Goss (gossymer) wrote,
Goss
gossymer

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Friends, LJ, Fandom and Lurking

In my teen years, I didn't really care much about boys and my nose was pretty much always stuck in a book. On some level, I think I did feel a bit lonely and depressed since while I had the same group of friends for years (elevator system school so same peeps all the way till high school), though we chatted about school activities and went out, there wasn't that strong a connection since while most friends were all into dating and gossip, I seriously couldn't care less.

And then at some point my BFF connected with me. She'd call and my family would wonder how many times and for how long she could talk in a day XD Looking back it was very much a fandom relationship - we squeed about books, and created fanfics that we talked about on the phone - mostly it was LotR, X-Men, Newsies and general fantasy. We were even members of a Newsie mailing list for a brief spell. She really helped draw me out of my shell and considering how much of an anti-social bookworm I could be at times, she had endless patience IMO.

Got a bit better with relationships, and highschool ended up being rather awesome for the most part (Sleepovers! Outings! Awesome picnics!). However, entering college and moving across continents kind of changed things, so suddenly, while I had new RL friends, didn't really have anyone I could talk to about fandom stuff anymore.

By chance I stumbled across LJ while following after a Gundam Wing fanfic- and ended up joining on New Year's Eve of 2005 with the username gsd82. Yes, I used a bunch of letters and numbers - as a lurker who never really commented, I doubted my username really mattered. And yeah, I spent my first New Year in the USA with my sister and my laptop and was pretty happy about it XD Since then though, I haven't actually been on LJ on New Year's and so haven't really gotten to celebrate my LJ anniversary much.

But over time, I found that while I'd come for the fanfic et all, I had actually found like minded people who yes, in some cases wrote fanfic, but even more than that, were people who loved reading it and talking about characters and ships and fandoms. While I'd seen it all on forums, the division between fanworks and people was blurred and I found myself wanting to make a connection. I remember while there was wank, people like bookshop were just so friendly and awesomesauce that I kept coming back over the months.

So stuck with LJ and ended up making my first post in Fall 2005. Knowing mysef, I doubted it would amount to much. Ended up posting icons, getting familiar with how LJ worked, lurking and friending 200+ ljs and slowly starting to comment and participate in comms. The release of the HP books over the years definitely made the difference I think. Updates, reactions, squee, fanworks, discussions, they all helped bind me to LJ and I found myself posting more about my main OTP.

And over the years there were other shows and fandoms to also squee about, if not actively participate in. Was still very much a lurker despite activity in HP. Over the months, blogging on LJ helped satisfy not only my interest in fanworks but also that need for a fandom outlet, to be able to post about shiny discoveries and experiences on the fandom side.

I think it was towards the end of 2006/start of 2007 that I started getting into the habit of posting every other day, though there were days with multiple posts. There have been dry spells since then, where RL gets crazy busy but generally I don't think I'll ever need to participate in NaNoBloMo since blogging has become a part of the day, as has checking the flist.

Since the release of the final HP book, a lot of the flist has diversified into other fandoms and as much as I continue to love HP, the multi-fandomness of interests definitely makes me happy - I'd rather see friends finding more fandoms to love, than leaving fandom entirely. I do notice a drop in the level of activity though - expecially since I haven't transferred over to any of the new popular fandoms that have risen like Merlin. But I guess that's okay, since I still can't quite keep up with what's going on on the flist. I end up going "wait, what?" and have to check recent posts about new stuff that's happened. So maybe its a good thing that activity isn't so crazy high on an everyday basis XD

These days, I try to condense stuff into the bullet!single posts to spare the flist the spammage >_> Things have gotten more streamlined over the years - tracking tags, filtering out communities from the default view flist etc. but I still get that sense of community on LJ that isn't available on wordpress and blogspot.

Another thing that's also pretty much stayed the same has been my guilt over lack of commenting. Apart from posting, I still don't actually comment anywhere as much as I wish I would. Usually just don't have much worth saying beside \o/ or D: which seems so pointless most of the time. I'm always in awe of people who manage to reply to every comment, including the ones that are a variation of "me like!"

This year I've tried to reply to comments more on my lj (sort of an unofficial new year's resolution) but with mixed results. Still, as long as I can get into the habit of replying and commenting more, its good.

I love that there's meta on metafandom about lurking and how its the norm. I do wish I could meet some those who lurk here, but considering how I rarely comment myself, I find the quiet kind of to be expected in that case. And I think half the time I get into a long comment discussion, there's a certain foot-in-mouth syndrome that plagues me and I either say the wrong thing or the tone is all weird *facepalms* Lurking feels less stressful all around TBH. And I do manage to find new ways to continue to lurk - lj tracking, rss etc. so my footprint is even more invisible in some situations.

Do wanna note that there are times when comments from lurkers make me go "oh hey, person X is actually intersted in topic Y, how cool is that?" and when I stumble across that topic in future I'm more inclined to blog about it since peeps do seem interested. I think 'cause of the randomness of my interests, I worry that the flist sometimes just wants to yell "OMG STFU" *facepalms*

I kinda wonder how things will change over the next year or two. Nowadays I crosspost pretty much everything to DW so maybe in future DW might become my primary blog and LJ my secondary? Maybe there'll be a new major fandom that sweeps me up like HP did, or maybe I'll just continue flittng about and rambling on about shiny new things and hope people don't mind the continued randomness of it all XD
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