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Seer of ghosts & weaver of stories

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December Blogging Meme Topic #10:
All thorns & no grace
What's been the change about online interaction and/or communities that [fill-in-the-blank verb] you the most?

The shift to greater brevity of posts (Twitter, Tumblr, etc.) and the relative decline of comment-culture have been the two changes to which it's taken me the longest to adapt. I miss the huge, sprawling comment-thread discussions that you used to get in LJ's golden age; for all I know, there are still some places on the internet where this kind of thing happens, but it does not appear to be here anymore. Like/kudos buttons are fantastic from the standpoint of convenience, but I do feel that they've at least in part led to the relative decline in commenting. I'm not sure what verb to choose here, because disappoints me the most isn't quite what I'm looking for, and neither is saddens me the most. I might have to settle on challenges me the most, because it's true; for a while, I struggled to find my feet on Twitter and Tumblr. LJ never required an adjustment period or sussing-out, as I feel like I hit the ground running from the moment I got here (even with the interface, which I never found particularly arcane). Increased brevity and speed are a whole new world.

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I'm personally completely fed up with Tumblr. I miss when LJ was active. I'm probably romanticising the good old days because I know fandom had its issues with BNFs and lord knows what back in the day, but I just think like fandom worked better when it was centered around LJ.

I don't think you're romanticizing anything; I agree with you re: the way fandom worked when LJ was at its height. Tumblr feels like less of a community, somehow, and more of a free-for-all. That's not to say various fandom communities haven't adapted to the environment, because they have, and I thought I'd never see the day when I'd adapt - but almost three years on from setting up shop there, I think I've at least worked out how to navigate it and how to make connections. It's not quite the same, though!

Edited at 2014-12-11 11:45 am (UTC)

tumblr has been great for fanartists, including gif-makers, anything visual you just want to put out there. Can work well for polemicists, too - if you are not interested in specific feedback. Meme-makers, anything you want to go viral.

But it SUCKS for convos - I see them, in the reblogs, but as either a creator or a follower, it's just so so hard to engage in any kind of discussion conveniently, or to follow it (paging among all the likes and reposts to find the few who've added aything? ugh. It's stupid). It's not designed for that at all.

I left LJ for DW when LJ removed the subject lines, disabling the two comms I participated in most. It seemed pretty clear that LJ really wanted to get rid of fandom - they didn't want me or my money anymore, so I left.

Fortunately enough of my small fandom has migrated to DW over the years that it is viable enough over there. But for whatever reason, it seems fandom as a whole is not all that interested in discussions any more. So they're happy with AO3 for fic and tumblr for art and visuals.

LJ removed subject lines? I still see them for comments, and I still see them for posts, too. I'm sorry if I'm confused. Was it only on certain communities?

It was a couple-three years ago, subject lines for comments were removed for pretty much everybody, but you could stick 'em back if you knew the correct coding, or maybe if you had a certain category of style on your personal journal.

They are back now - they came back earlier this year, I believe.

At the time, the head developer's reasoning behind the elimination was that "no one uses them". Fandom went ballistic, especially the RP comms. The head dev's response was, "oh the whiners, they'll adjust," or some such dismissive thing (it was in Russian, I saw the link and the translation at the time, but don't recall exactly). Anyway, it became clear what contempt LJ held their users in, so I bailed, and got one of my comms to bail with me (it was a small comm :-)

Wow, then I completely missed the whole scandal. I've been responding to LJ comments for all this time, and never once realized the subject-line feature went missing for a while...

It might not have, on your journal (I don't think it did on my journal). It was mostly comms affected, I think.

Tweets, Tublr are anathema -- time wasters without bringing the unexpected new information or insight. That truncated sort of commentary encourages and privileges the hostile, aggressive snark without in any way enabling intelligent discussion. Who needs it? Well, anyway, at least I don't need it, and remain refusnik.

Additionally as FB does, the members are the product to be mined and exploited for the profit of the owners and stockholders -- and government surveillance.

Ello is said to be attempting to establish a social network that is more oriented to what LJ was -- though LJ is still here, and it could happen here again, except lemming like people don't want to go back, but find the next newest hippest thing, i.e. where EVERYBODY else already has gone. Silly us.

Love, C.

It's possible to Tweet and Tumble substantively, but it is a challenge. My Tumblr is very frequently accused of being a "classy" blog in a world where it's far more fashionable to be considered "trash," but it's got a more than respectable number of followers in spite of the class-factor ;)

I have an Ello account, but I have yet to really do anything with it.

