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LJ - not so bad ackshully - Tactical Ninja

Oct. 31st, 2012

08:56 am - LJ - not so bad ackshully

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We are going to Melbourne. Tomorrow, in fact. This is the finishing-degree treat I bought myself before my hard drive died (necessitating further treating of the computer hardware kind) and before rivet decided to come see us last weekend. So now it's Extra Added Bonus Treat For Finishing My Degree. Yes, I know I've been overtreated, but fuckit, I've earned it.

So anyway, I've never been to Melbourne. Pretty much every other kiwi has, and probably a whole bunch of other people too. So, oh well-travelled flist, what should we see and do in Melbourne? We have a dance party on Friday evening, but other than that we have about 3 full days. Are there any places we should totally go?


Apparently nobody likes it and there are the usual threats going around that people will quit LJ over it and etc.

Frankly, I had a look at it and it doesn't seem all that obnoxious to me. I'm not stoked about it, but I'm not upset about it either. I know that some people have good reasons to dislike it. Apparently it will make things difficult for the vision-impaired, for example. But personally, I'm feeling a big fat 'meh' over the whole thing.

Meanwhile, the usual complaints about LJ are coming out of the woodwork. It's unreliable, it makes changes people don't like without asking them, it's run by unethical bastards who don't have the best interests of its users at heart..

.. to which I go "So how is that different from any other social networking site?"

Because seriously, in my experience LJ is more reliable than Twitter, makes fewer unwanted changes than Facebook, and none of the social networking sites are really run by people who put the users first.

In fact, I am actually kind of proud of LJ - the reason it's occasionally unreliable is because it's home to people who are voicing their political opinions and certain governments see that as a threat. Yet, LJ hasn't kicked off the dissidents, it's supported them and their right to say their piece. I like that.

And in the 10ish years I've been here, sometimes it's been slow and sometimes it's been a bit weird, but it's only been maybe 5 days in total that I haven't been able to access it at all. I'm not complaining about that. The changes that have been made have not affected my experience negatively in any way, and IMO it's still the site that has the best combination of features to facilitate longform blogging and the ensuing discussion. Threaded comments, collapsible cuts, a decent gallery service, effective filters, tags, archives.. they are all good and have improved over that time.

This latest change will not chase me off LJ any more than any of the previous changes have. I've tried other sites, but I always end up coming back here because I still think LJ is the best at what it does. The fact that I haven't found a site in that time that can provide even the same combination of services, never mind better, says a lot really.


Last night I got home from work and played a guilt-free hour of Skyrim. Then I had dinner and watched guilt-free media and spent some time doing guilt-free modelling on Freedom's Call.

I like this guilt-free thing. Intellectual freedom is nice. And no, I totally didn't almost rant today about how our Minister of Justice is consulting in the US about how to run drug courts. Nope.

Comments:

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From:dianavilliers
Date:October 30th, 2012 08:31 pm (UTC)
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So in the two and a half minutes I've spent looking at the new friend's feed, I see a bland design using black text on a white background. The best that can be said about it is that it is not egregiously offensive. I prefer a lower contrast light on dark format, and I used to be able to have it. I still can through the "use old format" thing, but how long is that going to last?
As far as I can work out there's nothing new except for an automatic load-more function a la facebook.

So I'm giving up being able to customise my layout/font/colours for what, exactly?
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:October 30th, 2012 08:40 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I'm not stoked. I don't like seeing all the LJ cruft in the header/sidebar.

I'll keep using LJ, but if they force the new design on us I'll be even less likely to use it.

And automatically load-more is a silly UI trend at the moment. It makes scrolling a nightmare and often results in me losing my place while reading (conceptually it could be good, but most implementations are bad).
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From:tatjna
Date:October 30th, 2012 09:24 pm (UTC)
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I'm assuming this is a rhetorical question, since I didn't make this post to defend the changes - merely to point out that this sort of thing isn't peculiar to LJ.
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From:dianavilliers
Date:October 30th, 2012 10:38 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, almost completely rhetorical, but there is the chance that I've missed something really cool and/or useful. I'm not a big fan of change for the sake of change, particularly when it results in less utility, so my comment is mostly an expression of annoyance.


Edited at 2012-10-30 10:40 pm (UTC)
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From:tatjna
Date:October 30th, 2012 10:42 pm (UTC)
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I've had it switched over all morning to see how I feel about it after using it, and I'm quite liking the little sidebar that tells you when there are new posts and how many.

/obsessive refresher

I'm not liking the way it displays feeds with all that unnecessary whitespace underneath.

Other than that, it's more or less the same from what I can tell.
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From:kehleyr
Date:October 30th, 2012 08:47 pm (UTC)
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Oh I believe Jane Badler lives in Melbourne :-D.

