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comment by _refugee_
_refugee_  ·  2312 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: So, what do you guys do around here?

> Tight bonds seem to arise over time when people are positive and supportive to one another's ideas, interests, needs, fears, and feelings.

It's not just this. I mean, I was on Reddit for years and I never got into the "community" feel of it, even in smaller subreddits. I both browsed/actively commented and lurked Reddit at various times; I'm down to mostly 'lurking' at this point due to quality problems/bad or repetitive commenting. (Novelty accounts. Kill me.)

I think part of it is that there is a small tight-knit "core" of users on the site. You see people's names again, and again, and again. Maybe early Reddit was like that, I wasn't on there early enough to know. Don't get me wrong I've been around for tons of Reddit "celebrities" and drama but there's a difference between a Reddit celebrity and someone on Hubski. On Hubski it's like you to get know real, genuine people that you see again and again. I don't know, I'd compare it to a bar (but then, I spend lots of time in bars), whereas Reddit always felt more like a big university. It was a college where, as in real life, I barely got to know most classmates (with classes as subreddits or threads) and I certainly didn't get to know my entire year, let alone the population of the university as a whole when it cycled in and out. On Hubski it feels I'm a regular at a favorite bar. I don't know everyone and I keep seeing new faces, but I still feel like I know half the bar. And half the bar knows me, and we can talk about stuff, or we can just share stuff on our iPhones or Droids that we think is cool over a drink or two, and then we talk about it, too. I have conversations. I have people that I keep an eye out for because hey, I like them, they're kind of cool. I'm having fun with this analogy.

There isn't a hivemind here but there are common interests and values - things like writing, creating, music, navel-gazing, you know, thought-provoking discussions.

I haven't met anyone on Hubski in person and doubt I could, most of the regular gang seems kind of centrally located in the middle of the country, and I'm on the edge. Theoretically I think humanodon and I could have a Hubski meet-up of 2 if we were both willing to drive some hours towards each other. Course, I don't know where all you buggers are.

That's cool, though. It took me a really long time to get used to the community, what with my Reddit experience I had never really valued getting to know people on communities online. They were on the Internet. They weren't real. I didn't know them.

Here, I get to know people. And people get to know me.

Of course I do feel really sappy and troll-inviting with my little declaration of love, here, guys.

ProtrudedDemand  ·  2312 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I've gotten a lot of that community feel from Reddit. There are even a few people that I talk to outside of Reddit now. I guess it depends on which subreddits you subscribed yo and how often you commented.

I like your college/bar comparison. I think there's a lot of truth in it. Reddit is definitely like a university. You could hang out in the cafeteria (the defaults) all day. You would be surrounded by people who probably share the same interests as you but you have to be extremely loud to stand out.

The university also has small clubs and groups. If you hang out there, you're probably going to make some real friends.

Hubski would be the quiet bar that people come to when they want a break from all of the noise. I think you described the feel perfectly.

I could use a quiet drink as much as the next guy. I think I'm going to be spending a lot of time here.

humanodon  ·  2312 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm down to meet up with many of the users on hubski, as long as the budget allows . . .

Given the structure of hubski, it seems like a hivemind would have some difficulty developing. I like the personal nature of the community. Maybe it's not for everyone and I'm ok with that. I'm not advocating for exclusivity, just operating on a human level.

As for the bar analogy, I for one, often have a few drinks while on hubski, though not usually during the daytime hours and I suspect that others do too!

b_b  ·  2312 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I hope you guys meet at some point. I would love to see a day when hubskiers meet without thenewgreen and me. What we want is a self sustaining community, and I think that would be an awesome sign that one is finally forming.

humanodon  ·  2312 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I like that there's a real social aspect to this social media. I'm interested in seeing that flourish too.

_refugee_  ·  2312 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Is it Boston area, right?

Edited to add - I was actually there earlier this year for AWP!

humanodon  ·  2312 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yup. A few of my writer friends went to AWP. It sounded like fun, though I was a little put off by my friend's impression that more than one session seemed to be about bitching that young writers are having a tough time getting published. Getting published in quality publications is hard, for good reason. That said, I'd be interested to hear your impressions of how it went.

_refugee_  ·  2308 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Well, I think it was a really valuable experience, but I wouldn't do it again the way I did it.

I live in DE/PA area and I went with a friend. We were interested in travelling on as tight a budget as possible and while taking as little time off work as possible. So we ended up taking midnight trains both ways, and only taking off Friday (I think Thursday was the first day of the conference). It was pretty impossible to sleep on the train on the way there; we both dozed off for a few hours.

