- People in LJ tend to cluster into the same sorts of social groups that people face-to-face do, with the same kind of evolved social standards. ( Be careful about talking smack.Collapse )
- That "friend" thing. If I list you as a friend, it means either a) I like to read your writing, b) I trust you to read my locked-down stuff (at least some of it), or c) both.
It doesn't mean that I think that you think of me as a friend. There are people who I have listed as friends who may not have ever noticed my presence, or who may not remember me well and think of me as a cordial distant acquaintance.
Or we may actually be friends. Who knows.
- When you add someone as a friend, ( it"s generally polite to inform them.Collapse )
- [Edit: that friend thing. "Hi! I saw you and you're nifty! I'm adding you!" is absolutely not the same as "Hi! I saw you and you're nifty! Can I add you?" The former is an optional courtesy. The latter is a big red stamp across the forehead that says either NOOB, or DUMB-ASS NOOB WHO CANNOT READ, depending on whether the person being asked has a friending policy in their profile that says that anyone may add without asking. More discussion in comments. ]
- [Edit: Friend rules. Different social groups have different friending/defriending standards, and if you assume that the standards that hold true in your group are obviously going to apply to their group, you're in for a world of social awkwardness. A stated friending/defriending policy from another user, usually as written or linked from their profile, trumps all other points of etiquette that you may have learned elsewhere. Their journal, their rules. ]
- That "friend" thing. If I remove you as a friend, it may mean that I just don't need to see you on my friends page for whatever reason. ( tl;dr and other sinsCollapse )
- It is considered polite to let a person you're removing as a friend know why you're doing so, ( under most one-on-one circumstances with no hard feelings involved.Collapse )
- Non-mutual friending! Some people actually care about making their friends match up with their friend-ofs. The existence of non-mutual friends drives them up the wall. I have no insight into this, and I don't think I want any.
- Serial adding, and other forms of unrequited love! Some people think it reflects badly on them to have someone ( acting like a twit on their profile, but that"s them. On the other hand, drama-mongers pick up detractors with supernatural speed.Collapse )
- Someone's LJ is a little bit like their living room, or at least their garden party. ( Gatecrash politely, and don"t brawl.Collapse )
- If someone has disabled comments on a journal entry, chances are they don't want to have to field comments from the general public or the viewing audience, if the viewing audience is smaller than the general public. Unless you know them well enough to be reasonably assured that they won't take it ill if you contact them through other channels, don't. (If you do know them well enough to feel it's appropriate, or if you know that they have other standards, act accordingly.)
- In a flat message-board environment, comments are presented in strict chronological order( ... and on LJ, they are not. Respect the threading.Collapse )
- Signatures. ( Not bad, just foreign.Collapse )
- Consider what you're going to say before you post to a community with people you don't know. ( You can save yourself looking stupid in front of a large audience.Collapse )
- Commenting with unrelated material to a post, either in a personal journal or in a community, is generally some form of misstep. ( It"s worst in a community or trying to sell stuff. If you"re friends, you can get away with it.Collapse ) LiveJournal is not a commerce-friendly site.
- Intrusive text formatting is frowned on. ( Sometimes it"s acceptable, but certain things are considered horribly rude.Collapse ) Yes, it may just be that you're making sure that your text shows up as pitch-black wherever it's at.
Congratulations. You've just rendered your text unreadable to the person with the black background. Not only that, but you went out of your way to do it. Yes, they may be able to read it with a little work, but the fact remains that you made it harder for them to read, and it was a change you made deliberately, and they won't thank you for it.
Some people may not be affected or only minimally affected; some people would only have to squint a little; some people would have to go out of their way to make it readable; some people, especially visually impaired people and blind people with screen readers, may be completely unable to read whatever it was you wrote.
Any imagined cool-factor your precisely-chosen size/font/color combination is intended to create will be overshadowed by the fact that you're violating the social standard. Something like this can be overlooked in your own journal, ( but it still is not a good idea.Collapse ) Posting to a community with altered text, or posting comments with altered text, is a profoundly antisocial activity. There may be isolated pockets where altering text is accepted or even encouraged, but it's a standard that even known trolls rarely violate.
- Excessively long, wide, markup-intensive, and/or bandwidth-intensive entries get <lj-cut> under most circumstances. So do items that are of dubious safety. LJ has a lot of standards about being responsible to the community as a whole.
- Userpics. ( They"re everywhere! And they actually mean things!Collapse )
- Respect the lock. ( What happens behind locked entries stays there, under most circumstances.Collapse ) If in doubt, don't spread it around. You don't want a reputation for not respecting locks and filters. Really.
- Journals are for posting in, if you live here. If you don't post in your livejournal, like, ever, you're treated as if you don't belong here. (barakb25, I'm looking at you.) This is because you mostly don't belong here. You don't know the culture, you don't know the people, and you're not driven to chronicle the same way the rest of us are.
Even if you only do have the journal for the purpose of commenting, or of reading the locked entries of your friends, it is polite to post to your journal at least once to announce this. Comments may be set in any which way, but there should be at least one public post. Even completely private journals should be posted in. It really unnerves LJ citizens to see a journal that has never been posted in. The casual user may never notice, but we'll know.
- [Edit: replies! When replying to someone's comment to you, always hit the "reply" link to that comment, and never the main "reply" link for the whole post. Sometimes weird issues will cause you to accidentally reply as a top-level comment, and that's regrettable, but not your fault. "Replying" to someone else but not using the reply link on their comment means they are never notified that you have replied, which is an integral part of LJ social interaction. People depend on these notifications to continue discussion, and may not ever revisit the post without that notification. Plus, it breaks threading. There are legit reasons to reply to the main post and address issues brought up in comments, but if that is intended to be a reply to any of the commenters, at least drop them a reply letting them know to see the full reply at top-level.]
- [Edit: I have a whole separate post on friending now.]
- [Edit: If you aren't reading someone regularly, and they don't know about this (and you don't really want them to know), and they say something that baffles you, go get caught up on their recent entries (if the context allows it) before you ask what's up. Otherwise you risk blowing your cover about not reading them.]