For myself, the order of attraction would be:
Irresistible conversations (things I can't keep quiet about, or questions I have)
I think the usefulness of the lurker should not be underestimated... think of a Neighborhood Association meeting, or other physical gathering of people. Just being there and sitting down is participating, really. And there isn't time at those things for everyone to speak, really.
We have a representational system of government. Once I've cast my vote, I really am a "lurker" of the democratic process, watching it all unfold. I can find opportunities to put in my two cents worth here and there, but mostly I passively absorb data to inform my next opportunity to be heard (my vote). If someone cared enough to read a conversation thread amongst people discussing Knowledge Management In Government, for example, I say: more power to them. Perhaps it will inspire them?