact, because I was just playing a game). Also, I accept the fact that vast majority of monitors are in landscape mode, and most therefore accommodate them/

  50. The social experiment we REALLY need is to find out if it works the other way around.

    Hard to keep track of, but still. “I’ll donate a dime to mental health for every time you don’t post”. It’s like a matching grant.

  51. Ah, those quasi lurkers! Nuts, they are…

    Speaking of nuts, I’d like to thank Chang for leaving me with an image that even bleach can’t remove. Now all I can think of is Changette wondering where Chang got those furry undies and Chang saying, “What undies?”

    *stabs pencil in ear*

  52. John Scalzi – “Actually, David, it’s all of Starry Night, if you happen to have a 1920×1200 monitor.”

    Sure, just rub it in… It is an awful pretty monitor, though.

    Another quasi-lurker here, I guess. I’d post more often, but it’s hard to get a consensus out of the voices in my head.

    Always a good read over here at Whatever (is it just Whatever, or the Whatever?). I’ve picked up some good new authors here, too. Cherie Priest and Neil Gaiman are some of the names I’ve been glad to pick up.

  53. “furry undies”

    Dammit, I just cleaned the keyboard from Chang’s first post….. oh, well.

    John’s theory of the $19 keyboard may have some relevance; hmmmmmm…..

    Anyways, it’s great to be here…as a semi, quasi, part-time, kinda sorta, lurker.

  54. I have it in landscape at the moment, in fact, because I was just playing a game

    Right – I forgot that you announced on the other thread that you had work to do. Now I feel all silly for not guessing that you’d be busy fragging deserving digital denizens.

    So, does anyone have odds on how long today before there’s another Photoshopped image of something entirely unrelated to writing?

  55. RooK:

    “I forgot that you announced on the other thread that you had work to do.”

    Well, I did. And now I’m done. I am a marvel of efficiency!

  56. I have to admit, when I read in an interview you get 20,000 visits, I kinda eeked! 20,000 people reading my snarky light?

    Actually, it’s 20k people who read John’s snarky comments. They don’t all hit the comments thread. If that’s any consolation. ;)

    I found my way over here during the Lori Jareo thing, have no idea where I linked in from, and since I’m prone to blather there was no chance I was going to stay a lurker long at all. ;)

    What I like about the Whatever, though, is that John makes me feel welcome. In that he often writes entries that ask me questions. Things like “Damnedest thing you ever saw?” or “New Year’s Resolutions?” or even “How are you?”

    Other places are a lot more intimidating, and I sometimes end up feeling like a moron for daring to post. Especially when I have nothing insightful to say (which is much of the time). But I feel comfy about blathering over here. ;)

  57. The first time John pinged my radar was when he was kicking ass in a flamewar of him vs Vox Dei on Electrolite. I don’t think I started reading regularly until a year or so after that, though. I comment about once a fortnight, I reckon.

  58. I lurked for what seemed like a lengthy period of time, since about the time John wrote about how the recession wiped all of the ’90s out of relevance. Penny-Arcade hooked me up way back when he was giving Agent to the Stars away…although I never did read it. Eventually I started posting.

    My proudest moment was early last year, when Scalzi was trying to decide whether to get a kickass computer or a series of rare Heinlein books. Half of the posters were all “ah, the computer will be obsolete tomorrow”, the other half were all “ah, that publisher sucks, don’t trust them,” and I noted that this seemed like some weird personality test. John’s Whatever entry a day or so later included the words, “someone in there was asking whether this was one of those personality tests, in which the answer you provide is an indication of your personality.” Oh, what joy! Immortality was mine! I never told you guys, but from then on I thought of myself as the alpha poster number one. Surely you can see my point. Eventually I relinquished the title to the ubiquitous Chang, Who… in a super secret ceremony not even he knew about. Then That Neil Guy won the TAD ARC, and I continued to slink into bitter obscurity.

    That pretty much brings us up to speed. Wow, there sure are a lot of lurkers!

  59. I think I’m a semi-regular. I post occasionally (mostly fully clothed), but only on posts where I think I have an iota of something to add. This puts many of the nitty-gritty publishing and geeked out SF out of my realm. But I still read or at least skim over most of them.

    My SO is a lurker via proxy. He rarely reads blogs, and never, ever comments on them. But he gets a sumary of the blogs I read and asks about them. He knows who Scalzi is and Athena, too. He geeks out over some of the more techy/SF posts that I tell him about. So he has commented to me, but not online. I wondered if I could comment in the delurking post via proxy for him…but decided that was stretching the rules a bit far.

  60. 351 posts on the delurking page, as I write this. Gah! Tis a dangerous thing, a little bit of delurking. Next thing we know, some of those delurked will be free and then we’ll have MORE than the annoying hundred posting all the time.

    How does one choose? Freedom? Or an easy to read blog? (grin)

    Seriously, I think it’s fun and glad to see you chose a good charity, John.

    Dr. Phil

  61. Another quasi-lurker here.

    So has that de-lurk thread passed Bacon-cat in its response rate?

  62. This is a cool idea, John. I’m almost sad that I don’t qualify to delurk.

  63. So I think I’ve commented a total of 3 times in the last year, including this one. However, I’ve been reading the Whatever for 3 years. And…possibly most intriguing…this is the ONLY place I regularly visit from my aggregator in order to read the comments.

  64. RooK: Plus there’s the fact that he might be posting from his toilet…

    tried it. Can’s too small. Not enough elbow room to type. And my butt falls asleep because I type slowly.

    Soni: furry undies? Ugh. At first I thought you meant the cat was there for strategical placement. Then, oh, no… really. I post naked in front of the cat, only!

    Djscman: I felt the ceremony in my sleep. My body hair acts as an antennae. Just like it does for Teri Hatcher. I’m ubiquitous, eh? Well, I hope sometimes I say something that’s at least relevant and a contribution. I find my postings more glib reiterations of others work more than anything else.

    If you’ll excuse me, I have to go massage my feet, feed the kid, shower and take her to dance class.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go massage my feet.

  65. Count me in as yet another semi-quasi-occasional-lurker.

    I’m the happy Canadian that surfaced in at least one Scalzi entry. Long time science fiction/fantasy fan. Long time (enough) Scalzi fan. I get the sense that he will go on forever…

    My five year old son Stuart does indeed qualify as a lurker. He really enjoys the backgrounds, the pictures, and especially the pictures of Athena.

  66. John- Sorry I missed the delurking opportunity; I was working on a deadline, and hadn’t been to Whatever for a while.

    I’ve been lurking since I read about you in the U. of C. alumni mag last fall. Needless to say, I gave Bacon Cat some additional publicity after I stopped rolling on the floor and cackling.

    I was in Chicago visiting the U. of C. for the first time in a long time. 50 deg. F–I walked around the Point in Jan.- no coat, just a sweater- this felt totally wrong. The Medici has moved.

    I’ve never posted to a blog previously, nor even read many until I learned about yours. I’m impressed, and even plan to buy a book or two this year. The other blog I discovered today is Chris Bohjalian’s. I think you’d like some of it, when you need a new excuse for procrastinating.

    Delurked. Best, Ed

  67. Would you consider those of us who read newspapers but never write letters to the editor “lurkers”? Lurking seems like a pejorative term for those who are interested in essays, events, or opinions without the need to create more of them.

    Just a thought after you recently goaded me into revealing myself.

  68. “Lurker” is merely the accepted online term, Milo. My personal opinion is that you are valued, if silent, members of the community.

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