March 29th, 2005

me: ooh!

LJ social politics

Over the nearly four years I've been using LJ, I believe the social politics and etiquette have changed a great deal. In the beginning, for me, it was just a pleasant distraction from work. I didn't censor myself as much, or consistently put much time and care into formulating posts. My friends list was quite small, so it didn't take much commitment on my part to comment regularly on everyone's entries, no matter how trivial.

As time has passed, I've become more selective. I've formulated certain ground rules for myself. They run something like this.

  • Don't post quizzes or surveys. I don't read other people's results or answers, so it doesn't seem reasonable to expect them to read mine.
  • Only post polls on occasions where I think I've got a truly funny idea for one or when I'm requesting specific information from my friends, usually snail-mail addresses and the like.
  • Link, LJ-cut or resize images for photo posts. When uploading a photo gallery, caption and title all images to try to create a complete story.
  • Don't post more than twice a day. If I post twice in one day, I'll usually wait at least one day before posting again. This allows me to spend time on the last ground rule, which is
  • Comment regularly and substantively on my friends' posts, or at least be sure to answer the comments on my own posts. This is probably the most time-consuming effort on my part, and it's why my friends list doesn't grow very quickly.

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Common interest searches usually don't turn up very much in the way of interesting people. I've had mixed luck with recommendations from other friends. I feel bit like I've boxed myself in here. I don't know whether to simply make myself comfortable with the company I've already got in this box, or to attempt to expand it further. I'm curious what other people think about the social politics of LJ. What criteria do you use to decide to add new friends? Do you feel yourself getting bored if you don't have fresh stimulus by adding new people? Do you use filters or keep multiple journals or both? If one and not the other, why? If you're friends-only, what's your rationale?