Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

Monday, August 22, 2011

Commenters, Followers, Unfollowers, Lurkers, Posters, Retreaters, Returners, Rereaders, and Repeaters

The blogging world is big enough to encompass all kinds of people. Yep, imagine that, we aren't all the same! So to make it easy to classify ourselves I came up with a few random definitions.

This is just to get us started. I bet you all can come up with many more if you want to take a stab at it in your comments *tee hee*

Commenters: They whizz through posts and dash off comments, hitting dozens of blogs at a time. You see their comments all over the internet and wonder at their speed-reading and speed-typing talents. We love commenters, because although often they clearly didn't read the post, who cares? They left a comment and that's what every blogger loves to see!

Followers: Right up there in beloved category with commenters, the followers add themselves to every blog in sight, upping the follower count as they go. Funny though, sometimes they rarely comment. Are they lurking? Are they hoping for a follow back? Oh well, who cares? Every follower counts!

Unfollowers: Shrouded in anonymity, the unfollower can ruin one's day. Two followers shy of a milestone like 100 or 500, in swoops an unfollower and sets everything back. And why do unfollowers come in groups? Two or three at a time disappearing is typical. The poor blogger wonders, "Is it something I said?"

Lurkers: These are the readers who never miss a post, they may be followers or not, and they are as anonymous as Unfollowers. Come out of the shadows, Lurkers, so we can see your lovely faces!

Posters: They post. And post some more, a little or a lot. But funny thing, is that's all they do. No following, or commenting, or showing up elsewhere. It may work, or it may not, depending on what the Poster is after, and on how excellent their posts are. Excellent credentials don't hurt either. Either of these can enable a Poster to gain followers and commenters without doing much besides share their insight and wisdom or whatever it is that people come to their blog for.

Retreaters: Have you ever followed a blog that just disappears? Then comes back for awhile, usually with apologies and sworn determination to stick with it this time, before retreating yet again.

Returners: This is a Retreater in the returning phase of their blogging cycle.

Rereaders: These are those wonderful people who make your stats shoot up, because they love your blog so much they come back again and again, to read more comments, to see if you responded to their comments, or just to reread an enjoyable and informative post.

Repeaters:  These bloggers digest what they read elsewhere, give it a new spin and post on their own blogs. Sometimes they give credit, sometimes not.  They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery, so don't be bothered by the Repeaters if you discover your own ideas or posts recycled elsewhere.

After analyzing myself, I realize that I have been in each and every one of these categories at some point in my blogging career. So sue me. Although I haven't unfollowed widely, I have occasionally been known to unfollow a blog that I just can't relate to, that I added in one of my overly enthusiastic following phases.

Right now I think I'm more of a commenter than anything, because if I stop by a blog and read a post I will most likely always leave a comment. I try to spend an hour a day visiting blogs, which that can be a lot of comments because I read super fast. (I took a speed reading class a hundred years ago when I was a freshman in college, and it's been very helpful where blogging is concerned.)

Okay, your turn. What other classifications have you noticed among blogs and bloggers?


  1. Very well observed, Karen; you've classified the blogging world perfectly!

    Oops, I may have inadvertently shown signs there of actually reading your post fully, which is against the commenting ethos. What I meant to say was "love those curtains!"

  2. A happy blogfester - bloggers who love joining up to all blogfests going! And why not! I've just joined one - a Star Trek one! Yay! take care

  3. Lately I've noticed the posters, those who post often but rarely comment.
    I try to play the role of participant. I do comment on a lot of blogs, but if I comment, it's because I have read the post. Wish I was a speed reader, because it can take me hours to visit all of my blogger buddies.

  4. Lately I've noticed a slew of "I don't want to be here's" and "Taggers."

    I don't want to be here are those that just post to be posting and leave enough comments to get a few.

    Taggers, those who leave a comment just to tag you into the came of follow the leader.

    I don't speed read, I do read all of the post and if I read I comment.

    SO sue me, I saw that :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  5. What about commenters who do actually read the whole posts? Like me? :o) I don't get around every day, but when I do, I'm not gonna do it half-heartedly! :o)

  6. A very thorough and concise summary, Karen, of the Humans in the blogsphere.
    But your forgot about Bears! There are at least two of us of whom I'm aware. There are also Cats and Dogs.
    Isn't the world of blogging an interesting place?

