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Halrloprillalar

You can call me Hal.

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Tenuous threads.
hal
prillalar

I feel a little disconnected right now, LJ-wise. I have these grand plans, not so much for writing posts, which isn't a huge deal, but for being more involved with other people's LJs. I had a post-vac resolution to post more comments on my flist and I'm still trying to do that. But I'm finding it difficult to find the time.

I work full-time and I can't do LJ while I'm at work. I do log on at lunch sometimes, but there's usually only time to skim. By the time I get home, there are a lot of posts to go through and I'm usually busy in the evenings. As well, by then, if there are interesting discussions, they are usually quite well-discussed and anything I would add would be along the lines of "me too". (I think living in the Pacific time zone contributes to this.)

So I'm not sure what to do. I want to be more involved with other people here. I suppose I could ruthlessly cut my flist so I'd have less reading time, but I so do not want to do that. It's all I can do to keep from adding new people all the time.

And of course, all of this takes time that I might otherwise spend writing/vidding/reading fic. Aaargh!

(I think this is why it took me so long to get on LJ in the first place.)

How do other people do it? How do you keep up? How do you cope when you can't?


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You write posts like you have, venting. And posts like this one, detailing all the things you are trying to do. Then, hopefully, lots of nice people come along to tell you they sympathize/empathize, and you pick yourself up and go back to the one-thing-at-a-time method, and try and make a dent in those lists.

Hope that helps.

Hee! The empathy does help. Actually, finding out that I'm not the only one who has trouble keeping up helps a lot.

I only manage because I can check lj at work, or during the day. Also, I don't comment often. ;-)

The bottom line is - lj takes time. You either reduce another activity, or you reduce the amount of lj'ing you do. Or give up sleep. ;-)

I long to give up sleep, frankly. I always feel like it's such a waste of time. Just think how much more we could get done.

The truth is that keeping up with an flist of more than like 25 people (depending on how much your particular flist posts) takes hellacious amounts of time. Hellacious. Right now I have more free time than most people, and I *still* feel overwhelmed by LJ/fandom! I am amazed and grateful that more incredibly cool things are going on than I could ever keep up with, but wow, do I feel left in the dust sometimes.

No way can I actually transcribe everything that happens in my head when I read my flist. I so wish I could just think my responses into the comments without that nasty typing step, because then everyone would know how much I really do think about and laugh at and empathize with and enjoy what they say, even if I don't comment. I read very very fast, close to 800 words a minute. So I really can read every single post on my flist and its associated comments in an hour or so on many days, though my flist is up to 101 now, and it's getting tougher.

How fast do I type? I am a *horrible* slow typist. Maybe 50 words a minute, and I typo constantly so I always have to correct. I'm *never* going to be able to comment at the speed I can read, or even come close.

I think living in the Pacific time zone must be a special kind of LJ hell. And Australia too, where you are either the very first or way way last, depending on how you look at it. When you're the zillionth commenter, on many threads, often you're pretty much just talking to the person whose journal it is. Everyone else has been and gone.

This also relates to my issues with the way LJ promotes the same discussion happening in parallel in multiple places without connecting them. I've seen the same issue come up in like eight LJ's in my flist this week. Whose do I post on? What I really want to do is link them all to each other!

I have also been thinking about how to shift my fandom efforts so that I have the most fun and so do the people around me. Moving up in priority for me these days: answering email and people's direct comments to me more promptly; being more willing to post one-line responses so people know I at least heard them even if I don't say anything smart or interesting; betaing; writing my own fic; sending story feedback as fast as I can. Moving down in priority: my own LJ posts, especially when the topic is likely to duplicate other people's; my not yet existent website/recs page; reading hp_dungeons which is neat but I *cannot* keep up except with the Dementor and moon_dark, as much as I love everyone who is writing in it; my attempts at fan art; commenting on threads where it's all been said already.

Also, I barely watch television. We had someone run over the cable to our satellite dish with a mower and kill our TV service not too long ago. My husband and I didn't notice for two weeks. So anything about current shows is lost on me, Unless maaaybe it's about Stargate, I just skip all those threads. Which frees up time to do other stuff.

And I am going to try to *link* to long comments where I accidentally say all kinds of stuff (like this one!) in my own LJ or even in other people's comments, just as amanuensis1 did above, instead of repeating myself. Don't care whose LJ a discussion is in, I just wish they were all faster and easier to find for everyone.

This post took forty minutes to write.

I think often people underestimate the time everyone else spends here, and worry that they themselves are unusually slow. Not so, IMO. We all put in a lot of time, and it's good to think about just how much sometimes.

