We've all seen it: that number at the bottom of the littlegrey forum index page that indicates the number of guests online.
Who are they? Orphaned bots, stuck in a loop on our site? Legitimate visitors, new individuals who constantly stumble across our quiet corner of the internet? Lurkers, people who legitimately enjoy reading our posts?
I've seen the number reach all the way up to the teens this year. Who are the ghosts?
Wow, Potato. What a deep, but random thread. But no, they're just bots. As if anyone other than us weirdos actually visit here regularly. Although I imagine there are also a few lurkers who never say anything and just stalk us silently. They're probably doing it right now! Aaaahhh!
Yeah I would assume that a (possibly small) portion of these ghosts are just the 'normal' forum users that did not (yet) login during this session of forum browsing and lurking.
Also, but I might be mistaken in this, I think that at least the google bot identifies itself as such near those numbers when its active on the site.