firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
[personal profile] firecat
[personal profile] snippy posted some musings (I am linking to the LJ post rather than the DW post because more of the comments are there) about why her LJ friends list is so much quieter than it used to be and about which places on the Internet have felt like social communities to her. I posted some of the following as a comment.
My LJ flist is quieter, but partly because during my family crisis last summer I cut my reading list way back. Also, I moved the folks cross-posting at DW to a different list.

When I got back enough time to want to read journals again, I went around subscribing to people on DW; there is something about the subscription/access model where I give myself permission to read the journals of people I don't know, whereas with LJ's friends list model I want to wait to be invited.

I'm not deeply into media fandom or fanfic myself, but it seems to me that a number of the people who are also have interesting-to-me thoughts about other stuff.

I flounced to LJ during a week where my Usenet home alt.polyamory was being annoying. But I still post to both. My journaling home is now DW but I cross-post almost everything to LJ and have enough friends still here that I plan to continue. Usenet and journaling encourage very different sorts of conversations and I value both kinds.

Last year I got sucked into Facebook but at this point I've been spit out again and I only post fluff there for the most part. I sometimes post the same fluff to my journals but often no one comments in the journals and so I assume the stuff goes over better elsewhere and am less likely to make the effort to repost it in the future. (I tried auto-crossposting from LJ to Facebook and didn't like it.)
Where are your Internet meeting places? Have they changed over time?

Date: 25 Jun 2010 09:49 am (UTC)
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)
From: [personal profile] yvi
2000-2003 or 2004 I mostly hung out in forums and mailing lists for soecific fandoms (World of X for The X-Files, FictionAlleyPark for Harry Potter, some mailing lists for Stargate). I made friends there that I still have. Then it was mainly Livejournal until I switched to Dreamwidth a year ago. I don't mind them changing.

Date: 25 Jun 2010 11:03 am (UTC)
shanaqui: My Habitican mod avatar, featuring me and a pile of books bigger than me. ((DeanCastiel) I breathe your breath)
From: [personal profile] shanaqui
LJ was mine for a long time -- since I was about twelve (oops), so about nine years. But DW is becoming a more friendly, inviting place, and I get more interesting content on my DW reading list, and leave more comments on DW than I do on LJ. I've met a lot of the people I talk to on AIM and stuff on DW, so my social circle is more DW based than not, now.

Facebook never really got my attention... I leave comments sometimes, and communicate with university friends on it, but mostly I just play games, if I go on it at all.

I use Twitter as a sort of supplement to LJ/DW, for thoughts that're too random/short to devote a post to, and as a communication tool (e.g. if I need to let my girlfriend know I'm going to be home late so I won't be online, I tweet, because it's cheaper than texting her). I have a small group of people who I only know on twitter, but those friendships aren't particularly deep.

Date: 25 Jun 2010 11:24 am (UTC)
yifu: (li yuanzhi 2009)
From: [personal profile] yifu
I keep contact with different people via different networks - for example, old and current acquaintances who don't keep online journals via Facebook. DW has been fun to me in that through it I've met some cool people. Of course, there are overlaps, especially on LJ and DW. These days I enjoy being on DW a lot while still keeping an eye on the bustling LJ flist.
(Funny, I was just about to post about the activity on my LJ flist and DW circle)
Edited Date: 25 Jun 2010 11:26 am (UTC)

Date: 25 Jun 2010 11:28 am (UTC)
eggcrack: Icon based on the painting "Kullervon kirous ja sotaanlahto" (Default)
From: [personal profile] eggcrack
LJ was and still is my main Internet hang-out, and while I'm aware of its very massive flaws I'm still more comfortable there than anywhere else because the anxious side of me has decided that it's safest for me there, and while I understand DW is the safest place for so many others all the emphasis on DW being a big, happy community for everybody makes me aware of my social limitations in a way LJ doesn't, and therefore I feel a little more vulnerable there. However, since I've also made new friends and DW and like it as a service I expect this feeling to fade, though LJ's impersonality is still something that I find strangely uncomfortable.

As for other services, I use Facebook mainly for keeping in touch with my school mates and it's a very separate from my LJ/DW life, although I sometimes post about the social issues I care about there too. I also used Twitter for a while and then pretty much stopped, but I'm interested in Tumblr and planning to get an account from there, though I yet have to see how that works out in the end.

Date: 25 Jun 2010 12:46 pm (UTC)
apis_mellifera: (Default)
From: [personal profile] apis_mellifera
You're right about the friends vs. access/subscribe models--I am actually planning on going around and subscribing to some folks on DW whose posts I keep seeing on my network page and find interesting and it feels about 100% less fraught than friending someone on LJ is. I've been feeling, for quite some time now, that I wasn't meeting new people on LJ anymore because I'm not super-involved in media fandom. And I definitely am posting more since I decided to move my primary posting to DW with xposts to LJ, and I'm not completely sure why that is.

