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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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please tell me this is a joke
children of dune - leto 1
Okay, so I'm about a week and a half from being sane again since work feels malicious and everything, and sure, I'll cop to missing things that are going on with my flist (and um, maybe the world--there's apparently been another earthquake and something called an iPad? Yeah.), but I need to check something real fast because I am absolutely sure I misinterpreted this totally and will feel like such an idiot.

Is there an actual argument being made about the questionable moral position of those using Livejournal? Really? Clarification: your choice of social networking platforms is now an ethical choice?


What I've seen is more about (1) strategies for those who want to promote the success of a more fan-friendly/inclusive alternate service, and (2) where people want to spend their own money. (1) may lead you to take certain acts with respect to LJ, but I don't think anybody is claiming moral purity or superiority. If we really "vote with our dollars," though, then there are various ways to do that.

I don't disagree necessarily with any point given. However, this is one of the things a lot of people last year when DW was getting bad press was to emphasize the fact that no one was trying to set up a dichotomy of bad versus good or making a mass issue of turning fannish choice in social networking services into another method of social pressure to avoid exclusion.

I could be getting the wrong impression from what I'm reading, but this is fandom, and I'm not convinced it's entirely carelessness with terminology that is making me wary.

... I don't see it as a moral choice. We all use products from entities which are in business to make money, and who use sometimes ethically-dubious methods to do so. (Advertising unhealthy foods to kids, sexualizing little girls in advertising, racist advertising or implementation of business strategies, etc.) Purchase a burger from any fast-food chain and you're contributing to the deforestation of the Amazon.

LJ is in the business of making money for its owners, and they may choose to take actions that the users find unacceptable or distasteful. But the users' continued participation in the service doesn't necessarily mean the users themselves are supporting those choices any more than buying a cheap t-shirt at a tourist shop means you're intentionally supporting sweatshops in Malaysia.

I would never make the argument that moving to DW is the moral thing to do. I would make the argument that they're answerable to their user-base rather than advertisers, they're implementing features LJ has failed to implement (and indeed has no interest in), and they're operated by people I know and trust not to view my content as theirs, provided by me as a way of making them money. Those to me aren't really moral issues: they're preferences.

Making a personal choice on factors presented isn't what I was referring to in use of whatever journaling service is preferred, however. I do understand what you're saying, and that isn't what I'm talking about here. I am talking about what seems to be somewhat subtle and sometimes not so subtle pressure on other fen--or users--by utilizing the ethics/moral argument.


No, seriously, wtf?

I haven't actually run across discussion of this, but given the latest blowup regarding LJ coding misdirecting off-LJ links to skim off click-through moneys or whatever, I can see some people taking the boycott/fair-trade mindset to the extent of one's blogging platform of choice, on top of the people who are just paranoid about future LJ malfeasance and/or invested in seeing DW succeed.

And I just got curious enough to count up the tally of people I follow on DW (28, only of 4 of which I'm not following on LJ, and all of those I'm getting e-mailed entry notifications for) and compare it to the hundreds of friends/comms/feeds I'm following on LJ. (Mind you, if I culled the "friends" I haven't read for years and the comms I only visit when I'm in the mood once in a blue moon, the count would go way down. And I wouldn't be surprised at all if I could follow the feeds via DW as well.) This was the point at which I realized that I'd sort of prefer that people have the option to just post entries on DW and entry notifications on LJ, rather than fence-straddling with cross-posting that doesn't give anyone much motivation to go to DW.

I don't think motivation to move to DW should be about social pressure, though, at least, not in the sense of deliberate exclusion unless someone joins/changes.

...are you saying yes, you're an idiot (I like that response in this context!) or yes, there is, and I should get something high proof to drink before exploring further.

Most of the people I've talked to are avoiding DW because the whinier assholes tends to hang out there. I have no opinion one way or the other, but I've gotten this from a lot of people.

I'm not listening to fandom anymore about any of my choices.

Anon because I'm not explaining who the people saying this are. Sorry.

Np. Naming names ends in defensiveness.

I'm getting that very not-so-subtle impression myself and have been for a while now. I don't have anything against DW myself, but I'm finding the proselytizing very, very annoying at this point.

Is there an actual argument

I haven't seen someone explicitly lay out this argument. Given my general feeling towards those who proselytize and the way some people have given DW cult-like status (this does not apply to everyone, at all, but it's there), I suspect we're not far from it. I've certainly felt like people were implying a moral stricture in my staying on LJ.

What I've been seeing is a bunch of people saying that they're happy to continue using LJ for reading and keeping up with people who won't make the move, but they no longer feel comfortable providing content for LJ to monetize. The latest news post, in which LJ flat out said that they were going to continue rewriting ecommerce links to get the affiliate credit for links that don't already include affiliate links, was the straw that broke the camel's back for a lot of people -- they'll actually be modifying the contents of what people post, which widely seems to be a dealbreaker. (It was for me; as of this morning I will no longer be crossposting any creative material, any locked posts, or anything with ecommerce links. I haven't trusted them for a long time, but rewriting my content crosses a major line for me.)

