dbskyler: (Ten looking up)
dbskyler ([personal profile] dbskyler) wrote in [community profile] lj_refugees2010-09-14 10:10 am
Entry tags:

DW culture question on friending

Hi everyone,

One of the interesting differences between DW and LJ is how "friending" here is split up into the two halves of "subscribing" and "granting access." While I know how it works in practice, how things work and the cultural norms surrounding those things can sometimes be very different, and I'm hoping that there are enough DW veterans lurking on this comm to answer: What is the cultural view here regarding subscribing to someone's journal without granting access to your own? Is it considered rude, something almost never to be done? Is it considered distancing, something you do only with people you want to read but are pretty sure you'd never be actual friends with? Is it considered a natural first step in the friending process? Or is it considered no big deal one way or the other?

ETA: Thank you everyone for sharing your viewpoints and personal approaches. I feel much more confident now about going forth and subscribing / encircling people. This comm is wonderful.

[personal profile] madelienegrey 2010-09-14 05:44 pm (UTC)(link)
This is a great question, and I look forward to seeing other responses. I'm not a veteran, I'm afraid, but I dont take offense if people don't grant me access immediately. I don't generally grant access immediately, because I like the idea of getting to know another individual for a while before letting them into my full life. Although, what I post publically is already pretty open, so I could be an outlier, here.
kareila: (Default)

[personal profile] kareila 2010-09-14 05:46 pm (UTC)(link)
I think the primary factor that I've seen is whether a journal consists of mostly locked content. In that case I'd say it's offputting to subscribe to someone, but not give them access to see anything you write yourself, because then how can you ever turn that into a two-way relationship? However, if most of your stuff is open, subscribing without granting access isn't a big deal.

That's how I treat my own journal. I only access-lock content of a highly personal nature. Therefore I only grant access to people with whom I have a significant relationship, whom I feel I know and trust. I guess it could be considered similar to the distinction between "friends" and "acquaintances".

[personal profile] librariana 2010-09-14 05:49 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm sure it is different for everybody, but for me subscribing is a great feature. It's like bookmarking the content you like. Somebody wrote something nice and you don't want to miss if he/she writes something interesting again - so you subscribe. You may or may not drop a line saying "I subscribed to your public entries, hope you don't mind". This is it. You are not expected to deeply care about this person or try to immediately be friends with him/her, there is no pressure and you may read and lurk in peace :)

noxie: friendly girl smiling (Default)

[personal profile] noxie 2010-09-14 05:55 pm (UTC)(link)
I second this. That's exactly why subscribing/granting access is split up, after all. I've been here since closed beta, and I've always made use of this awesome feature this way. If I like something, I just subscribe. If I want to be friends, I also grant access. It may be different for other people, though - I can't speak for everyone. :)

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cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)

[personal profile] cesy 2010-09-14 05:53 pm (UTC)(link)
I frequently subscribe to people without granting access - it's a natural first step, saying "I find you interesting and want to know you more". Sometimes I'll comment or PM them if it was a particular topic that drew me to them. Sometimes they'll subscribe back straight away, and sometimes they'll wait until we've talked in comments a bit and got to know each other. Granting access usually comes later, though I tend to grant access pretty freely and then use custom filters.

Short answer: For most of the people I know, it's either something you do for a person you want to read but won't be friends with, or a natural first step in the friending process. If it's the latter, I'm slightly more likely to comment, PM or grant access at the same time, but not invariably.
kate: Kate Winslet is wryly amused (Default)

[personal profile] kate 2010-09-14 06:19 pm (UTC)(link)
This, exactly.

I've never seen someone offended at being subscribed to without having been granted access, and I've never seen someone offended if they weren't subscribed to right back.

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[personal profile] alchemy 2010-09-14 06:14 pm (UTC)(link)
I think that the fact that DW allows for the split creates an inherently different sort of user culture. I've been here since the beginning (albeit not posting the whole time), and I've never thought of just subscribing as rude. In fact, I find it a bit odd if someone I don't know both subscribes to me and gives me access unless, as was mentioned above, they have a locked journal. I usually return the gesture, but that's owing more to my having very little locked content and none of that being especially private than my feeling compelled by some unspoken site standard.
winneganfake: (Default)

[personal profile] winneganfake 2010-09-14 06:21 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you- I was actually thinking of doing a similar post this morning. And great to see the responses thus far!
inkstone: Clover's Oruha looking away (bright lights)

[personal profile] inkstone 2010-09-14 06:42 pm (UTC)(link)
I've been here since closed beta and I don't think it's considered rude at all. For me, anyway, it's a natural first step in the process of trying to get to know someone. I definitely don't take offense if someone doesn't immediately grant me access.

