the exodus bandwagon

It seems like twice a day, there's an entry on my friends-of-friends list that goes something like, "Dammit! I'm giving up on LiveJournal and writing on my own site from now on instead." Mostly the reason given for this seems to be "I'm tired of people actually reading and getting pissed off about the things I say, so if I make it a single click less convenient for them to see it, maybe those bad people will all go away and leave me alone."

I think that's really weird.

Maybe spring is just the time of year when young goths' hearts turn to thoughts of taking their toys and going home.

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17 Responses:

  1. stick_figure says:'re just starting to notice it, that's all. And it's not just goths, either. I'd say one out of 5 people threatens to quit livejournal on a weekly basis to get all their friends to beg them not to.

    I'm tired of people actually reading and getting pissed off about the things I say, so if I make it a single click less convenient for them to see it, maybe those bad people will all go away and leave me alone.
    You're on a roll today.

  2. dormando says:

    At least from what I've seen, people tend to make that complaint a lot six months to a year after getting their journal. Then they either learn to shut up and write anyway, or actually leave (although few do leave).
    The last major growth spurt was about a year ago, so yeah. Maybe? Maybe. I'd be fun to look at their journal creation dates and see if I'm talking out of my ass again, but most of the people I read have gotten past that point now. My friendsfriends page is also full of porn, so I don't look at it much.

    • jwz says:

      My friendsfriends page is also full of porn, so I don't look at it much.

      So of course I looked. Untrue! Yours is full of dumbass quiz results, just like mine. (But you get more anime-themed ones than I do.)

      • dormando says:

        Not always, but sometimes I go there and it's row after row of camgirl/teenager porn entries. It's like pulling russian roulette with your sanity.

        the rest, of course, is dumb quiz results and angst.

  3. icis_machine says:

    you've been trolling and making people cry again?

  4. decklin says:

    This reminded me of your earlier entry about ways of dealing with information ("subscribe", "mark as read", etc). I think that hackers tend to agree with this view: information as an abstract thing and the different websites or different clients required to process it as just warts in the implementation. The only reason I don't have more things syndicated a la LJ or gatewayed to mail is laziness (I've written a small program to fetch my web comics for me and that's about it). However, I take for granted that the interface (or where I have to look for it) of anything can be changed.

    With normal users it seems somehow different. If the interface appears to be magic, then questions of "where" or "how" actually mean something apart from "I should factor that out somehow". This is the only way I can explain people in <lj user="suggestions"> insisting that being able to prevent someone from adding you to their friends list would be a good thing (despite the fact that it has no effect on security) just because it's "more trouble" to go and read someone's lastn view separately. Everyone I know in real life who has a website has had more than one, usually simultaneously, in more than one place. (The one I mention at the top of my home page is on her second LJ account.) I bought my girlfriend a domain two months ago and she hasn't moved a single thing to it from other accounts on big popup-supported free servers. I've tried to understand this, but never suceeded.

    All I can think of is that to most people, the friends view is Deep Magic and not "well duh, why didn't someone do this earlier". It sort of extends to computers in general. I see them as tools, not incomprehensible black boxes, but then that makes me weird.

    • jwz says:

      I think you're probably right that a lot of people just look at it as deep magic. But convenience really is a factor, and these people are probably right that, if they move their journal off of LJ, they'll get far fewer readers, because there will be fewer people who will bother to click that extra link. So if that's their goal, I guess it works.

      For now. Until LJ rolls out some RSS or screen-scraping hack.

      These people are going to be really freaked when, five years from now, they encounter their own version of Deja Google ressurecting the jurassic Usenet archives, when something long-forgotten comes back...

      • twid says:

        What I think is really interesting is that the people that are big into the Weblogging "scene" (Dave Winer, Doc Searls, Mark Pilgrim, just as random examples) all have weblogs that cannot accept comments.

        On the one hand accepting comments inevitably leads to trolling and abuse, Slashdot style. On the other hand, it creates a strange one-way set of conversations, where the only way to comment on someone else's entry is to link to it and talk about it in your weblog. Much of Dave's weblog consists of entries like this. It's a horribly inefficient way to hold a conversation. It's a great way to stroke your own ego, though, since (I think) by the act of taking someone idea or statement and weblogging it, you mentally take some ownership of that idea for yourself. Much like a DJ takes pride in playing other people's music. 8-)

        Now, I know livejournal isn't purely a weblog system, it's also more of a community in the old BBS sense. But, for most weblogging systems, it seems that the future of the net will be a bunch of people talking to each other but not listening.

        • jwz says:

          it seems that the future of the net will be a bunch of people talking to each other but not listening.

          Sounds like the human condition to me!

          I expect there will always be both; it's the community of LJ that's the most interesting part. But it's not super-conducive to feeling like a "pundit", I suppose, if that's what you're looking for.

          I don't have any mechanism for public comments on my log over on the DNA site, and I guess my gut instinct is that it would just not be a very good idea. I haven't really formulated a coherent argument against it (I haven't needed to) but it smells like trouble.

        • atakra says:

          By accepting comments, I assume you mean "anonymous" comments. In my case (and being a recent LJ user), I began immediately getting very negative anonymous comments from people who had linked to it from my medium-traffic long-time personal site at . Most of these comments had little or nothing constructive to say, so turning off the anonymous post functionality seemed like the obvious leap.
          If someone wants to flame me on a public board, I'd prefer that I knew more about them that their anonymous status and IP address.
          If you want to flame me, buy a livejournal account already!

          • twid says:

            No, the sites I mentioned don't allow comments at all, although through RSS you can kinda, sorta link their comment to your comment in your journal, but it's really, really a kludge.

            So, my point was that it is a bit ironic that people like Doc Searles in the Weblog community, whose "Cluetrain Manifesto" says that "the internet is a conversation", has a weblog that is one way.

            That said, I can see the purpose of three types of weblogs:
            - One way

            Appropriate for announcement type stuff like jwz's announcement log for DNA

            - Two way with no anonymity

            Appropriate for friendly conversation or for folks who don't want to deal with flames.

            - Two way with anonymity

            Appropriate for discussion of sensitive topics where anonymity is useful.

            You can add more complexity to this with features like moderation, but I just wanted to explain my original point...

            - Twid

  5. octal says:

    I suppose the number of "I want to leave" postings goes up after major outages, too.

    I would happily run my own server IFF friends functionality could be syndicated across servers, using something a bit better than RSS.