Anonymous said: Why is LJ putting subject lines in comments a big deal?
Sure, why not! I was there! I can mostly answer this.
First it’s important to understand that they’re not simply putting subject lines into comments, they’re putting them back.
Second, let’s backtrack a second here.
There’s a quote going around tumblr that I love. About how fandom is the most technically rigorous test you can ever give your product.
Because fandom is actually fairly large, we’re smaller than some people think, but we’re larger than most assume. AND most of online fandom makes heavy use of interaction. We don’t just create output (fic, vids, gifs, etc), we don’t just ponder meta to ourselves, we don’t just wonder in our shower if that really WAS a monster cock under those tailored trousers. We go online and ask for second, third and twelfth opinions. We bounce ideas, squee, glee, anger, sadness, righteous fury, EMOTIONS, we bounce emotions and ideas off each other in ways I think other groupings don’t.
The question that comes up often is “why did fandom nest here and not there?” Well. A lot of it is what’s available at the time. Freely. (There can be paid options as well, but there needs to be a decent network of free services and capabilities.)
Fandom is incredibly adaptive. They don’t need (or at least have historically not gotten until recently) places designed exactly for their needs and unique forms of communication. Fandom is usually pretty happy with a 60% - 80% overlap of features originally implemented for the platform’s original use and what fandom wants from its platforms.
Fandom can adjust, adapt, test the limits, break it and then come back and go “okay we can do X, but only until Y and then we have to do Z” and we can make it work for us.
What happens is, options that fandom uses are not always considered vital options. Or cause maintenance issues that the maintainers of the product never expected and don’t know how to handle, or just don’t want to.
THEN invariably, an option disappears. Maybe the product is attempting to update for the times, maybe they have new management and want to go in different directions, maybe there really is a very small hint of ‘oh god get the porny weirdos out of our hair before the buyer comes in and kicks the tires!’.
BACK to the original question now.
On livejournal, subject lines were incorporated into the workings of many fannish pursuits because they were a way of being upfront about the content of the coming comment. Subject lines could include things like: fandom, pairing, rating, word counts, kink and/or meme prompt, trigger/content warnings. THESE were all especially helpful for active posts because eventually conversation threads were collapsed to save space and loading time. Fanfic memes meant to respond in comments became easier to search on your own. Etc.
When LJ took the subject lines away it was in the middle of a series of decisions that were very alienating to fandom already, from what I recall there was no warning and the reasoning was along the lines of ‘facebook doesn’t do it’. It’s what finally caused one of the larger mass migrations off LJ to other social networks and certain memes that had been born within the structure of the LJ comment page either came up with style work arounds that were pretty imperfect, rules to help compensate which were difficult to get right sometimes or they just moved entire because they liked the format they already had.
Basically when comment subject lines were removed, it literally broke about 1/3 of the fannish infrastructure.
As usual, there were thousands of comments asking why (from what I could tell the answers never really got better) and for opt outs or reversing it, but LJ staff remained firm that it was for the good of the Empire or whatever (yeah I’m getting pretty sarcastic here, LJ was being especially empty headed in some of its decisions at that point.)
This all happened before I completely dropped out of fandom for a while, so, YEARS ago. The reason why it’s so hilarious is it’s just a bit of too little too late and it’s fairly easy to imagine that a platform designed for interaction making it HARDER and then taking this long to figure maybe that’s not a great idea.
Preserving the tags, as a reminder to myself.
They picked some very poor choices for the Robin Williams memoriam at the Emmys. The Iranian woman joke was so racist and inappropriately selected and dragged into 2014 when you know Robin would not have wanted you to remember that one.
She pronounced his name wrong when announcing his Emmy win. That’s hilariously dumb. Her only job as presenter was to say his name. And she botched it.
P.S., She looked great though.
P.P.S., Tragic Kingdom