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16 November 2018 @ 01:24 am
A little late night rambling.  
Taken from author_by_night's list of writing prompts:

Fandom: Do you prefer focusing on fanworks, meta, or do you like helpings of both?

I honestly love both because they provide some variety from fandom.

Unfortunately, the presence of meta has been very slim in recent years. When fandom dominated spaces like LJ, meta was very common place and an essential piece of fannish discussions. Whether it was examining canon, questioning character motivations, looking at particular pairings (canon or not), understanding the meaning behind the messages of the source material, it allowed fans to properly engage and exercise expressing their thoughts, opinions, theories and speculations on things and see other viewpoints as well. I remember making a lot of friends through these kinds of discussions, I even contributed in making some of my own back in the day. You could usually find posts linked through fandom newsletters and engage from there. However, nowadays, meta discussions are incredibly rare, whether it's due to the lack of active fandom communities or people thinking that nobody cares and therefore don't really bother to write anything. It sucks, because I think these kinds of posts and discussions make everyone more interactive with each other.

This brings me to the community on Tumblr, which is where most of fandom seems to reside nowadays, as unfortunate as that is. Fanwork is rampant over there, which is nice, but it's near impossible to actually have a decent discussion without it devolving into an exhausting wankfest. While drama has always been present in fandom no matter what platform, the way Tumblr is designed isn't really a proper way of having any kind of discussion, especially of the constructive kind. And while there can be good meta on there from time to time, without the possibility of archiving individual entries and comment threads, most of what gets posted often gets lost in the void or hijacked by individuals who lack any understanding of critical thinking skills.

As for elsewhere, meta still does exist since fandom these days is so fragmented and spread out finding both fanworks and meta can be found on multiple different places. And I do enjoy looking and reading them whenever I do come across them, this also includes visual mediums like video essays that examine pieces of media. But it's just a different kind of vibe than how it used to be back in the day, at least on here.
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verdande_miverdande_mi on November 16th, 2018 12:02 pm (UTC)
Many great points here! "And while there can be good meta on there from time to time, without the possibility of archiving individual entries and comment threads, most of what gets posted often gets lost in the void or hijacked by individuals who lack any understanding of critical thinking skills" - this is so true and very sad, as an actual discussion brings so much to table for everyone who takes part, whether they agree or disagree. Much of what seems to be going on now is just people with different point of veiws jammering on and on, not bothering to take what the other part is saying to mind at all.
author_by_night: LeslieBen by nuv0le_rapideauthor_by_night on November 16th, 2018 05:00 pm (UTC)
- this is so true and very sad, as an actual discussion brings so much to table for everyone who takes part, whether they agree or disagree.

It does. It's especially a shame when it's people I know are perfectly capable of it, because at some point I have to suspect they're being willfully dismissive of the other person's right to have an opinion, rather than just missing the point. Which I think is worse. Missing the point? Irritating, but fine. It happens. Just not caring that you're accusing someone of (slew of possibilities here) because you refuse to even read what they just said if it's anything other than "I agree"? That's not okay.

And sometimes it's not even argumentative, just irritating. Or even just really odd. A while ago I added my comments to a meta post. The person I was replying to launched into an almost entirely unrelated spiel. It was... bizarre. Totally in good spirits, absolutely no drama whatsoever, it was just so off base that I'm not sure the person even read my comment. I think they just saw I replied and started typing. Which makes it hard to have a conversation.

Edited at 2018-11-16 05:11 pm (UTC)
verdande_miverdande_mi on November 26th, 2018 10:54 am (UTC)
It's been a topic here in Norway recently that we haven't really found a norm or set of rules in how we talk and treat each other through comments online yet. But I mean, you do get a long way with common decency. It all feels so polorized to me and so many people are just stuck within their own opinion and understanding of the world, and won't listen at all.
Renée: Elementary. Joan Watson.rogueslayer452 on November 16th, 2018 05:47 pm (UTC)
Much of what seems to be going on now is just people with different point of veiws jammering on and on, not bothering to take what the other part is saying to mind at all.

Exactly, it's just people ranting about how they're right and everyone else is wrong. Which isn't new in terms of fandom wank by any means, but it's still frustrating all the same. It's an immature black and white mentality that has bled throughout the fandom community as a whole and, plus the lack of reading comprehension along with not thinking critically, it leaves absolutely no room to actually have a constructive conversation with. Some just want to be argumentative for the sake of it, which adds nothing of value to the actual discussion.
verdande_miverdande_mi on November 26th, 2018 10:57 am (UTC)
It is frustrating and overall I do think it is a bit scary as the same is happening in media, debates and politics in general, it's not just happening in the fandom-corner of the world. So much gets lost if we can show each other the respect of actually listening and being willing to be open to reconcider our own stance when it doesn't hold up. But also, to learn that different opinions can co-excist just fine!