Then when we got there it was snowing of course. Silly me hadn't checked the weather in Boston and in PA/DE we were having record high temperatures that weekend (pretty sure it hit 90 degrees) so I had like, a hoody and a leather jacket. It didn't bother me that much but it was unexpected. We got in Friday morning, Friday night we crashed at a friend's place, we stayed all day Saturday (which was the end of the event) and took another late night train back. I was exhausted by the end of course; the crying baby on the train on the way back led to much bleary-eyed discussion of "spawn" and how I was never going to "whelp."

As for the conference itself - it was both fun and extremely overwhelming. I got Stephen Dunn, Bob Hicok and Brian Turner to sign copies of their books for me. I wanted to get C. D. Wright to sign "Rising, Falling, Hovering," but she quite clearly did not want to be at the reading - it was a 4-poet panel of readers that was supposed to last an hour. She stood up and read one poem. Then booked it immediately afterwards. I went to a lot of seminars but not as many as I had planned; I spent several hours sitting on the top floors of the convention center enjoying the sunlight and kind of rejuvenating. I went to one on Levis and several panel readings; I went to a panel about oppression in poetry (which probably factored into my Afghan landais blog post which I wrote much later); I went to one about "geek culture," you know, stuff like that. I told my friend afterwards that if I did AWP again I would never do it the way we did it. I'd want to be able to take the time and either crash for two nights or get a hotel. Really I don't see me doing it again unless they bring it to Philadelphia, or I have a nice belt of money saved up that I can afford to blow on it.

I found it valuable but exhausting and not valuable enough to repeat. Maybe if I were more of an established poet it would be better for me in the sort of "see and be seen" culture of conferences - one of the reasons I was interested in going was because I think either Gaiman or King strenuously advises writers to go to conferences, that they're the "next step" and help with networking - but I wasn't really connected enough to benefit from any of that. I did get lots of free journals and leads on journals I might want to submit to, so there's that.

Mixed bag, positive experience, you should've gone. I used my old student ID (even though I graduated years ago) and got discount "student" pricing for the weekend. Wouldn't have gone otherwise.

humanodon  ·  2308 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Oh geez, that sounds like a stressful way to go. I can see why you wouldn't want to do it that way again. Which Hicok did you get signed? I only have This Clumsy Living. I only read it once, but it didn't really stick to me. I'll give it another read though. I always get Hicock and Christian Hawkey mixed up because when I bought This Clumsy Living I also bought Hawkey's Citizen Of, which I didn't really understand most of. Foolishly, I left it behind during my last move and now I want to read that again too (but I don't want to pay another $14 for, sorry Hawkey).

I think the networking aspect is what drives a lot of people to go and that's something I would definitely find valuable as I haven't kept up most of my poetry connections. One of these days I'll make it out to one, just to check it all out for myself. Thanks for writing all that out :)

Oh and, I use my old student IDs often. I used to be able to go to the MFA for free, but I guess that arrangement has changed.

_refugee_  ·  2307 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Words for Empty and Words for Full. What got me started on Hicok is his wonderful Switching to Deer Time which I think is in the book you mention. However I can't say I'm completely in love, he's not a Dean Young or Louise Gluck or a Lawrence Ferlinghetti to me. Words for Empty and Words for Full deals a lot with the VTech shootings as he was teaching there at the time. It's interesting but Hicok gets very political very often. I struggle with political poems. They get very dated very quickly, I find. And personally it's not something I find inspiring very often.

Yeah no problem. It helps to decompress, you know?

humanodon  ·  2307 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Hmm. Yeah, I just reread Switching to Deer Time and I really liked it this time around, though I wonder because I know I've read it before and yet I remembered none of it. Maybe I just wasn't open to it at the time, preoccupied by something else. Sometimes reading can be like flossing for me, as in, sometimes I read something it passes through my brain and takes something with it, kind of the opposite of what I expect reading to do.

I don't like political poems for a lot of reasons, though I have experimented with writing them in the past. In general, I don't think that poems should be used to espouse philosophies, political or otherwise because that uses poetry as a vehicle for something that is likely better stated in prose. For me, poetry is the vehicle and the driver.

Political poems rely on a carryover of emotion from whatever issue evoked the reaction in the first place. It feels like cheating. You're right about the timeliness too. I know a guy who used to write political poems and often about political landmarks from history. I could not handle poems that were both historical and political. In any event, he writes about politics and financial stuff now and I think that's a better fit. He's a pal, but man oh man.

Zygar  ·  2310 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think the "core" of users is something that scales fairly well with the way Hubski is structured around people instead of around topics. Social networks of like minds scale well—but social networks around topics do not. A popular topic leads to giga-threads, hivemind, and a tendency to lurk. Whereas self-organisation around like-minded people leads to a different set of behaviours entirely—one that is inherently less intimidating.

Certain sets of rulesets afford certain kinds of behaviour.

_refugee_  ·  2309 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I would point out that I think we have a lot of lurkers here on Hubski, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

thenewgreen  ·  2309 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I can confirm that.