FS is moving!
So, as you may or may not have heard, due to these new comment changes on top of the old ones, FS will be shifting over to DW. I'm hoping to do it starting next Saturday. From then, the main posts will be over at the community on Dreamwidth.
But don't panic yet! It's not all too different.
Here's how it'll work:
0. There won't be any downtime. One post a day will continue!
1. The main post is on FS @ dreamwidth. Everything over there works pretty much the exactly same as it does over here on LJ, with the addition of a few important features (detailed below in the "why we're moving" section).
2. But don't worry, you won't miss your daily post even if you're sticking solely to LJ. I'll be updating FS @ LJ as well with a link to the post on DW. It'll be exactly what you see on every other FS post on the Recent Entries page (image #1 and a cut), except the cut will take you over to the main post over there. You'll still receive LJ notifications from LJFS and see when it updates on your friendlist and everything. You don't have to go anywhere!
3. Submissions posts will go up on DW, but since it's anon anyway, there's no need for you to make an account. If you are interested in making an account, it's still free, but it's not absolutely necessary. (For now/this week, keep using the LJ post. Everything in there will still go up next week after the move. All submissions posts after that will be on Dreamwidth, though.)
4. Comments will be over at DW, but openID is available and you can easily post with your LJID (info and links at the bottom of this post). Alternatively, if you have a DW account, you can remain logged into DW, just like with LJ - no need to log in/log out or flip back and forth or anything since they're two different sites and you can automatically remain logged in on different accounts on both.
5. FS archives on LJ will remain up, of course!
But why are we moving?
The basic, overarching reason: the direction LJ seems to be taking is one toward Facebook and away from a classic blogging system, and they have a long history (think years, not months) of not caring much about fandom in general even if we are a loyal, vocal part of their userbase. The platform is supposed to be for facilitating conversations and communities, and LJ's changes keep making that harder over here. From what I've seen of DW, they're doing that part of it right, at least.
Think about it this way: a whole lot of fandom is already over on DW. And while there might still be more of us on LJ than DW right now in terms of numbers, it seems like DW is where blog-based fandom is slowly but steadily going. Every new change LJ makes to the commenting system is making it harder and harder for fandom to stay here. A whole lot of big RPs and a bunch of kink memes - everything that relies on comments, like FS - have moved over to DW already, and it doesn't seem like a trend that will ever stop, at this point.
The main/immediate reasons (why now?) is that with LJ's new commenting system:
A) I can't mod the place properly (a lot of it due to the comment changes detailed in point B below). Whether you're here for wank or trolling or what, the fact of the matter is that FS is not supposed to be a no-holds-barred anon comm - and if that's what you're looking for, you're in the wrong place to begin with. There's most certainly a difference between fandom wank and other sorts of wank, if the non-fandom, unmoderated kind is what you're looking for, ask around for links - there are plenty of other places to find that stuff.
B) People can't read the place properly. When someone hits "...and 100 comments," they're stuck there expanding everything (with no idea whether they just expanded a single 100 comment thread, or 100 separate comment threads all at once). The alternative they have is to open up a new tab for every thread they want to follow - but this really shouldn't be necessary. It takes a whole lot of usability away from the comm, especially on mobile devices. "It looks ugly/I personally dislike it/I don't like the people" is one thing but it's of lower priority when compared to "I can't load all this" "I can't tell what people are responding to" "I expanded 100 comments full of surprise .gifs to see where the 'new reply' was and it wasn't anywhere near my own thread" - that makes basic usability really difficult for you guys.
The whole point is easy discussion: and this is why FS will never move to somewhere like Tumblr even with something like Disqus (covered below). Tumblr is bad for that - and LJ is going downhill.
What DW has (by default) that LJ doesn't:
The list keeps getting longer with each LJ release. This shouldn't be happening. Working around LJ to make all this available and to undo all the things that LJ has done is probably possible, but the point is that shouldn't be necessary either. And with all the changes that keep happening, who knows when workarounds will cease to work?
But why not Tumblr + Disqus?
While Disqus was meant to add commenting ability to pages with no comment functionality, it's obvious that it was created as an add-on and not meant to be the core part of any large discussion site. For small personal blogs, it seems to work fine. For an FS post with about 1000 comments? Not so much. It's not the functionality that's the problem with Tumblr + Disqus: it's the sheer scale.
