A. The journals I read
- I add people to my friends list for different reasons. The common thread among everyone on my friends list is that I trust you with my deeper friends-locked thoughts. (See C.) So:
- If I friend you, I don't necessarily regularly read your journal. I have three reading lists: "daily", "when possible", and "when I've got time to kill". (I won't tell you which one you're on unless you ask me directly. The frequency of my comments to you is one indicator, but a bad one. My daily reads list is fairly small.) If it's important to you to have me reading your journal, please say something, because that is a factor in my decision of who's filed where.
- If you're on my friends list and I don't read you regularly, it's not because I don't think you're witty. I try not to spend too much time on LJing, because I have a website to maintain. I may have been sloppy and misfiled you, or I may have made the decision to place you on a reading list when you were going through a low point and I got a bad impression of your journal, or I may just have unfairly dropped you while paring my read lists back to sane levels. If you're writing posts you think I'd enjoy, please, please drop me a line, and I'll give you another look and (if wanted) some honest feedback. Also see B.1.
B. If you want me to friend you
- Get on Livejournal ];=8) I have codes if necessary.
- Big principle: It is all about trust. And respect.
- Side note: I have in the past been the focus of "Bastard Culture" sites. (Such sites link to people they find freakish, provide a discussion board where people can deconstruct said people venomously, and in general provide outlets for their users at the expense of their targets. I'm not naming any Bastard Culture sites because either you know some already or you don't want to.) Some such sites have an established record of having their users gain the trust of unwitting targets, gathering piles of personal material under the guise of friendship, and then reposting it publically to have a good laugh and/or smear the reputation of the target. I have personally watched this happen to several friends. Justifiably, I do my best to take precautions against such infiltration. (Not because I'm afraid of some secret getting out, but because such betrayal is always devastating. A single betrayal can fuck up scores of friendships, and I don't want to have to hold my friends any more at arm's length than I already do.)
- As such, I friend three groups of people: Those who are friends or acquaintances offline; those 'net friends with whom I have related for long enough that time has built up an emotional bond; and those who provide significant evidence that they will have respect for my beliefs. (If you're one of the first two, just say hi and mention you've got an LJ.)
- Someone who is open and passionate about the things they believe in is a very good candidate for #3, even if our beliefs don't mesh.
- I don't generally go looking for new friends, and it often takes me a while to get around to checking who has friended me. So if I'm seemingly ignoring you, drop me a line and say hi, or even just leave a random comment in my journal. Also, if I don't recognize you offhand, I'm likely to let you sit on my friends-of list for a while in order to see what sort of things you post and how open you're being to me. This doesn't mean I'm not going to add you, it means I'm waiting until I know you better to add you.
- If you want to be added to my friends list more quickly, start engaging me -- leave comments in my journal, start discussions I like, contribute to discussions I'm participating in. That really gets my notice, especially if the comments are high-quality.
- If you are a participant in Bastard Culture sites or similar enjoyment-over-empathy activities, it's not an automatic no, but it's a big strike against you. Not because you're any less interesting or inherently bad for being there -- but because I just don't need the venom, I don't need the drama, and I can afford to pick and choose who I spend my time with ... so I'm going to err on the side of distance. So if you think I'm cool enough to want to get to know me as a friend, say so, and act like it. We'll see if we click -- it has happened at least twice in the past, but I don't go seeking such people out.
B.1. If you want me to read your journal
- Meet the "friend-me" policy first. You can be the Interesting Champion of the Universe, but I'm still not going to friend you unless I can trust you.
- The journals I read daily are (A) those of people who I have significant emotional investment in; inclusive-or (B) those that are regularly thought-provoking and generally upbeat.
- Things I really like: Provocative, challenging, broad, passionate, intellectual, unashamed, fluorescent. Profound. This doesn't mean it has to be profundities-only -- it can be entirely about you and your life (duh -- it's a journal!) as long as it gets my mind going once in a while.
- Things I like: You talking about my big interests (magic, therianthropy/Otherkin, fringe culture, gamer geeking, math geeking, etc). Talking about your big interests, even if they're not mine, as long as you're openly passionate about it. Celebrating language and wordplay. Name-dropping me. Politics as a sideline.
- Things I dislike: Politics as a focus. Frequent meming. Quiz results. Posting more than once or twice per day unless there are enough ideas to fill the posting volume. Ongoing drama and/or crisis. All of these are entirely negotiable if I like you enough :)
- Things I really dislike: Public potshots at others (friends-locked can be OK in moderation). Perpetual, obsessive drama and/or crisis. Complaining about problems while not taking any advice that is offered in response. Only saying what you do, and ignoring how you feel and think. Reacting to life with cynicism. Sodomizing the Queen's English with a rusty shard of metal.
C. My friends-only posts
- I do make them, occasionally and as necessary.
- If there is something I truly want private I'm not going to post about it in the first place -- so I'm more laid-back than the rules are going to make me look -- but I still expect reasonable standards of privacy to be maintained.
- If you can see a post, it means I trust you enough to respond appropriately to it.
- Sometimes my friends-only posts are ideas that I want to later move into the public eye, but I want a limited test audience first. Sometimes my friends-only posts are things I'm not ashamed of but don't want to have to justify myself to the world about. If you can't tell the difference between the two, ask. If you "leak" any of the latter, it's a breach of the above-mentioned trust, and I will react accordingly.
- The copying and reposting (or linking) of any of my entries -- including the public ones -- to Bastard Culture sites is an extremely serious breach of my trust and will be met with extreme measures. I'm under no delusions that I can prevent this from occurring, because my only threat as disincentive is to permanently defriend someone and give them the silent treatment. (And if it happens -- again -- I'll deal -- again.) But if you have enough respect for me that "losing Baxil privileges" is a bad thing, please understand how seriously I take this. Say it with me: I don't need the venom or the drama.
- I try to keep an angst-free life and an angst-free journal. If I'm whining about something, it's because I genuinely need to vent (and said whining will probably be friends-locked). If my venting offends you, please tell me so politely, and I promise I'll respond in kind -- maybe we can both learn something from it instead of getting insulted and upset.