Critical thinking should be thought in school!
author_by_night: From Pexelsauthor_by_night on November 16th, 2018 04:38 pm (UTC)
. However, nowadays, meta discussions are incredibly rare, whether it's due to the lack of active fandom communities or people thinking that nobody cares and therefore don't really bother to write anything. It sucks, because I think these kinds of posts and discussions make everyone more interactive with each other.

I think it's a vicious cycle. I remember in the LJ heyday that people would often bounce off of each other- in the comments as well as subsequent posts. So you'd write a post about Y, which would make me think about X, and then a mutual friend might talk about X and Y. That can't happen if the discussion dies with one post (which only has one comment - at most). Like you said, people would also make friends through the discussion, which meant MORE discussion. And most communities really haven't been meta-friendly since... honestly, I first noticed this in 2007 when I was (very briefly) in the Heroes fandom. Tumblr does do reblogging, which is kind of similar to the way we used to bounce off of each other, and yet it's different because there aren't comments, and even reblogging is often just reblogging.And like you mention, it's so easy for one comment to spiral way out of control. That did sometimes happen on LJ, but... I feel it was more contained.

And honestly, on the LJ side of things again... LJ really isn't a great place for deep dives in general anymore. It's definitely far more focused on the day-to-day of people's lives, which makes any sort of "involved" post trickier.

You could usually find posts linked through fandom newsletters and engage from there.

I LOVED that.

There's Reddit, but I find Reddit is difficult because of the points. I'll find a really good thread near the bottom because for whatever reason, there aren't enough points/upvotes. Meanwhile, stuff that's less discussion heavy will be at the top. Also, it's very forum-like, and for all I miss forums... I'm finding that I have the same issue with a lot of subreddits that I did a lot of forums. (Mods who think they're the second coming of Christ, lazy/indifferent mods who allow shit to stir or even DO the shit stirring... it's like "oh, THAT'S why I got into LJ.") However, forums also had more of a sense of community than I find there is on Reddit. I knew who those people were, and a lot of them became LJ friends. I have no idea who person1234 is. :/ So tl;dr, while reddit has its perks, it also has some of the worst of forums, and lacks some of the best thing about them.

Edited at 2018-11-16 05:09 pm (UTC)
Renée: Pretty Little Liars. Spencer Hastings.rogueslayer452 on November 16th, 2018 06:25 pm (UTC)
and yet it's different because there aren't comments, and even reblogging is often just reblogging

Yeah, because even though the only aspect of "commenting" on something that isn't adding something to the post itself is just saying something in your tags when reblogging a particular post, it's not really the same as engaging. Basically, Tumblr is harder to interact with on many levels because the site was never designed for that kind of function. It was a photo sharing site before fandom migrated there and had to find loopholes, but that has then altered how people try to talk and now the art of healthy debates and sensible discussions has been lost. It still exists when you find the right people and right posts, but like I mentioned most times it's just lost in the void (and a lot of times I want to reblog something but can't because I don't want to reblog it with all the nonsensical comments people have made on it, but I can't find the original post because the op deleted their journal or the post itself, which is another conundrum altogether).

Also, the fact that Tumblr posts are only viewed for how many notes it has. Just because a post has thousands of notes doesn't mean that a person agrees with said post, or even that there's a conversation going on at all. It can be quite deceptive.

LJ really isn't a great place for deep dives in general anymore. It's definitely far more focused on the day-to-day of people's lives, which makes any sort of "involved" post trickier.

And that makes me sad because I find I personally connect better with people who express their thoughts and opinions on similar interests. It doesn't even have to particularly be fandom-centric, just thoughts on television, movies, books, anything in media or other kinds of related interests. Connecting through those kinds of posts is what gets me to know people better than reading the typical "everyday" type of posts, which can be alright every once in a while, but I sometimes find those tedious and boring. Which I feel bad for saying because many of my flisters do post about their daily lives, but most of them manage to balance it out by talking about other things, too. And that's kind of what LJ bad been back in the day, a mixture of fandom and real life and other random things, which I found great.

So tl;dr, while reddit has its perks, it also has some of the worst of forums, and lacks some of the best thing about them.

That's how I feel about it, too. I only go there for some things, but for the most part it's not something I go for engaging conversation, if that makes sense.

Edited at 2018-11-16 07:34 pm (UTC)
author_by_night: LeslieBen by nuv0le_rapideauthor_by_night on November 16th, 2018 08:42 pm (UTC)
The irony of tumblr is that I actually had an account when it was fairly new; we had to start accounts in a media class I was taking, and I actually said it would never take off because it was just photos and "reblogging". My argument was that it was trying to be both LiveJournal AND Facebook. Little did I know...

but that has then altered how people try to talk and now the art of healthy debates and sensible discussions has been lost.

