An unusual aspect of blogging on the Internet is that we never really know who's reading our stuff. We see comments from some readers but others, for whatever reason, never leave a trace. I assumed they didn't exist until recently when I was shown otherwise.
In the past year, two or three readers who lurk under the radar have contacted me, by e-mail, to express their thoughts. I was shocked to hear from them because I didn't know they were out there. They mentioned details of old posts and I felt odd -- suddenly realizing we'd been having a conversation I was completely unaware of.
This is not a bad thing. To the contrary, all of these readers were complimentary and kind. Normally, I try to re-pay readers with comments on their blogs and reciprocal acts, but these people were previously unknown to me. I felt guilty that I'd not been nice to them before.
One such reader lives in the Midwest. That's all I know about her. I don't know if she's 8 or 80. She uses a pen-name (Finnley Mae). She contacted me by e-mail. She knew that I can't wear normal earrings because only one of my ears is pierced. (I pierced it back in the Seventies when a guy doing that was a BIG DEAL.) Finnley Mae offered me some spare clip-on earrings she owns, which are hard to find. I gratefully accepted her offer.
Her package arrived. I was surprised at the large size of the box. Opening it, I discovered 75 pairs of earrings. 75!! Holy cow! What a treasure-trove. From a virtual stranger. I am deeply touched and appreciative of this gesture. Thank you, Finnley Mae.
Here are pictures of a few of the earrings.
Do you have any secret readers? Are you one?
75!!! The generosity of some people never ceases to amaze and delight me. You do deserve it Ally, you are always so nice to others, you do reap what you sow. And they are some georgeous earings :)ReplyDelete
I have to admit that I am one of those secret readers myself. I get all shy and embarrased when I comment (I'm even worse in real life with talking and it takes me a long time to feel comfortable to be myself in company) so I tend not to comment out of worry that I will say something wrong.
I do make sure that I comment on people's blog who comment on mine, and I've even opened up a bit and started commenting on a couple that haven't commented on mine ... one replied and one didn't, it doesn't matter though cause on the whole I've found the entire blogging community is just so darn nice!!
I will try to comment more I think, but I do enjoy reading even if I dont comment every time, I bet there's a lot of people out there like me.
I'm really happy you come here, Brenda. I hope you enjoy our discussions. I do. :)Delete
Oh my God ! she is not just nice, she has got amazing taste!ReplyDelete
I think the second pair is my favorite, but i am sure you have quite a collection to chose from.
I wonder if i have silent readers, specially when i look at the stats and see lots of views but no comments...
What a lovely gift!! So awesome! I love the big brass face ones!!ReplyDelete
I don't know- I've never had hidden readers contact me. Of course, I make it kind of hard to find my email address. :-)
I'm the opposite -- I keep my e-mail address out in the open because, from the outset, I thought there might be people who want to talk to me in private. And it's happened.Delete
I am so excited for you for receiving all of those earrings. I get great joy from my jewelry. I love looking at the pieces I've collected. I am glad you'll be able to do that also. What a lovely gift.ReplyDelete
Wow, what a great gift - there are some beauties there! And that is also a good reminder to be circumspect about how revealing our "conversations" are on the internet.ReplyDelete
Wow what an amazing gesture! Lovely that people do things like this.ReplyDelete
My goodness you're loaded with lobe candy!!!ReplyDelete
So sweet and generous of Finnley Mae.
Wow! What a variety. I always try to keep in mind that my blog is being read by more than the people commenting. I've had many people come out of the wood work to comment occasionally or even start commenting frequently. I always try to write 'to my friends' but even if the conversation is going one way and someone lurking is getting something meaningful out of my posts, I'm happy.ReplyDelete
I always try to at least go back to blogs that comment on mine. About 90% of the time I leave a return comment or two. Sometimes I face blogs I don't know how to respond to or find them too commercialized for me to 'get'.
I just hope frequently that my blog means more than just style. I try to talk about a variety of things, leave posts and my inbox open for anyone to talk. And I always reply to comments if someone has left their email open for a return or left me another way to contact.
