19 December 2012
The Future of the International Lolita Community
When I first started in the fashion 3 or 4 years ago, EGL on LiveJournal was a very busy place. One could find at least two or three pages of posts all within a day or two of each other. The same could be said for Daily Lolita. Today, the posts are fewer and further between. Why has this happened? I think a lot of it has to do with the boom of social networking, particularly, Facebook.
Facebook is initially a very attractive medium for us all to keep in touch. Posting and responding to each other is at lightening speed, it’s very easy to find people, and you can upload seemingly infinite photos. Most information is just as easily shared across large groups of people as well. This limitlessness, however, is its Achilles’ Heel.
People create new groups everyday, and they can add you nearly without you noticing. There are so many Lolita groups floating around, outside of local communities, that I cannot keep track of them. Within these groups, there is no way to organise posts, and moderation is a little bit of a joke.
I do enjoy Facebook quite a lot because I am able to get to know individuals in a much more personal way. I wouldn’t have met one of my absolute best friends because of it and many other close friends as well. It also makes it easy for me to find other Lolitas when I travel. I can find Lolitas in just about every part of the world now. For that, I am very, very thankful.
What does bother me is that I feel like I’ve lost my sense of community. When EGL was “hopping,” I felt like a member of a club. The search feature could be buggy, but between it, tagging, the memories, and the chronological nature of posting, it wasn’t difficult to find old posts and have simple questions answered. Everyone going to a central hub gave me a sense of togetherness.
This makes me wonder about the future of the community. What will we move towards next? Do people gravitate towards a sense of a large community, or would they prefer the smaller groups and more one-on-one interaction? Personally, I think it would be nice to have a mix of both somehow in one place. I think a lot of this has to do with convenience; Facebook is kind of like “one stop shopping.”
What are your views? What would you like to see, and what do you think the future holds?
(cross posted to EGL)