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Where have all the postings gone... long time passing... - Laurion [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Laurion

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Where have all the postings gone... long time passing... [May. 12th, 2014|05:30 pm]
Laurion
So, forgive me if this is a dumb question, but where did everyone go?

A forced change to livejournal (friend's page no longer accepts custom styles) has pushed me to go to each of the friends that I follow and resubscribe to their individual pages.

And I keep seeing a wasteland.  So many last updates that say things like '2010', '2009', '2007'.  Where did everyone go? I see posts from the same dozen people on a regular basis, but there used to be a lot more people out there.

So where did everyone go?

I know about Twitter.  I'm there, but the posts are short and stream by. Don't get me started about Facebook.  The drek drowns out the good stuff all too often. And too much is stuffed onto one page.  Tumblr? Pinterest? Pretty, but mostly empty from what I've seen.

Where do people go to actually.... write? Journal to their social network? Connect?

And I know, for the longest time I've written on my own wordpress blog and crossposted to LJ (and now... FB too.  Not that I go there myself).  So I'm one of those people who is 'not there' in some sense. [EDIT: Hah!  Something since my last posting on 2/21 has broken crossposting!  What the F! Yay!]

I accept that my social life isn't what it was. But looking at the data while redoing the LJ connections... man, it really isn't what it used to be. And a lot of it used to be keeping connected to people on LJ in a way that I just don't feel connected on other network sites.  And these days I'm not feeling connected to many people at all.  So here I send out a post into what seems to be an ever fading arena, knowing that the dozens of people who haven't updated in five years aren't going to see it, just as I don't see anything from them.

Part of me wonders when a social network connection is so underutilized that it should be pruned entirely.  I've readded these dead connections.  IT doesn't cost me much at all.  No posts means nothing shows up in my feeds. No words require me to triage their value and exert neurons to process them. And if someone does come back, the connection is still there.  But perhaps there is an unseen, unknown weight and drag from these old connections.

I feel like I've missed some secret.  That all these connections have been moved somewhere else, and I'm the one who wasn't told about it, or doesn't know how to get to them.  Is there some way to make Facebook functional? Or have people given up on the concept of social networks entirely? Did people move to some site that died or never thrived (xanga, myspace, Google+) and then never have the heart to try again? I know, again, I'm asking this of the wrong audience, because the only audience that will see it is almost definitionally the wrong one.  Am I echolocating across a featureless plain? Only getting back what I already know to be there?
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: wispfox
2014-05-12 10:34 pm (UTC)
I believe the answer is: nowhere.

Everyone is trying to use less useful things like twitter and facebook and G+ and perhaps tumblr and such. But my impression is that it really just means people - myself included - just aren't posting the kinds of things they used to.

And being out of the habit means that other things took their place (or didn't). I don't post much anymore because I'm out of the habit, and because I'm in grad school, and and and.
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[User Picture]From: keshwyn
2014-05-12 11:07 pm (UTC)
I am mostly on my phone these days because of Wolfpup. The Eljay app for Android is ok for reading with, but hugely useless for posting to Dreamwidth. (Or reading there, for that matter.) And I post there, and let the cross-post handle LJ, because given Putin's demand that all blogging sites register their users I have no idea how stable LJ will be long term.

So mostly I post SCA stuff on Google+ and wish for a better Android app. FB is not in my picture.
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[User Picture]From: laurion
2014-05-13 12:08 pm (UTC)
True enough. There aren't good mobile apps for LJ. It predates the rise of Mobile. And I do know a lot of people who are -also- on Dreamwidth, but I don't think I know anyone who is only on Dreamwidth. I don't post much, but I do sometimes post from mobile, but Wordpress has options there.
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[User Picture]From: keshwyn
2014-05-13 11:57 pm (UTC)
There was a GSOC option posited for android three or four years ago for Dreamwidth. It went nowhere, and since then, there's been nothing. It's quite aggravating. It's *almost* enough to make me want to figure out android-app-development. :/

Almost.
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[User Picture]From: metahacker
2014-05-12 11:40 pm (UTC)
I have a theory. (It does not involve lagomorphs.) It does, however, involve phones.

Every time I post a poll, I discover 50 people still read my LJ. About 10 of these post on a regular basis, with another 10 posting infrequently. The other 30 are pure lurker, because contributing via a phone sucks.

"Like" has also spoiled us all. It is both easy to do, and gives a little Pringles-like burst of social connection on both sides. Sadly like Pringles it seems like nutrition, and you probably could live on it, but it leaves out all the higher levels of Maslow's hierarchy.

That being said, 100 people used to vote in my polls; so we have 50% losses in readership (sample size = 1). I wonder where those folks "went", or if they went anywhere; or maybe they just play Flappy Candy Clan Smash instead of playing at the game of social.

Theory #4: kids, and growing up. Our cohort has other high demands on our time, ones that take us away from our computers.

