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23 August 2007 @ 14:38
Open social networking & how to work around that problem now  
So I spent my lunch hour distracting myself from the black hole that is my workday by reading Wired blogs as I often do. (I'm a HUGE fan of Wired.com; I read it almost every day. Although it was kind of unsettling when Strikethrough hit the Wired blogs in May.)

Today I came across this: Brad Fitzpatrick, The Creator Of LiveJournal, On The Long Road To Open Social Networks

You know, seriously? I think Brad needs to talk to fandom if he wants a demographic to test this possibility on. I mean, frankly, a lot of what he's talking about addresses our concerns about fandom fragmenting across various journaling sites. The only thing that gives me hesitation is any suggestion that crops up about 6A being involved. I have massive trust issues with them at the moment. Obviously. (Although I think it'd be funny for 6A to try to police underage fanworks on open source social networking. *snerk* Because, hi, that'd be a totally lost cause there.)

For more info on what Brad's thinking of, check out this article on his site: Thoughts on the Social Graph

I've talked to a lot of people lately who are really seriously worried about fandom fragmenting. With very good cause. This whole situation lately is more than a bit nerve-wracking. It's just...honestly, I think we'll settle into a way of keeping track of multiple flists on multiple sites much the way Brad's already envisioning, albeit perhaps a little more roughly. Y'all, we're sort of on the forefront of the Next Big Social Networking Adventure. You and me and all of fandom. 6A's kind of thrown us out there, you know? What Brad's talking about doing? It's what we have to do. By necessity, not choice.

I find that incredibly intriguing in many ways. And exciting. And liberating. I look at my two flists sometimes and you know what? The fragmentation between them doesn't destroy my love of fandom or my desire to participate or interact. In fact, it does the opposite. I'm invigorated by fandom again because it's a challenge. Because, whatever their reasons behind it may be, 6A management has effectively thrown the gauntlet down and said Fine, screw you, you want your fandom? You work for it, bitch. And my response? Hell, yeah, I will. You've just gone and given me a reason to now.

Sometimes change is good. Sometimes we need to be shaken out of our comfortable state so that we can grow more, instead of just stagnating. But that's not always easy. And it can be very tiring. Believe me, I know.

Right now I feel like an explorer. Livejournal is my home country and I love it even when it's being dickish. (I'll refrain from making any Barak as Bush parallels.) Insanejournal? It's a new frontier. A fannish colony, with all the excitement and fervor that new explorations hold. Honestly, it reminds me so very much of the early days on LJ for fandom--and I LOVE that.

But. I don't want to lose my roots and contact with the family staying here, you know? I want to tie my home country and my colony together. The thing is...with a wee bit of effort, I can.

A lot of this stuff Brad talks about we can already do in a rough form with tools that we have in place. Most of us already use chatting, whether AIM or IRC or GoogleChat or Y!M. We don't need that function in a social network. A huge majority of us uses gmail as well. More and more of us are setting up Twitter accounts, which is basically micro-journaling via text message. So we have a fairly centralized communications network. Which is awesome.

What we need is the ability to track journals and to comment between services. BUT! We've already got that with OpenID and RSS feeds. It takes some time to set them up, but using them, you could theoretically consolidate your LJ and IJ flists onto one journal service. And comment back and forth between. Using one journal service. Whichever you choose. Whichever you're more comfortable with.

If people don't know it yet, you can comment back and forth between Insanejournal and Livejournal using OpenID. You can also have icons--up to 100 on IJ, I believe--and be friended on other sites via OpenID so that you can see flocked posts. Right now OpenID doesn't work on GreatestJournal because they don't support the function, and I'm not certain about JournalFen...although they're planning upgrades, I believe.

cmshaw has a fabulous tutorial on how to use OpenID here. I highly recommend going and reading it. And passing the link around.

You can also keep track of LJs and IJs using the RSS feature. stewardess has a tutorial here on how to set up feeds between journals. You follow the same procedures on IJ, but the syndication page is here instead: http://www.insanejournal.com/syn/

To test this, I set up a feed of my insanejournal. http://syndicated.livejournal.com/femmequixoticij/profile will let someone on LJ friend a syndicated feed of my public IJ posts.

Here's a how-to on syndicating just specific tags for your journal. So if you wanted to do an RSS feed of your fic, for example, you could syndicate a "fic" tag and it would only RSS those posts tagged "fic". You'll just need to publicize the tag.

And if you use GoogleReader, here's how to pull LJ feeds into it, including flocked posts for people who've got you friended. I don't know if it works for IJ too, I suspect it doesn't, but all it would take would be someone who can code coming up with something like this that's geared towards IJ.

Note that if you use a RSS news reader like GoogleReader (web-based--a plus, especially for Macheads or people who use multiple comps--you can keep track of feeds at work, for instance) or FeedReader (Win only), you have to add a feed for each journal you want to follow as LJ and IJ don't RSS flists. Yeah. Pain in the arse if you've got a big flist. But still. Doable with a bit of setup.

GoogleReader also has a Firefox add-on that tells you how many unread feeds you have.

I'd also recommend browsing through the feeds tag over at the 07refugees community on IJ. There are some good tips there and in the comments.