I don't really do Facebook because it's just too fragmented for me and I hate all the apps. I keep an account there mainly so relatives can contact me easily. Twitter is good for short little updates--and when I was at RT in April, I found it invaluable for keeping up with what was going on at the con. That was the moment that Twitter really clicked for me.

Network page?

Date: 25 Jun 2010 01:17 pm (UTC)
snippy: Lego me holding book (Default)
From: [personal profile] snippy
I'm having trouble finding people to read on DW, do you have any tips? Although one of the things I've loved about DW is that I did manage to find a few people I didn't already know, and I feel I'm in much less of an echo chamber, I still feel less confident here than I do on LJ.

Re: Network page?

Date: 25 Jun 2010 01:28 pm (UTC)
jae: (dreamwidthgecko)
From: [personal profile] jae
I'd hesitate to recommend people to anyone, because everybody's tastes are different, but the way I found people I wanted to read on dreamwidth was to search on a few of my interests!


Re: Network page?

Date: 25 Jun 2010 01:29 pm (UTC)
snippy: Lego me holding book (Default)
From: [personal profile] snippy
Oh, that's what I meant-not individual reccs but general advice. Thanks, I'll try searching interests. I probably did that on LJ but it was so many years ago I've forgotten all the tricks I used to find people to read.

Re: Network page?

Date: 25 Jun 2010 04:12 pm (UTC)
dingsi: The Corinthian smoking a cigarette. He looks down thoughtfully and breathes the smoke out of his nose. (friendly)
From: [personal profile] dingsi
There's also several "add me" type communities to find friends, e.g. [community profile] addme, [community profile] rainbow_lounge (for GLBTIQ people), or [community profile] dreamchasers. For fandom, there's [community profile] addme_fandom, and for interest-searching there's [community profile] doesanyoneelse. For non-fandom related friending there's been a huge meme a while ago where lots of people found new journals to read, at [personal profile] liv's Giant non-fandom friending meme, and [personal profile] viklikesfic hosted a Big Subbing (and Domming) Kinky Friends Meme.

Re: Network page?

Date: 25 Jun 2010 01:52 pm (UTC)
apis_mellifera: (Default)
From: [personal profile] apis_mellifera
I don't really know if I have tips--I've just been reading my Network page (which is what DW calls friendsfriends--put /network at the end of your DW url) and it seems pretty active. There are people I know on DW who are super-active in fandom and who are pretty well-established here, so I think that helps. I just recently moved my primary posting to DW from LJ.

Unfortunately, my meatspace social anxiety has been bleeding into my online life and I haven't been talking to people outside my social circle. I read a lot of the conversations happening, but I don't participate in them. I'm trying really hard to change that.

Re: Network page?

Date: 25 Jun 2010 04:11 pm (UTC)
shanaqui: My Habitican mod avatar, featuring me and a pile of books bigger than me. ((Arthur) Prince McSulkypants)
From: [personal profile] shanaqui
Look for friending memes? Old or new, they'll have people listed who'll have listed their interests and so on, so you can find people you have something in common with. I remember a lot of friending memes being linked on [community profile] three_weeks_for_dw

Date: 25 Jun 2010 01:27 pm (UTC)
jae: (internetgecko)
From: [personal profile] jae
My little corner of the internet has always been about various places that make it easy for people to write longwinded, thoughtful stuff about whatever they feel like communicating: livejournal, dreamwidth, the political blogosphere, USENET. I have facebook and twitter accounts, but use the former kind of grudgingly and the latter essentially not at all. I can't imagine that changing unless the kind of thing I feel like reading and writing changes drastically for some reason.


Your own little corner of the Internet

Date: 25 Jun 2010 04:20 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] betonica
usenet: ssm is pretty close to dead, but I still have it as my home page (mostly due to inertia) and I check every day to see if there are new posts. I've contemplated alt.poly on many occasions, and on very few occasions actually read there. It would probably be a better place for me, as I don't really like the interfaces of the more recent social e-spheres compared to usenet.

lj: I have a somewhat select group of connections there, but I don't really limit it too much. School friends, usenet friends, and perhaps one or two others. I like lj for posting more in-depth thought-provoking items, and occasionally for fluff. But I don't post a lot these days, to lj or elsewhere. I don't really think of lj (or dw or fb) as a way to meet new people. I guess I've fallen off the idea of meeting new people online, because usenet was really the only place I wanted to do that. It was a different interface, where strangers were more welcome (both by the interface and the people) in a conversation.

