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I worship at the television altar
My top ten questions about LJ etiquette.
I've been pondering the subject of LJ etiquette lately, and some entries and comments I've read in my wanderings recently made me decide to post this. I want to find out how people feel about a number of different issues. Are my reactions to things normal or crazy? I need a sounding board, people! So take a look at my questions below, and comment at will. If you know anyone else with opinions on this subject, invite them over too. I'm really trying to hear all sides, so the more the merrier!

Please be honest! I promise I can take it. Behind the cut because it's really, really long. What? Are you telling me this surprises you? Have you met me? :)

1) Do you mind if I read your Friends Page?

When I first joined LJ, I didn't have any friends here. I was a big time lurker all over the internet, always too chicken to post. I joined here because I loved anteka's PWT and wanted to comment to express my appreciation. She generously friended me right away, as did whimsywinx. And if you look back at my early posts, for a long time it was just me and Whimsy. She would stop by every day and comment on my posts; I honestly don't think I would have stuck with it if it hadn't been for her. *smishes Whimsy*

Anyway, until I made some friends of my own, I totally stalked anteka's Friends Page. Sometimes I'd swoop in and randomly comment on one of her friends' journals, but mostly I discovered lots of places on LJ to go explore on my own. Which ultimately led me to communities and friends of my own. All good, I thought, especially because I was only reading public posts, obviously. But recently I read an entry where someone described this activity as creepy, lame, and rude. What do you think? Do you mind if someone else reads your Friends Page?

2) May I comment on your comment?

I like to think of my journal as a conversation. People comment, others chime in, and we all have fun. I like short comments, long comments, people who come by every day, or people who occasionally drop in as they zoom by. Everybody's welcome, and I hope we all get along. And if two people randomly connect and make friends because they discovered each other in my journal, that's the greatest thing ever. However, not everyone feels this way.

Some people have a more linear approach, and rules. Big time rules. Such as, you may only address your comments to the person whose journal you're reading, and only that person can answer you back. Also, make sure to keep your comments short, because this journal isn't about you, after all. Doing otherwise is known as hijacking someone else's journal. The worst offense is when someone asks a question in your comments, and someone else answers it. That one I can see, but it depends on the question and how it's worded.

Well, anyone who knows me knows I tend to write ridiculously long comments, and I'm liable to reply to anything. I guess I'm just starved for conversation, guys! But I certainly have the capacity to restrain myself if it's irritating. How do you feel about how people comment in your journal?

3) May I come back over and over and read all your comments?

When one of you posts something that interests me, I also like to see what everyone else thinks, so I tend to come back to read your post again and again as more comments are added. I never thought there was anything wrong with this, especially because LJ offers the Track This button, which is exactly for this purpose. And yet I've seen people mention it as something that makes them uncomfortable. Do you care if I stalk your journal?

4) Do you think all comments need to be answered?

I try to acknowledge the first comment that anyone makes on one of my posts, and then let the thread continue, or not, naturally. I want you to know that I appreciate that you're taking the time to read my journal and comment, plus there's usually something in your comment to which I want to respond anyway. What do you think? Does every comment need or deserve a reply?

5) How do you feel about lurkers?

As a huge lurker myself, I totally get it. I'm shy, I often think I have nothing interesting to say, and it's intimidating to post on the journal of someone I don't know. It's like I think their reply will be, "Who the hell are you, and how dare you comment on my journal?!" LOL! If you're lurking here, you're more than welcome, but I'd also love to meet you. How does everyone else feel about lurkers?

On a related note, I don't always comment on my friends' posts. Sometimes I just don't feel like I have anything to add to the conversation, and sometimes I honestly don't know what to say, so I err on the side of caution and don't say anything. Is that okay with you?

6) What about "bad" language?

First of all, of course, anyone can say whatever they want in their own journal. Duh. If you find what they say offensive, don't read it (I'm not talking about harmful, inflammatory rhetoric here, just word choices). What I'm wondering about is the use of colorful language in comments. In general, I'm not going to swear in your journal unless I see you do it first, but I am inordinately fond of the f-word, so look out, especially if I'm ranting. :) How do you feel when you see those words in your comments?

7) How do you feel about the lj-cut?

My flist is pretty equally divided between Smallville fans and Supernatural fans, with a couple of crossover fans like me. That means that any given post of mine is of no interest to at least half of my flist, depending on the subject matter. To avoid cluttering up your Friends Page with endless posts about which you couldn't care less, I put anything longer than a paragraph behind a cut. Recently I saw someone say (not about me) that it's a pain to have to click on the cut and go to a different page, and then go back when you're finished. What do you think?

And related to this, does anyone know how to make the lj-cut link go to a page that opens up in a new window, that you can simply close when you're finished with it, so that you can instantly go back to your starting point on your Friends Page (instead of using the back button and waiting for it to reload)? Does this make sense? It's the way links work on TWoP.

8) What about internet-speak?

