to be a lurker
The state of lurking is generally one of perpetual unhappiness - the lurker has delusions of grandeur and wishes to be as well known and loved as the resident community gurus. An obvious example is an Everything lurker - he wishes to become the next dem bones or Pseudo_Intellectual. However, lurkers tend to be lazy and have a predisposition to procrastinate, and tend to be too noncommital to contribute time and effort to the status of their reputation in a given community.
Most lurkers tend to have short attention spans, and will only stay in a community for a few months before moving on and, hopefully, finally becoming popular in a better community that supports their tastes and skills. However, there is no such thing as this "perfect community", and the lurker floats from one mailing list or chatroom or webpage to the next, unhappy and unknown.
A community's lurkers are not to be confused with its idiots. While some idiots are lurkers, lurkers are not usually idiots. They understand the culture of their community quite well, and easily recognize the names and personalities of the popular entities. They are, however, too lazy or too perfectionistic to sully their names with words and opinions that can never be taken back. A lurker is always questioning himself.