dw: My account here is similar to my lj account, except that I have much more select connections. Essentially, I only read and allow access to people who are my old friends from usenet, and who are probably somewhere around my own age. This gives me a nice spot to vent and/or ponder and ask for feedback, where my local/college/much younger friends won't read. It's nice to have some place to talk about semi-personal stuff, and not worry that I'm making the 20-somethings I hang out with uncomfortable. (I'm 50, for anyone reading who doesn't know.)

fb: this is a great, huge, gargantuan phone book. I use it to keep contact with (or re-establish contact with) anyone and everyone I've ever met, pretty much. I will post there now and then, but nothing personal, and only weighty stuff if I want to broadcast it to the world. I hide *all* apps, and don't play any games there. Still, it's a bit overwhelming, now that I have 600+ connections. There's frequently important news there (e.g., yesterday I found out that a former uncle-by-marriage I haven't seen in 30 years is now a former aunt-by-marriage; interesting thing to do when you're 70 years old), but skimming through it all every day is a bit overwhelming, and waiting a day or three means that a random number of posts (more with each day waited) simply disappear. I haven't figured out how to deal with this flood of info.

twitter: I have an account. I used it for a bit, but became quickly swamped by the connections I have there who post upwards of 30 items every day. Too much trivia. fb is bad enough. I was interested to follow the CDC on twitter a year ago when they were tracking the swine/avian flu, and I might like to use it for more things like that (e.g., as a communication network during a local emergency for our fire company). But as a social outlet, it's worse for me than fb because I don't know how to filter the great volumes of trivia from the stuff I want to read. I never think to check it any more.

Now that I look at the list, my internet social life is pretty fragmented. But there are people who are important to me who are in one or two or three of the above, and I guess the actual community I have is not limited to one or another of the given interfaces.

Date: 25 Jun 2010 04:34 pm (UTC)
sharpest_asp: Nate Ford sitting on a bench, Sophie Devereaux resting against his lap (Default)
From: [personal profile] sharpest_asp
Usenet's newsgroups. Mostly on the spectrum, but a few in the rec.misc. as well were a home at first. Alongside mIRC's risqué BDSM chats, to my amusement now.

I dabbled on a few Yahoo groups before following an old Usenet friend onto LJ. LJ was home a long time, but a lot of the serious issues hit right in my own issues, and I came to DW.

I tried MySpace. Too busy and frenetic on their pages. Facebook exists to stay up on fmaily. Twitter is an amusement place. I use both to vent microvents through the day.

I did try Blogger. Didn't like it. I'm happy on Dreamwidth, and have met a lot of people I might not have, because it was a ground-floor kind of thing for me. Getting here early and just mass subscribing, and then shifting things until my circle is pretty much a challenge of 'think on this' in addition to reading material. Funnily enough, I read less fiction on DW than I ever did on LJ, because mostly my circle do not closely overlap my fannish interests. It's what else they have to say that keeps me here.

Date: 25 Jun 2010 05:11 pm (UTC)
wired: Picture of me smiling (Default)
From: [personal profile] wired
I've been on LJ since 2001, and it has chronicled a lot of my growing up. I still use it as my baby book, my work record. I got a DW account and I am using it it for more fannish/political/personal writings. I cross-post my book reviews. Although there is a lot of overlap in my friend/reading circle, the accents seem different to me.

Date: 25 Jun 2010 06:53 pm (UTC)
anansi133: (Default)
From: [personal profile] anansi133
'sfunny, in the mid-90's when everyone was getting vanity domain names and building their own personal web sites, I got to thinking about what it would take for me to bother. When someone turned me on to LJ, I was thrilled to see it was pretty much what I'd had in mind.

Now, though, I'm feeling the urge to go and get my own vanity domain name and post a personal web site, though probably with an RSS dongle duct taped to the side.

Facebook has pulled me in, but just enough to have a page. I'm reluctant to gift them with anything they could sell about me.

These days if I have an idea worth blogging, DW is my first choice.

Date: 26 Jun 2010 06:17 pm (UTC)
desert_dragon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] desert_dragon
Interesting question. I regularly check LJ and DW but post short stuff to Facebook most often. I've reconnected on FB with a lot of friends from school and SCA so I read it to see what's up with them. I post substantial stuff to DW and crosspost to LJ (well, until I forgot to update my LJ password and crossposting wasn't working so I posted separately to both). I'm also spending a lot of time on FetLife though I am giving it less and less time these days. I still read usenet every day...alt.poly, rastb5 and rasff.

I've found that I get on WoW to see what my guildmates and WoW friends are up to rather than to actually play. Though that will change, perhaps, when the expansion is released.