This is one I'm just curious about. I know I throw around way too many OMGs and LOLs, but for the most part I make an effort to use proper spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. But that's just my kink, so to speak, I certainly don't expect or want others to worry about such things. I'm just glad we're talking! I will admit that sometimes I honestly don't know what someone is trying to say, at which point I feel both stupid and old. :P What do you think (about internet-speak, not how old and stupid I am)?

9) May I steal your userpic?

How do you feel about people ganking your icons? Here's my policy when I see an icon after which I lust: First I go to your userpic page, to see who made it (if it's uncredited, I drop it right there). Then I go to that person's journal and look for icon posts. If I find it, I'll snag it, with a comment and credit on my own userpic page. If I don't, and I really want it, I might go back and ask you if it's shareable. If, when I check, I find out you made the icon yourself, I'll poke around your journal to see if you've ever offered it up in an icon post where I can grab and comment. If not, that's usually as far as I go. I think icons are little works of art, and in that way are personal, so I try to respect that. The exception to my rule is angieb5, who for some reason inspires me to beg her for icons constantly! LOL! Maybe it's because we met over her Dr. Seuss icons in anteka's journal. Anyway, how do you feel about people grabbing icons from your userpic page?

For the record, if I compliment you on your icon, that does not mean I am hinting that you share it with me!! It just means I think it's beautiful, or funny, or perfect for your comment, okay?

10) What is your friending policy?

Do you automatically friend everyone who friends you? Are you notoriously selective? Do you friend first, or wait to be friended? If someone friends me, I head over to their journal and check it out. I look at their journal, their user info, and their userpics, and as long as we have something in common, I'll friend back right away. If they never post to their journal, or anything gives me a funny feeling, I kind of wait and see, and I may or may not friend back in the future. Sometimes I friend people, like fic writers or icon makers, to stay current with their work, and I don't expect them to friend me back unless we hit it off in their comments or something. I love finding friends through friends, where I agree with another person's comment, and then we find out we have lots in common. What about you? What's your deal with friending?

Okay, I think that's it! I think this is the longest entry I've ever posted. If you made it all the way to the end, thanks for reading! I can't wait to find out what everyone else thinks.


75 comments or Leave a comment
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ellyfanfic From: ellyfanfic Date: January 7th, 2008 12:24 am (UTC) (Link)
"Behind the cut because it's really, really long. What? Are you telling me this surprises you?"

I'm shocked. Really:-).

My answers:

1. Why would I care if you read my Friends page? I thought that was what it was for. I'm surprised this is an issue for anyone, and will be interested in what others say.

2. Comment all you want. I love comments on my LJ. The more comments I have, the more loved I feel. Don't care if it's on topic, off topic, or addressed to me or anyone else. To me, the purpose of an LJ is to communicate with other people, and I want them to communicate back!

3. Again, I can't see why this would bother anyone. I must be missing something. Comments are meant to be read, aren't they?

4. I always try to respond to comments on LJ, although sometimes I forget. (I rarely reply on my blog, because it doesn't allow threads, so all the comments get all lumped together, which is kind of annoying.) But no, every comment doesn't need to be answered.

5. Lurkers are fine with me. I know I have lots of them on my blog (not sure about my LJ). I do kind of wish they'd come out of hiding sometimes, but if it makes them uncomfortable to post, well, that's okay too.

6. I'm a little more careful about my language on other people's LJs than I am on my own. I don't like to offend people. Personally, I am not offended, and any language you care to use is okay with me.

7. The cut definitely needs to be used if you're posting a fic or a lot of pictures (I still remember what a pain dialup was!). Otherwise, if it runs on more than a few paragraphs, a cut is probably in order. I wouldn't cut for just two paragraphs, though.

8. I have a commenter who leaves long lists of letters on my blog. I assume they're supposed to mean something (hopefully positive), but I'm darned if I know what. Stuff like LOL and OMG is generally understood. Stuff that isn't generally understood probably shouldn't be used. Then again, might just be my advanced age that can't figure this stuff out:-).

9. Take my userpics all you want. If I ever get one I can't share, I'll put that in the comments.

10. I friend most people if they friend me, but if I look at their user page and think they might hate me (as in they despise slash or something similar), I won't friend them back. Otherwise, I'm pretty open about it.

I'll be interested to see what others say!

Edited at 2008-01-07 12:26 am (UTC)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 7th, 2008 12:50 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm shocked. Really:-). LOL! *blushes*

Thanks for commenting, Elly! See, this is why we're friends, we agree on everything! :) I don't understand the pissy comments I've been encountering about these issues (not on my own journal, though), but they made me worry I was some kind of anomaly.

I always wonder how fic writers feel about language. I mean, obviously you use exquisitely explicit language in your fic, but that doesn't necessarily mean you want that terminology in your comments. It's good to know I'm in the clear. :)

Okay, I swear this is not why I posted about the icon thing, but since you offered, I'm stealing the icon on your comment!! Guh! Even if it does make me feel pervy, I know for a fact he was legal in that picture. LOL! I see your Baby!Tom and raise you a Rent!Boy!Tom. :)

I should let everyone know all my icons are up for grabs too. I got every one from a public icon post, or by asking permission, and who to credit is listed on all of them.

