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(While individuals are welcome to link this around as they please, I ask that this please not be included in any newsletters or linkdumps. Also, I will probably flock this post in a couple of weeks, or sooner if discussion becomes uncivil.)

This is an anon meme appreciation post. Specifically, it is a post about the two anon memes that I've gotten familiar with, fail_fandomanon (pan-fannish) and spnanonhaven (SPN-specific), and why I love them.

I think this needs to start with some pre-emptive defense of anon fannish spaces. I've seen a lot of discussion about how people who post anon are 'cowards' unwilling to stand behind their words, using anonymity as an excuse to be a bully without social consequences from it. However, there are any number of reasons anonymity might be desirable for particular discussions.

First, it's good for discussions of sensitive topics, so that people can express their feelings without getting shunned for them, whatever those feelings might be. Sometimes the best of us say stupid things, and though we might regret them later, namespace internet Never Forgets. Sometimes we're still feeling out how we feel about something and don't feel comfortable attaching our name to that opinion. Sometimes we have a good and valid opinion that people in namespace might be a jerk to us about. Anon spaces allow us to talk about things productively - or, let's be honest, sometimes not so productively - without fearing that we will be forever branded by our opinion of today.

Second, while namespace fannish environment actively encourages nice comments only and discourages negativity of any kind, especially regarding fanworks or fan-run activities, anon memes allow room for other kinds of discussion. It would not feel appropriate for me to tell an author in the comments of their fic that I find their depiction of a female character to be toxic, bashy, and misogynistic. Unless I know them well, I would not do that even in a PM. Some people would accept such feedback, carefully phrased, as constructive criticism, even from a random person off the street, but quite frankly most people wouldn't. Even if a particular author says they welcome concrit, I have no way of knowing how they will actually respond; sometimes "welcomes concrit" is idiosyncratic code for "I'm such an awesome writer that no one will ever (dare to) give me any." And, quite frankly, it is neither my responsibility nor, IMO, becoming of me as a citizen of my fannish community to go around telling everyone what I think is wrong with their fic. That would be rude and condescending.

As a reader, however, I frequently want to discuss these impressions with other readers, and anonymity allows for that. Anon memes are invaluable for readers who want to know if Danneel is villainized in this one fic, how a disability is handled in that fic, and who bottoms in that other J2 epic. In our positive-only fannish culture there is no room for any such thing in namespace.

If an author wanders in and gleans useful reader reactions from an anon discussion, that's nice for them, but that is merely a byproduct of discussion by and for readers (and also consumers of other fanworks). It is not meant as a feedback system. Even so, if an author actually wants feedback, what difference should it make if it comes with a face or not? What you'll get at an anon meme is more honest and likely more impersonal than any you'll get offered in namespace. Personally, it makes zero difference to me whether a negative comment about my work comes from an anon commenter or from a non-anon person I don't know, except that I'll think the namespace person was being rude. I'll weight the actual feedback exactly the same.

(It is of course possible for people with grudges to make negative anon comments about a fic. If those comments seem unsupported, though, other anon people will usually push back pretty quickly.)

Third, you know, sometimes I just do not feel comfortable discussing my deep and abiding need for more ponyplay fic (not a real example) in namespace. Nor should I be made to feel that I ought to. Anonymity is a form of safe place to discuss things that we aren't willing to own up to yet, or ever. It isn't even always about the kinky aspects of our life; sometimes we just need to describe the general awfulness of our day or how a relationship we have isn't working or we can't find a job to save our lives, without putting our names to it. Not that my fannish anon memes frequently turn into True Confessions time, but occasionally they do serve that purpose. And the rest of the time, if I am suddenly hungry for recs to feed my new and still tender love of tentacle sounding (also not a real example), meme will enthusiastically provide.

Am I saying that all anon spaces are sweetness and light? No. No, I am not. I am saying that they don't have to be the toxic waste dumps of fandom, and that the ones with which I have personal experience have not been.