Yeah, which is sad. I have a few friends on social media who've clearly gone into the tumblr way of discussion, and it makes it near impossible to interact with them.

ts. Connecting through those kinds of posts is what gets me to know people better than reading the typical "everyday" type of posts, which can be alright every once in a while, but I sometimes find those tedious and boring.

Yeah, I... completely agree. I actually find it can be hard to get to know some people who are SO day-to-day, there's not even a lot of context unless you've been following them forever or know them personally. I don't mind people only talking about RL if they provide context and even if it's not always my interest level (which is a fact of life, not every subject interests every person), I can still engage. But I don't know how to engage with some of the things people sometimes post constantly.

What I really don't understand are when people go "I prefer when people only talk about their daily lives because I want to know them." Isn't it pretty normal to bond with people through common interests?

It's related to my gripe about memes and even blog prompts, since anymore so many simply ask about the most mundane things. I'm especially always confused when it's blog prompts or LJ 30 Day things. Also because... I mean, how is "what's your favorite color?" going to inspire an entry longer than one word, maybe three words? I guess you could write a deep essay about the different ways the color blue has affected your life, that actually sounds interesting, but I don't think that's what they're going for either.

Edited at 2018-11-16 08:58 pm (UTC)
Renée: Inara Serra. Radiance.rogueslayer452 on November 17th, 2018 05:56 am (UTC)
That is so interesting that you had a Tumblr account before it became, well, quite big as it is now. I don't think I've known anyone who knew about Tumblr before fandom migrated there.

I have a few friends on social media who've clearly gone into the tumblr way of discussion, and it makes it near impossible to interact with them.

Yeah, even some of the more rational people on Tumblr have ended up going the way of that kind of discussion (or lack thereof) and even some of the toxic mentality there, as well. It's quite alarmingly sad seeing how much conversation has devolved. Yes, I understand and even use the in-jokes and humor featured on the site, but I also know how and when to engage in a serious discussion.

I actually find it can be hard to get to know some people who are SO day-to-day, there's not even a lot of context unless you've been following them forever or know them personally.

Exactly. I don't mind specific IRL things that people post about, like particular problems or situations they're currently going through and where I can actually comment about my own experiences with or even offer advice/support. However, with day-to-day posts I feel like there is nothing substantial I can add, so I just don't comment and merely only skim through the post itself and move on. This is true for newer friends, because I'm not going to read through your past multiple posts just to get context of what the hell you're talking about. It becomes more of a chore than actually fun to read, which is already a bad start.

(This is also why I don't talk that much about IRL stuff, I'll make the occasional post here and there about specific things but otherwise my life is so uninteresting that I don't want to bore people with something that is generic.)

What I really don't understand are when people go "I prefer when people only talk about their daily lives because I want to know them." Isn't it pretty normal to bond with people through common interests?

I know, right? We've talked about this before, but it's still bothers me. Connecting through mutually shared interests like a love of certain movies/television/media or hobbies is what people do. I get to know people better through that. I mean, sure, knowing about IRL stuff can be a bonus and I don't mind it every now and then, but dismissing anything that talks about other things outside of that? Is unrealistic.

If you're not that involved with fandom or not a fandom person in general? Fine. But I still want to talk with you about television, movies, books, etc, because that's how I connect with people.

Also because... I mean, how is "what's your favorite color?" going to inspire an entry longer than one word, maybe three words?

Seriously. I don't really bother with those kinds of memes/questionnaire/writing prompts for that reason. I want to have questions that provoke thoughtful answers, not something that is very generic that doesn't give me a chance to elaborate my thoughts.
Driver Picks the Musicbatmarg on November 16th, 2018 06:31 pm (UTC)
Meta is my preference on fandom things, but you're right: it isn't the same since the old lj days. Thankfully, mom likes discussing literature & occasionally tv/movies, so I get a little of it at home
Renéerogueslayer452 on November 16th, 2018 07:58 pm (UTC)
Same here, with me and my sister who also loves to discuss fandom/fannish things as well. :) But I do miss the LJ side of fandom a whole lot, there was so much activity here of a wide variety. I get it where I can, though.
author_by_night: LeslieBen by nuv0le_rapideauthor_by_night on November 16th, 2018 09:02 pm (UTC)
I have a very close friend who is actually still on LJ, but not that often, who I can talk about fandom stuff with. We actually met through fandom, though way before LiveJournal. (I made her get an account after I'd been into it for a while.) So that's nice. But we actually both agree that we'd like other places to discuss things.
Jessicaimpala_chick on November 17th, 2018 09:40 pm (UTC)
I miss meta too! I have found a couple discord channels for Teen Wolf that are pretty fun to engage in meta conversations with others. Tumblr is just terrible for meta - the way tagging works, everything is open for wank :/
Renéerogueslayer452 on November 18th, 2018 02:17 am (UTC)
Tumblr is just terrible for meta - the way tagging works, everything is open for wank :/

