First, do you think we still have lurkers like this? I've seen a good number sharing posts without commenting, but I'm not convinced they're as sizeable a group as they used to be.
I think the number of lurkers have probably shrunk alongside the general population. I've also seen regular uses, voices I've loved and appreciated, become lurkers at best.
Second, how would you like to see those conversations facilitated?
I think mk has put in great safeguards in his moderating system to help reduce the number of trolls and spammers. The rest is on us as users to be respectful, considerate, and mature contributors to this site. The majority of users here do just that day in and day out. Unfortunately, as small as this site is now, every interaction is more impactful because every interaction is more rare. As a result, negative interactions are more likely to drive people away than they were four or five years ago.
I also want to know what you mean by a "shift in attitude"
Well, like I said in my previous post, I think we could all stand to be more generous in spirit. Every last one of us.
The conversations I personally look for and want to contribute to are ones where I feel heard and respected and where, when someone disagrees with me, instead of making me feel attacked or like I have to go on the defensive, they give me space to speak and explain myself. It's amazing how much easier it is to share ideas if it feels like I'm in a casual conversation with a friend than in some fierce debate where I have to struggle to be heard.
Knowing what I want from conversations and how one kind makes me feel over the other, I work very hard to try and afford others the same opportunity to feel heard and respected, even if I disagree with them.
It's been a slow process to change my behavior, but where I'm at now is a world of difference compared to where I was five years ago.