I threw a fit about strikethrough, boldthrough, et al, I have migrated like a drunk bird to better and worse platforms, I have mourned the loss of fannish history and I'm pissed at Tumblr because holy shit it's like no one remembers this shit never ever works out well.
But: DW, LJ, AO3, Tumblr, every media site with fan content could vanish, and in roughly forty five minutes I would have bought a domain, threw up a working homepage, and started uploading my fic and that of my friends and probably create a really sketchy and shitty blog and start reconnecting with everyone else's shitty homemade blogs (God. Blogs). I mean assuming this isn't the last week of the month when I have no money, okay.
I'm not saying it would be good or aesthetic, but it would be functional enough to say "I am here; where are you?" And begin the reconnection process. Webrings, fuck my life; it could happen.
I know I can do that, because I've done it before; I did it in Geocities. I learned HTML and css by literally fucking up the coding until I worked out what tags did what and why because google didn't yet exist and you fucking try using altavista to search for anything even if there was anything out there. Up until well into AO3's existence, I still had a personal webpage. I still have a backup of my entire site, in fact; it's all organized exactly as it appeared online. Just in case.
Here's a sense of scale: When my son was one, I didn't have a blog and used usenet and geocities; when he was two, I transitioned to mailing lists and my own domain; when he was three, I was on diaryland (it was a...nevermind). When he was four, I was on LJ and began the great social media experiment: journalfen, insanejournal (sort of?), DW, Twitter, Tumblr, I don't even know what else because I got experimental with namesquatting, okay? My kid is twenty-one and I just made some of my friends go "fuck you're kidding." Dude, I know.
The point is: it's been years since I had to hand-code my own site, hand-code my blog, worry about mailing list and usenet character limits, and social media made fanlife about a billion times easier. That doesn't change the fact when I came into fandom, the first thing I learned is that if I want something, I have to do it myself.
That part hasn't changed; we're still doing it ourselves. We just don't think of it like that because we have so many more tools than fucking geocities and having to go buy--BUY AT A BOOKSTORE--a book on HTML which weirds me out just writing out.
Usenet, LJ, Tumblr, mailing lists, they weren't made for us; we veni vedi vici'ed that shit. Nice social media platform you got here, I'm inviting everyone I ever met to see what we can do with this. Threaded comments, forty-thousand word character limits, likes, reblogs, image hosting, nice, now I can post my epic Sheppard/Finn/Reylo as pornstars fic with GIFs and link to the youtube vid someone made for me about it please reblog and/or comment and kudos, thanks.
They're our tools to get what we want.
To put this another way: yeah, we eventually have to move--or want to, which sometimes is the same thing--but we always gain more than we lose every time. And if you don't believe me, go back and check out the early Mailing List Versus LJ debates and dire predictions of isolation and apocalypses (plural) when instead, we expanded exponentially and continue to expand.
We are never, ever, going to settle down, not really; that is not our way. Not because we can't; because we shouldn't. I wouldn't go back to usenet and having to fucking hand-code--HAND FUCKING CODE-- webpages if you paid me (well, if you paid me a lot, maybe); there's a good chance I'd start fires in random places if I ever have to deal with capricious fucking mods who run their mailing lists like feudal kingdoms; and God help you if I ever, in my life, have to email with my life history or some shit to get access to a locked archive that is the only goddamn one for my pairing. And if you don't remember some of LJ's freakish quirks, oh, I do and am happy not to relive that bullshit.
Fandom does not and never has adapted to what we were given; we weren't ever given a goddamn thing. We take what we like and make it work the way we want it to. Yeah, the transition period can be rough and very often sucks, but eventually, we're going to get to a place where we holoprogram our fic and try to work out how to comment on our experience in someone's holofic which will probably redefine TMI.
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