I'm interested to see what others say too! And this comment is almost as long as my original post. :P

talitha78 From: talitha78 Date: January 7th, 2008 01:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Um...I'm too lazy and non-verbal to answer these questions, but I think that the fact that you are smart and observant enough to ask them at all means that you are going to be in little danger of ever really offending anyone. And if they do get offended, it might truly be their fault, not yours.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 7th, 2008 01:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, for the record, I did unwittingly offend someone, that's what started all this. But since the person would never tell me what exactly I did wrong, even in email, I'm willing to agree with you that maybe it was more them than me. Thank you for reassuring me, I can be pathetically insecure at times. :)

You may consider yourself to be non-verbal, but your visual skills are off the charts. Your videos speak volumes to me.

Thanks so much for reading, and commenting!
angieb5 From: angieb5 Date: January 7th, 2008 01:40 am (UTC) (Link)
1. Stalking to me is something negative, and if you're just trying to make new friends, that doesn't say 'stalking' to me. I actually like having people on my flist that have the same people on their flist, so we all know each other, and it's more intimate.

2. I love thinking that something I wrote fostered a conversation or friendship between two people who didn't know each other before. I'm fine with my LJ turning into a message board occassionally, as long as everyone is being nice to one another.

3. Oh geez, I do that, and I didn't realize it was perceived as a bad thing by some people. I think that's just fine, and I've certainly done it before to posts that interest me.

4. I could not agree with you more. I always try to answer someone at least once so they know I appreciate the comment, and that I read what they write, and I let the conversation flow naturally from there.

5. I so welcome new people commenting on my blog, again it's flattering. And regarding flist posts, I post when it's relevant, I don't want to comment just to comment, I want it to mean something.

6. I swear a lot more in real life than I do on my LJ, but sometimes my emotions get the better of me. I don't care if people swear in comments or posts, I think I don't swear as much here as in real life just because I don't know how people feel about it, and I'd rather be safe than sorry since I don't want to offend anyone.

7. I prefer the cut. When I go through my flist to avoid having to re-open it, I just do a right click in Firefox and open a new tab for posts that I want to read or comment on, and then I go through each of them more thoroughly.

8. I don't mind abbreviations like, lol and omg which I also use more than I should, but I don't like the IM talk where people spell things wrong on purpose. However, I don't think I have anyone on my flist that has bad enough grammar or spelling that it bothers me.

9. My userpics are all yours! I do the same thing as far as searching out icons, and asking for permission. I'm a member of quite a few icon communities and I'm constantly looking for new icons, even if it's just for later use. I probably don't comment on icon posts as much as I should, but I always give credit because I agree with you that they are little pieces of art and by crediting, I can help share those icons with others for the creator. I don't mind when people take icons from my userpics page, in fact I encourage it! :)

10. I'm usually the person who friends first, and I pretty much friend back automatically when people friend me. But I do look at their journal first like you just to kind of feel it out.

Hope that helps, and for the record, I love having you on my flist! *smishes*
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 7th, 2008 02:02 am (UTC) (Link)
For the record, I love having you on my flist too! *smishes back*

I think we agree on everything. I like what you say about commenting just to comment. I want my comments to be worth reading, not a waste of someone's time.

Thanks again for always being so generous with your icons! You're a wonderful resource! I just went crazy and deleted almost 30 of mine, and then instantly filled all those spots with new ones. I'm a total icon whore. LOL!

Thanks so much for commenting. I loved everything you had to say, I appreciate you sharing your insights!
psychoactivtoad From: psychoactivtoad Date: January 7th, 2008 03:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Great post. Etiquette is a funny thing, no? It can be very subjective. Here's my two cents, for what it's worth (which I guess would be, uhhh, two cents).

1. No. I see it as a way to find people and communities with similar interests. LJ is supposed to be a social networking site, right?

2. Yes. Long, short, off topic; I don't care; comment away. I don't mind off-topic or splinter comments on my LJ, especially when it's entertaining or informative. Like you, I view comments as conversation, and the natural flow of conversation often leads away from the original topic. I also like the idea that people could meet and make friends on my blog.

That being said, hijacking has bothered me in some places. I gave up on the tvguide.com Supernatural episode summaries done by Tina a long time ago because the blog was always completely overtaken by people whose posts had nothing to do with the episode. But it's never bothered me on LJ, be they on my or other's posts.

About the only thing I wouldn't tolerate in my comments is someone being a total asshat toward me or others. I was on a running forum where there were a select few who delighted in being downright nasty without provocation. They chased a lot of people away. I haven't had anything even remotely like this on my blog, but if it ever happens I will not hesitate to delete it. I won't put up with that crap. I also really don't care to get involved in wank.

3. Of course. I totally don't get how this could be an issue. Actually, I think it's a little odd not to follow a conversations in which you've taken part.

4. Not really. It's nice to have comments acknowledged, but I don't like commenting just to comment. I've seen people post the exact same reply to several comments, and it gives me the same feeling as when I get a form letter. I try to reply to comments where I can, though, because I do really appreciate the comments I get.

