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Yet another question...

Is there any way to view the comment threads in a non-threaded, linear fashion? As in, read them in the order, by time & date, in which they were posted? I've read as much of the FAQ as seems relevant, and I can't see a single thing that would allow this -- but I'm hopeful that I'm just a) blind or b) looking in the wrong place.

And another question: I've been looking at some user info pages -- and I'm overwhelmed at the number of people that people 'friend'. Is it just that most people don't post much in their LJs? Because if I had in excess of 100 (and some people have close to 300) friends who -did-, I'd never get anything done. Not even sleep :/.

I'm trying to read the journals of people who have friended -me-, when I can, and am wondering about the etiquette of 'friending' in the LJ community. It is considered rude not to friend people who friend you? (and friend as a verb... <deep sigh>.) Is it considered rude to just friend someone? Any opinions -- even sarcastic, silly ones -- are welcome.


( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 27th, 2004 10:54 pm (UTC)
:waves: Hi, I stumbled across your journal and friended you (as you can see :) recently. My personal philosophy on friending (and I warn you - everyone seems to have a different definition!) is that I add a journal if it looks interesting to me - I don't find it rude at all to add or be added without asking. If someone wants to add me, I like it if they drop me a comment so I notice, but I don't get offended if someone adds me without asking. As well, I don't think it's rude not to add someone who adds you. I add people who look interesting. If you don't want to read my life but don't mind if I read yours, why should you feel the need to add me? Getting offended over friending politics just seems silly to me. It's not worth it.

As for having time - I have a large flist and it helps me procrastinate brilliantly. I don't always read all of it, but I do enjoy reading every journal I add.
Jun. 27th, 2004 11:08 pm (UTC)
I'm very new to LiveJournal myself, so the following may not reflect that of the community at large, but here's my take:

Friending someone basically lets them know that you're following their LiveJournal, and tells the system to include posts from that LJ on your "Friends" page (in GEnie terms, it's like MARking an author-topic, with the added twist that the topic-owner can see a list of everyone who's MARked it). Basically, it takes away your lurker's cloak of invisibility -- the LJ-owner knows that you're reading their journal.

I've run into few folk who seem to mind being "friended" in and of itself, -- but I do get the impression that folks like to know a bit about those who've friended them -- it's not unusual to see "if you've friended me, introduce yourself" journal posts by some of the more popular LJ-folk.

There is one additional wrinkle. Friending someone also has an effect when they're reading your journal. You can "friends-lock" journal entries so that only readers you've tagged as "friends" can see that entry; for other LJ users or anyone who's not logged in, friends-locked posts will be hidden, as if they didn't even exist. Depending on what you post in your journal, this may or may not be a useful power, but it's one that's wise to remember, and it's a good reason why someone might not "friend" you back -- if they're posting sensitive stuff, whether personal or professional, under "friends-lock", they may prefer to limit access to those posts.

Jun. 28th, 2004 04:00 am (UTC)
You can also filter your friends list even further, for reading purposes -- like have a list of friends that you read daily, another that you check sporadically, and so on... I don't use the filters myself, so I don't know much beyond the fact that the filters exist, but if my F-List gets </i>too</i> much larger, I may look into that. I notice that a fair number of those on my F-List don't post every day, and there are some who might post two or three times a day but only with short snippets, so at the moment I'm keeping up well enough.

I usually will friend someone back if they friend me, figuring I can always 'unfriend' them (there's another strange verb) if I really don't care to read their journal -- I've only had to delete one person from my friend's list over the nearly three years I've been on LJ.
Jun. 28th, 2004 05:21 am (UTC)
I do something similar. I keep a list of filters: people I know locally and have met in person and consider friends, people who are other writers and who often write about writing, and "everyone else." I manage my reading time based on whether I'm trying to catch up with people I know personally, whether I want to read about writing, and whether I want/have time to browse.

The filtering is helpful too because it allows you to lock entries to specific filters. So I can ask the writers about a problem with contracts/agents without having it broadcast to everyone who's reading my journal. :)

Some people are weird about being Friended, but I'm with penmage above about it. Sometimes people will state their Friends policy in their user info, which is helpful.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 28th, 2004 06:48 am (UTC)
I try thinking of 'Friends' as Readers. I don't know if that helps. (I'm also trying to deal with the concept.)
Jun. 28th, 2004 10:46 am (UTC)
I do the same. Heck, the title on my "friends" page is "Reading List."

Jun. 28th, 2004 07:37 am (UTC)
I have a general policy of adding anyone who adds me to their Friends, mainly out of curiosity. I can't possibly keep up with reading everyone's LJs, of course, so mostly skim occasionally and also maintain a separate and much smaller list (see MANAGE -> FRIENDS -> CUSTOM FRIENDS GROUPS) which I check more frequently.

I've had people complain about me not adding them to my Friends list quickly enough, complain about me not posting in their LJs, complain that I'm not keeping up with their LJs, complain lots, actually. So I've posted the following:


I find that no matter what you do or don't do, you'll end up offending someone eventually. So in the end, it's best to do what's most convenient for you, else you'll end up hating LJ and its politics and end up leaving. Much more fun to have you here!

