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KS Alternative Factor

I’m off LJ for months, and now I can’t shut up...

Wow, what a bunch of kerfuffles! I haven’t been on LJ much this spring, due to my job, but I managed to jump right back in right in the middle of major controversies.

I won’t address Fanlib here, except to say, stupid idea! So on to the most recent controversy.

I sure hope this proposed mass fannish migration to venues other than LJ turns out to be unnecessary. As many have pointed out, lots of people won’t follow, and fandom will become further fractured as a result.

I’m active in the zine community and I participate in some very active yahoo lists. With my current participation in LJ, I’m at my time limit. I enjoy LJ, but if people start going elsewhere, I’m not sure I can make another leap. A few years ago, several friends joined LJ. Several others joined BlogSpot. I had to make a choice which to go with, since I didn’t have the time to do both. So I went with LJ. As a consequence, I’m having a harder time keeping up with the friends who went to BlogSpot.

Now people are proposing migrating to other venues – several other venues – and my poor brain is going *enough*!

Question – I believe that every person on my flist are fannish – how many of you, given the complex nature of the controversy itself, would consider moving to another venue?

Lots of my fannish friends never made the leap to LJ in the first place. I’d say at least half of the friends I see at MediaWest aren’t on LJ. Though a couple of them, this past MediaWest, showed some interest in joining up… Ironically, as it turns out, just as many fans are talking about heading to other venues.

If any of the many proposals to create fan-only space on the net comes about, I’ll definitely check it out. (I’m curious as to how far the proposal that fans buy stock in LJ, should it become a publicly traded company, will play out. It sounds less than practical to me, but who knows? We sure are quite a presence here, and organized fans *can* accomplish quite a lot.)

By scanning about a zillion posts in Metafandom, I did find out bits and pieces of fannish history I hadn’t known before. The leap to LJ a few years ago took me completely by surprise. It makes a lot more sense now that I know a lot of this was motivated by fanfiction.net banning NC-17 stories, and, in a non-related movie, Yahoo Groups at approximately the same time TOSing several fannish adult lists.

Fandom’s always a moving current, isn’t it?

Comments

I'm not moving anywhere, since I just got here and like it. Personally, the biggest problem I have with this kerfuffle is how LJ did it and who they targeted. Had they worked with law enforcement to identify real pedophiles it wouldn't likely have affected their legal standing as a common carrier (and therefore not responsible legally for what goes on on LJ), but by wholesale deletion of groups and users based on interests they just pissed off a lot of people and put their common carrier standing in jeopardy. And this is coming from someone who writes slash about characters who are over 25, and in some cases over 75.

The idea of buying stock sounds interesting, but I'm guessing most of the stock will be bought up by major pension plans and the like and there won't be much available to the average individual.
>>>I'm not moving anywhere, since I just got here and like it. Personally, the biggest problem I have with this kerfuffle is how LJ did it and who they targeted.

Exactly. Their initial hamhanded approach was like those anti-porn blockers that block breast cancer sites.

>>>Had they worked with law enforcement to identify real pedophiles it wouldn't likely have affected their legal standing as a common carrier (and therefore not responsible legally for what goes on on LJ), but by wholesale deletion of groups and users based on interests they just pissed off a lot of people and put their common carrier standing in jeopardy.

Good point. They really put themselves in a grey area by their actions.

>>>And this is coming from someone who writes slash about characters who are over 25, and in some cases over 75.

Same here... My usual response to some of the newer fandoms is, "But they're so young...!" (And by that I mean, under 30.)

>>>The idea of buying stock sounds interesting, but I'm guessing most of the stock will be bought up by major pension plans and the like and there won't be much available to the average individual.

Agreed. I can't imagine there would be enough left to allow for any sort of significant voting block, even assuming fans banded together to purchase stock.
I think *which means little* that the Harry Potter were the most pissed off, and if any fandom moves on, I'd put my money on some of them. A ton of people *literally* flocked their journals. I'm not moving until they make me. *g*
>>>I'm not moving until they make me. *g*

*g* Me, either. I did gather that it was Harry Potter fandom, and also some of the anime fandoms, which were most affected. Talk about a zillion posts! The whole thing happened around the time I got back from MediaWest. A friend emailed me to ask if I'd heard what was going on on LJ. I hadn't been here in awhile, though I'd managed to dip a toe in just when the FanLib controversy popped up.

When I started to look into it I found an overwhelming number of posts about the topic. I tried to skim as much as I could, but I had to stop somewhere. But so many people were so vehement that fandom en masse were going to move to other venues that I decided to post my thoughts (such as they are, *g*).
I've already decided I won't move on to something else. At the same time, it kept me from trying for a life time membership here. It seemed too big a risk, what with all the talk of people moving on to other venues.

I've never really been all that much into LJ to begin with, preferring the more fandom-focused groups. I'll respond to posts on my flist or at communities but I rarely post to my own. Maybe because, still, my strongest tie to fandom is through the zine community and most of my closest fannish friends aren't on LJ anyway.
>>I've already decided I won't move on to something else. At the same time, it kept me from trying for a life time membership here. It seemed too big a risk, what with all the talk of people moving on to other venues.