(Incidentally, anon spaces have their cultural conventions, the same as any other community, and one of the primary conventions is, surprise surprise, anonymity. If a person shows up in anon meme and posts unanon, they're not shining forth as a beacon of truth and honesty; mostly, they just come across as rude. Or possibly clueless.)

In closing, re: anonymity and bullying and people being mean, I'm fairly certain that most of the utter assholes I've encountered anon are also assholes in namespace. Guys, people are not nearly so good at hiding assholish tendencies as they're often given credit for. And meanwhile, many of the people I encounter anon are awesome, and several of my good fannish friends now are people I originally met anon, whose identities I then managed to root out with my wily detective ways. The idea that anonymity necessarily leads to assholishness is wrong, unsupported by the evidence, and self-defeating. You guys, our entire fannish lives are built around pseudonyms and socks separate even from those pseudonyms, and somehow many people in fandom still manage to consistently not be assholes.

(Furthermore, calling someone names for an activity that by definition means they will not call you out for maligning them seems to me to be its own, singularly self-satisfied kind of bullying.)

Ugh, okay, now that that's out of the way. Things I like! Good things! Drawbacks!

Why I like anon memes:
  1. Y'all have noticed that LJ is a ghost town these days? The SPN anon meme is my single best place for fannish interaction about my primary fandom. F_FA is the best place I know for up-to-the-minute discussion of events relevant to the interests of greater fandom. These days anon memes are the happening places on LJ for discussion with a broad range of other fans. There are SPN fans of every stripe on spnanonhaven (except people who are wholeheartedly enthused about this last season, but then I am less than enthused about it, too, so I can't say I mind that particular bias). F_FA pulls people in from any fandom you could name, including tons, like animanga fandoms and Homestuck, that I've never interacted with in namespace at all. Plenty of people on the anon memes say that it's their only form of fannish interaction these days.

    So, go to an anon meme and rejoice in or complain about AO3 or Yuletide or spn_j2_bigbang to your heart's content. You can talk about fannish trends. (F_FA is the best place I've found to discuss a/b/o.) You can rec things you won't even admit in namespace to having read. You can have lovely long discussions of fics you wish would get written in response to specific kinkmeme prompts.

  2. In particular, discussion of fannish events: Rarewomen, big bangs, springfling, Yuletide. People pass around recs, vent, angst about ther writing, and generally turn fannish events into community events that they wouldn't be so much otherwise, given the fannish sprawl these days.

  3. Again, anonymity. Aside from the big reasons, it's nice because no one can judge me for anything but my words - no previous opinions or reputation apply. (Amusingly, the SPN meme gets around this with a complicated system of character and ship affiliations that a person can declare within their comment.) No one is going to dismiss my comment solely based on the fact that they don't know who I am; they can't. Also:

    • I can drop a discussion I'm having whenever I feel like it without anyone knowing who dropped it. Likewise, if I say something dumb and later regret it, no one knows it was me. (This is remarkably stress-relieving.)

    • I can reply multiple times to the same comment, if I have different thoughts that I don't necessarily want linked. (For example, Comment A: *careful analysis of some key point in canon*; Comment B: "But what if Sam had been pregnant in that scene?")

    • And again, These are extremely kink-friendly spaces. That means sometimes skipping threads that make you uncomfortable, but it also means that if you want to explore the appeal of painplay, meme will not say you nay. Nor will it judge you for that exploration, which is more than can be said for the vast majority of social spaces today.

  4. The silliness. Sometimes, memes are very, very silly. Yesterday, one of mine had wank about whether or not melons explode. Wank, my friends. In more intentional silliness, meme has turned up fic in which Sam is a walrus, fic in which Jared has a cyborg penis that lights up, art in which Adrianne keeps hadrosaurs and Gen is a spaceship captain, and quite a long thread of what an anon meme about the New Testament would be like. (Hint: Troll-y namecalling would be frequently be met with, "And also with you.")