5. Lurkers are fine. If you don't want lurkers, then flock your posts.

I like to comment as much as I can on my friend's posts, but like you, sometimes I just have nothing to say, and I don't like to comment just to comment. It seems rather phony to me.

6. I try and take a cue from the poster. If they use profanity, I would be more likely to use profanity when I comment.

Off-topic yet related: In real life, Dean would have a total potty mouth. You know he wouldn't be saying "freakin'."

7. I like seeing an lj-cut when posts are long.

One of my favorite Firefox plugins is Cooliris. It allows you to view a link without leaving the current browser window.

8. What you said.

9. Sure, as long as people check my userpics and credit the maker, especially since I have several icons from a flocked community. I know it wouldn't be my fault, but I would feel badly if someone took one of those icons and didn't credit. If I had an icon I made and didn't want shared, I would note that on my userpics.

10. My policy is pretty much the same as yours.

When I changed over from Blogger to LJ, I friended everyone I knew from the tvguide.com blogs, where I had been posting for a while.

tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 7th, 2008 04:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for taking the time to read my monster post and comment. I'm thinking now that the complaints I've been reading are the exception rather than the rule, at least among those on my flist. I wish I understood exactly why those people feel the way they do.

One of the things I like about LJ is that you have control of your own journal. Sure, the discussion group is much smaller, but you don't have to put up with crap from anyone, or wait for a mod to step in. The mini-community that is your journal can be exactly what you want it to be, and yet you still have the opportunity to interact with a larger group by joining any number of LJ communities.

Word to commenting just to comment. I really try to be thoughtful if I reply, or at least funny! :) The people who complained about lurkers weren't mad that they were there, they were mad that they were there invisibly. Which comes right back to the same thing. Comment just to make your presence known? What's the point of that?

People keep telling me to use Firefox, maybe it's time to listen to them. :)

And you are so right about Dean!! I actually talked about that in my review of Red Sky at Morning. I mean, sometimes it just sounds ridiculous. Or ridonkulous, even. :) I want them to film every scene twice so they can have an unexpurgated version for the DVDs. Kind of the opposite of what they do for movies so they can show them on airplanes. Swearing would make the boys even hotter. *nods*
jeannev From: jeannev Date: January 7th, 2008 04:13 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm willing to give you my pretty short answers to your questions, though I still feel like a lj newbie myself

1) Do you mind if I read your Friends Page?

No, I sure don't mind. I sort of see this as the way people figure themselves out around lj. You explore, you find people with similar tastes, opinions or outlooks. How ya going to do that if you don't read some different things?

2) May I comment on your comment?

Totally. I'm of the opinion that if you put it out there, then it can be commented on.

3) May I come back over and over and read all your comments?


4) Do you think all comments need to be answered?

On my journal, I like to respond to everyone if I can. It just seems polite.

5) How do you feel about lurkers?

Fine with me. I'm a lurker-friendly person. I don't like exclusion as a general rule.

6) What about "bad" language?

I pepper my everday language with cursing, so its very natural for me, and I want to be able to express myself naturally on my lj. However, I do believe that using some discretion is polite, and certain words just shouldn't be thrown around casually.

7) How do you feel about the lj-cut?

I think you should absolutely use it for picspams and when discussing any type of spoiler. For long posts, its a courtesy.

8) What about internet-speak?

I think some of that becomes a reflex for those of us who post on the net a lot. But excessive net-speak is just obnoxious, no matter where it occurs.

9) May I steal your userpic?

You should ask first, but I'll always say Yes!

10) What is your friending policy?

I'm still new enough to friend everyone who friends me, or anyone who interests me. :)

tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 7th, 2008 04:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for commenting on this, I really value your opinions. We seem to agree on everything, so we should be fine together, right? :)

I like what you say about exclusion, I feel that way too. A big reason that I'm even on the internet is that I haven't been able to find people in RL with whom to share my perhaps unreasonable enthusiasm for any production in which Tom Welling chooses to take part. :) So I'm all about including as many people in my squee as possible. LOL!

And if you're serious about your icons, you may have to restrain me, I'm a big fan of your work! :) Truly, I wouldn't think of abusing your generosity, but the one I love above all others is the one of Tom in The Fog, where he's got that sexy scruff and his eyes look so beautifully green. Would you mind if I added that one to my collection? Thank you!
ivorykiss From: ivorykiss Date: January 7th, 2008 06:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Chiming in with my two bits *g*:

1) Do you mind if I read your Friends Page?

Nope. Actually I find this an interesting way to lj surf rather than the search lj thing and find lovely new friends/fic/icons or whatever I haven't ran across before. Is it stalking? I don't think so, unless one is doing it to harass someone and their flist.

2)May I comment on your comment?

I don't see why not? I feel like comments are just ongoing conversations, whether you are addressing the original poster or a commenter, though I do feel they need to stay 'on topic' for that particular post. See below. *g*

Doing otherwise is known as hijacking someone else's journal.

Other people may feel differently about this, but here is my view on it. I feel it is very rude to come into someone's lj and pimp one's own or someone else's stories/icons/whatever on the original persons story post/icon post. After all, the comments are supposed to be for that person and about what they've shared with you, no?