I know long-time LJ users who haven't been disturbed by any of the numerous things LJ has done to annoy/disrupt much of its userbase; but as a user who has witnessed LJ several times do things that just demonstrates its contempt for at least certain aspects of its userbase, I have no intention of ever coming back (posting or paying for an account - I'm happy to read others' posts and comment on them). I'm not interested in getting burnt again.

I find Dreamwidth to have all the same functionality that LJ has for supporting community and conversation; and does it for free, without ads, and without making changes that routinely piss off a large number of their users. So in all, a better place that I'm happy to support.

I agree that the internet generation loves moving to new shiny things, and it is very hard to draw them back, even after you've polished yourself back up.

I have a DW account as well, where everything that's there, is here, or rather vv, since I x-post from DW, to LJ, and not the other way around.

I have an Ello, but haven't activated it yet. I need a block of time for the learning curve ....

I also have a blogspot blog. I use them all as journals of reading, watching, and most of all, drafting research materials into being, so that when I'd got to the ms. of The American Slave Coast: A History of the Slave-breeding Industry (forthcoming October 2015), I wouldn't be scared by screen blank of every except, maybe, Chapter Whatever No., and so on. These are invaluable to me for all the first, rough responses to reading and research.

But there's only one place where I'd post anything really personal, and it has a TINY subscription membership. I do like the privacy options of LJ - DW very much, which sites like blogspot and type press don't have, it seems -- unless the entries are kept in draft mode, I guess.

Love, C.

Edited at 2014-12-11 08:05 pm (UTC)

I had a DW account once upon a time, and I kept faithfully importing my LJ entries to it, but nobody seemed to be reading there, so I just killed it and cut back around the time I decided I was also starting a Tumblr.

I totally agree with this! I really miss the heyday of LJ comment sprees. I get so nostalgic reading old entries in my journal and giggling at the awesome creative silliness that used to happen. *sigh* I use Tumblr, but it's such a different thing. It's also too hectic for my liking. I'm so glad I've come back to LJ (and DW - I post there and x-post here).

People comment to an extent on AO3, but I swear that it's not quite the same culture as it was on LJ back in the day. It feels less discussion-oriented and more squee-oriented. God, do I love discussion.

Discussion is the best! I also miss just chattering about silly inconsequential things with LJ friends.

I'm really glad you've been doing this blogging meme. It's nice to read your posts. :)

I feel like such a dinosaur -- I still miss newsgroups & the old bulletin boards, so much better for big threaded discussions even than LJ. I hate microblogging with a passion -- I've never sent a text, let alone got into Twitter/Tumblr. The little I've had to engage with them I simply don't understand the point of reblogging other people's material, or the endless list of 'like' pseudo-comments. (Though I can see that Tumblr makes a fine distribution system for artists, if you don't care about copyright theft.)

AO3 does have long exchanges of comments on some stories -- some fandoms attract mainly/entirely squee, but others still have thoughtful comments.

I remember newsgroups and bulletin boards! Those are the kinds of places I got my start as a teenager (age 13, 14 - when I was first getting my feet online). Mailing lists were really my speed for the longest time, though (early days of YahooGroups). LJ has been my longest, most comfortable home, though, and the one I've loved the most dearly.

It does put it into perspective quite how much things have changed over the years -- when I was a teenager computers were virtually unheard of (my school got a single BBC Micro when I was 15!) and online didn't exist, and even in my early 20s as a grad student, e-mail from the UK to the States only went once every 24 hours (and even then only for academics!). I loved mailing lists too, before the days of YahooGroups, and was hooked on a couple for years until they petered out when fandom moved to LJ. It took me a long while to get LJ, but it clicked eventually, and now I can't imagine life without it (or DW, which is more like LJ used to be).

I don't know whether Tumblr et al. will ever click, or whether I'm simply too old & set in my ways. I'm hoping something else will come along that's more to my tastes.

There are some who use Twitter to its best advantage (Stephen Fry comes to mind), but I am not one of them. It is difficult to say anything meaningful in 140 characters, though I have had some wonderful discussions there regardless. I still prefer LJ though, and I think it will always be home.

I still remember my first computer fondly, and how much fun I had in newsgroups, even though it took all I had to post any comment back then...lol

Edited at 2014-12-12 04:03 am (UTC)

I want to be one of those people who uses Twitter to its best advantage on occasion, but I suspect that it's just a useless thought-dump.

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