Anyway, I seem incapable of *not* posting, so please continue to read and comment. ;) It's better with an audience.
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[User Picture]From: laurion
2014-05-13 12:12 pm (UTC)
There is definitely some of that 'high demands' thing going on. And the stimulus-response of the quick and easy posting to FB and Twitter, where you can get the 'same' inputs and outputs to the psyche in 140 characters or less.

People used to post to LJ that way. But there weren't other options except AIM status messages then. And people weren't using their mobile devices as their primary electronic communicator at the time. Social networking was the province of desktop computers and LJ's voice-to-post (!). But combined with the higher demands on time, we spend less of it on a desktop/laptop, and more of it on the new easy access mobiles...

The answer for me is to build ways of doing the old stuff on new devices, but that's not for everyone.

So yes, I'l keep reading, and commenting, and posting, and commenting. It is better with an audience.
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[User Picture]From: lisefrac
2014-05-13 03:30 pm (UTC)
I think your theories are right on. Lots of people still read, but very few comment. And that's precisely because most internet usage these days is mobile, and clicking "like" buttons is easier than composing a thoughtful reply. Even for me, a heavy LJ user, I don't even try to reply to to things on my phone. (The iOS app is just as terrible as the Android app is said to be, I can confirm).

But as you say, I am still here, and seemingly incapable of not posting. Most of my thoughts are longer than a few hundred characters. I always was an overachiever.
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[User Picture]From: belu
2014-05-12 11:58 pm (UTC)
I'm still here, though I do my posting on Facebook (~98%) and Twitter (~2%). Not that I recall doing all that much of in-depth long-form posting here anyway.

I keep a tab open with my friends page, though the majority that comes across there these days is posts on a news community (which I find valuable) as opposed to a minority from anyone I actually know (or knew), and my actual content generation amounts to half a dozen or so comments per year.
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[User Picture]From: offside7
2014-05-13 12:17 am (UTC)
I noticed a migration to dreamwidth a while back and made an account but never did anything with it. I vaguely wonder if dreamwidth is more active than I realize. For me personally, I've stopped writing posts about the bummers in my life because I get depressed writing them and I don't think people really want to read them. The bulk of non-bummer, happy stuff in my life is currently larp related, which sounds kind of obsessive, but for one thing... I am kind of obsessive (let's call it enthusiastic) and for another, larp is an outlet for my other hobbies, too. Larp inspired me to take dance classes, costuming for Larp inspires me to work on sewing and other art hobbies (like calligraphy, sketching, and other prop building crafts) and my current main sport is boffer fighting. And all of that stuff ends up on my larp-focused blog, leaving... mostly tv and movie reviews for my lj. Some of which get so long and rambly that I just leave them as private.
It's kind of a drag for me to see lj dwindle. I much prefer the content her than the content on twitter, fb, and tumblr. As bad as lj is for holding conversations, tumblr is that much worse, and the noise to signal ratio on tumblr is so very high. I should make an effort to post more here just to encourage more lj use, but I don't know what to say here. Maybe I should be cross posting stuff from the larp blog here, but I've never gotten into the habit of cross posting. I dunno.

Edited at 2014-05-13 12:19 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: laurion
2014-05-13 12:17 pm (UTC)
You're so passionate that it spills outside the bounds of social networks and into its own separate entity. and that's a good thing. And I fully recognize the need for things like that to have their own space. that isn't a problem. And you still -comment- a lot on LJ. Which is important too.

And yes, the conversational orientation of LJ does beat most other systems. That's somewhat an artifact of when it was birthed.

I'm not sure that you should be crossposting everything from the larp focused blog. Some of it, maybe. But maybe you'd be served by setting up an LJ syndication to it so people who still primarily use LJ as their update channel would be able to easily get those updates.
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[User Picture]From: ladysprite
2014-05-13 11:45 am (UTC)
Still here for posting anything longer than a sentence or two. I'm on Facebook as well, mostly because.... well, that's where everyone is active, now. And as much as I don't like it, I'll get 40 or 50 replies there when I get 3-4 here. Completely aside from the positive feedback, it just seems like more people actually see what I say there.

But LJ will always be my home for thinking and writing, instead of just one-sentence data dissemination. It just feels like yodeling into the void sometimes......
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[User Picture]From: laurion
2014-05-13 12:19 pm (UTC)
Not entirely a void. But I'm sure that you, like me, see posts from the same few people, and comments from the same few people, over and over.

Is LJ now the social network equivalent of a retirement home? We see the same faces day in and day out saying the same things every time until they or we too pass over?
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[User Picture]From: mindways
2014-05-13 05:40 pm (UTC)
Most people's comments here make sense to me, though I might rephrase wispfox's to "nowhere and everywhere" - dispersal to Facebook, G+, tumblr, Twitter, and other sites has diluted all of them.

(Saving perhaps Facebook, though that may just be because the torrent of content seems so huge. But it's very different stuff than got put here.)

If I had more time, I'd be investigating social media aggregators, and rolling my own if none of the ones out there suited me well enough.