  7. Rob-bear, And then we get into Cuddly Bears, and Scary Bears and Hungry Bears... no, I think I'll leave the Animal kingdom alone.

    Jessica, I'd say you would be a Participator, like Alex. Which is a very good classification, and one that I attain to but don't always reach. Lately I've felt more like a Poster than a Participator.

    Jules, I don't want to be here's LOL. Probably the summer. . . .

  8. Great post :-) I think I've been in a lot of these categories too. I used to be a lurker for a looong time but once I started commenting I couldn't stop. I try and comment on every blog post I read, just to let people know I'm out there (I hate feeling like I wrote a post and no one read it) but sometimes it is too time consuming.

  9. Obviously I'm a commenter! Can't shut me up.

    If I follow someone's blog and leave comments and they never follow back or visit my blog I'll unfollow after a few months. It's obvious they aren't interested, so I move on. Don't mean to ruin anyone's day, but it doesn't make sense to keep following in that case, unless I love what they write, and then I just turn lurker. :)

  10. I'm probably a combo of most of them! I do lurk on some blogs, but I try to comment as much as I can (with multiple typos most the time, ha!).

  11. Haha! Brilliant. I too am all of the above.

    I think I've finally sussed the blogging thing though. I've decided to gear my blog towards YA readers.

    I might bring back my BANG OUT THE PROSE blog for writers in the future, but if I'm going to self-publish eBooks, I don't know if I'll have time to sustain more than one blog.

    Who knows though, still undecided about self-pubbing or querying my novels.

  12. i was going to leave a brilliant comment, but i'm tired and have to run. just wanted you to know i was here.

  13. I'm somewhere between a commenter and a follower. I follow and comment on blogs as time allows.
    I have friends who are Posters and I feel like they are missing out on all the blog community offers by not commenting and interacting with other bloggers

  14. The unfollowers are the ones who puzzle me most - because I don't think I've ever unfollowed a blog, even if I've stopped visiting said blog.

  15. Hear hear! on the Lurkers - please come out and play! I know people drop by but don't always comment, thats okay too but if you show me a little love, you will make lots of friends. I've found. ;-)

    I think you've got most commenters covered. Unfollowers, I usually put down to blogger... haha. It couldn't possibly be me? Hmm Oh...

  16. Just shows you haven't stopped by my blog for a long time, but then I haven't commented on yours for ages. Sorry....

  17. LOL! There seem to be a lot of returners lately. I'm wondering what that's all about...

    I try to be a Balancer. I feel like if I'm following something, i want to leave thoughtful comments. But heck! That takes TIME!!! :D

    So I'm not really so upset when some folks take breaks. :D <3

  18. Can I really sue you? ;)

    I think I've been in each of these categories as well. Some days I'm so exhausted that I can't get back to all those who have left comments on my blog or can't read each post with a clear head. But, I guess it's okay to be like that once and awhile. We are just human, after all.

    Well, some of us are human, some of us are Borg.

    Happy week, Karen!

  19. Clarissa, You can sue me but you won't get anything because I'm a penniless writer LOL.

    LTM, Balancer is the best thing to be. That's what I'm working on too but not always successful. This morning I've been a Commenter because there are so many amazing new posts up today I have just been commenting and RTing like crazy.

    Miriam, Yes and I have missed you! I just added you on my blog roll (which had been deleted for awhile) so I can stay in touch better, because I like your blog!

    Talei, I was a Lurker when I first started blogging. I had heart palpitations when I made my first few comments.

  20. This is a thorough list. Not much I can add other than The Hecklers. I've had a few in the past. Some physicists didn't care about my spiritual viewpoints that cannot be quantified in a lab so they followed me for a few weeks and posted some really obnoxious comments, some of which I had to delete as they also insulted my fellow commenters.

  21. Ha ha, I think you covered all that categories. And I confess to once being a lurker, and retreaters are too funny. On the other hand, they offered speed reading classes? That would have been so fun!

  22. LOL! I love that even in blogging we have a class system (a very clever one at that) of our online world. Thanks for the post, Karen. I laughed at least ten times.

  23. I like those categories. I think I fit into a few of them. I try to visit and comment on some blogs every day and others I visit as often as I have time.