I need to check this new LJ page and see what has everyone so upset.
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From:tatjna
Date:October 30th, 2012 10:43 pm (UTC)
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I am embarrassed to admit that I had to look up Jane Badler to see who she was. ;-/
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From:tcpip
Date:October 30th, 2012 09:06 pm (UTC)
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How long are you in Melbourne town for? Catch up?
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From:tatjna
Date:October 30th, 2012 09:25 pm (UTC)
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We're there from Thursday morning to Monday morning. Catch up would be nice. ;-) You have my email?
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From:tcpip
Date:October 30th, 2012 09:35 pm (UTC)
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OK, I'll be back in Melbourne Thursday evening... So maybe Friday or Saturday catchup? Do you want to come to an asylum? Bwahahaha!

It's on your userinfo page :)
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From:tatjna
Date:October 30th, 2012 09:37 pm (UTC)
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Sounds good. I'll check in with the others and see when's best. ;-) You should email me.
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From:tyellas
Date:October 30th, 2012 09:35 pm (UTC)
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Melbourne Museum for its fantastically revisionist taxidermy and its Aboriginal culture centre.

South Melbourne Market - IMHO a more accessible/fun/locally oriented market than the gigantic and repetitive Queen Victoria Market. Has its own tram station.

Everyone I know who sews/crafts goes mad for fabric shopping in Melbourne.

I wasn't that thrilled with the National Gallery, nor the St. Kildas neighborhood.

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From:dragonvyxn
Date:October 30th, 2012 10:21 pm (UTC)
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i don't understand what they changed? and i also don't care i guess...

big huge awesome congratulations on finishing your degree!!
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From:tatjna
Date:October 30th, 2012 10:27 pm (UTC)
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Yay, thank you!

They have changed the display of the friends page - or they are planning to, it's currently in public beta. If you look at the top of your fpage there should be an option to try the new style. I've clicked it and will leave it like that for a couple of days to see how it goes. Currently I'm not liking the way it displays feeds like icanhascheezburger, because it leaves a lot of whitespace below and causes more scrolling. The actual people on my list aren't displaying that much differently from how they were before - a few things moved around I guess but no biggie. I'm told it's not customisable and people are up in arms about that.

And it does that 'endless scroll' thing that's so trendy atm. I don't give a crap about that really, either.
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From:pixiebelle
Date:October 30th, 2012 10:27 pm (UTC)
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I mostly view LJ from a phone app and it hasn't changed yet. But I got on my computer earlier and I must have missed something because I didn't see anything wrong. I hardly use the computer site, so maybe I missed the change?

I'm not leaving LJ. I'm only still here because I have friends I care about here and communities I'm active in. I'm not starting all over and I don't need another social media distraction that I'll likely neglect like I do Twitter.
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From:tatjna
Date:October 30th, 2012 10:28 pm (UTC)
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It's in beta on computer right now so you have to click a thing at the top of your page to see it.

I gave up using the LJ app because it brought my phone to a standstill.
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From:caycos
Date:October 30th, 2012 10:47 pm (UTC)
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Melbourne yay! If I was going back I'd definintely:

- Go for a wander down Brunswick Street and/or Smith Street. Interesting shops, good places for coffee/food. Alternatively I used to live near Westgarth (High Street) in Northcote, also good for a browse. Oh and gertrude Street - if Lladro is still there they do good pizza.
- Go to the art galleries at Fed Square and the NGV just down the road.
- Take a random tram ride, possibly out to St Kilda for cake on Ackland Street
- Wander along Flinders Lane (is that what it's called ?The one between Collins and flinders).
- If the weather is nice, take the boat/ferry from town out to - um - Williamstown
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From:bekitty
Date:October 31st, 2012 12:58 am (UTC)
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Steer clear of the Haunted Bookstore. Apparently the customer service is crap and they wrap all their books up in plastic so you can't browse through them properly.

Apparently there are zombies in the mall, but they might just be there for Halloween.

Polly was staying at the Victoria Hotel, and she managed to find some really good fabric stores and some really awful ones that were within walking distance.