(Personally, I'm on DW/LJ most, with G+ slightly less often but rising. I use Facebook when I must, and Twitter when I think of it, which isn't often these days.)
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[User Picture]From: meranthi
2014-05-15 03:56 pm (UTC)
I have a Twitter which I almost never check. Ditto G+.

I'm on Facebook and read there a lot. That's partly because most people I know wandered that way. It was a good way to connect with lots of people, like family. But not a good place for friends. Sort of. Is complicated.

I tend to post from Dreamwidth, but I usually read LJ. Not sure why that is, honestly. I like catching up with folks and I find that I don't like Facebook for that.
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[User Picture]From: jducoeur
2014-05-15 07:11 pm (UTC)
Keep in mind, these sorts of social-network generational transitions aren't new, even if the term "social network" is. The first I went through this was in the mid-90s, when Usenet went through much the same experience. In the late 80s, *every* geek with an Internet connection was active on Usenet; ten years later, it was a ghost world.

My sense is that geekdom has fragmented, especially into two camps that can be roughly described as "FB sucks, but it's where everyone is" and "FB is EvilDieDieDie". A lot of the latter are using G+ and other platforms, and some are still here; the former, by and large (and I do think that even among geeks it's the majority) have given in and are mostly using FB.

As for what they do with in-depth, LJ-style postings -- well, most folks just don't. Really, that sort of writing is a learned behaviour, and many folks were never entirely comfortable with it. The ones who *need* to write are, again, either still here, or have drifted to other blogging platforms. (Of which, heaven knows, there are scads.)

And that cuts to the heart of it: LJ *as a social network* has largely collapsed. It's still a better-than-average blogging platform, which is why I not only still write my own stuff here but host the Querki Dev Blog here. But note that the latter will be moving to Querki itself sometime in the next year -- I fully expect that I'm gradually going to push the system to the point where it is *better* for discussion than LJ. And I cross-post all my LJ posts to FB, to notify people that I've posted.

Basically, LJ stood still. Aside from twiddling at the edges, it hasn't evolved much over the past decade, while the rest of the world has moved on. Facebook got much, much better at being a social network than LJ ever was, and other blogging platforms are beginning to slowly lap it in that regard. And so the community has fragmented.

Frankly, I mourn it mostly because the *correct* replacement hasn't arrived yet. What I want is a properly open social network that isn't owned by anybody -- an Internet to Facebook's Prodigy. And then I want an excellent, open blogging service built on *top* of that. That combination ought to provide the best of both worlds, but somebody has to build it. (Frankly, one of my top motivations to get Very Very Rich from Querki is to be able to do so...)
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[User Picture]From: laurion
2014-05-15 07:22 pm (UTC)
Oh, absolutely. As someone who still reads a few newsgroups, and logs into an IRC channel or two, and keeps an AIM account active, I'm not unfamiliar with communal drift. It's why I start by asking where people have gone, so I might have chance to follow.

So for now I continue posting to my own hosted WP and cross posted to the major places people may have gone, LJ, FB, Twitter, G+. Not crossposting to LinkedIn though, even if the crossposting tool does offer that as an option.

I've heard that Tumblr is picking up steam as a longform posting site. We'll see. It at least has a good mobile tool.

Oh, and when you move the dev blog into the tool itself, expect me to look into making an RSS feed of that too... I may not know what the 'right' places to post or to network are, but I certainly know the 'right' way for me to receive.
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[User Picture]From: jducoeur
2014-05-15 07:35 pm (UTC)
Yep -- being able to generate RSS is one of the prerequisites to me moving the dev blog, along with several enhancements to the conversation system. (In particular, moderation.)

Indeed, RSS is going to be one piece of a *major* Querki enhancement called "What's New", probably coming late this year. This will be a mix-in App that allows you to turn *any* Model into an RSS source. The blog use case is the simple one. Much more interesting is, for example, my Recipe Space -- it'll be able to easily generate an RSS feed of new Recipes.

Originally I thought What's New was just RSS, but it turns out to be much bigger than that -- it's basically the same module that will drive, eg, posting to FB, G+, Twitter and other sinks. Basically, it'll be a general notion of "this Model is a source of 'news'", and you can configure where it gets published to. I believe it's going to be crazy-powerful.

And wow, talk about coincidence -- as I previewed this comment, LJ just kicked me over to a new UI. We'll see what *that* is like...
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[User Picture]From: citabria
2014-05-27 08:13 pm (UTC)
There's a reason it's taken me so long to respond here -- and that's the same reason I haven't been on LJ much, in general: school.

I still like and read LJ, but have rarely had the time, wherewithal or words to post in the last couple of years. Heck, even keeping relatively up to date in my books posts has been a challenge!

I think many of us are on FB, but I don't think it's replaced LJ as a place for more substantive musings, updates, etc. It has helped me feel connected with folks during the past 4 years, though -- even if I couldn't write a paragraph on LJ, I could at least write a sentence fragment on FB. :/

I'm hoping to be around on LJ more in the coming weeks and months, especially as I try to detangle 4 years' worth of ... well, pretty much everything. I hope I'll be seeing you here, too!
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