Date: 29 Jun 2010 05:39 pm (UTC)
serene: mailbox (Default)
From: [personal profile] serene
My first internet meeting places were chatrooms, because that's all I could think of to look for when I first got online. I met friends and lovers there. The chat community I became a part of went away when the site shut down (anyone else miss LiveUniverse?), but by then I knew about web boards, Usenet, listservs, and IRC/ICQ/AIM, so I found other places to be around people. For a long time, alt.polyamory,, and WomBAT were my community. WomBAT died; died; alt.polyamory remains, but is not as robust as in the day.

I started on LJ in 2001, and it gradually became my online home, and now it's LJ/DW, with a slight preference on my part for DW. I do Facebook, but don't care about it, and would stop tomorrow if my blood family weren't there. I don't post much there beyond the occasional status update and a link or two.

I still prefer the interface of Usenet over everything else, but besides alt.poly and, I really don't have much that I read there any more. If I could bring Usenet back to life, I'd love that. I adore text-based communication, and don't feel a need for the graphical stuff on DW/LJ or anything. Also, I like the way Usenet is organized around conversational threads rather than around individual people.

Date: 25 Jun 2010 02:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Usenet was my first online home, specifically the alt.callahans and rec.crafts.beads communities -- I had a brief stint in one of the Buffy groups as well, but my interest didn't survive the end of the show. There are still things I miss about it, especially the ability for a conversation to keep going for weeks or months, as long as there were people interested in posting to it. (This has a downside -- the conversation that keeps going for weeks or months because there are people who JUST WON'T LET IT DIE -- but that's what killfiles are for.)

I moved to LJ late and reluctantly, because so many of the people whose posts I wanted to see were now posting here instead of there, and what was left was rapidly becoming poisoned by spam and asshats. The ability to ban the latter from my journal makes up for a lot.

My friendslist does seem to be quieter now, but a lot of the reason is that people have largely burned out on posting memes, quizzes, and other such fluff. I don't miss that at all; I'd rather see one substantive post a week than a high volume made up of nothing much. It also makes LJ much less of a time-sink, because I can now scan thru and comment on new posts in an hour or less instead of half a day. This is a feature, not a bug! I feel that I'm getting much more actual value per unit of time spent here than I used to.

Facebook... I'm on it, I like some things about it and dislike others. If I never had to see another game post, or "So-and-so favorited this on YouTube/Digg/Deviant Art/whatever", I'd be ecstatic. (And there used to be a way not to have to see them, Facebook Lite, but it was disabled because it was getting too popular.) It has put me back in contact with some people from my past, which is nice. It's not in any way a replacement for LJ -- I describe it to people as "broader but very shallow".

I see a lot of people using popular blogs as their primary online communities these days. I do a little of that too, mostly on Making Light, where I'm a regular. One thing I really like about them in particular is the sidebar of recent comments; people do post items of interest on older posts where they were discussed, and sometimes this restarts the conversation there, and that's cool. Also, it's a moderated blog, which means that spam gets slammed and trolls get banned.

Everything changes over time.

Date: 25 Jun 2010 08:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
FB has added back away to turn off all the app notifications at once -- it's in the privacy settings. They're also excluded from the mobile version.

Date: 25 Jun 2010 02:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
As I see it, on LJ the currency is comments. (probably the same on Dreamwidth too.) When comments start to fall off, IMO, people get discouraged and start posting less. In short, people go where they get "groomed" (think apes and monkeys, who spend hours per day on social grooming.)

The other thing about comments is that when people leave comments, but don't get responses, that discourages them as well, and often they stop commenting. I really try to answer/acknowledge every comment; when I haven't, it's because I've been too sick or tired to do so. To me, that's one of the unspoken social "rules" of LJ - commenting, and responses to commenting. Otherwise, you just feel like you're declaiming into an echo chamber. (Note: this isn't complaints about my own LJ; I'm very happy with the level of commenting!)

I don't use FB, but the sense I get is that FB is far more interactional - at least among the younger people. (I tried FB, but again, there wasn't much updating, or response, or I couldn't find people whom I really wanted to find.)

Date: 25 Jun 2010 05:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You have a very different take on comments/commenting than I do. I will respond to comments that ask me a question, or to which I feel I have something substantive to say. But I feel that as a general rule, comments along the lines of "Me too!" add nothing to the conversation. (Specific exceptions: posts about things deserving of congratulations or condolences.) I also comment much more than I post, but that's because I'm an opinionated SOB. :-)

Date: 25 Jun 2010 03:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Facebook, twitter, buzz.. are all sucking the conversation out of LJ.

I do twitter and IRC, but not FB. It's all in the great wheel of change.

Date: 25 Jun 2010 08:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I do more FB than LJ these days -- it's easier to post quick "look at this interesting article" links there, and I have a broader set of contacts there. I try to keep up here, too, but I'm not very good at it.


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