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Dreamwidth - HUH?
Is it just me, or has there been a veritable surge of people switching to Dreamwidth in the last few days? I'm happy most of them say they aren't jumping ship, they just use it as a back-up so to speak. Still, what's going on over there that has people signing up in masses?

I don't live under a rock, but I seem to have missed something big.
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snycock From: snycock Date: May 3rd, 2009 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, they just went out of closed beta into open beta, so they starting letting more people make free accounts, and also opened up the ability to purchase an account. That's why the rush in the past few days.

The larger question: Dreamwidth is a social networking site, built on LJ's code, made by fandom folks (synecdochic was a major force) in the wake of Strikethrough (LJ deleting a bunch of fannish journals and communities in a panic because some right-wing organization was accusing them of supporting child porn).

Personally, I am glad to have a backup for LJ, but also, I admire the ethos behind Dreamwidth and the support for fannish endeavors. I want to support them, because they're trying to do things differently - they've been amazingly transparent about issues in the beta, they respond really quickly to questions and comments, and they have a diversity statement that brought tears to my eyes.

Now, it may not always be that way, and people could end up as disgruntled with DW as with LJ, but I really hope not. I really think they want to be a home for fandom and be supportive. Which doesn't mean that they aren't going to have to make some uncomfortable decisions at times. But I believe they're committed to making those in an open and transparent environment.

Anyway, whoo, that was probably way more than you wanted to know! All my own opinion, obviously. You can validate your livejournal account over there as an OpenID if you want to check it out: www.dreamwidth.org.
dreaming_k From: dreaming_k Date: May 9th, 2009 08:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Sorry for taking so long to get back to you.

Thank you for taking the time and explaining this! It really came out of the blue for me as I'd never even heard of Dreamwidth before. With the help of laurie_ky and fluterbev I've got my own account there now, and will see how this proceeds.

After reading the diversity statement, I do really hope that things work out the way the Dreamwidth creators imgagine them. It does sound like a good place to be.
laurie_ky From: laurie_ky Date: May 3rd, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
if you want a code fluterbev and cybel have some first come, first served.

Me, I'm waiting and let them work the bugs out first, and then I'll buy an account. There has been some problems -- social ones -- with some people feeling that the system to hand these out is flawed and has led to some less than good behavior on the part of a small minority who crowed over other people, and others who don't see a problem because this method of increasing the population so that growth is controlled and doesn't crash the system, is one used commonly for games and other journal sites.

Some folks who weren't really very aware that Dreamwidth was on the horizon, felt kind of left out that they didn't get codes -- But they would have if they'd signed up. Not much help, if you didn't know you should do that. And people have expressed concern that the connections they've made here at LJ will be lost if people migrate, so there's also been a bit of a panic of "don't leave me behind.'

Reading people's comments, there has been a fair amount of triggering of childhood memories of being picked last, of feeling on the outside looking in, of not being cool enough to be chosen. While I acknowledge that people have had those feelings, they are irrational,( as are a lot of leftover from childhood things that influence our feelings as adults) I feel, and if really processed, can be discarded for a more rational, balanced acceptance that Dreamwidth is a business and used this method, I believe, for two reasons.

One, for expediency in handing out the codes to build up their population. Since everybody who validated their ID over there would end up with a free account eventually, they wanted to bring in the population that hadn't signed up -- But limiting it for technical reasons, as they are still fiddling with the thing.

Two. Taking advantage of human nature by making these codes seem like a more exclusive thing. If they'd come to people's doors begging them to sign up, I bet most people would have been suspicous about it. But by having them passed out by somebody you had a connection of some sort with, and having that limited number, it's made them more attractive.

Since anybody could have signed up to get one initially, and now you get a free account by either getting a code from somebody, or you can pay three dollars for one months paid account and let it lapse to a free account, nobody is being excluded.

But some folks on my flist have been very upset by it all.


Edited at 2009-05-03 05:57 pm (UTC)
dreaming_k From: dreaming_k Date: May 9th, 2009 08:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Laurie! Sorry my reply is so late.

I followed your suggestion and got a code. After looking around Dreamwidth it does seem like a fine endeavor, if the can really pull it off like they imagine.

What you described about people being afraid of being left behind and being left in an empty community is what I felt when this started last week. But I wouldn't fault Dreamwidth for this, since - as you said - there were sign up options at the start. If I wasn't this bad at keeping up with things I'd have known about this long before.

Also I do understand, that this restrictions aren't supposed to be kept up permanently and people will be able to sign up later. So, no exclusion.

Let's hope peoples' bad feelings will not last for very long.
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