  24. ooh, i've definitely been in all of these categories. Wait, except for retreaters. I've been pretty static with my posting schedule from the beginning.
    Right now i'm in a bit of a lurker phase only because i'm finishing my WIP and just really don't have the time to comment as frequently as i'd like

  25. I'm for sure a "retreater"! I need to work on that!

  26. Loved the classifications and I laughed as I identified blogging pals and put them into their correct boxes.
    I thought of another category for you:

    Blog Hopper: One who obtains followers to boost their tally at any cost, knowing full well they will never read a post or return to your blog.

    The Unfollower group I find most annoying. For reasons completely unknown they suddenly disappear. I think the primary cause might be that we have not visited them for a while and they are annoyed, so they delete us. Personally, once I have signed up as a follower I will never unfollow even though I may not be able to visit them for a while.

    Cheers ~ Eddie

  27. I read titles. If that entices me then I will read the post. If that motivates me then I will comment.

    Only four or five fall into that category per day - and today yours was one of them!

    Does that make me a Headliner?!

  28. I laughed about the unfollowers. They can definitely ruin a good day. I'm so paranoid I always wonder what I did to annoy them LOL. :D

    I think I am more of a commenter right now, as I always try to comment when I visit. I swear I really do read the posts I leave comments on! :) I am a speed reader too so that definitely helps.

    Great post!

  29. I think you did a pretty thorough job defining the blogger types. It means a lot to me when people take the time to comment on my posts, or to follow, so I try to reciprocate, and keep up with as many blogger buddies as possible. Since the process can take up so much time, I no longer leave a comment when there's already a ton of 'em, or when I know the blogger doesn't take the time to reply. That's kinda like being a lurker ... but different.

  30. I love this post Karen, especially as you are one of the kind, interested people who comments on my blog - thank you! I am a Rereader - one of those readers who makes your stats shoot up as I read your blog all the time but don't always comment. Thanks for summarising how much like real life the virtual world of blogging actually is!

  31. Enjoyed this post. Made me giggle because, well, I've been most of those at some point or another. I was thinking of the readers who read all the comments as well as the post. (which I sometimes start, but usually stop at about the third one that repeats what everyone else is saying). =)

  32. Ha ha ha! Loved all these titles. Yes, I've been a few of these myself. It's funny how my blog habits have changed since I first started blogging/following blogs. At the beginning I stuck mostly to agent/industry blogs, but after awhile I found the information repeated itself. That's when I branched out into writers' blogs, and now I hardly read agent blogs at all. Because I know everything! - lol - yeah right! But I'm finding it much more rewarding making FRIENDS since I've already served time educating myself on the publishing industry. :)


  33. Well, I took a few months off to be with my family, but I'm getting back to blogging about an hour a day. I love to connect with other writers and people in the writing field. =)

  34. LOL, what a great post! I'd like to suggest one additional category--the the Mysterious Xeroxers. These are people who seem to leave the same generic comment on multiple blogs on the same day. Do they have a computer program that does this for them?

  35. Hi Karen .. just emailed you. Re this post - everyone seems to agree with you .. or has added in extra thoughts - Stephen's hecklers .. glad I don't have those!

    I'd add one thing .. if you have a follower, who perhaps is of dubious provenance (!) .. then check them out .. because once on your following list - they can access everyone else within your friends .. and do what Michelle highlights above ..

    Cheers - I'm a commenter, follower (limited - as I won't follow for the sake of it), poster, and a reader - where I want to read (get educated), but not participate. - Hilary

  36. If I like a post and find it interesting, I will leave a comment. It's pretty simple.

  37. Fun post. A LOT of categories. I never thought about it that way. I'm like Liz, right above me here in the comments.

  38. If I read it I comment, unless I just don't get it.
    I am guilty of not reading all of the comments before I comment since some of you have over 50 by the time I get there.

  39. GigglesandGuns, I used to read ALL the comments numerous times on every blog I followed when I first started out. I was definitely a Rereader!

    Carol and Liz, I leave a comment if I have something to say. Sometimes I'll find a post that's so informative that I just have nothing to add, and I hesitate to write "Great post!" Anne R. Allen's blog is like this for me. She is so thorough and does such an excellent job with each of her weekly posts, that I just read it and go "Wow," not always commenting.

