Don't forget that some denominations practice the summoning of the "holy spirit," which seems to result in some interesting antics.
I write fanfiction set in the Mass Effect universe. My work is probably "amateur" as I make no claims of being a writer. It's all just for fun for me.
I wouldn't try this technique personally, as I'm not interested in meeting people who I'm compatible with, but geographically isolated from. The odds that one of the people responding would be from the same city as me seem pretty slim.
What I can tell you about my traffic stats is that I get about a thousand unique views every time I post a new chapter. Of the people who add my story to their favorites or set an author alert for my work (so that they are emailed every time I post new content), the majority seem to be people identifying as women on their own profile pages. (My fanfiction includes a popular "ship" meaning that romance is an important focus in it.) I get anywhere from two to around six written replies to each chapter I post. The majority of people who write to me identify as men, however, while less women write to me, I would rank the average quality of correspondence higher among the women who do choose to write than the men. I've actually become very good friends with a woman who I met through fanfiction, but I've never met her in person as she lives in Germany and I in the States.
My mom has never read my story.
I lurk on almost every forum that I read on the internet. The mere fact that I'm logged out of a forum that I'm registered on can be enough to cause me to say, "screw it" and not post for months. I frequently get, "Wow I remember you" as a response to my sparse postings.
My penchant to lurk coupled with my lack of confidence that I have anything worthwhile to contribute to this community made it seem doubly unlikely that I would ever post anything here. But I'll stand up and be counted now as part of this experiment, as it's the only contribution I can really make.
Cheers, and thanks for posting all this delicious lurker chow.