Yep, and it's quite frightening. I mean, like I said, fandom wank has always occurred no matter so it's nothing incredibly new to encounter, but when it comes to Tumblr where there is no moderation, people can be easily targeted to getting attacked simply for having an opinion or viewpoint about something. There is no way of controlling that because it's not a containable environment like other sites are.
katie: thor | goddess of deathreys on November 19th, 2018 05:14 pm (UTC)
Tumblr has definitely gotten under my skin over the last few years because I feel like I gotta question and overanalyze any kind of meta I put out there in fear of getting attacked. So I instead just huddle with my group of 1-3 fandom folks and talk about fannish things. I miss LJ discussions because it was just much easier to meet people, have safe discussions and yeah, there was always some level of discourse but I felt like it was easier to filter out some of that stuff or at least there was an effort to control it.

I started talking more about my day to day a few years ago even though I thought like, what do people care about my day to day? I don't mind writing about it or sharing some big things but sometimes things just take too darn long to explain and I don't want to suck people down into one long rant about something. I'd rather talk about what excites me like the potential title of Avengers 4 or why I made a Bucky Sim in Sims 4 and it's totally inspired me to write a different kind of NaNoWriMo. I was always into rarepairs (before Marvel) so my audience was limited then.

So I just kind of feel like it's made me more tired of trying to talk here on LJ about some of these fannish things not because I think everyone will be like THIS IS DUMB but more like, it's just not as engaging to my general audience anymore the way it was like 10-odd years ago.

Anyways RAMBLES, I agree tho with all points.
Renée: Haven. Audrey Parker.rogueslayer452 on November 21st, 2018 08:04 am (UTC)
Tumblr has definitely gotten under my skin over the last few years because I feel like I gotta question and overanalyze any kind of meta I put out there in fear of getting attacked.

Yeah. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Tumblr for the fannish creations, but having any kind of discussion is near impossible because everyone must try to police you in some way. Not that hasn't happened in other places, but Tumblr is easily susceptible to this because there is no structure to how that site operates due to the lack of moderation and containment. The way people behave over there can be downright atrocious.

I miss LJ discussions because it was just much easier to meet people, have safe discussions and yeah, there was always some level of discourse but I felt like it was easier to filter out some of that stuff or at least there was an effort to control it.

This is the reason why I'm still on LJ, because while most of fandom has migrated elsewhere, I find that I'm able to have decent and sensible discussions safe from any scrutiny that exist on places like Tumblr. Even back during LJ's heyday where fandom dominated this site, despite all the fandom wank that occurred all of that could be self-contained especially on your own journal where you could filter things to your liking. LJ might not be as meta-filled as it used to be but I still like talking about things (fandom, television, movies, etc) with people, to not only write about my own thoughts but to also converse with others who have their own opinions too. This is why my LJ is my safe space to talk about such things.

And listen, I understand the feeling about feeling less wanting to talk about fannish things when you know that your flist isn't as fannish as it used to be. But please, don't feel discouraged about posting about the stuff you're excited about! I love those kinds of posts. :D
author_by_night: LeslieBen by nuv0le_rapideauthor_by_night on November 27th, 2018 02:36 pm (UTC)
I think fandom wank was also easier to manage on LJ. I actually got a LOT of wank years ago. * However, no one reblogged, so I was able to just make a certain entry private and delete my LJ for about a week until someone else did something that got wank. Now, I hate to think what I'd have to do to come back from exactly that. And really, while I did do something kinda shitty, (a) wording made it out like I did something way worse than what I actually did, and it wasn't until years had passed that I realized what people thought I meant and why that made them angry, and (b) I truly was acting out of naivete. I was not at all used to LJ fandom, and in the corners of fandom I was used to, my opinion was actually widely accepted and agreed with. Plus, honestly, I was a dumb 20 year old who, in some ways, was a very "young" twenty. So now I think about similar situations on tumblr, and it makes me cringe, because they end up getting chased out of fandom since things are reblogged.

... I suddenly feel the need to say that my opinion was in no way racist, sexist, transphobic or anything else. It essentially was me thinking something was morally questionable due to the kinks involved.

Edited at 2018-11-27 02:38 pm (UTC)