The only time one should pimp stuff in someone's lj is when they specifically ask for it. For example, occasionally I ask for recs or help in finding a fic I've read before and have 'lost' and want to enjoy again. Then it is perfectly okay to pimp to one's hearts content. Am I making any sense? :p

3)May I come back over and over and read all your comments?

Why not? Unless someone has privated the comments, everything is open for review over and over. :)

4) Do you think all comments need to be answered?

To a certain extent, yes. But when you get to the point where you're just thanking one another for each other's comments or just agreeing over and over, that is when it needs to stop.

5) How do you feel about lurkers?

Lurkers are fine. I've done my share of lurking. There are people on my flist that have never posted anything on my lj at all. Some days it does bother me, but mostly it doesn't because I don't reply to everything I see/read either, but if I find something in particular that interests me or a fic that 'moves' me or a pic that makes me squee with joy, I do try to let the person know.

6) What about "bad" language?

Heh. Have you read my journal? *g* I certainly am not offended by colorful commentary (or icons for that matter, I have some naughty icons I like to use on occasion *g*) in my journal and while I'm pretty much anything goes in my personal lj land, I do try to restrict how colorful my language (or those naughtybad icons) are in others lj unless I know that they will not be offended.

7) How do you feel about the lj-cut?

I think lj newbies and the occasional slip up by the oldies should be given a bit of slack for that. The relatively small post is nothing, but fic and icons and picspams and spoilers especially, should be behind a cut for the sanity of others. A lot of people tend to forget that some (like me) still have to deal with the suckage that is dial up. The occasional slip up is just human, but to do it over and over or just not care is very annoying.

8) What about internet-speak?

OMG! LOL! Well, IMNSHO *g* 'net speak is okay peppered into the convo, after all, this is the internets. :) I do try to have a bit of 'real' writing in comments, though so I won't look like a complete 12 YO dweeb. That's how I feel, YMMV. :p

9) May I steal your userpic?

Well, since the majority of my icons are ones I made myself, I usually don't care and am very happy when someone likes one enough to want to use. But, I do have some that other people have specifically made for me and those are not gankable and those are designated that way on my userpic page.

10) What is your friending policy?

Everybody who friends me I take the time to look over their lj and see if I think we are compatible either through same interests or fic or shiny pretties and to see if they are not obviously a minor. My lj is mainly adult oriented and I don't want to deal with the hassle of getting reported for corrupting some dufus' sweet innocent kiddie or have to deal with reading a bunch of stuff on my flist that doesn't interest me. For the most part though, I have found that I friend back most people who friend me.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 7th, 2008 06:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much for commenting! I know you don't know me all that well, so I really appreciate your input.

I totally understand what you're saying about coming into your journal and pimping other stuff. In my mind, you do that in your journal, or your community, but you don't take your show on the road, so to speak. Good point.

I hope I've remembered to tell you how much your fic "moves" me! :)

I can't imagine explicit language that would bother me, but I have seen a few icons that have made my eyes pop (never on my journal, though), usually of the Clex variety. :) They only bother me if I'm slacking and looking at LJ at work, when someone else might see over my shoulder, but that's my problem and entirely my fault. I wouldn't ever want someone to restrict themselves.

Okay, I understood everything you said for #8, I feel better now. LOL!

I love your Clark/Tommy icons! I have four in my userpics right now, and many more in reserve on my hard drive. They're some of my absolute favorites. Your pretty "Smallville" one with Clark with his shirt open is the one I'm using for the little Smallville game I'm doing at the moment, it's such a great visual. Thanks for making those available on your journal!

Thanks again for your insights!
whimsywinx From: whimsywinx Date: January 7th, 2008 03:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
1) I thought that was part of the idea.

2) Nope.

3) Nope.

5) Fine.

6) Express yourself.

7) I think the cut is fine. And a good idea.

8) I might have to look up what it means, but then I've learned something.

9) No. I didn't make it.

10) I friend after checking a person out.

*squishes back*

(I'm obviously feeling very eloquent today.)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 7th, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Whimsy, I'm sorry, I don't mean to be obtuse here, but do your answers to 2 and 3 mean, nope, my answer to your question is no, or nope, it doesn't bother me?
(Deleted comment)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 7th, 2008 06:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hi! I'm so glad you commented!

I'm the kind of person who does fine as long as she knows the rules. But of course when you're dealing with people, there really aren't any rules, or rather everyone has a different set, and they're always changing to boot! I find the internet to be a rather bizarre blend, because the technology aspect of it creates a lot of rules, while the human element usually breaks them all and makes their own. And that's what makes it fun and exciting, but I also find it a little intimidating. It's also so hard to read people when you can't see them, so it's easy for misunderstandings to arise.

I seem to be getting a consensus that all the things I was worried about don't bother anyone at all, but I'm still glad I posted, because that's exactly the reassurance I was looking for, of course, but also because I just love reading how everyone has a slightly different take on everything. I love all the little insights everyone offers, and getting to know everyone a little bit better.
panns From: panns Date: January 8th, 2008 03:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Hello Tariel!

