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Tue, May. 27th, 2008, 12:27 pm
atrata: vague sort-of update

Hey everyone.

Been a while, hasn't it? Yeah. There isn't much of an update, I don't think, and I'm not sure what to say. I remain of the opinion that LJ isn't really the best home for fandom. The issue, though, is that there aren't a lot of options. People (myself included) aren't going to leave LJ for greener pastures unless the pastures are quite shiny (in terms of awesome features and ease of transition) and their friends are there. A fannish journaling site has the potential to be amazing, but it would definitely not be easy or cheap or smooth sailing. It requires a lot of resources and knowledge and skills that I don't personally have, and I don't know if I could find them. I'm working on it, in a fills-the-empty-spaces-of-my-time sort of way, but there aren't a lot of those.

I still think about it, though, all the time; for a while I was thinking maybe it could live on the Google App Engine, but there's a no-porn policy, so that idea died within about five minutes of inception. It was attractive, though, because it took all the infrastructure issues away. Alas.

So, yeah, I don't know. I'm still thinking and talking and recruiting and brainstorming and occasionally hacking and coming up with insane ideas. Maybe the thing could be distributed, maybe the porn could be encrypted on the server and decrypted by the browser, maybe the thing could be on a pre-existing platform so all we'd need to do is write a few plugins and package everything together, etc. The leaving LJ idea isn't dead, but I'm not as optimistic as I once was that it can happen soon (obviously). So I feel like right now the thing to do is try to make the best of the situation here.

To that end, please vote in the LJ Advisory Board elections. Others have discussed it at length in more eloquent terms than I have time for right now, but the point is that if we want a fannish representative on the board, we need to make our voices heard. There's more information at fandom_votes, so please check it out and vote if you haven't already done so. You've got till Thursday, 9pm PDT.

ETA: There are some comments coming in regarding the status of other projects, so I figured I should link them.

Tue, May. 27th, 2008 06:51 pm (UTC)

Inksome, formerly Scribblit, is live. More details at tsfkas ("the site formerly known as scribblit").

I don't think it's The Answer, either. But it's *an* answer. A place for fandom, intending to have picture hosting and such, without the "ewww pr0n!" reaction of most online content hosts. (And, unlike IJ, ad-free, and lacking in offensive-to-some terminology.)

Tue, May. 27th, 2008 07:21 pm (UTC)

Cool. I'll edit the post in a few minutes to reflect some of the comments coming in. I do feel Inksome is awesome and completely support-worthy, but I don't think that the fannish hordes are going to leave LJ for an LJ clone. I think a safe fannish space is only part of the issue. The people who don't feel threatened by various LJ policies aren't going to leave for anything less than The Ultimate Awesome, and no LJ clone is going to provide that. (Sadly.)

Tue, May. 27th, 2008 08:38 pm (UTC)

Why do you think an LJ clone on a fan-owned server wouldn't be shiny enough? Once we're there, we can make the features fan worthy. But I think getting a space of our own is The Ultimate Awesome.

Tue, May. 27th, 2008 08:54 pm (UTC)

Well, pulling up stakes and moving elsewhere is a pretty big deal, both in terms of actual time involved, and also emotionally. Many of us are very attached to LJ. We are here every day. We've made very close friends. It's home. And no matter how much disrespectful LJ is of fandom, there is a fairly large segment of fandom that doesn't feel threatened and doesn't see the point of putting the effort into a move. There's kind of this sense that LJ is mostly down on HP fen, so if they're not HP fen and they don't write that icky incestuous non-con chan, why spend the time and make the investment in moving to a place that's just like this one, only not as cool? I just really believe that for fandom as a whole to move, it has to move someplace new, and an LJ clone is never going to be new. Not really.

I agree that a place of our own is The Ultimate Awesome, but I think that's something that's true mostly for the more... abstract-minded? There are always going to be people who don't give a fuck about the issues driving an agenda as long as that agenda says they can do what they want. And it's entirely possible that I'm on crack, but I feel like The Extra Ultimate Awesome really has to appeal to both camps -- the people who move because of the statement and the principle and the issues, and the people who move because of the awesome features and the intuitive interface.

Tue, May. 27th, 2008 07:11 pm (UTC)

synecdochic means to create a fork of LJ (not a clone! a honest-to-goodness fork!) Nothing official, and actually so far it's been mostly alluded to, but if you want more info, you could have a look at the poll she put up some time ago.

Tue, May. 27th, 2008 07:21 pm (UTC)

Ah, yeah, I do remember seeing that. Thanks. I'll edit this post in a few minutes.

Tue, May. 27th, 2008 07:14 pm (UTC)

What about the Firefox project? Don't know if it'll be any better, but it sounds neat.

Tue, May. 27th, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC)

So it does. Thanks for the link.

Wed, May. 28th, 2008 02:40 am (UTC)

You know, I've been wondering about this for a while, and I thought it would be really cool if we could have something like a wordpress version of livejournal (that is linked)? The reason for it is simple:

1. It makes everyone responsible for their own content--any disputes that take place would take place between a particular user and their own host.

2. It saves the hosting cost, so no one person needs to fork out to keep it alive

3. It is customisable enough to allow folks to add new stuff that they want to it.

4. If it can crosslink to more than one LJ-based site at a time, it can also have the wonderful effect of linking up those who have previously left LJ from those who haven't.

Of course, I'm not thinking it'll be fast myself. I've been working on the idea for a while, but my technological skills really aren't that advanced (I consider myself lucky to have survived the basic SQL tutorial at w3schools)--but I'm thinking that it's something that really might be workable. I mean, if all one needs is a central-database (to link up all the users and their sites together)--then maybe it's something that we can work on?

I'm a techno idiot, but I'm always open to tossing out ideas if you are. Like yourself, I've got very little spare time (RL sucks big at times), but I'm open to working on it whenever I'm free. My deadlines are VERY flexible (which is why my planning on stuff tends to be in terms of years--and not months, which many people claim is slow compared to those who plan in terms of weeks and days), so it's definitely a slug (and not a rabbit) that you've got on this end.

Wed, May. 28th, 2008 11:03 pm (UTC)

I'm Firefox News's owner. Thanks for the link!

I am delighted to see people joining the group and really hope to get tons of community involvement from across all the different areas of fandom. I should be posting a welcome-and-lets-get-started message to that google group very soon.

For what it's worth, the plan for Journals.Firefox.Org is to create a community specifically intended to be a welcoming place for fandom. It will be a livejournal clone, as you noted, but with a few shiny bells and whistles that Livejournal doesn't offer. (Actually -- one of the things I want input on from the focus group is what bells and whistles folks want most so that we can make the most desired mods first.)

-- Leva Cygnet

Mon, May. 4th, 2009 09:10 pm (UTC)

Still thinking about it? What about Dreamwidth?