These ladies make a very valid point in this piece, that the nature of fandom is changing. It's a slow, insidious process, but I can notice the difference from the six years that I've been in fandom.
Feedback is the lifeblood of creativitiy, and creativity is the lifeblood of fandom. Without feedback we are, as cherie_morte so beautifully put it, 'just shouting into a void'. I'm only active in the Supernatural fandom, so I can't say if this is a universal trend or just one within our fandom, but it's a sad one in any case.
A lot of people do seem to be migrating over to Twitter and Tumblr. I won't be one of them. Although I have accounts which I rarely use on both, I also loathe them both. I dislike the impersonalness (is that even a word??) of those platforms, and the brevity which they encourage, to the point that I don't actually even get the point of them.
When you have put your heart and soul into writing a story, or creating art, you want to know what people think. What do they particularly like about it? What do they think you could have done better? Did it make them laugh? Did it make them cry? Did it provoke thought? This kind of feedback is the fuel that keeps the engine of fandom running.
A one-click A03 kudos, or 'like' on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, while a decent gesture which is nevertheless appreciated, is an easy get-out which removes that interaction; that chance to brighten someone's day with a positive comment. It could be the difference between a writer being inspired to carry on, or giving up.
That's why I love Livejournal. Quite apart from the fact that I've met an inordinate number of extraordinary people through it, it promotes interaction. It doesn't give you the one-click easy option of a 'like' button. It's a platform for giving and sharing and making friends, not just for 'shouting into the void'.
So I'll echo these lovely ladies and say, let's keep commenting, keep reviewing, and leaving that feedback. Whether it be here on Livejournal, or on A03, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or wherever - when someone's spent a month writing a 10,000 word story, surely they deserve two minutes of your time to say thank you.
I'll be the first to admit that I haven't been as active on reading and commenting of late, real life has seen to that; but even if it takes me a month to get round to it, I always try to leave a few words of encouragement whenever I read something. Reading these posts has made me even more determned to stand by that pledge.
So please, let's keep our wonderful fandom active and motivated. We all owe this fandom so much, we've all benefited from being part of it; so let's pay a little forward, and make sure everyone else gets as much joy and inspiration from our fandom as we all have.
It's the least we can do!