Agreed. I'd decided, at MediaWest, that when I came back I was going to get a lifetime membership with LJ, but now I'm not so sure. I think I'll wait to see how this all shakes out.

>>>I've never really been all that much into LJ to begin with, preferring the more fandom-focused groups.

I much prefer yahoo lists to LJ, because I like the way you can actually follow whole conversations on yahoo lists. Most of my fannish activity takes place away from LJ, which is how I managed to be gone from LJ for so long. (Well, being gone for so long was really because of my job... But I still kept up with my lists during that time.)

>>>I'll respond to posts on my flist or at communities but I rarely post to my own.

I do more responding to posts than making posts in my own LJ. I tend to post to LJ for when I want to write some kind of fannish essay. But, primarily, I post to other communities or journals.

>>>Maybe because, still, my strongest tie to fandom is through the zine community and most of my closest fannish friends aren't on LJ anyway.

Agreed. I think of the people I know who attend Shore Leave and MediaWest - so very few of them are on LJ, and those who are never post, but are just here to read fic.

Not only fandom; the same things happened e.g. with bdsm and fetish groups after yahoo did several purges at the end of the 90s. But at that time, there wasn't a major venue where they could go to. Some people who had net hosting services set up mailing lists, but then those depend on that person...and sometimes people leave their interest groups. Then some bigger portal opens, everything's going there...then it goes downhill again. Been there, seen it ;)

I think it's like in rl, some things are stable, some are not so, and you will have to move a LITTLE around to keep in contact, but not follow each and every trend. I still chat on irc (since 1996) and on mailing lists (1995). The only thing I never really did is anything with normal mail *G* :) That's why I would never be able to connect to the old zine scene outside of cons (even if it had really my pairings).
>>>Not only fandom; the same things happened e.g. with bdsm and fetish groups after yahoo did several purges at the end of the 90s.

I'm not surprised by this at all. Yahoo seemed to go through several puritanical phases, motivated, no doubt, by complaints from advertisers. Money talks.

>>>>But at that time, there wasn't a major venue where they could go to. Some people who had net hosting services set up mailing lists, but then those depend on that person...and sometimes people leave their interest groups. Then some bigger portal opens, everything's going there...then it goes downhill again. Been there, seen it ;)

It's quite the tidal flow, isn't it? I originally joined a couple of the yahoo lists I'm still on when they were still being hosted by egroups. And there was a big hoohah when yahoo took over egroups and changed several TOS provisions. I don't remember what now. But every time there's a change people tend to splinter apart and then come back together in entirely new ways.

>>>I think it's like in rl, some things are stable, some are not so, and you will have to move a LITTLE around to keep in contact, but not follow each and every trend.

Agreed. I tend to wait these days to see if the little trends are going to become big ones before I make any moves.

>>>I still chat on irc (since 1996)

You know, I never did IRC, though I used to participate in a lot of fan setup AOL private chat rooms.

>>>and on mailing lists (1995).

That's when I started on mailing lists, too. The first one I joined was called Virgule and was an all-slash discussion list for all fandoms. It was listserv.

>>>The only thing I never really did is anything with normal mail *G* :) That's why I would never be able to connect to the old zine scene outside of cons (even if it had really my pairings).

We're all on email now anyway, with one or two exceptions...
There's something nobody has seemed to recognize about this whole affair: for the first time in my entire memory, a corporate entity is backing off of fandom and even sucking up to it--before the news post saying that all fandom journals were to be reinstated--he mentioned fandom specifically!!--there was an earlier news post saying that LJ respected its fandom customers or something to that effect. I.e. they mentioned fandom, didn't trivialize it, and made it clear from their tone that they took us very seriously.

Yes, they deleted people's LJ's stupidly, but they put them back quickly, which nobody expected. When was the last time a big scary company suddenly reversed and made things right for fandom?

What they did was inane, but how they handled it deserves more respect than I see them getting. And honestly, do any of us think Kirk/Spock is really going to get pestered? "Brother", friend, lover nonwithstanding :P

(hoping I'm not going to have to eat my words, lol.)
>>>What they did was inane, but how they handled it deserves more respect than I see them getting.

Agreed - I was amazed at how quickly and how positively they responded re fandom. Fannish participation in LJ is clearly important to them. I was having quite a long email discussion with a couple of friends on this subject, but I haven't seen many people address it on LJ.

>>Yes, they deleted people's LJ's stupidly, but they put them back quickly, which nobody expected. When was the last time a big scary company suddenly reversed and made things right for fandom?

Never, AFAIK. Their reaction was so publicly unprecedented.
I know a lot of people on one Yahoo group I'm on have tried going to the other Journal sites because of this. But then a lot of them are younger and less set in their ways than I am :) I'm staying here - I'm still trying to get up to speed here - I'd never have time to figure out another Journal site!

But I don't see me giving LJ any $$ anytime soon - I have a free account, and for what I'm doing with it (and my technical expertise, which is 0) it's enough for me.

But I think the one thing I personally learned from this whole mess is don't put anything questionable in your interest list! :) And while I know that the word "questionable" means different things to different people, some of it's pretty obvious.
I'm staying unless everyone else moves. And I hope they don't. I think fandom is in a better position here since we've seen how management tried to make right with us.