  5. Features special to a meme! Even if I'm too busy to spend much time on F_FA, I always check the first page of the new post, because there's always a "fic recs" thread in which people ask for recs to specific kind of fic.

    OTOH, as discussed above, the SPN anon meme has an entire post dedicated to discussion of fics posted for challenges and exchanges. This discussion tends to be very good at, for example, pointing out unproblematized abuse and power dynamics, unfortunate portrayals of women in fics, and suchlike. Also the ever-important question of who bottoms in all the sex scenes.

  6. In general, these tend to be spaces very sympathetic to feminist and social justice concerns (although more so if you don't use the phrase social justice, which has picked up a lot of unfortunate connotations). The SPN anon meme is, for my money, the single best place in this fandom to enthuse about female characters and sadface about ladybashing. A number of lady-centric fics written by me or other people originated there, as did genteensybang. Meanwhile, a_b_o_ladies happened solely because I and a random anon person (a femslasher from Avengers fandom, it turned out, whom I would never in a million years have met otherwise) got to talking on f_fa and decided to co-mod a fest together.

  7. The people. At the end of the day, the people make the difference between a community I want to be a part of and one I don't. There are some grade A jerks at both anon memes I visit, but they are called out on it; you have no idea the relief it is to know that even if I don't have the energy or wherewithal to respond to some particular bit of incivility or offensive grossness, someone else will come in and do it for me, and probably more articulately than I would, too. And meanwhile on another page of meme someone is positing human social structures based on animal reproductive strategy X, and someone else is giving a careful point-by-point explanation of their feelings about popular fic Y, and a couple more people are derailing a bit of wankery with ridiculous crack Jared/Misha scenarios that every so often turn into fic.


There are a few drawbacks.
  1. Trolls and wank. F_FA tends to be pretty civil the vast majority of the time because the mods there are very active in freezing rudeness. The SPN mod(s) are less proactive that way, and so that meme tends to be less civil, especially when it comes to almost any discussion of canon. If you’re willing to brave name calling and accusations of character partisanship, though, you can find some really excellent discussion in between the insults.

  2. Sometimes, you get to know a person well enough on meme that your conversations with them are no longer anon, at least not between the two of you. On one hand, there's a pleasant spark of, "Oh, hello, again!" OTOH, well, be careful which kinks and unpopular opinions you confess to. Five comments down the thread, you might be making it fairly clear who you are to anyone who knows you. :D

  3. SPOILERS. And WANK about spoilers. Gah. Mostly the big spoilers are initially confined to threads marked as such, but within a couple of weeks they bleed out into other threads. Alas.

  4. Ugh, NO ANON COMMENT NOTIFICATIONS. This is a new problem as of last week, thank you SO MUCH LiveJournal. For now we are using flatview, holding out in hopes that LJ will fix this post-haste, and eyeing the DW mirror comms speculatively.


Overall, anon memes are foundational to my fannish experience these days; discovering spnanonhaven almost certainly made the biggest difference to my fannish involvement of anything I did last year, more so than completing a big bang or discovering new canons. Anon memes are by no means perfect, but they have a bad rep that is undeserved now (however deserved it might have been a few years ago, which were apparently the bad old days). Good things happen there, and they bring me much fannish joy.

In closing, lest the objective of this post be too subtle, let me just say: I hope I see you all there. Even if I never know it.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)


( 55 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 30th, 2013 06:38 am (UTC)

Every pro you list is true to my experience.

No lies, Spanky is my internet home, warts and all. I'm a tracker and almost always have my email open, and it's like working at a desk while people around me chat (okay sometimes yell) about a common interest, and I can occasionally pipe up if I want to. It's low pressure companionship and it's invaluable to me.