I haven't seen anybody framing it as a "you are a bad person for continuing to use LJ", just as an "I am no longer OK with what they're doing with my content". We may be reading in different places, though.

See this is what I think is just being widely misinterpreted, mostly due to the fact that a lot of people didn't seem to notice their links going anywhere.

So the first blow-up, they didn't see, and then the continuation of something that didn't impact them... well, and with the addition of other's irritation just makes it look more like a hullaballoo than anything else.

Does that make sense?

I've yet to see anybody directly come out and say that, but I have seen it implied in the way many people talk about it, and the implications are seriously not making me happy right now.

Whenever some issue comes up, people make these long posts about how terrible LJ is, how much better DW is, how they'll lock all their comments on LJ but continue to cross-post everything/part of things, how they can't wait for DW to have the functionality for you to read your LJ flist there so they never have to visit LJ again (which I hope doesn't happen, because that's a sketchy feature), how they won't buy paid services at LJ again, yada yada yada yada, everyone has the same rant. And then there's the comments at the end, like, I hope you guys will see why DW is ethically superior to LJ and come join me, and you too can have the satisfaction of giving your money/business to a less reprehensible organization. Oh, fuck off.

It's also not surprising to me to see so many comments lately referring to Dreamwidth supporters as cult-like. I've thought that since the supporters would run around leaving canned, copy-and-pasted pro-DW responses to everyone who said less-than-positive things about Dreamwidth, and things have only escalated from there...

I have an LJ and love it. No, it's not perfect, but it's very versatile; and, imo, the LJ team does try to balance the opinions and needs of its customers with the fact that it ~is a business that needs to toe the legal and economical lines to keep running.

I have an IJ and a DW account and can't say that either are an improvement. They just use different terms to imitate what we already have on LJ.

Anybody tries to pressure me to do something, I'm ~far less likely to join in and far more likely to keep doing what I'm doing just to be contrary, lol.

Considering the number of charity fundraisers LJ users regularly run, ~and the money that the LJ team itself facilitates donating via their special v-gifts, I don't think there's any need to question the ~morality of our social networking platform.

That's definitely the vibe I've been getting, yes.

But then, I have a knee-jerk reaction to people telling me what to do. Even if it is something as innocuous as "OMG, read this, it's so awesome" ... *g*

Edited at 2010-03-12 10:37 pm (UTC)

Whenever a waiter tells me to "Enjoy!", I scowl inside and think mean thoughts, lol.

...um, ok, the hilarious here is I read this as being about "versus Myspace or Facebook or Twitter" and therefore was extra double PLUS confused.

My poor little head. ;)

...God, Facebook. *bares teeth*

Hmmm. I don't know if my post was part of what you're talking about or not. I hope not, because I certainly didn't mean to imply any kind of moral stance with regard to LJ or DW. I like DW better; I don't like a lot of things LJ does and I *really* don't like the way it treats its users; and I'm not comfortable being a content provider for a service I have issues with. But I still love all the people today that I loved yesterday and still want to hang with them, I'm just doing it from a different place and in a different way today.

Would I be happier if my friends on LJ only were also on Dreamwidth? Yes, because then I wouldn't have to look at two different flists and my friends wouldn't have to decide whether I'm worth the trip to DW to read my posts. But do I think my choice is more *moral* than anybody else's? Absolutely not.

I'm thinking of it as... moving from the city to the suburbs, because I don't like LJ's mayor's politics. And I really like the cute little shops and streets in the burbs. I'd rather my tax money and my votes go to a different town now. Unfortunately, now my friends will have to drive further to see me if they want to see me, and I have to drive further to see them. And if they moved with me, that would be GREAT! But if they don't, that's totally cool too. It's not about anybody's moral choices; it's about my living preferences.

If any of what I said came across as a moral judgement, I didn't mean it to.

No, but it was insane that your post was right before mine. I was back=250 or something when I posted. *g*

...I'm serious. iPads went on sale! I am behind the universe right now.

I'm getting a vibe of "let's boycott everyone on LJ until they are forced to move with us and let us mention the moral superiority of DW's hosting so people feel bad for not moving with us because of all the LJ shortcomings."

Sorry, I re-read and realized it didn't sound right. I'm probably too tired to truly say anything meaningful tonight.

I haven't really been getting any vibes myself or maybe I'm missing them because I like DW.

But I do think the reason the DW people are trying to lure people over to their services is because checking two flists does take more time. I think people just want their friends to join them.

The boycott seems like a good idea because the readers will go where their friends are and where the fic/vids/icons are posted. Now as for the reasons behind the boycott...I'm not sure why they feel the need to justify it? I always kind of thought the only way to get fandom to move from one medium to another was refuse to post fics in the old medium (mailing lists, archives, personal websites)