Can comments happen? Yes - but: if you want an example of a site using Disqus, look at the the company's blog (this post has around 600 comments: FS on a slow day).
It looks nice on their corporate blog! But for FS's purposes, it's worse than LJ at this point.
But why not a poll?
Because with the changes LJ is making, FS is starting to lose its fundamental purpose.
I understand that the platform shift is a major change, and that some people will be unhappy about this. But it's not about deciding where FS will be hosted or simply a matter of convenience any more. DW seems to be the best platform right now to house FS as FS: "a secret comm with semi-moderated fandom discussion with easy user interactivity and communication being a huge and fundamental part of the whole."
When staying on LJ starts taking away from that, convenience and aesthetics unfortunately takes a backseat to "the whole intended point."
But why don't you just get more mods? I VOLUNTEER!
And I appreciate that, I really do!
But here's the explanation I gave to somebody before:
"[T]here are plenty of people willing, sure, but willing doesn't necessarily mean dedicated/capable/fair. Of course they might be! I'm sure some are, it's not like it's incredibly hard or anything.
But I also find lots of issues arise when a comm has multiple mods - personal drama, disagreements between mod decisions, timezone issues, people dividing workloads then assuming that since other people are there, they can just ask someone else to cover if they're busy, right? resulting in the others playing emergency patch-up instead of having been ready for it (it's not their day, why should they be?), cliqueish stuff, et cetera.
(FS has had multiple mods before. It's actually easier just doing everything alone.)"
All of the above is sort of especially important when it comes to comms dealing with wanky subjects (like most secret comms), and the thing is - it's not that I'm incapable of handling it alone. The volume of conversation isn't the problem - the usability of LJ itself and actually accessing that volume of conversation is the problem.
On top of that, "more mods" wouldn't really solve any of the other usability/readability problems for readers in section B of why we're moving.
But FS will die!
While I honestly don't think that will happen, it's won't say it's an impossibility.
What I can say is that even if it does, I'll probably still be there 'til the end. I've been doing this for over five years, every single day, and I can say it's absolutely no problem to me updating daily, whether there are 100 secrets in a day or 10, or 5. I remember back when it was five, and the comm had 10 watchers - it's not really about the numbers. This was never about popularity or whatever in the first place - actually, honestly, it was about trolling everybody.
"Man, imagine the wank if there was LJ Secret for fandom? WE SHOULD DO IT."
But then it exploded and turned into something a whole lot bigger which took way more time and effort to maintain - but I don't regret that a bit. Beyond all the petty wank, FS has provided entertainment for hundreds of people on a daily basis, served as an indirect news feed about everything going on in tons of different LJ fandoms, spawned a whole lot of spin-off comms of its own - and you guys have connected people, inspired them, educated them, made friends, saved lives -
That's pretty good, I'd say.
Besides, if FS goes to DW and dies, then well, that leaves a nice gap here on LJ for another fandom comm to fill, doesn't it? And if one does pop up that's better than everything else, I'd probably come follow it.
A collection of useful links!
FS on Dreamwidth
OpenID Guide (for those who want to comment to DW with their LJ accounts)
**Note: It's not mentioned, but you CAN upload icons to OpenIDs! Just log in and upload them like you usually would, you get up to 15. Example!**
General Guide to DW for LJ users
All Dreamwidth Guides
And as for what you can do to help - just two things.
1. Come along - if you like.
2. Spread the word!
If you have more questions about the move, feel free to throw them my way! The decision to move has already been made, but anything other than that, or anything regarding that - ask away. Can't promise I can respond to everything, but I'll be watching this post for sure.
Hope to see you then!
ETA: One of the first things I do want to do when FS moves over is an FS friending meme - for DW. Even if they don't use DW as a blog, people can re-add their LJ friends/find new interesting people over there!
ETA2: FSDW RSS feed for those who prefer that option!
ETA3: !! Whoever bought FS a paid account on DW, thank you!
Info on: Paid Accounts | Paid Communities
That's pretty awesome. In light of that, I'm opening up membership - members still won't be able to post, but you guys can get the community benefits!
ETA4: Test post, come spam!