With all of the LJ downtime, a lot of people have begun to move away to WordPress or Blogger — I did the same several months ago, although I continue to cross-post between WordPress and LJ. The one sad part that everyone has been referring to is the loss of community, which got me thinking about differences between the various social networks and what I’m finding in each place.
Twitter has been a vibrant meeting place for writers. Unlike Facebook, where I tend to be careful because it forces a reciprocal relationship, anyone can follow anyone else, so it’s easy to find new, interesting people. Posts are short enough that you can follow several hundred people without getting completely overwhelmed. Google+ has a similar vibe, but what I like is that people comment as they would on a blog, and these comments oftentimes become conversations. Twitter, of course, has far fewer characters for a discussion, and unless the conversation is happening over a hashtag, it’s hard to follow all of the contributions. This is why, although I don’t think G+ can (or should) replace blogs/blogging, I believe it can provide the same sort of community and camaraderie that writers cherish at LJ.
Also — Hangouts! Need I say more? My crit group was having trouble scheduling because of travel, so we met through Google’s free, multi-user video chat system, and while it wasn’t the same as meeting in person, it was so much better than attempting a phone conference or simply email comments without getting to discuss, elaborate, and disagree! I bet we’ll end up using it when the winter weather arrives, too, and I’d love to connect with other writers around the world.
Have you tried a G+ Hangout yet, either spontaneously or planned? I’m curious to know your thoughts…