I am a total lurker! (okay, that just seems creepy more that I see it written down.) I enjoy reading sewing and fashion blogs, I love the creativity and the feminism that are common on these blogs. However, I don't know how to sew, and my blog is a poetry/fiction blog that I abandon for months at a time. I am alsoreally shy, so, not only do I need to have something I want to say, but I have to feel safe enough with the blogger. Thanks four being one of those bloggers. Finley Mae sent you some really lovely earrings. I agree with the comments above that she has excellent taste.ReplyDelete
Sorry about the multiples...it happens whenever I comment from my phone. That, and all the weird words (damn you autocorrect!)Delete
It pleases me greatly to hear that I've created a comfortable space for you and other shy readers to play in. I'm incredibly shy myself so I know how important that is.Delete
Wow that was generous, lucky you! The gold hoop in the 5th picture is quite pretty.ReplyDelete
There are some blogs I follow but don't comment on, mainly due to the author having 50 bajillion followers and I like to develop a rapport with fellow bloggy buddies, rather than get lost in a crowd of comments.
I feel the same way about big blogs.Delete
That is super to have lurking readers that like you and even offer you treats like that! :)ReplyDelete
I know I have few haters (people that knew me IRL and dissed me) lurking as they have accidentally revealed themselves and I wonder don't they have anything better to do x)
That was so nice of Finnley Mae. I like all of them, but I particularly like the resin hoops and the golden heads (Versace-ish!). It took me quite a while to feel confident enough to post on blogs I visited, I wasn't sure what the etiquette was. Once I got over that, I was fine. Now, I have quite a few visitors to my blog who just look - I have to just hope they enjoy the posts, I suppose people wouldn't visit if they didn't like it..?.ReplyDelete
It's safe to say that if they visit more than once, they like your blog. Otherwise, why would they come back?Delete
What a wonderful gift she sent you! I love how generous others can be - and you are one of the kindest people I know, so who wouldn't want to send you a token of appreciation?ReplyDelete
I am willing to bet that I have some lurkers. I have a few blogs I read without commenting much too, sometimes I take my time to get to know the person first.
So sweet and amazing! I don't know if I have any secret readers...I know I am actually one of those who tends to follow a blog for a long time w/o commenting...ReplyDelete
WOW! That's awesome and very generous! I have often been a lurker because I don't know what to say that hasn't already been said by someone more eloquent than I. I'm always so pleased when I get a comment from someone who has never commented before. It gives me a chance to check out other awesome blogs!ReplyDelete
Allie, that is a killer and beautiful collection. You know I'm always keeping an eye out for clip-ons for you, but I think you might have enough now!ReplyDelete
I know I have lurkers. Almost no one in the legal community leaves comments, but when I'm in a large crowd, like a CLE, they tell me they love my blog and follow every day, which is consistent with my stats. Someone else from a legal vendor told me the men in her office follow my blog, which was kind of trippy. I myself lurk on some blogs, like Megan said, that already have a gerbillion commenters, but if I want to leave a comment, I do, regardless if they comment on mine.
Does Finnley have a sister that might want to part with vintage purses? This is a very sweet gesture!!! Enjoy them!!! :)ReplyDelete
What a nice surprise! I have lots of readers who never comment. I used to get discouraged, but then realized they just aren't commenters. Your posts often encourage responses, and I even tried emulating your style. It didn't make a difference. So I just write for me and appreciate it when folks do comment.ReplyDelete
What a thoughtful, wonderfully generous gift from a hitherto unknown reader. You must have felt a bit like a kid in a candy shop when you opened up that package and found such an abundance of clip-on earrings.ReplyDelete
I have a number of silent readers (aka, lurkers), some of whom have made themselves known, others that remain silent. I often find such folks prefer to contact me via email (or, more recently, having just joined in December, via Facebook message), and that's totally ok. There are various reasons why someone might not want to comment, even under a pseudonym, and I don't mind at all if my readers opt not to comment. I just want those who read my site to enjoy their time there and hopefully garner some new knowledge or inspiration every now and then.
These random acts of kindness from strangers are so warming, no?ReplyDelete
Silent readers always catch us off guard though (:
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Wow! That's a wonderful present. What a lovely person she is. I have a huge number of blogs I follow, on Blogger, Wordpress, .se etc so I have a lot to keep up with. But blogging has become one of my favourite hobbies even though I don't have many followers and almost none of them comment. Sometimes I have a couple of anons and some people who find me via 'The Glamorous Housewife' which is nice and I always check out their blogs and almost always leave a comment. Every comment gives me a thrill to know that someone is reading my blog. For me, I tend to feel discouraged because I don't often get comments so I feel lucky when I do but I'm hoping that at least someone is reading so they can get something out of it, even if they don't let me know they are there. I remind myself I am not just writing for myself but a silent audience. I'm not usually a secret reader. I subscribe to a blog because I like it enough to continue reading it. I read it from the beginning to the current to see the journey that this person has taken and what kind of things they are up to and I comment on every post I like even if it is a few years oldReplyDelete