I so wish I could just think my responses into the comments without that nasty typing step,

I always feel this way about writing fic. I wish I could just press my brain against a piece of paper and the brainprint would be my story. It's an interface design problem. *g*

being more willing to post one-line responses so people know I at least heard them even if I don't say anything smart or interesting

I think that's a good idea and one that I should try to follow. I've come to the realisation recently that most social exchanges boil down to: "I'm alive. You're alive. That's good." So I don't always need to have a lot to say beyond that.

This post took forty minutes to write.

I really appreciate you taking that time over me. *hugs*

I think often people underestimate the time everyone else spends here, and worry that they themselves are unusually slow.

It helps to know that, certainly. I guess I should spend some time prioritizing.

I cut down on that pesky work thing. Then I can read LJ all day long.

Last night, while I was still woefully behind on what I wanted to do in fandom, I ended up spending three hours wastefully hopping about LJland and I wasn't even on my friends list. I had to go and bring in other people's friends lists.

I haven't opened a vid in a week or two. I haven't read the five recommended SG stories that I have waiting for me. I ended up closing LJ entries I wanted to comment on because I knew it'd take me an hour to write one sentence. I wrote this week off as an off week, and resolved to do what I could next week.

Everybody has weeks like that. Mine are called "the winter". *g*

I used to feel guilty about stuff like that. But I found that the guilt didn't actually motivate me to get more done. So instead, I focused on dealing with the guilt and me life has been a whole lot better since.

How I keep up: checking LJ at work, when I'm not too busy. (Smacks self with ruler for doing this! But I'm not going to stop anytime soon.)

I still can't keep up. I rarely have time to add anything thoughtful to discussions, though I would like to do so more often. There are quite a few journals that I check in and read every week or 2, but I won't put on my friends list because I don't want more commitments there.

Sometimes I feel like I would like to be more involved in LJ, and I can get frustrated that I don't have the time to make it happen. But - I have other things I need/like to do, and in general I need to spend less time in front of a computer. So I've decided that I can live with the frustration of feeling less connected to LJ people than I would like.

Hey, no ruler smacks! I know what you mean about needing to be in front of the computer less. Some days, I'm on all day at work, then on all evening at home. I need my mother to come and tell me to go play outside. *g*

Don't feel compelled to keep up.

Seriously. Which people usually have the most to say that interests you personally? Make a filter with these people/communities on it. Check that regularly, and the rest only when you have time.

There's no obligation to talk to everyone on your friend's list. I hate the word friend's list. Who the hell REALLY has 200 friends??

If there's something HUGE going down in fandom? You'll see it somewhere. Guaranteed.

There's no obligation to talk to everyone on your friend's list. I hate the word friend's list. Who the hell REALLY has 200 friends??

True enough, and that's not my goal. But there are a few people I'd like to engage with more. Maybe I should make a filter just for them, to remind myself.

Yeah, got to let go of that fear of missing something good. :)

If I wasn't able to read LJ at work, I'd have not a chance in hell of keeping up with it. Since I'm on vacation now, I can't check it much, and I'm seeing just how much time it really takes to keep up with it. I get about 100 posts a day on my flist, and I've been trying to check it twice a day. To read 50 posts and reply as needed takes a couple hours. And this is totally ignoring the posted fics and such that I'd normally read...

There just aren't enough hours in the day!

There just aren't enough hours in the day!

It's insane! Hope you're enjoying your vac, though. :)

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I like your icon idea! I should try that. Specially now that I have all those empty icon spaces. :)

How do other people do it? How do you keep up? How do you cope when you can't?

Give yourself permission not to keep up. It's hard, I know - you want to be involved, you want to be on top of things in fandom, you want to post your thoughts on *everything*, but you can't and still have a job and a life. No one can.

My involvement in lj waxes and wanes. I accept that addiction to information and involvement is a downward spiral with no end in sight, and allow myself not to know/be involved with every conversation, every debate, every exploration. ;) I'm much happier than I was when I had to read everything and comment everywhere, and I enjoy what I *do* take part in on lj much more.

I accept that addiction to information and involvement is a downward spiral with no end in sight

"Addiction to information" -- I like that. It covers a lot of things. Was it in Emma where they were always asking, "Is he a man of information?"

Hmm. I feel a bit disconnected LJ-wise too. Sometimes it seems like everyone else has been in fandom for years and has 20 online best friends, so it's a little nerve-wracking to be newish. :)

If you don't want to cut people, you could use a filter when you're busy. I don't do that personally, though, because I want people on my flist to know that I do read their journals, even if I don't comment (which I try to do as much as possible, anyway). At this point I can keep up if I check LJ once at work or between classes, but eventually I think I'll have to be selective about whom I friend back. Though, man, it feels so nice to be friended back that I want to do that for other people, too. Uh, clearly, I have no solutions to your dilemma. *g*

Uh, clearly, I have no solutions to your dilemma.