On the other hand, I very rarely access-lock my posts so in terms of the getting-to-know-you phases, you'll be able to get to know me through mutual subscription. I imagine the perspective is different if you lock most of your content.

I do think a lot of the mindset has to do with when and how you came over to Dreamwidth? As I said, I came over pretty early on and when I did, I came with the intent to be more open so most of my content is public. Also, because I did come early on, I didn't know very many people here so I viewed subscribing as a natural first step to getting to know the new people I did encounter better.
arethinn: glowing green spiral (Default)

[personal profile] arethinn 2010-09-14 06:46 pm (UTC)(link)
What is the cultural view here regarding subscribing to someone's journal without granting access to your own? Is it considered rude, something almost never to be done?

I hope not, because I do it all the time, for a reason similar to this:

Is it considered distancing, something you do only with people you want to read but are pretty sure you'd never be actual friends with?

Although that's a bit strong - while it might be true in some cases, usually it's more like "I'm not sure yet whether I want to give this person access to my more personal posts and/or put them on any of my access filters".
denisia: (Default)

[personal profile] denisia 2010-09-14 06:48 pm (UTC)(link)
My journal's totally locked, and I get really uncomfortable with people who read and never comment...so I think I'd be a little weirded out if someone subscribed to me and wanted access to my journal, but didn't want to let me know who they were or what they were writing about. I only friend people with whom I've interacted, though, so this doesn't come up most of the time.
medie: Kara Zor-El and J'onn J'onzz (in unshifted form) flying (trek - tng - Vulcan engineer)

[personal profile] medie 2010-09-14 07:12 pm (UTC)(link)
Honestly, at present I'm very 'eh, random' about how I do it. Usually, I'll just hit the subscribe button if I don't know them at all (if it's someone I met up with from livejournal, well I'll usually grant access) but if they grant it to me, I'll return the favor.

I tend to filter for some things. Personal, fic, etc. Me granting access doesn't necessarily guarantee someone will see everything. At this point, my filtering is habitual.
denisia: (Default)

[personal profile] denisia 2010-09-14 07:56 pm (UTC)(link)
That's the same way I work things with my journal. I have filters for content, so just being on my access list doesn't guarantee that a person is going to get access to everything. The same way I trust some friends with critical information more than others off-line.
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[personal profile] starwatcher 2010-09-14 07:24 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm not a veteran, but I love the differentiation. My interests come and go, and are somewhat varied; I may follow a particular account for a month, a year, or five. I like 'subscribing'; it lets the account owner know that I'm only interested in the public stuff, with no expectation of infringing on their close-friend (access) posts.

Conversely, I grant access to people that I "know" over many years (and some in person). These are the people that I would share "private" stuff with, whose opinion I actively seek.

Since I'll post to "access-only" only on very rare occasions, people who simply subscribe to me won't miss much. And, if they had access (like LJ's 'friending' of everyone), I'd simply create a filter to exclude them, because my level of 'knowing' them isn't deep enough to feel comfortable letting them into my "private" thoughts.

In other words, I regard -- and use -- access / subscribe as a "first-level" filter.
jae: (dreamwidthgecko)

[personal profile] jae 2010-09-14 07:29 pm (UTC)(link)
I've had a dreamwidth account since almost day one, and while I can't speak for everyone, I subscribe to journals without granting access all the time. Sometimes I get to know those people through interacting with them in public, and we eventually add each other to our access lists, but sometimes it's just an interesting journal to read but not someone I'd necessarily want to get to know better. And frankly, often you can't tell at first! Sometimes you need to read someone for a while before you can know whether you'd want to get to know them better.

This distinction is my very favourite thing about dreamwidth, and the main reason my main journalling presence is here.

Edited 2010-09-17 04:07 (UTC)
angrboda: Viking style dragon head finial against a blue sky (Default)

[personal profile] angrboda 2010-09-14 07:46 pm (UTC)(link)
Hardly a veteran, but I do have an opinion. Or rather, a way of doing it.

I rather like the distinction between subscribing and access granting, but for me, with a completely locked journal, there IS no real distinction. One goes hand in hand with the other. You can't just subscribe to me, you would never see any posts. Ever. I would just be a waste of your time that way and clutter on your profile page.

You need me to grant you access if you want to see my posts. And I cannot bring myself to grant you access to my flocked posts if you will not do the same for me. My journal contains bits of my life, and often in great detail, and it's firmly locked for the sake of my own sense of security. I will happily let in the vast majority of people who wants to be friends*, but that doesn't mean that I can just grant access to everybody without getting anything in return. I might as well not bother with the flock then.

