'...is that people "play to their friends" and tend to focus their journals on topics that interest the friends.'
Do you find that you do this? I certainly don't, to which the random collection of brain dumps in my journal (both public and private) can stand as evidence, but do others? Why? What is the true function of LJ? How do people view it? Why do people use it? How do people use it? Is there a *prevalent* culture in LJ? What are the 'rules' in that culture? Or is it a loose confederation of non-dominant subcultures, if you will, which independently inhabit the framework of LJ? How do they interact? Is there any sort of social stratification, either overall or within groups?
As I said, I don't 'tailor' my journal. There's no way I could, frankly, because I don't have a friends base and no one knows that I'm hear - I have no audience to which to play. I started this experiment thinking that no one would ever see or have any interest in my posts. Journaling in the old fashioned sense of the word.
I was surprised and amused (previous post) to be added to people's friends lists. Noticing that completely changed my view of LJ, and by necessity changed how I deal with it (now that I have a clue about privacy settings...). And also lead me to wonder about the LJ society and it's nuances. I've seen journals and communities ranging from high level scientific discussion to what amounted to no more than a sorority girl sleep over. Fabulous poetry to people shamelessly begging for money. Christmas lists to recipe communities to cancer survivor support groups. And everything in between. I can certainly see where an individual could move within and across such a divergent set of groups. But is there easy interaction between the groups? Are there common behaviors that the groups share?
Further he said 'Thus the journal becomes less about the person, and more about the mask that person chooses to project on LJ.'
For me, this is the only place where I (now safely) willingly discard the helpful but cool, self-assured, competent, 'everything is fine' mask that is the public face.
What is your mask?
Feel free to pass this on - consider it a survey or questionnaire of sorts *smile*
It is not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that make horseraces. - Mark Twain