Good luck. :-)

Jun. 28th, 2004 01:26 pm (UTC)
LJ 'friends' lists...
Debbie has the additional problem of being immensely popular within the filk community, which is admittedly filled with many people who may never have developed adequate social skills. My theory is, if they complain, they need to get a life.

I keep my friends list pared down pretty much to close personal friends and long distance friends, and some particularly interesting characters who tend to be friends of friends, who sometimes develop further into my friends as well. ;) I don't 'friend' people I when I don't know who they are in real life. I don't have a fan base of interested readers, though, so I think strangers' interest in my journal would be quite limited. You may be running into the added twists and turns of having your reading public want to devour any words you may care to spill forth in your LJ. So much for your privacy. The filters you can set up might be be useful for posting more personal things that you might not want the public at large to have access to, though I'm not sure how far I'd trust those.

Personally, I find my journal easy and useful as a record of things and thoughts that have been going on in my life, and the added bonus of support in the form of comments from friends can be wonderfully sanity-saving. It tends to be quicker, easier and more personal than the journal I was trying to keep going in my own website, and with the friends' filters I don't have to worry so much about random weirdos reading personal stuff.

I limit my list of who I read due to time constraints, and as a reminder to myself to stay in my real life. Though I will say that I really love hearing about what my long-distance friends are up to, because even if they post only occasionally, I get to hear of their adventures more often than I would if I relied only on e-mail or phone calls. It can become a nice way to stay in touch with long-distance friends, or a way to get to know new people that you think might be cool to know...

And hey Deb, hope the vacation time has gone well! Are you going to OVFF?
Jun. 28th, 2004 02:22 pm (UTC)
Re: LJ 'friends' lists...
We're leaving tomorrow morning; today's been a bit of a panic. :-) Yes, going to OVFF! I assume I'll see you there?

To Michelle: Looking forward to seeing you and Tom at Confluence, yay! I was going to teach Allison & Jodi the "Michelle in Robarts Library" song to perform as a surprise, but sadly, there wasn't enough time. :-( Ah well...
Jun. 28th, 2004 03:55 pm (UTC)
Re: LJ 'friends' lists...
This is a new definition of the word "sadly" with which I am currently unfamiliar...

(jjc says you will be misremembered as a one-hit-wonder for the "Commandy Andy" song. Jamie makes baby noises, and Kristen laughs. A lot.)

Do you actually remember what the rules about embarrassing me in public are?
Jun. 28th, 2004 08:03 am (UTC)
(and friend as a verb... .)

You get used to it. If you couldn't, you wouldn't still be on the web. ;)

I don't think there's a way to unthread comments. However, if you have email notification turned on, you'll get them in your inbox in the order in which they are posted. (and with your wonderful new gmail account, you could even organize them to your heart's content ;P)

Every LJ user seems to have a different opinion on friending, but most seem to recognize that this is a public forum, and as such, being friended by random strangers is pretty much a way of life. I friend people if I find that I really do want to know what they have to say, enough so that I'm checking their LJs several times a week. In that regard, it's a Reading List of Cool People. I do not friend *everyone* who has friended me, and I don't consider it necessary - nor do I expect everyone whom I've friended to return the favor. (though if you want, you're most welcome ;) I'm not participating in the LJ Popularity Contest. Some people are.

I filter my friends page to better focus the flow and my time - and I do not have a large friendslist. I lock few posts, but it's nice to know that those I do lock will only be seen by those I wish to see them, even if those people never look.

There *is* an etiquette in this, but it is neither strict nor writ in stone. For me - I watch, I learn, and I respect people in the way they ask to be respected. IF that makes any sense.

Completely off-topic: Finished Sun Sword last night at 3 am. Ah, Michelle... I don't know whether to strangle you or bow before you. 'Twas beautiful, I cried. I know I missed a TON of stuff. But I really needed that this weekend (see my post of Friday for the why)

Write fast, damnit. ;P
Jun. 28th, 2004 08:31 am (UTC)
There are people who take the whole "friends" thing personally, I think because "friend" is a loaded word, especially among a group of former social outcasts. But lots of us don't.

I'm with penmage on this: I read the journals I find interesting, hope others will feel free to read mine if they find it the same, and don't take it personally (and hope others won't take it personally) when these groups don't fully intersect.
Jun. 28th, 2004 09:48 am (UTC)
I've run into few folk who seem to mind being "friended" in and of itself, -- but I do get the impression that folks like to know a bit about those who've friended them -- it's not unusual to see "if you've friended me, introduce yourself" journal posts by some of the more popular LJ-folk.

I'll probably add something in the about me user info page to the effect that -- as many of you have posted -- I really don't mind if people friend the LJ. I don't expect everyone to read what I write here, but have been a bit surprised by the number of real world friends who expect that I've someone been notified about changes in their lives because someone posted about it in their blog/LJ. One: I have no idea who most of the people on LJ actually -are-. I can pick up some from web-sites, etc., but there are some who really want no identification at all. Which, given that they're writing about their life seems odd, but I'm old.