So if I see someone subscribing to me but not granting me access to their posts, I will not grant them access to mine unless they ask me. And if they ask me, and still don't grant me access as well, I probably still wouldn't. Something for something. If I'm to put my trust in someone by letting them in, I need them to put some trust in me as well, you know?

For the same reason I can't really see myself subscribing to someone without granting them access at the same time. How can they tell if I'm someone they would like to know if they can't see who I am? And yes, this IS different from the trouble above, because this is me approaching the other person first. When adding someone I try to always remember to leave an awkward sort of comment, letting them know I'm there and why, but if after a while I see that they haven't subscribed or granted access in some way, I might go back to only subscribing without access.

Some people would choose to get around this with different levels of access filters, but that's EXACTLY the reason why I'm on a default 100% flock. So that I don't have to decide which and how many people should see it every single time I post something.

*I have no problem with the LJ terminology here. In fact I rather like it, although I can see why it might annoy some. On DW I really really miss there being a word for adding and removing people. Friend and defriend rolls off the tongue so easily, and DW also lack good alternative words for flist and flisters. Just saying.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)

[personal profile] azurelunatic 2010-09-14 09:17 pm (UTC)(link)
I've heard "droll", short for "dreamroll", derived from "blogroll".

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[personal profile] musyc 2010-09-14 08:01 pm (UTC)(link)
I love the ability to separate subscription and access. I hated the number of filters I had on LJ - okay, is this post good for the fandom people but not for the other fandom people, is this post going to be appropriate for the BEST friends but not all the friends, etc etc. I adore the choice and separation, and hated the idea that being able to see someone's locked posts made them think I was their friend or vice versa. No, just means you have access to something the entire internet doesn't get.

In short, subscribe before access, get to know a body that way. I far prefer it, and don't find it rude at all.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)

[personal profile] azurelunatic 2010-09-14 09:17 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm a long-time user here, and I use it a lot like [personal profile] cesy's thread -- if I run into someone, they have interesting things to say, and I either want to read them regularly, try reading them to see if I want to read them regularly, or think about getting to know them to see if I want to invite them further into my life with letting them see my locked stuff.

There are a few reasons I might not use subscribing and instead sign up for inbox/email alerts -- when for whatever reason I don't want to make a public connection, or if it's something that I possibly want to read but don't want to read the whole thing right then on my reading list, I want to get the notification and then sit down and read it whenever there is a convenient moment.

Paid accounts can set up reading filters such that only X or Y tag (or all tags *but* X or Y) will show up on your reading page -- thus if you're only reading someone for their fic, and they have a coherent tagging scheme, you can subscribe and filter so it's just that tag showing up to read.

People who use their journals differently will have different rules about it -- I saw the people in comments here who grant access to people who subscribe who don't seem like creepazoids, because they mostly post locked stuff and their subscribing is otherwise fruitless -- I also know people who never post any locked stuff, so they don't grant access, because there's nothing there that requires it. I also know people who have a large readership, larger than they can reasonably keep up with, who only subscribe to a relatively small number of people, but who grant access to more, to let them into whatever not-for-the-greater-public stuff but mostly to show affiliation. Locked fic journals who are mostly locking to make sure that they stay off of Google and that you're likely to be legal to read that in your area.
tattycat: (Default)

[personal profile] tattycat 2010-09-14 10:56 pm (UTC)(link)
I run a locked journal, so I always grant access when I subscribe to someone. However, I have a disclaimer that I don't expect it in return. I also have a standing unsubscribe amnesty; in other words, if someone finds we just don't click or I don't write about what interests them and they want to stop reading, no harm no foul.

[personal profile] ex_bel786 2010-09-15 12:30 am (UTC)(link)
Same here! Except that my journal isn't completely locked, but I try to make it clear that people can come and go as they please with no worries.
sashataakheru: (Default)

[personal profile] sashataakheru 2010-09-15 12:24 am (UTC)(link)
I gotta say, subscribing has made me much less of a lurker as I don't feel quite so intimidated about subscribing to someone's journal as I would adding someone as a friend on LJ. I can just subscribe for a while, see if we get along, and it goes from there. And if it doesn't work out, well, there's no harm either.

I didn't used to have a lot of locked entries, and I'm trying to keep this journal public, but I imported my LJ which was flocked so there are a lot of locked entries now, old though they are. Granting access allows them to read back over them too, if they want, even if they don't grant access to me.