And then, of course, tracking got borked.
May. 30th, 2013 02:49 pm (UTC)

I do not even know what to do with myself. I seriously thought that maybe LJ was never going to get around to fixing that, or that it'd take months.
(no subject) - sagetan - May. 30th, 2013 06:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 30th, 2013 09:12 am (UTC)
First, a disclaimer that I don't actually participate in anon memes because I'm narcissistic enough that when I say something clever, I want people to know it's me ;)

But I've never understood the idea that there's something cowardly about posting anon when hardly anyone in fandom uses their real names anyway. I mean, I'm 'unanon' right now, but for all people know, I could still be your sockpuppet :D

There is a reason why we use handles and not our real names in most fannish spaces, and similarly there are perfectly valid reasons (of which you give some exellent examples) for people to want to go completely anon, not least because certain parts of fandom tend to label any kind of critical discussion as bullying or squee harshing. I'm of the opinion that if you don't want to get your feelings hurt by what someone says on anonmemes, don't read anonmemes.

That said, my thoughts about FFA in particular are a bit more complicated. I used to read it back when it first started (and still sometimes drop by if someone links to some interesting discussion) but I've come to the conclusion that it's basically the True Finns Party of fandom. It has some very good points, sometimes I even agree with them, and some of my friends are members, but ultimately for me the racism, transphobia, and other bigotry that often crops up in the threads overshadows the good.
May. 30th, 2013 02:55 pm (UTC)
I don't actually participate in anon memes because I'm narcissistic enough that when I say something clever, I want people to know it's me ;)

Ha ha! You are not my first friend to say this, FWIW. :D

Also, re: sockpuppets, I had a situation a couple of years ago where I got confused by the way AO3 conflates pseuds and cowriters in some places, and spent some time seriously questioning whether Quinara and Brutti were the same person. It was a very strange five minutes.

ultimately for me the racism, transphobia, and other bigotry that often crops up in the threads overshadows the good.

Fair enough! I appreciate the fact that bigotry generally does not pass unremarked, and anyway I tend to stay out of the wankier-looking threads. But I certainly understand those things pinging harder for other people than they do for me.
(no subject) - brutti_ma_buoni - Jun. 1st, 2013 06:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snickfic - May. 30th, 2013 07:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 30th, 2013 10:00 am (UTC)
I started going to f_fa in - hm - January, and now have to impose limits on myself about how often I'm allowed to check it and post to it. It has been SO WONDERFUL. Hm. Sounds like I'm just replying to your post with a HAPPY SQUEEING NOISE, let's see if I can say something more cogent.

I can't help noticing that anon memes do tend to bash each *other* a bit. And there does seem to be an echo effect with certain names getting repeat-bashed over and over again ("does anyone remember why we hate X?" etc), which, except in cases like th_nf_ct__n's, feels as though it must be getting distorted the further it gets from the original offense. But with the latter, that's hardly confined to anon memes. In any group it will be fashionable to hate certain ideas or people, and if the idea gets traction enough, it doesn't really matter which people are passing it on, I think.

(My first experience with anon memes was yuletide_coal, which I went to, I guess, because I just wanted MOAR YULETIDE, in any form. Given that it was set up for complaints against an ongoing thing, it may have deserved some of the hate levelled at it from the outside. But I think it was most harmful when crossing the streams - when people took excerpts from _coal and sent them to elyn, the dingbats - or when people with thinner skins than they thought they had went searching to see if they or their friends were named there.)

But I am having such a great time at f_fa. I don't really get some wanks (usually because not personally affected - lucky me!), and try to steer clear of others. Some of my highlights include

-receiving hilarious Bad Advice
-getting recipes and recipe ideas
-a book discussion lasting over a week
-discussions of wonderfully silly crossovers I was not alone in wanting
-orcas for ocarinas.

It feels as though the punishment/reward balance ratio is very good, for reasons you discuss - I can let go of dumb things I've said, but hold fondly onto the better conversations. No one is disappointed if I take time out; but it's also easy to blend back in.

(About my only complaint is how addictive it is. Gr.)