I'm new here, so I don't think I'm qualified to speak to etiquette, but I just wanted to say thanks for posting these questions. They and the answers have been very educational.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 8th, 2008 05:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Hi! I'm glad it was useful to someone besides just me. It's always interesting to me to hear other viewpoints, because invariably someone else has something to share that would have never occurred to me. I really appreciate the input everyone has offered!
ophelia_77 From: ophelia_77 Date: January 8th, 2008 05:40 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm still fairly new but thought I'd share my thoughts as well

1) Do you mind if I read your Friends Page?
Absolutely not. I think its a great way to meet people with the same interests.

2) May I comment on your comment?
Sure (especially since this is how we met on anteka's journal.)

3) May I come back over and over and read all your comments?
Yes, and I think it really helps for newbies when they are trying to learn the ropes.

4) Do you think all comments need to be answered?
Not necessarily. Though I will admit that when I first started posting I'd get worried that I'd offended if someone didn't respond. But, I got over that pretty quickly.

But it leads me to another question about which is worse: never responding or responding a lot later, like days later?

5) How do you feel about lurkers?
Just because your paranoid doesn't mean someone's not watching you ;-P Seriously, I lurked for a long time before I got up the courage to speak. I think its fine. We all have different comfort levels and some people are shy. But it's kinda like jumping in a pool. The longer you wai the more psyched out you get. But if you just jump in it's so much easier than you thought. So come on people, jump in the pool!

And, yeah, you don't have to comment on every post in your Flist - excepting mine of course! ;-P

6) What about "bad" language?
What the fuck do you mean by bad language. I'm the same bloody way. I try to fuckin' refrain unless I see it first from them but sometimes I get in a shitty mood and have to rephrase my damn thoughts. Hell, as far as my journal goes, as long as no one bitches at me personally or is a dick to another poster, I don't give a rat's ass.
(Sorry, I had to do it. I tried to resist. I promise to be serious now. *tucks tail and gives you puppy dog eyes*)

7) How do you feel about the lj-cut?
I'm a fan. It saves space and with Firefox not a real hassle to open a new tab.

8) What about internet-speak?
I don't mind it but I have had to go ahuntin' for meanings sometimes. I am not always as hip as I'd like to be. I overuse OMG and LOL and little smiley faces all the time. I also am rather in love with the exclamation point! See!!! Often I think I'll look immature if I use internet-speak so I try to use my grownup words. But sometimes nothing else gets the message across as siccintly. The same can be true with swearing.

And I do have a thought about you being old and stupid. You're not.

9) May I steal your userpic?
Good policy. I've only recently begun to get comfortable with asking permission. I try not to do it too often, but I have found friends that way!

10) What is your friending policy?
Again, I have pretty much the same policy. If they friend me, I'll check out their journal quickly but usually I friend back right away. I don't think there is anything wrong with being selective. Oddly I've not been offended when I wasn't friended back. To each their own.

Followup question: If you've been a lurker and you want to friend, do you
a)have to comment first and establish a relationship
b)ask them if it ok to friend them
c)its okay to just friend them without prior communication

ETA: By the way, thanks for the post. You put a lot of thought into it and its a comfort to know that I'm not the only one with these thoughts and questions. I've learned so much from you and everyone who commented.

Edited at 2008-01-08 05:45 am (UTC)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 8th, 2008 06:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much for commenting! I love how you can discuss something in all seriousness and be absolutely hilarious at the same time! :)

2) I think about how many LJ friendships anteka's journal has launched all the time. I'm so glad I discovered PWT, not only for the wonder that it is, but for everything else it has brought me.

3) I totally agree with this. I learned so much from reading other journals when I first started out (it's hard for me to believe it was only four months ago!).

4) I used to wonder about my unanswered comments too. I would go back to that person's journal to see if they were answering other people, and just ignoring me, or were they busy and not answering anyone? LOL!

I think answering late is better than never at all, although only if you really have something you want to say, not just to check that comment off the to-do list. I once received a reply to one of my comments a couple of weeks after I posted it, and I was still pretty jazzed to get it.

6) BWAH! Best answer to #6 so far! This is why I'm so glad you're on my flist. *hugs*

8) Thank you. :)

9) I'm pretty shy about asking, too, except, of course, with Angie. :) I'll go to great lengths to find an icon openly offered before I resort to flat out asking for it, because of my fear of rejection. :P And like you, I want to tread gently, and not be pushy or abusive.

As far as your friending question, I've had people friend me out of the blue (I only knew because I got the notice from LJ, and I had no idea who they were), or after we've had a nice exchange of comments, but still without necessarily mentioning it to me, or by commenting to say, I'm friending you, and then doing so. I will say the out of the blue ones make me wonder why they decided to friend me, but they still make me feel loved, so I don't mind. :) I think any way you get a new friend is cool.

Usually when I friend someone, I leave a comment on their journal to say so, and to say why. I think if you've never commented before, just lurked, you can still say, I've been lurking for awhile, I think we have lots in common (or whatever), so I'm friending you, hi! I usually add something like, I hope that's okay. But that's just what I've come up with that makes me comfortable.