  40. Many of the bloggers I follow are retreaters; they disappear for months and then they show up again with a few posts. I'm never sure whether I should unfollow them, because I don't know if they're going to come back. I wish they would write an "End of the Blog...for now" post or something, like I've seen other bloggers do.
    I have encountered more than one repeater. I've seen lines that I've written show up in other people's blogs, which bothers me because they pass off my writing as their own. If I write a post on something that someone else already blogged about, I give credit to that person. But I don't borrow lines though.

  41. I can be too much of a poster at times. But I have this thing where I have trouble making quick replies. I'm not a chit-chatter in real life, and sometimes I have to ponder over things before making comments. And very often I ponder too long. Thank God for the sweet followers and commenters who stick with me.

    Great post, BTW.

  42. You had me laughing and nodding throughout this whole post. I'm a commenter. Big time. But I do read each and every post. Lucky I'm a fast reader!

    I've noticed plenty of "I'm on hiatus" turns into permanent blogger blackout.

    And what IS with the followers up and down? I'm at 596. No, 597, no 596, no 597. Back at 596. Step it up people or I'm never having that 600 followers contest!

    Not that I'm a repeater (because I was thinking of it already) but I'm a little tired of people who only post and never visit. Then that person has a book coming out, but I have no relationship with them. I've stopped visiting his/her blog long ago. Blogging is like any other relationship. Who wants it to be one-sided?

    Sharing this on Facebook.

  43. Brilliant categories. And, for me as an English teacher, such a wonderful list of new words, or at least old words with new e-definitions. In what other context could you say to someone, 'Oh, one of my followers has gone.' Maybe if you thought you were being tracked by the CIA or something ...

    I think I am a different category in term-time, when I have no spare hours. Holiday time I can blog, comment, follow, everything.

  44. Was it Evelyn Wood?

    This was a fun post! There could also be categories for the ways in which people respond to comments, like:

    E-mail Responders: those who send a personal e-mailed response to comments

    Comments Responders: those who respond in a comment to their own post, and

    Quid Pro Quo Responders: those who respond by going to read & comment on their commenters' latest posts :)

  45. Nicki, Haha, I do all of these kinds of comments! Right now here I am responding on my own post, but my favorite way to respond is to go to the commenter's blog and return the favor. Like if I see a comment from someone I haven't visited for awhile, I click right over to see what I've missed. I always feel bad if someone comments a lot on my posts and I miss theirs.

  46. Ah! I never thought of re-readers! You mean those aren't all unique visitors? Mom, cut it out! :) LOL

  47. I think your post is pretty comprehensive. I have a tendency to be a lurker and used to spend hours reading everyone's blogs and never commenting. I still catch myself doing that sometimes and have to go back and comment on as many as I can the second time through.

  48. Great post! My problem is that after I read the post, I get hung up reading all of the comments and the next thing I know, an hour has gone by! :)

  49. Great post, very amusing. I have to admit I comment on posts I enjoy (after reading ALL of the text), I follow blogs I think I'll enjoy as a whole but I'm still not sure I fall into just one category on your list. I'll just call myself awkward. ;o)

  50. I'm a real mixed bag. I do try to comment. I read some blogs via email and return to the main blog with one comment now and then. It usually states I have read their posts, enjoyed them and wanted to thank them.

    With the power issue it has been hit and miss for me lately. But hopefully normal service will return asap.

  51. I know I'm in the minority here, but I don't understand why reading someone's blog and not commenting is such a bad thing. Of course I want people to read my blog, but I hate the thought that they'd do it just to reciprocate, and I certainly don't want to have to bribe them by looking more interested in them than I am.

  52. Judy, I actually don't see any of these categories as negative. It's simply a matter of how different people conduct their blogging activities, which I think is intriguing!

    Glynis, I'm just glad to see you when I see you! Hope things return to normal for you real soon.

  53. Nice post, you covered a good number of categories. Between what you have and what previous comments have mentioned I can't think of anything else to add.

    I've tended to be a follower, and I try to read everything and comment. Though following a certain amount of blogs can be overwhelming. Though it might help if I organize reader better and set aside time specifically for blog reading and commenting.

    And I'm totally in the return phase right now with blogging.