Edited at 2013-05-30 10:01 am (UTC)
May. 30th, 2013 03:05 pm (UTC)
I do find it midly hilarious when they bash each other. "OMG the SPN meme is so negative" and "Ugh f_fa is all gender/race/trans fail all the time." I think it's a fairly harmless kind of bashing, though, as these things go.

I agree that sometimes a person's misdeed get a little, as you say, distorted; not that whatever it was they did wasn't annoying, but to keep harping on them while other folks are doing the same and flying under the radar gives a less than true picture of the state of things.

I actually tend not to hang out at yuletide_coal because I get bored! It turns out I only need so many iterations of "Ugh my recipient's Yulegoat letter sucks." And all the real wank, like re: the gaybashing dragon fic, gets imported to f_fa anyway.

Amusingly, there is zero crossover between my favorite things about f_fa and yours! I like the Things We Don't Admit Unanon, the fic recs thread, the multifandom discussions about tropes (mpreg, a/b/o). But I am tickled to know that you are there. If I ever end up discussing Sunshine over there (which could definitely happen - I like that book a lot), I shall wonder if it's you. :)
(no subject) - morbane - May. 30th, 2013 10:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 30th, 2013 10:37 am (UTC)
Bless this post \o/
May. 30th, 2013 03:06 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - salty_catfish - May. 30th, 2013 05:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snickfic - May. 30th, 2013 07:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - salty_catfish - May. 30th, 2013 07:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snickfic - Jun. 1st, 2013 03:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - salty_catfish - Jun. 1st, 2013 12:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snickfic - Jun. 2nd, 2013 05:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - salty_catfish - Jun. 2nd, 2013 11:04 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snickfic - Jun. 2nd, 2013 03:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 30th, 2013 11:47 am (UTC)
I already gave this post my stamp of approval, and I'll do it here as well. **stamp**

I don't check F_FA every round but I'm on spnanonhaven a fair amount, to say the least. I've met cool people there whom I wouldn't have met otherwise. It can be a lot of fun. I find having a place to candidly discuss fanworks invaluable, and then there's the grumpy Casfan camaraderie and Mishalecki and memeworks, etc. You take the bad with the worldbuilding threads and not!fic (some of which arise directly from the bad). :)
May. 30th, 2013 07:09 pm (UTC)
Yay! A stamp!

Yes, meme is not half bad at using badness as inspiration for nifty fanworks. It is one of its more charming features, IMO. :)
May. 30th, 2013 01:05 pm (UTC)
it makes me sad that we can't have all the things you discuss in a namespace. i feel like once upon a time we did, but maybe that's just fiction i like to tell myself.

idk. I don't particularly want to see what mean things people are saying about me or my work so i usually avoid them like the plague.

but your post has got me thinking that maybe i wouldn't find them so horrible now.
May. 30th, 2013 02:11 pm (UTC)
Hmm, eta: I searched spnanonhaven for my username and all I got were nice recs and interesting commentary on one of my vids.

LOL maybe I searched it wrong!!
(no subject) - ghostyouknow27 - May. 30th, 2013 02:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - counteragent - May. 30th, 2013 05:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ghostyouknow27 - May. 30th, 2013 07:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - counteragent - May. 31st, 2013 01:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snickfic - May. 30th, 2013 07:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - counteragent - May. 30th, 2013 09:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snickfic - Jun. 1st, 2013 03:53 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - laconicisms - Jun. 1st, 2013 01:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 30th, 2013 02:23 pm (UTC)
I've had a lot of very good interractions with the Spn anon memes, and more recently with FFA, though I'm finding that the latter moves so fast that it's hard for me to use, since I can't seem to arrive at a setting in between not being able to follow the conversations because I'm too in and out and total time sink. I agree that there are a lot of positive aspects to anonymity itself, but I also sometimes feel that the anonymous aspect is more incidental in some ways than other aspects of the platform. The first thing that struck me when I started hanging out on Spermy, which in a lot of ways did have more of the negative traits people attribute to anonymity than Spanky does, was how very similar many of its dynamics were to the CHE fora, which were my first major online hangout, and that's a pseudonymous space rather than an anonymous one.