Thanks again for your thoughts! This has been a great way to get to know my flist a little better, and to feel more comfortable out there in LJ land!
ophelia_77 From: ophelia_77 Date: January 8th, 2008 05:48 am (UTC) (Link)
PS - All these Tom icons are just to pretty for words!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 8th, 2008 07:07 am (UTC) (Link)
I've been having so much fun using all my pretty Tommy icons! Go check out ivorykiss's latest Tommy/Clark icon post HERE. She does beautiful work! If you like this batch, click on the icon tag in her journal to see lots more.

Edited at 2008-01-08 07:08 am (UTC)
svgurl From: svgurl Date: January 10th, 2008 08:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
hi! here through the sv_ledger. *waves*

I really thought your post was quite interesting.

Do you mind if I read your friends' page?

It doesn't bother me. In fact, I do it to other people all the time. It's really interesting to see the stuff you find. Does anyone actually have an issues with that? *ponders*

May I comment on your comment?

I too agree that a journal is a place of discussion ... I had this post (read rant) a little while ago and people were happily commenting on each others comments. It's fun and I like that.

Do you think all comments need to be answered?

Honestly? Yes ... if someone takes the time to read and leave a comment, I do think they deserve a response. If they follow up after that, well, I try my best to get back to them but sometimes, RL can keep me busy so it just depends. I agree with you whole-heartedly on that matter.

How do you feel about lurkers?

Lurk away! :D

What about "bad" language"?

Not a problem with me. I slip up all the time so as long as it's not directed toward me (unless I really deserve it), we're good.

How do you feel about the lj-cut?

It's a necessity, when there is picspams or long posts or fics in questions. I hate finding a super long post on my f-list, which forces me to scroll down forever to get to other entries. If it's a newbie who just doesn't know, that's fine but otherwise, I tend to get annoyed by these things. Silly, I suppose but it takes like five seconds so it's not like it's a big inconvenience.

What about internet speak

OMG! ;) I use it all the time. Unless the post requires an eloquent answer, then I try to actually use regular sentences.

May I steal your userpic?

I don't make any of my userpics so if you like it ... find out who made it or just ask me and I'll tell you and then it's all yours!

What is your friending policy?

I friend everyone who friends me. There are days when I contemplate f-locking everything so if the day comes that I actually give in to that, I don't want to have to go back and friend people. I'm positive i"ll forget.

At times, I do friend people myself ... I have no issues being the one to friend someone though. If we share common interests or I like their icons or their fics or their really cool meta posts, I friend them.

Thanks for asking these awesome questions ... I had fun thinking about this stuff. :D
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 10th, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hi! *waves back* Thanks so much for coming over to read, and especially to comment! I love hearing what everyone has to say; everyone has a slightly different perspective.

It's funny, I kind of feel like I know you already, because you're friends with the fic writers I like, and I see you commenting on the same stories I do. So it's especially nice to see your name in my journal! :)

I'm glad you had fun thinking about these issues. They had been running around in my head for awhile, and I kept worrying about committing some LJ faux pas, so I decided to throw them out there and get a consensus from anyone who cared to jump in with a comment. Everyone's input has really helped me have confidence in how to act appropriately on LJ, and I'm so thankful for that. I hope everyone participating has just benefited from the dialogue.

By far the best part has been getting to know people better. Thank you for taking the time to post such a thoughtful and thorough response!
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tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 11th, 2008 02:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Hi, Beet! Thanks so much for commenting. It sounds like you have a wealth of experience that makes you a little more savvy than the average LJ user, so I really appreciate your insights.

I can see where lurkers might forget that you don't know anything about them, while they, after weeks of reading your posts, think they know you quite well. That certainly could make for an awkward transition once they decide to delurk. All the more reason to jump right in before it gets to that point.

There are days that I have no chance of staying up with my flist. Sometimes everyone is posting lots, and I'm working lots, and I just can't keep up. I'd much rather have a group of friends with whom I have the opportunity to make meaningful contact, than a huge number that I can point to on my profile page! :) You make a very good point.

Thanks again for sharing! I feel like I've learned a lot from everyone's responses, and yours in particular delves a little deeper into the issues at hand.
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acampbell From: acampbell Date: January 11th, 2008 03:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Just a few random responses 'cause I'm beat and on my way to bed. I look forward to reading more carefully tomorrow and may be back to comment again.

I'm happy to have non-friends read (although only about 1/2 my posts are public at present). But I like being mutual friends with people, so it does kind of--not "annoy", really, that's too strong--but it sort of nettles me when someone keeps coming by again and again, and commenting, without friending me. It's like, if you like me enough to keep reading, click that button, for Pete's sake!

I'm generally happy to have people comment to each other. Before I never used to mind it at all; now, I'd rather people try at least a little to stick with the topic of the post. It doesn't really bother me when someone says only: "Hey, I love your icon!" to someone else, or even if they have a little conversation together, although I appreciate being greeted, at least.

HOWEVER--one thing that REALLY pisses me off is when people who normally are silent as the grave as far as comments go, comment

a) only when they disagree with something I say
b) to agree with someone who's disagreeing with something I say.

