Earlier in the week, maybe last week (I don't remember anything anymore -- wait, it was two weeks ago, because it was before I came down here, right?), the infamous bookshop
posted this Daily Dot thing about how no one noticed or cared about the LJ site redesign. Typically I don't pay heed to what gets published at the Daily Dot, but it happened that a few weeks prior to that
I had been at a fail_fandomanon
meetup in which all six other people were very anti-LJ. I was seriously puzzled; why does everyone hate LJ so much? I think part of why this makes me sad is because I have had a LiveJournal (not this one, but my personal one, which I still use) for the entire duration of my young adult life and my fandom life. It has been my primary point of contact with numerous people, my point of introduction to numerous people I now consider friends, and serves as a record for experiences I had in high school and college and beyond, in three different countries and in three different US cities. So the idea that the site is falling out of favor generally and with fandom specifically is, yes, troubling to me.
But it's also disturbing because the functionality of this site, in fan space, is really not that bad. Especially not when you compare it to that of Tumblr, which is not a platform for the kind of fan experience I want to have. This entry really has nothing to do with anything, except that I just made a rather nice fic rec on Tumblr that was eaten as soon as I published it, leaving only the link and none of the text. The thing is, the text is the important part
. Yet on Tumblr the primary focus of fannish activity is the shareable object: a link, an image, a soundbite. These things have value, and I love fan art more than I have any right to as someone who is actually a professional working on the arts. But I don't know how I can exist in a framework where objects become the focus of fan activity, tumbling from blog to blog amassing quantifiable "notes" that correspond to "likes." To "like" something is the most meaningless, softcore valuation of anything. It's akin to how I call people I don't really want to spend time with but can't describe as objectionable "nice."
Tumblr is perfectly nice. It is easy on the eyes (well, the main page is; go on someone's personal site, and beware); it doesn't put up much resistance when you want to upload something; it limits communications, including flames and crits, drastically by character; even private messaging is "fan mail." But it doesn't privilege text or discourse by design
, and when it fucks up, it preserves only the least essential aspect of your data: the shareable object.
It's not really a big deal that the 200-ish words (or whatever) I wrote about a fan fic are gone forever. I write 200 words without incident. I am full of fucking words.
I just want somewhere to put them where they will be read. I don't care if they are passed around. I just want to have the opportunity to get a response.