OTOH, I think there is a price tag attached to some of the meme meta, though it may be a price worth paying. I found, and I know a number of other people of my acquaintance found, that the more they metaed on meme the less they did so in namespace. Not because they were saying things they wouldn't say in namespace, but just because they weren't going to double their efforts to say everything twice. And I do wonder if that isn't a small contributing factor to the silence of LJ as well as being a compensation for it. It's not like it's necessarily a net loss: the thoughts are still out there, and in a more diverse context than anyone is likely to have on their own LJ, but there are also advantages to having the archive in namespace: I like seeing people's meta in connection with their fanwork, I like being able to follow one person's thoughts clearly over time, and it's almost impossible on memes to go back and find specific bits of meta. And, of course, Spermy proved that a huge body of collective work can arbitrarily vanish if it's posted in a place that's out of their control.

I've faded a bit from meme meta lately anyway; my own tastes run to an almost entirely Watsonian meta rather than to the more evaluative model of meta, and my preferred kind has been diminishing. (Not that I don't understand why; there's always an element of fanwanking and deliberately willed crediting of the text in that kind of analysis, but I think the amount of suspension of disbelief it takes to treat this particular text as coherent has grown a lot, particularly this past season.) And I think/know that a lot of the people with whom I used to have meetings of minds there have at least one foot out the door of the fandom and aren't around much. But I guess I'm just feeling generally elegiac these days.
May. 30th, 2013 07:23 pm (UTC)
I think you're correct that in many ways anonimity is incidental (although probably not, IMO, re: discussing other people's fanworks) to what makes anon memes appealing. They're much more like forums than anything fandom really has in namespace right now, at least in any kind of organized fashion, although of course there are the TWOP boards and the whatever goes on at IMDB. They're communal spaces, totally lacking in the "hosting" aspect that happens when I make a post on my private journal.

I came into SPN fandom in the middle of S7, so I missed the glory days of namespace activity here, although I can definitely see others would be sad for its passing.

I think the amount of suspension of disbelief it takes to treat this particular text as coherent has grown a lot, particularly this past season

Unfortunately true. I, too, like seeing what comes of treating a text as coherent, but at this point it feels like a lost cause. Even when someone tries I have trouble taking them seriously. Which is my own problem, obviously. But at this point I'm definitely in this fandom more for the people and the fanworks than for the current canon or meta related to it. :\
(no subject) - counteragent - May. 31st, 2013 01:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - killabeez - May. 31st, 2013 03:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 30th, 2013 05:15 pm (UTC)
Fuck yeah anonmemes! \o/

Personally I find being able to back out of (or drop) a conversation to be the best part, because sometimes my energy levels drop rather quickly. Plus, I never know how to let a conversation end naturally. On an anonmeme, there's usually always someone around who might pick it back up.

I'm not really hanging around the spn meme so much lately. I stopped watching the show sometime mid-season 7, did start watching again in season 8, so I've been around a bit more, but I do most of my meme-ing on the Sherlock and Avengers memes. While regularly checking the fic rec thread on F_FA XD. IDK, I don't have any motivation to write fic for SPN and most of my memeing revolves around bouncing fic ideas with someone - or even writing snippets - and meta-ing. Well, and the silly crack threads.

May. 30th, 2013 05:15 pm (UTC)
Um, also. Hello. *creepy stalker person*
(no subject) - snickfic - Jun. 1st, 2013 03:56 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - laconicisms - Jun. 1st, 2013 12:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
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May. 30th, 2013 05:47 pm (UTC)
If it weren't for ff_a I'd have no idea what was going on anywhere. :P While there are certainly wanky threads there, I don't think it's any more wanky than the internet at large, and my experience has been that people who are being objectionable are generally dogpiled. (Plus, as you say, the aggressive modding keeps things fairly civil.)