We can do this, y'all. Sure it means that we have to change and morph and pull ourselves out of the status quo. And that's hard. Trust me, I know; I'm a Taurus. Status quo is me. *G* BUT. We can be the ones out there on the cusp of open social networking. We could help change the Internet. Not corporations. Not CEOs. US. The end-users.

And seriously? HOW AWESOME IS THAT?
 
 
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Дженнифер: Ron / strengthzhonnika on 23rd August 2007 19:01 (UTC)
Thanks for the links! I really think this is a step in the right direction. I want to stop worrying about the shit we CAN'T do and start focusing on the shit we CAN do (cross posting, feeds, etc.). This is a whole great way to make that easier.

burdened with glorious purposefemmequixotic on 23rd August 2007 19:06 (UTC)
It's just really gotten me excited, I have to say. I love that Brad's broaching the subject right now...it just ties into what we as a fandom need. And there's so much we can do. It's going to take a bit of work to set it up, but I think if we do...the worries about fragmentation are going to ease.

And it's a positive step. We've been mired in so much negativity this month in fandom. I think it's time to look at what options are available to us and implement them. It's up to us to keep fandom together. And I really strongly believe we can do it.
just heather: ravenclaw keiraheather on 23rd August 2007 19:24 (UTC)
Here via friendsfriends; hope you don't mind. :) But thanks for the links! I've just recently sort of discovered what rss feeds and OpenID even do, so this is all a bit daunting, but it seems like the best and most compatible way to keep track of everything and everyone, which is what's scared me the most about what's been happening lately. My f-list isn't even that huge, but I certainly don't want to lose anyone -- not to mention all the lurking for fic that I do. :p Anyway, thanks for aggregating this info! :)
thermidorthermidor on 23rd August 2007 22:09 (UTC)
Agreed. And thanks!
Amazing Little Ecosystemwinterthunder on 24th August 2007 03:13 (UTC)
Y'know, it's not the idea of change that I have a problem with, it's the effort of moving. The timing on this whole thing just could not have been worse...
squirrelitudesquirrelitude on 24th August 2007 13:49 (UTC)
API
I'd like to note that any site with an open API is a good candidate. For example, if both LJ and IJ allow API access (REST, SOAP, what have you), then a Firefox extension could be created that automatically synchronizes and manages both accounts in lockstep.

I'm imagining a tool that would allow seamless interaction between the two services, add new friends to your Google Reader and Syndicated feeds, etc.

There is precedent for interaction between competing/complementary sites. For example, I use a photo-sharing site called Zooomr that was created in reaction to Flickr. Now they are working on allowing seamless cross-site commenting, primarily based on OpenID.
topaz: kayleetopaz119 on 25th August 2007 01:02 (UTC)
Thanks very much for the collection of links; it all looks v. v. helpful.
Take my pride, but you can't take my sandwich: Fandom - Life's too short for only one pdragovianknight on 25th August 2007 01:10 (UTC)
(here via metafandom

6A management has effectively thrown the gauntlet down and said Fine, screw you, you want your fandom? You work for it, bitch. And my response? Hell, yeah, I will. You've just gone and given me a reason to now.

That may have made me squee a little. Out loud.
Gnatgnatkip on 25th August 2007 01:15 (UTC)
Here from metafandom.

A good post, thank you!

I've been futzing around a little bit lately with yahoo pipes, wondering how it could benefit us. It's a machine for creating mashups out of rss feeds. It can do really complex things, like use geo data to plot things on maps, or basic things like combine a couple of simple feeds into one. So. I don't know.

But I feel the same as you, that it's all kinda invigorating.
fairywriterslashfairy on 25th August 2007 01:37 (UTC)
this is great.

it's also, though he doesn't say it, the sntidote, in part, to the military-industrial-commercial-pharmacological complex thinking they own us.

if you can network along the grassroots... well.

you can spread a lot of information pretty quickly, pretty quietly.

imho.
ex_fandrogy on 25th August 2007 01:55 (UTC)
Thank you, THANK YOU for posting this. Because although fandom may be early-adopters in general, I think a lot of people have no clue about RSS, GoogleReader, and ways of keeping one foot in two worlds. I think the migration is possible, manageable, and to some extent necessary. You're absolutely right about this being a growth period -- online fandom's adolescence, maybe. I've said before: It's time we moved out of our parents' house.

Are you at fandom_flies? Because we could really use thinking like this over there.
zillah975 on 25th August 2007 03:34 (UTC)
Here from metafandom. Thank you very much for an awesome post!

But I wonder - the link for how to pull LJ feeds into Google Reader including flocked posts just goes to the http://asylums.insanejournal.com/07refugees/tag/feeds page, and I can't can't find the post with the instructions. I've been trying for a week to figure out how to manage the flocked posts problem, and the only way I've found to do it at any reader is the http://username:password@soandso.livejournal.com method, but I haven't been able to make it work at Google Reader. If there are instructions that work, I'd be so grateful if you could point to them specifically.
zvi LikesTVzvi_likes_tv on 25th August 2007 18:13 (UTC)
Theoretically, if you add ?auth=digest to the end of the feed URL, they should be able to see protected entries. http://www.livejournal.com/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=149 I think this may depend on the feedreader using the username and password every time it checks, so I'm not sure that it would work when setting up a syndicated journal on LJ or an lj-clone.