But you posted and gave me support and now we both feel more connected. So, thank you. :)

It must be hard to break into fandom now. LJ is so much about who you know; with a mailing list you could sub and lurk and then post and people didn't have to already know who you were before they'd read you.

How do you cope when you can't?

I don't. I hardly ever read all the entries on my friends list. I don't even read my LJ every day. Usually I skim through the entries and to see if there is something really interesting happening. And once a week it's LJ time, where I go back to skip=800 or something and work my way up to the present day. You can also use filters and only read your favourite friends and no one will ever find out. But for me the point of having an LJ is to be able to get in touch with lots of different people, so I don't filter. Though I admit that there are people on my friends list whose entries I hardly ever read. A good thing is to make a filter for times when you really can't read your friends list, but you want to keep in touch with a few people.
And I think that for most people a "me too" comment is sufficient, just as a sign that their entry was read and that someone cares about what they say.

You can also use filters and only read your favourite friends and no one will ever find out.

I know! It's so sneaky.

My resolve is to post more "me too" comments and not worry if they don't have much substance.

Skimming fast with the scrollymouse. Only stop if you catch words that pique your interest.

The scrollymouse is a godsend for consummate skimmers like myself. It's taken skimming to a whole new level.

What I tend to do is skim daily, scrolling for cute icons or the mention of any characters into whose pants I'd like to climb, for example. Check in with people whose sagas I've been following (has Mark gotten another nasty e-mail from his coworker? has Jodi picked a wedding dress? has Helen sold her car?) and ignore everybody else.

This also offers a nice backlog bonus for that occasional day when I have LOTS of free time, and, like, I'm sitting in my office looking for something to distract me. Then I get to jump Previous 40 and Previous 40 again and read everything I missed while I was skimming all week.

It's all about finding equilibrium. It's a bit like balancing your wagon speed and food rationing in Oregon Trail. And also figuring out what to do when Punk wanders off for three days or Furbycat gets Snakebite.

The answer: hunt for squirrels.

Skimming fast with the scrollymouse. Only stop if you catch words that pique your interest.

OK, my brain immediately went: hmm, how can I structure my posts so that skimmers will stop and read them? I should start keywording them. *g*

I do the scrollymouse thing too. It helps a lot.

It's all about finding equilibrium. It's a bit like balancing your wagon speed and food rationing in Oregon Trail.

The Boy's dad was a teacher and he had a copy of Oregon Trail that I'd play sometimes when we were visiting them. I'd name all of my children after the Boy -- Boy1, Boy2, Boy3, etc -- and laugh gleefully when they died.

As well, by then, if there are interesting discussions, they are usually quite well-discussed and anything I would add would be along the lines of "me too". (I think living in the Pacific time zone contributes to this.)

Just saw this as I was scanning my flist and had to say amen. Double-amen. I don't comment on half the things I find interesting because by the time I see it, someone else has said what I would've said. Of course, that cuts down on the time I might spend on LJ... *g*

It's a time-saver, all right. *g*

Recently, I sorted *everyone* into smaller sub-set filters.

Ironically, it is easier to read/skim ALL the sub-filters than it is to read the whole list. But also, if you don't read a filter for a day or so, it isn't too hard to catch up, skipping 60 as opposed to 210.

I've found that since I did this, I am actually getting to the end of each filter more quickly. And it's also easier to go back and find a post I want to comment on when I have more time for it.

I think it also helps to make your idea of a page larger. Instead of 25 posts per page, try 50 or whatever you think will work. Waiting for pages to load is part of what takes up time. Load less pages by reading more on one page.

In the end, though, if you hang out here long enough, you will have to cut some people from your friends list. I have not hit that limit just yet. Everyone is filtered, but I read all the filters. I do not have a "bestest friends only" filter. But the day may come....

love lore

Recently, I sorted *everyone* into smaller sub-set filters.

Now that is an interesting idea. I should try that.

Waiting for pages to load is part of what takes up time. Load less pages by reading more on one page.

I would die without my tabbed browsing. And recently I set it so that new tabs open in the background, rather than the foreground. It saves a tonne of time. I skim down my friends page and anything cut or linked or that I want to comment on, I open in a new tab. Then when I get to the end of the new posts, I go back through the tabs.

How do you try and keep up? You don't. I can't imagine keeping up with every thread and every fandom and every fan I am interested in.

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