As for keeping up.. well, if you take a look at Renya's LJ, wrendragon, you'll note that she has a friends list almost as long as one of your short stories ;D She spends well over an hour a day just reading her friends' ljs when she can.

And now, let's watch bobafet commit suicide in public. A delayed form of suicide, one which doesn't actually cause him to drop dead until, oh, Saturday :P.

haikujaguar I think I answered an old question of yours (as in months, because I didn't look at the date, being me, until after I'd answered) in one of the agent communities. I was looking at it because I wanted to see if the communities were organized in a different way than the regular LJs (threading/non-threading), and it doesn't appear that they are.

papersky Actually, I know who you are <g>. I checked in on your journal from time to time (or did) from the web interface before I made the LJ account; I think I got directed there from Making Light (the Away Team links). Thanks for the suspected info about the threading -- and yes, the current threaded posts make me crazy because I do have to reread everything to find the new comment or three in a long comment-thread that I'm otherwise interested in. It's the one thing I like about Making Light (which I think is movable type?); you can add to the discussion, but you have to do it sequentially.

Janni's right, though; friend is a loaded word. I'm attempting -- as is sartorias -- to think of it as a reading list. But it's really easy for things to become a very long reading list, depending on how much or how often the LJ user posts. Hmmm.

kyranjaye Thank you. I'll go and read your LJ after I've fed the kids -- who are complaining over my shoulder about now (which means ten minutes ago) because I haven't finished here yet <wry g>.
Jun. 28th, 2004 06:20 pm (UTC)
Coming in late -- periodically I remind people in my lj that I don't friend them becuase I don't like them, I don't friend them because lj is a timesink and I have a Life. And a job. And two books due. Most folk seem to understand. They friend me because I amuse them for the most point. I can live with that. ;-)

And there are a bunch of people (like yourself) whom I haven't friended but check in on when I have the chance.

I tend to keep my friending list to those whom I actually interact with on a regular basis (the name of my friends list is 'cheat sheet for a social life" for a reason!)

Jun. 30th, 2004 08:54 am (UTC)
Coming in very, very late.

For me, my friends list is comprised of people I know in real life (including you and andpuff) or have met through sff.net. And I'm another one who doesn't use her real name - mostly because I wanted something different for a new community.

Jul. 2nd, 2004 04:16 pm (UTC)
One thing I love about lj is that it threads comments the way I like. Even an otherwise wonderful blog like Making Light frustrates me when A is replying to something B said 23 comments ago.
Jul. 2nd, 2004 05:25 pm (UTC)
Actually, I prefer the Making Light boards because of that -- it fosters conversation because everyone posting has to have read the previous posts. Or at least skimmed them.

But more important, for me, is that I can instantly tell which posts are new. There are LJ topics here that I really enjoy, especially those about writing -- but when a couple of new comments are added, I don't know where, and I have to read everything again just to find them :/.
Jul. 3rd, 2004 09:03 am (UTC)
I'd love to see that feature added to the basic LJ format.
Jul. 3rd, 2004 09:12 am (UTC)
If someone could tell me that paid subscribers can look at everything in a non-threaded format, I'd be at the head of the line right now...
Jul. 3rd, 2004 09:00 pm (UTC)
Hi Michelle - I'm fairly sure you don't remember me... We've crossed paths at conventions, and I used to stop by Bakka when I was in Toronto. I found you as a reader with Into The Dark Lands many years back. It was a great surprise when I met you at a Toronto convention (might have been Ad Astra?) and found out you were also Michelle West. You might remember that. Or not. I was embarrassed and amused, in equal proportions.

I write. I read. I think you have clever things to say. I like your fiction. :)

Jul. 3rd, 2004 09:20 pm (UTC)
If you're the person who came up after the religion and SF panel at Ad Astra (the one in which Connie Willis was the Guest of Honour) then yes, I do remember you -- but if you're not that person, ummm, I'll just be embarrassed now <rueful g>. I do embarrassment fairly well, having become somewhat experienced with it. Not that I'd like it to be the thing for which I'm remembered when all is said and done <g>.

Welcome aboard!
Jul. 3rd, 2004 11:13 pm (UTC)
Yes, that was me. Same Naomi. I think that was one of the first conventions I'd been to, and so I was *extra* tongue tied.
Jul. 4th, 2004 10:59 am (UTC)
One of my newer editors wasn't aware that Michelle West and Michelle Sagara were the same person, either. I tend to forget that it's not obvious because it's obvious. I had a lot of fun at that convention, and if it helps, you seemed in no way awkward or tongue-tied; you didn't babble (the first time I tried to speak to Robin McKinley, the switch that shuts down the brain fired, but the switch that should also shut down the mouth failed catastrophically. Luckily, she didn't seem to mind <wry g>.
Jul. 4th, 2004 11:00 am (UTC)
ETA: "because it's obvious to me". Even when I use preview, I miss things. Gah.
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