Also, there are ponies! in the inner city! hitched to little wagons! that you can hire! OMGPonies! \o/ You should totally hire a ponycarriage. :D
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From:wildilocks
Date:October 31st, 2012 09:15 am (UTC)
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Heh - we used to be directly across from The Haunted Bookstore. Drew is a character - he is actually quite a reaosnable person outside of work - he really doesn't like "browsers" and anyone who isn't Terribly Serious About The Supernatural even setting foot in his store. A bit like Bernard Black, but obviously, more spooky.
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From:bekitty
Date:November 1st, 2012 12:49 am (UTC)
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Polly described him as a "gothic princess". :D
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From:thatgirljj
Date:October 31st, 2012 05:13 am (UTC)
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Yeah, I tend to get more annoyed about those things on FB than LJ. My LJ peeps are curated and that helps. But really the only times it's been actually down for me is when Russia is having politics... and I really support them in that.
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From:pombagira
Date:October 31st, 2012 06:03 am (UTC)
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CHOCOLATE.. melbourn has heaps of places that make their own chocolate.. and have hot chocolate drinks that are OMG Amazine..there is one near were rivet works.. umm on umm.. a street..with a tram and eventually a fabric store... *coughs*

also around where rivet lives is an awsoem looking street that i am so going to wonder down the next time i am in melbourn cause it has interesting shops..

umm.. the river was nice, the ponies very very cool and the ravens had blue eyes.. just saying

mostly i really liked walking around the city and finding the interesting places down the tiny allys, its a town for exploring..

and i had heaps of fun in the markets.. noms food..

*beams*
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From:pombagira
Date:October 31st, 2012 06:04 am (UTC)
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PS i am confused by the ljfriends thing cause it still looks the same to me.. *is puzzled*
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From:meathiel
Date:October 31st, 2012 06:17 am (UTC)
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Well - actually the new friends page is way too bright for me. I'd prefer it to be in MY colours. Plus the endless scrolling ... no thanks. Don't know how to read that on my phone ... ugh!
And I couldn't access LJ yet again most of yesterday evening ... like ... already twice in the last few days??? Maybe it's more unreliable here as we're on another time schedule - closer to Russia??? Who knows ...
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From:wildilocks
Date:October 31st, 2012 09:24 am (UTC)
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I had no idea the Friends page had changed, I am guessing one has to choose to "Preview the New Friends Page" or something, and like every other SN it will eventually be forced upon us with no option to revert? Meh. I have had the same Friends Page Layount colours etc for nigh on 7...8 years maybe? I don't like change in layouts much for services I use regularly, but having said that I am using browsers so much less and apps on my phone for Much Much more because frankly, most of the apps are faster and better laid out than the websites. Unfortuntely - there are no good LJ apps for Android. I've looked. Sigh.

My favourite things about Melbourne are definitely the little laneways and just general pottering about: the Yarra Valley is worth a look if you are having a vehicle. Other city-accessible areas worth a look are The Melbourne Museum (has some very cool stuff, if you are a Te Papa kind of person) The Botanical Gardens (if you like flowers etc) Degraves St if you like Coffee, Southbank at night (if you like to see giant balls of FIRE aka the Pigeon Roasters, and general "touristy" stuff casino etc..) .. there's much more but that's a sample I guess!

Have been promising to catch up with tcpip for ages, didn't realise you knew each other! The place they live is pretty amazing and well worth a visit, so thumbs up there - it's not easy to get to by PT but it's not a big walk reaaaally and it's through some very scenic parts :)))

Alas I am flying out Saturday night for a charity ball in Perth but if you have any time Thu or Fri eve (or want to pop in at the shop type place as lovely Miss Polly did!) would be great to see you!


Edited at 2012-10-31 09:33 am (UTC)
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From:n3m3sis42
Date:October 31st, 2012 10:35 am (UTC)
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The reason people expect LJ to be different from other social networking sites is because it used to be. And also because if we wanted the experience of one of the newer things out there, we'd use one sites for that, not LJ. People who are here are mostly here because they want something different from that.

That said, LJ isn't what it used to be. Accept it or leave, yanno? I've had a permanent account since like 2006 so I guess I'm not going anywhere. And I don't think it is that bad, but I wish they'd listen to their userbase more. Although for all I know, they do listen more to their Russian users. It's not like the US is their primary market anymore.
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From:pundigrion
Date:October 31st, 2012 04:01 pm (UTC)
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I gotta say, I won't be switching to the new style unless I have to. The white space is not my thing, but the endless scrolling plain breaks half my devices. The endless loading icon is not nearly as good reading as my flist!

It won't make me leave, but it might make me miss stuff!
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From:forestgreenivy
Date:October 31st, 2012 10:23 pm (UTC)
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Ha. No such thing as overtreating yourself when you finish a degree. ;-)

I agree with you about LJ... you bring up good points. I just hope they don't fiddle with it too much to make it unrecognisable from the LJ we've always known and loved.
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From:crsg
Date:November 1st, 2012 10:19 am (UTC)
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I've never been to Melbourne either! I've hit a few Queensland areas, but that's it.

As for the new friends page layout, I don't have any strong feelings either way. I guess I'm normally of the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach to most things, but I don't personally see anything terrible about the new layout.
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