Azure Jane Lunatic (azurelunatic) wrote,
Azure Jane Lunatic

Standing II: for life

I have respect for LJ for holding the permanent account sale as they said they would, rather than holding off until well after all the insanity blew over. It starts on Thursday.

I already have a permanent account. I got mine quite some time ago, and I'm still here. If the majority of my fandom friends up and left LJ, I think I'd still be here. I'm not here for the fandom. I'm not here for the silly memes. I'm here because I've been here since 2001, I have a whole lot of journal entries and interaction here, I have name recognition here, I have a permanent account, I volunteer here, and I have friends who matter here.

A lot of the people I have my day-to-day interaction with on LJ are LJ people too (volunteers and employees both) either far further in than I am, or barely on the outskirts but still doing their part to keep LJ working as smoothly as it can be made to work. I don't know people higher up in the management chain with little to no user-facing role, because we're just not in the same areas. But I've gotten to know some of the people I volunteer around, and if they didn't rock as hard as they did, I wouldn't be volunteering. There are a lot of people I see only in passing. I tend to know people with a length and level of volunteer experience similar to mine better than I know the people who have different experiences. I volunteer in public support and in the public side of the suggestions process, so I haven't gotten to know people who have the majority of their experience in the depths of private support. I know the people who have been around for a while better than I do the new people. I know to some people I'll always be one of those new people, even though I've been hanging around since the second power loss.

I appreciate what everybody does. I really do. I watch these storms come in, and I see some people blow off and go somewhere else, but the ones who are here for the long haul hold onto each other tighter, grab something solid, and stick around. When all the chaos is over -- actually, before all the chaos is done happening, as soon as we start feeling sure of ourselves again -- we start looking around to see what can be done.

Sometimes it's the exact wrong thing, and generally someone grabs the person and lets them know in private as soon as possible, because we all know that we're trying our best and we mean well. Sometimes people just start working together and things start being right.

My internet was down through most of the outage around the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd, so I was spending most of my waking free hours over with myrrhianna and jai_dit. I was in IRC. I think everyone who could get there was in IRC. It's not a mega-chatroom; there are a whole bunch of different places that people are, all doing different things, but there's at least one channel where a whole lot of people gather when they just need to be there. And we were there. It was all this inability to access the site, right on the heels of the worst of Strikethrough, and I was feeling perfectly devastated.

I don't know how everyone else was feeling. I wouldn't be able to talk about that if I did, because that's the sort of thing for them to say, either public or locked as they're comfortable with. I know I was feeling shell-shocked and all kinds of upset. It was partly due to the site issues, and partly due to other stuff going on in my life. I needed more than anything to be able to just curl up into a ball somewhere around my friends and be held and comforted, so I went into IRC. When I got there, I saw that the support queue was dangerously high, people weren't able to access the site, and users were getting very upset.

I don't volunteer on the support board much these days. It's always been a kind of on and off sort of thing for me, as I have the time and inclination. I saw that count, though, and I knew I had to do something. For a couple hours that day there were several of us devoting all our time on the boards to just the issue where people couldn't get through.

I felt myself slip into a kind of zen state. There were people asking questions; I had answers. I loaded and reloaded the boards, and passed time in IRC, but mostly I was in the boards, taking the bare bones of the information I had and wording it and rewording it by the strict stiff Support guidelines and the details of each person's agony at not being able to reach their LJ. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Here's what you can try; it works for some people but not others. I'm sorry. This sucks. It's everybody, in patches. DDoS sucks. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. You're mad, and I wish you could be mad at the DDoS jerks instead of at us, but here's what people have found helps. I'm sorry. I'd look back at requests I answered to see if that had answered their questions or if there was anything else I could do to help, or anything anyone else could do to help. I passed over requests that dealt with the normal stuff that Support deals with. Someone else who was feeling like it could take those, and they'd be better at those. I knew what to say to these people, more or less, and I said it and said it until the words started to lose meaning. I lost time.

By the end, I looked up and discovered that twelve hours had passed, and I'd wound up giving more answers on the boards in those twelve hours than I typically would wind up giving in a year of normal activity.

By the time I came back to myself, it no longer stung as hard that there was no room left for hope in my once-potential love life, and that my best friend hadn't remembered my birthday, and my internet was broken. I was where I belonged, with the people who cared about me, there were more important things in my world than sitting there and feeling sorry for myself, and I'd been doing what I could to help patch up what was broken and spread the information along. So I was all right.

LJ means that kind of teamwork to me. I'm proud to be even on the fringes of the action as I am. I see it all around me on the other parts of the site as well. For better or for worse, fandom banded together through the Strikethrough stuff. There are angstwankers right and left, but you do get to know trustworthy people all over the place. You see how people react through these things, and you learn who you want on your side when the shit goes down. A few of us collectively got one of my friends out of a hellish living situation, and that was an operation plotted and coordinated largely on LJ. None of us would have known each other without LJ. We organize less urgent moving parties on LJ, and a whole LJ crew makes a dreadful move far less so. My note_to_caters come together when someone's hurting, and give what comfort we can. When everything goes to hell in a handbasket, chances are that someone on LJ is going to care about you, and move heaven and earth to make sure that you're at least passably all right.

The people I know care about each other, and care about making this a good place, and if they have anything to say about what happens on this site, it'll be standing strong and proud and cohesive as long as there's power to run the machines and a pipe to run packets in and out of.

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