And also, tbh, some people you just want to subscribe to, and that's enough, so it's a good way to keep track of them and read their entries without stressing too much over it.
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[personal profile] mmleadinglady 2010-09-15 02:53 am (UTC)(link)
I just wanted to say thanks for this question because it wasn't something I had thought of until I read it and then I got nervous that I may have been disregarding mores without meaning to! But seems like everyone so far has a live/let live policy with the subscribing, which is great. My journal here is now mostly public, since it's fandom, but it's always good to know.
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[personal profile] thorfinn 2010-09-15 02:55 am (UTC)(link)
I don't think it's considered rude at all, that's the whole point of having the functional split in the first place. :-)

Personally I almost always hit both - but my "access list only" content is not that private... It's about as private as "friends only" content I would have on Facebook, if that gives some idea of how not-private that content is. I have custom lists for actually private content.

I wouldn't find it rude of anyone to subscribe but not grant access. I'd possibly find it odd if someone granted access and didn't subscribe, but only odd, not rude. :-)
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[personal profile] intermezzo 2010-09-16 07:26 pm (UTC)(link)
Oooh interesting question and one I've been thinking about since migrating here. As a newbie myself, the new (for me) friending system was puzzling at first, but the more I thought about it, the fairer it seemed. I assume this feature was created having in mind, say, fanfic writers or icon/layout-makers who don't necessarily want to read all of their subscribers' entries. And that works the other way around. When I was on LJ, I did friend a few artists, but I was kinda meh they could read my flocked content; I would have loved if we had had the chance to get to know each other better, but as it turns out artists and fanficcers' flists are usually huge so unless you know them since Adam, it's hardly possible for them to read a million personal posts and even more impossible for them to actually comment on them.

Anyhow, most of the people who replied here seem to be friending the way I do. If I want to be friends with someone, I grant them access to my locked entries (all of my entries, as a matter of fact). I have yet to just subscribe to a DW user without granting them access, but I suppose that'll happen as soon as I find new comms here.
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[personal profile] jenwryn 2010-09-17 01:51 am (UTC)(link)
This entire post (and its comments, obviously!!) is excellent. And makes me feel so much better about just letting myself slip into the culture of it, rather than clinging to my lj-hang-ups. :D
foxfirefey: Fox stealing an egg. (mischief)

[personal profile] foxfirefey 2010-09-17 04:48 pm (UTC)(link)
Including a link to this in a meta roundup.
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[personal profile] sofiaviolet 2010-09-17 10:15 pm (UTC)(link)
I grant access to everyone in my circle. If I'm adding a new person, I want them to have a fuller understanding of what they're getting should they choose to subscribe in return. If someone subscribes to my journal, I figure they might as well get to read everything.

This works for me because of how I use access and filters. An access-only post is locked merely so it's not immediately findable via Google/Latest Things/whatever. For more sensitive things, I employ filters (my local friends, my close online friends, family members, and one filter for everyone who doesn't fit in the other filters [so I can lock an entry to only people I really trust, or just my family, or I can specifically lock my parents out]).

I don't subscribe to everyone in my circle, and the separation makes it much less awful to cut back on my reading if I need to. The separation of subscription and access also makes "friending" a much less intimidating prospect.

I think the social norms surrounding subscription and access are still pretty fluid.
pinesandmaples: A silver necklace in the shape of a Louisiana with a heart cutout. (theme: trio)

[personal profile] pinesandmaples 2010-09-18 12:03 am (UTC)(link)
I'm pretty open about my internet presence with everyone except my boss(es), my brothers-in-law, and my dad so I automatically grant and subscribe...but I also know that I'm in the minority on that. It's really okay for me, because I'm not hurt if people want to give me a trial period before granting me access or if people just need some private time while still reading whatever blather I currently have.

firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)

[personal profile] firecat 2010-09-18 12:37 am (UTC)(link)
I subscribe at will. I grant access to almost everyone who subscribes to my journal, because access-lock on my journal is mainly to prevent the content from ending up on Google. I don't expect access to be granted to me if I subscribe.
tenshinochouwa: smecker from boondock: "and there was a firefight!" (Default)

[personal profile] tenshinochouwa 2010-09-19 01:16 am (UTC)(link)
This, exactly. I subscribe to people who I want to read, and have no delusions that they all want/have time to read what I have to say. I don't lock much, mainly stuff I don't want the whole entire world/people I know who accidentally find my journal to find, so if someone subscribes to me, I will grant them access. I generally imagine people who post more and/or post more interesting things than I do use the categories differently, but that's what's so great about it - you can use it however you want to.

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