Because of some of the comments to yesterday’s post I got a (very real) migraine but also a really cool idea (some of my best ideas come when my left eye is throbbing—I have no idea why—a migraine is supposed to be the aftershock of some kind of seizure—maybe they work like kicking a coke machine does to get results). Let’s make a poll and have a BLEACHNESS FEEDBACK DAY!
In the light of fandom talking about fandom, there was some real criticisms made here of this community. Now, I may be at a disadvantage here because I don’t read criticisms of bleachness in other fandom places (it’s no secret that I have a lot of disdain for places like fandomsecrets and fandom_wank and for the general concept of go anon and complain) but here, I need to listen. Some of the same community members have made the same criticisms more than once, and because those criticisms involve the notion that people can’t speak up here because of an intimidating atmosphere, I need to know:
1. Who else agrees
2. To what extent is there is a problem with people not participating because they are
confused by the nature of the community
3. To what extent the community needs to evolve to accommodate those people if it indeed does need to accommodate to them
4. What I personally can do to make bleachness a more welcoming place
I’ve said it so many times here and it’s stated within the Bleachness Rules and Guidelines ( linked on the sidebar of the comm) that bleachness began as my personal writing journal and community of friends and evolved from there. It was never intended to be a general Bleach community catering to any and all fans like its predecessor, the larger and more rigidly moderated manga community soulsociety . This very fact may be the source of a lot of the uncertainty I’m hearing from the membership. Yesterday, delwynmarch observed: I'm all confused. Is Bleachness your extended-LJ, in which case I would naturally expect an amount of favouritism, or is it a general comm in which case I would expect everyone to be treated the same? Also, is it a group of like-minded friends, in which case I'd feel out-of-place posting stuff that's not related to the group's main interests, or is it a general comm where all interests are valued equally?
The guidelines entry answers that question—no, all interests are not valued equally here because this place has its biases and preferences. The same can be said for the general Bleach fandom. But that doesn’t mean that your Hisagi essay wouldn’t be welcome here.
The only way to find out how it will be received is to post it.
The issue of how friends versus newcomers are treated in this community is a trickier one—in regards to that natural social way of things, you can definitely expect that I am going to be more familiar in comments with people I’ve known for years than with people I haven’t known, but I do believe I’ve been very warm and welcoming when people announce that they’ve delurked to join. I can’t speak for all my friends and how welcoming they want to be because they’re free to be themselves, but yes, this community has the atmosphere of a hang-out because it began that way. It’s not a public service. Bleachness isn’t a newsfeed. It’s my community and I invest time in it for my pleasure primarily but also because I love to share my fandom love with others.
I could’ve chosen to make this community an elite one or an invitation-only one or one like the “adults only” Naruto community to which I was recently introduced. At this Naruto comm, all discourse can be read by the public but membership is closely moderated. As it was, I kept membership open and never disabled anon comments. I’m wondering now, though, if my desire to preserve the original character of a “me and my friends community” might not necessitate that. Or—if the belief is widespread enough that bleachness needs to be less cliquey, then maybe I can discover and initiate ways to make it less so or maybe even plan to transition it to new maintainers (if and when my own interest and joy in it dries up).
Other charges against this community have to do with its tone. It’s fairly difficult to me to take these charges very seriously because I’m more concerned with how fairly people are treated in this community (i.e. that members are not outright bashed or insulted) than with how members choose words to express their opinions. Mods can’t monitor interpretations of “condescending.” Personality conflicts aren’t my business. Some people may think it was “in poor taste” of me to mention my many college degrees. Other people may find the conviction with which some fans express their faith in “Ichigo is gay” or “IchiRuki will be the endgame ship” annoying. Neither I nor any mod can do much to assuage those who are wounded by such impressions. Snarky remarks are everywhere—it’s a rare fandom community where even mods don’t make them, and I prefer the character of this place to the draconian nature of many places that are so heavily moderated that people can’t say anything at all because any disagreements may offend . If there’s any one thing I’m happy about how bleachness has distinguished itself from other fan places, it’s that there’s lots of discourse and open disagreement here and some of us really think arguing is fun.
All I can say before looking at poll results is that I’m listening to my members, though. I can say that I’m aware that this community is different from those originally conceived as general communities or ones with specific purposes and as such, I’m aware that it’s going through growing pains right now.
So, talk to me.
I won’t be on most of the day because I’m off to an all day celebration thingy at synagogue but I’ll get back to everyone, I promise.
You should be able to vote on this poll as anon if you wish---if I’ve done things right via my html. But if you can’t you may still comment anon to this entry. Because in the past week I’ve been trolled on my personal LJ and because anon people online/people using sock puppets have presented themselves as friends and allies only to later reveal their malicious intent, I consider this an extremely generous gesture. Don’t abuse it.
I read this community because (check all that apply)
The character and personality of this community
What I'd like to see more of in bleachness is
What I'd like to see less of in bleachness
My experience in bleach fandom includes (check all that apply)