That said, ff_a's an exception for me. Other anon memes I've dipped into irritate the hell out of me, and a few (like spn_gossip) really are wretched hives of trolls and villainy. I wish we could have nice things in namespace again, too. (And I realize I'm part of the problem there, with my lack of postitude lately.)
Jun. 1st, 2013 04:00 am (UTC)
my experience has been that people who are being objectionable are generally dogpiled.

Yeah. I'm not saying there aren't objectionable people there, just that they don't rule the roost. Which is about all you can hope for in a public forum, probably.

Oh yes, we do not speak of spn_gossip. It's the grossest, most appalling form of fannishness that I have ever had the displeasure to witness. It is aggravating to realize that some corners of fandom, like fandom_wank, seem to think spn_gossip is representative of the fandom as a whole. :(
Jun. 2nd, 2013 04:56 am (UTC)
<3 to this! Pulling up some threads (now that tracking is back YAY- flatview is a hubbub to me) feels like settling into a comfy seat at my favourite cafe and just hanging out. And yep, sometimes I know exactly who I'm talking to (some of us have our tells. Some of us might have lost count of the number of times friends have said "so, that was totally you, right?" - I actually never assume I'm posting fully anon these days, sigh). But it tends to take a while, and more often than not, I have no idea who I'm talking to. Which is nice.

I find it appealing, actually, the notion that I could be having a friendly conversation about the personality of Sam's penis in one thread with the same person with whom I'm debating fiercely the value of Castiel's contribution to the show or what have you. I don't know. Sometimes I genuinely suspect that IS what's happening, and that's cool - the compartmentalisation of anon spaces with the *same* people is kind of fascinating. It means the only thing that really has value is the concept and the expression of the concept, and that grudges can't really outlast ideas. (well, though there are grudges ABOUT ideas)

Whereas namespace... I have some LJ notes next to people I feel I could never work with, you know? Maybe I've had nice chats to those people anon. That's an interesting notion.

I really enjoy the wide variety of opinions there, too. Even if I'm disagreeing with them :). And as a creative space where people feed off each other, some of those threads are unbeatable. Someone starts, someone joins in, there's a tangent, six subthreads and a movie, and before you know it there's some fanwork or not-fic developing beautifully between three or four different people :D. I love it. There's no need to defer to someone with greater authority, or feel like you're intruding in a private conversation between BFFS or something.

And it's kind of safe? Like, I sometimes dip my toe into the waters of writing things on meme. I'm a nervous sort about doing it in namespace because my flist is made up of some pretty amazing writers, and it's a little like running up to someone with a fingerpainting, and I don't want people to feel like they have to be kind.

Weirdly, I trust anon feedback a little more than namespace feedback (uh, this might be analogous to Meg/Castiel vs Dean praise for Sam?) because the person replying doesn't need to worry about their relationship with me. Most people are kind because most people ARE kind, and it's not like I think there's anything wrong with focusing on the good bits (my fragile Artiste's Ego agrees) but still. In the FD posts, in particular, it's useful.

Anyway. This is an awesome post and I agree with you wholeheartedly.

Edited at 2013-06-02 04:57 am (UTC)
Jun. 2nd, 2013 05:16 am (UTC)
allllso, because it's a broader spectrum of fandom, it points things out I might not see. Like, someone who is all tumblr all the time will link to glorious art, or someone who is aware of more fests will link to some Happenings which seem fun, and because I have most comms filtered out of my flist, I don't see half that stuff - having it in a hub, and one which lands straight in my inbox, SO handy.

Which, true. As others have said, not necessarily a function of an anonspace. But if I'm a little embarrassed to be reccing something from the Anime Eyes Castiel Cuddles Kittens While Giggling Fest, I can still totally do that anon and not fear that flisters will judge me harshly.

Edited at 2013-06-02 05:17 am (UTC)
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