Petty, perhaps. But it grinds me!

Edited at 2008-01-11 03:38 am (UTC)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 11th, 2008 05:08 am (UTC) (Link)
You know, I know this sounds stupid, but I was too intimidated to friend you at first. I mean, you would post one of your screen cap posts, and instantly you would have a bunch of comments, and you all sounded like you knew each other so well, and I felt like it would be presumptuous for me to jump in and friend you. I think it took me about three weeks to work up the nerve! LOL! And then I messed it up and didn't actually do it right, so I can't even imagine what you thought of me then! It's okay, though, I'm better now. :)

Commenting just to disagree makes me wonder why they're even around. Of course back and forth discussion is great, but if all you ever do is disagree, I can't imagine that's much fun for anyone. And I don't think it's petty that it bothers you.

This is totally off-topic, but I have to tell you again how much I love your caps. Every cap I used in my Smallville game this week was yours, except for the one of Jason Teague. I hope I'm not abusing your generosity; you can tell me if I am. I just truly like your caps better than any others out there. Thanks again for letting me use them.
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From: koosh2012 Date: January 12th, 2008 02:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Hi Tariel,
I'm a little late to the party, but I wanted to say thanks for posting these questions. As a newbie, they've given me a lot to think about. Here are my thoughts on your questions.

1) Do you mind if I read your Friends Page?
Um, I have a friends page?! Hahaha... JUST kidding. Networking is all good all the time, and frankly, I haven't figured out how to surf LJ without clicking on comments & perusing other peoples Friends Page. I believe that most people have good intentions, so I don't mind this. Further, I feel much better about doing it myself after reading responses to this question.

2) May I comment on your comment?
Anytime. I love learning what other people think, regardless of whether or not they agree or disagree. I only worry about the adequacy of my own responses.

3) May I come back over and over and read all your comments?

4) Do you think all comments need to be answered?
I lean towards yes on this, because it's polite and I'm a talk-talk-talker. But it's impossible to always respond, and then there's the risk of making people feel compelled to respond out of politeness.

5) How do you feel about lurkers?
I feel compelled to speak up rather than lurk because I don't like being in spaces filled with people that I don't know are there (this comes from a real world hyper-attention to the people and energies around me). I feel like if I've taken the energy to read what someone's taken the energy to put out there, they deserve to know about it. I suppose this sometimes leads to inane and space-wasting comments, especially when we have no more in common than the fact that I somehow clicked my way to what they had to say. On the other hand, in the real world, I keep my silence - sometimes to the extent of making others feel uncomfortable - simply because I don't feel like I have anything useful to add. Thus, I understand the lurkers and they don't bother me. I could probably learn a lesson in prudence from them, in all honesty!

6) What about "bad" language?
I'm a terrible potty mouth. While I try to restrain myself so as not to offend, sometimes "freakin'" just doesn't fucking cut it.

7) How do you feel about the lj-cut?
I like the lj-cut from a user perspective because it allows me to quickly peruse my Friend's page, and I quickly adopted using it so that my friends don't have to scroll through me on theirs.

8) What about internet-speak?
I'm a language geek, so I don't mind. But I usually end up feeling like a horse's hiney when I adopt things that I eventually have to explain. ROTFLMAO, OMG & LOL don't count (but then, is the latter "lots of love" or "lots of laughs" because I always thought it was the former, and learning that it could be the latter can really change the meaning).

9) May I steal your userpic?
I'm still getting up to speed on the etiquette for userpics. I think I've figured out how to credit correctly... I wouldn't mind people stealing mine, if I made them, but I don't make them.

10) What is your friending policy?
I haven't been around LJ very long, but I always friend people who friend me because I have very egalitarian personality and have never come across anyone I wouldn't want to be friends with. On the other hand, I've become totally paranoid about friending other people because I don't want people to friend me simply because they're being polite. I love having friends, but I would rather live friendless than have an overabundance of superficial relationships.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 12th, 2008 02:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Hi! Thanks for coming by! It's never too late to join my party. :)

Believe me, I'm still a compete newbie myself. I'm so glad this post has turned out to be helpful to some other people as well, because I felt very self-involved writing it! LOL! (which always means "laughs out loud" when I use it) I've really enjoyed reading everyone's responses.

I'm someone who has a hard time keeping quiet, in life and on the internet, but I clam up fast when I'm intimidated or in a new situation where I need to focus on getting the lay of the land, and figuring out how to operate appropriately. As I've become more comfortable on LJ, I don't really lurk anymore, I just put myself out there and hope for the best. Sometimes I get my feelings hurt, but I also seem to be able to shake that off fairly quickly, so that's cool.

I can't imagine I have lurkers on my journal, it's just not that interesting, but sometimes I'll get a comment where the person will reference something I posted a long time ago, and in my head I'm like, huh, I guess you've been around for a while. But that's more flattering than anything else, so it doesn't bother me.

Looking at your friends list, I'm guessing you're one of the TVG crowd, because all your friends except one are already on my flist. So of course I must have you there too! *grabs you* Thanks again for commenting! I really appreciate it.
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