Tracy S. Morris

Quirky Mysteries, Screwball Fantasy and Sassy History

Livejournal: Nettiquite and Such Or: I act like a curmudgeon.

Written By: Tracy - Mar• 28•10

This will probably make no sense to someone who reads these posts via my website or notes that automatically post to Goodreads or Facebook.  It’s my thoughts specific to Livejournal.  So for what it’s worth, read or not read.

I used to be heavily involved in a few television fandoms through Livejournal.  Over time, I’ve transitioned away from fandom F-lists to writer-specific f-lists (From LJ fandom to LJ prodom? I’m following writers, a few people who are interested in my work, a few literary agencies and the blogs of a few publishing houses).

One of the biggest and most surprising differences that I’ve found is that the folks who are involved in internet fandom seem to be a lot more aware of nettiquite than LJ blogging pros.  For example, folks in fandom who want to discuss politics, vagaries of religion or details from their lives that may be too much information typically put items like that behind cut tags.  The cut tags serve as a gateway, and if you want to go have a look or join in the discussion, you do.  If you want to skim right on past, you can.

Fandom also seems more conscious of post length.  There seems to be unspoken nettiquite about how long a post should be.  Longer posts go behind a cut tag so that they don’t take up a whole page on a friends list.  Not so with many of the pro blogs that I’ve encountered.

Since I’ve made the transition away from following fandom on Livejournal, I’ve felt almost overloaded by political topics, personal topics of don’t discuss in front of your grandmother type, religious topics, and I’ve been linked to some strange posts (like pictures of bacteria) that have put me off my lunch (friends don’t let friends Livejournal and eat 😉 )

I’m not sure why this is.  Is it because some Livejournal writer’s blogs are cross-posted from WordPress or other blogging websites?    Or is it because the fannish writer’s journal is more about being a part of a larger community, while the projournal is a promotional tool?  I know that new fans who don’t know the nettiquite are usually told by someone when they post 4 pages of text outside of a cut tag. I don’t think anyone could tell John Scalzi that he got a little long winded in his last LJ post (You could try, but I think he grades his hate mail 😀 )

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14 Comments

  1. bodgei says:

    I’ve actuly noticed that myself. I think I;m about 2/3 fandom and 1/3 everyone else (although I think I’m including the people who I’ve met in fandom but that’s not why I’m on there f’lists anymore as fandom in this ani_bester, Muses_circle and you would be good examples of that)

    The thing that’s been buging me in particular have been codeing errors on the pro blogs – so that to read the whole post I not only have to scroll down a million times but I have to figure out what the error is and continue trying to read through a bunch of bad code.

  2. ithildyn says:

    When I got an LJ, I didn’t know what an LJ cut was. I came from blogging, where such things didn’t exist. You could do an extended entry cut, but I only ever used that for spoilers. Length wasn’t a consideration since people were entering your blog via a link, usually from the ‘blogs I read’ list on their own blog’s sidebar. LJ seemed so foreign to me and it took me a while to get the hang of it. So I think what I’m trying to say is that maybe they’re coming from a blogging mentality and might not even realize how that doesn’t translate well onto LJ. Or, heck if I know [g]

    • Tracy says:

      Quite possibly. A few authors that I know of have only dipped their toe into blogging in the past year or two because the word on the street is that it’s something that you need to do. I just think it’s a little funny that there seems to be codified rules of etiquette among fans, but less so among pros.

  3. amethyste5 says:

    My money is on the community theory. Not only are new fannish bloggers instructed, gently or not depending on the fandom,in the unwritten rules, they are more concerned about fitting in and not offending people. A publishing house doesn’t really have to worry about people not wanting to be their friend.

    (And one of these days I’m gonna get my comma use under control.)

  4. trystan830 says:

    i have noticed the wordpress or blogspot entries are just one long post. i know, personally, that a crazy-long post of text makes my eyes go blurry. heh.

    LJ has it’s own ettiquette, and seems to be a special part of the internet? i dunno.

    • Tracy says:

      I never realized that the platforms were so different. So it’s kind of culture shock, I guess.

      • trystan830 says:

        they are, it’s weird. and yeah, i guess it is.

      • They really are. LJ (and its almost-daughter Dreamwidth) has features that I don’t think exist on any other blogging platform, and the cut-tag is one of them. Nor is there any graceful way to crosspost (again, from anywhere but Dreamwidth) and have cut-tags appear. So yeah, an entirely different culture with different rules of etiquette.

        • Tracy says:

          That’s probably why I experienced a bit of culture shock, even if I never left Livejournal land. On the reverse side, crossposting out of Livejournal (into facebook or my own blog) automatically strips the blog post of the cut tags. I think LJ’s own RSS feed does that. Very thoughtful of them.