There are a few issues that have made the divide in fandom feel bigger. The fact that we are spread out across too many social media sites is one. Twitter and Tumblr and Ao3 and LJ, not to mention snapchat and Instagram and whatever else. We are scattered, our forces are too spread out across the realms. I, myself, am on LJ, Tumblr and AO3.
With Tumblr, it can be an interactive experience, where you post a thought, someone turns it into a plot, someone else actually writes it, then someone else does art for it. And it becomes a whole collaboration. And that is amazing! I love seeing that happen! I love being a part of interactions like that - it can feel like the art has come alive on its own.
But the other end is you put something out there and it doesn't get seen because it has to be picked up by the right person to make the rounds. And for fic, you get likes and reblogs but not comments, because its uncool to comment on the piece itself, idek. So, while fic certainly happens there, the interactions maybe don't happen as much thru it. I feel like maybe some of the best interactions on Tumblr happen through meta - a lot of meta over there.
Idek, it feels fast paced on Tumblr. And sometimes that can be amazing, especially if you are watching a post evolve, but that can also can be overwhelming. And sometimes it's just a void. Tumblr is a very drastic swing.
On AO3, I used to really feel that the kudos button was a cheap way of enjoying someone's work for free and then taking the least amount of effort to give back to them for it. Now when I use it myself, it's because I wanted to just say like, "Thank you for letting me read this." Otherwise, I try to take the time to comment. I told my bff what a cheap ass shot I thought the kudos button was - (I've come around on it, I take it now as a "I liked this!" comment and I like to know when someone likes my work,) - and she said she uses it all the time and we would have never become friends if we'd met thru ao3 because that's all she does is kudos. And I thought, 'how would we have become friends anyways, it's not like there is conversation on ao3?' It's Fic/Comment, but no conversing, how do you make connections on ao3? Anyone explain to me how to turn AO3 into connections?
It does seem like my work gets seen a ton more on AO3. Maybe because more people read over there now or maybe because of the fantastic tag system, idek, but it feels like my work gets seen by a wider range of people on AO3, as well as myself finding so much more fic to consume, finding the stuff I like, getting my sweet spot hit more readily. So for fic consummation and feedback quantity, you can't beat AO3.
I still feel like LJ has better quality of comments and deeper social connections, it's the best for socializing - but it's gone quiet these days. Fandom is spreading out and the great things that LJ has to offer are thinning with the numbers. Still, you can't beat LJ for comments on personal posts though, the social connections here are way better, the conversations too.
But my biggest new friend connections I've made in the last few years have been from my disability blog. They turned into fannish squee, "You like this? Me too!" But they started thru disability convo. It's just that sometimes finding the right people thru all of these spaces - and even within the spaces themselves - is overwhelming. How do we come back together again?
There are certainly things I like about the other platforms I am on, and I have made some good friends there and am changing the way I 'do' fandom, but still, I am so glad to have this little coffee shop we call LJ.