dolorosa_12: (le guin)
[personal profile] dolorosa_12
Welcome, people who have joined Dreamwidth for the first time, or who are returning back here to try it out as a new fannish home. There are a lot of good 'getting started' posts floating around, but rather than relinking them all here, I'll just point you towards [personal profile] umadoshi's links roundup. In it you'll find information on everything from image-hosting on Dreamwidth (theoretically possible, but not as straightforward as on Tumblr), how to find new people to follow, and general tips on getting set up here.

For my part, I don't much mourn the demise of Tumblr. I'm currently in the process of importing the entire thing to Wordpress (taking ages, as half the internet seems to have the same idea), and then I'm essentially adopting a 'salt the earth' policy. I'm not deleting the account — I have a deep aversion to deleting anything online, such that you can see every digital trace of me since circa 2003 — but I'm going to cease posting there once the backup is complete. Tumblr never suited me as a platform; the only people there with whom I really interacted were people I knew from Dreamwidth, LJ or various forums, or in real life — I think I made one friend on Tumblr whom I'd not encountered elsewhere beforehand. It was not designed for conversation and communication (other than one-way broadcasts whose message often got lost or distorted in the telling), and the workarounds people developed to have those conversations were cumbersome and counterintuitive. I like to be able to see every thread of a conversation, gathered in an organised way, you know?

This latest debacle drives home to me lessons that fannish types really need to learn: from Livejournal, from Delicious, and from the Patreon shenanigans earlier this year. Just because we, and our friends and communities have congregated on a particular platform, it does not mean said platform is our space, or that the owners of the platform value our presence and will continue to make it a hospitable and functional space for us. If you as an individual or the community of which you are a part do not own and control the platform, you will always be vulnerable to the rug being pulled out from underneath you in this manner.

I do know, however, that many of my friends found a great sense of community on Tumblr, and that for artists in particular, it was an absolutely perfect platform for discoverability and disseminating their work, and it must be devastating to see that being taken away through no fault of your own. I hope you find alternatives that suit you even better. Just because large social media platforms are predictable like this doesn't mean it hurts any less to see connections and community swept away without warning.

While it would be nice to see a great Dreamwidth renaissance in response to the Tumblr purge, I think that's probably unlikely. This feels more like a temporary stopping point, a moment to pause and take stock while waiting to see where fandom goes next. But for now, welcome to Dreamwidth. We have threaded comments.
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