So, maybe you are into Dreamwidth, or maybe you want to be more into Dreamwidth but are having troubles making that happen, or maybe you know somebody who wants to be into Dreamwidth but doesn't know how to get that ball rolling. Being "into" Dreamwidth, in this instance, is defined as having a vested interest in helping Dreamwidth grow and thrive, especially in a way that personally benefits you.
This article is going to give you suggestions on how to be a filthy seditious Dreamwidth supporter (as opposed to just a Dreamwidth user or nonuser, which is a perfectly fine thing to be too!)--and they're just that, suggestions. If you have a reason to not use one, don't use it--it's just a general practice guide! (It uses a lot of points from 101 Ways to Help Dreamwidth Grow, if you are curious.) It assumes that you use Dreamwidth and enjoy it, or are strongly interested in using Dreamwidth. And while volunteering is great, this article isn't about supporting Dreamwidth that way, either. So, with that in mind, let us continue!
The first thing you're going to want to do is make sure you have enough content on Dreamwidth that you like to read, because let's face it, if you don't have anything interesting here, you're not going to want to visit. It's hard to be interested in something that's boring for you.
When you first come to Dreamwidth, it's possible that you won't know anybody else. The first thing to do might be to ask around--some people might have Dreamwidth journals that you don't realize. But maybe there won't be anybody, or very many people. It's possible Dreamwidth will become a cup of tea they are interested in later, it could be that they never will be--but what will you do in the meantime?
There's another article all about Finding Content On Dreamwidth; see if any of those techniques works to find you a few reliable things to read. Also remember that Dreamwidth works as a feedreader, if you like that and don't prefer something like Google Reader--for instance, if you're using any feeds on LJ, you can switch them to Dreamwidth. All users can create feed accounts.
Some pretty popular and reliably posting communities on Dreamwidth include scans_daily, poetry, omnomnom. metaquotes comes and goes, but it might feature somebody saying something funny that you're interested in.
Remember that on Dreamwidth, you can subscribe to a person without giving them access to your posts--making it pretty low risk to just watch anybody you want to, without worrying about what they may see, and if they're interested in watching you too, you might decide to give them access then--or not! It's all up to you.
Don't play hide and seek
Most of the following is going to apply to LJ, but if you're coming from or co-using other platforms, I bet you can think of equivalents.
Make a sticky or forward dated post (or add the info to one you already have) so that somebody going directly to your journal will know what your Dreamwidth journal is, too, even if it's a friends only post. You can use your linked list to have a link there, too.
You can also put that information in an easy to find place in your profile, like at the top of the bio or as your website link.
If you are going to be crossposting, make sure to set up a footer so that people can easily find the equivalent post on Dreamwidth.
Those homey touches
If a visitor should perchance come across your journal, would they feel like it was a place you marked your own? There are a lot of ways you can do that, including:
- Choose a style that you like best, and if you want to, customize it. If you want to make a certain customization to it but don't know how, you can ask style_system.
- If you're the kind of person who uses icons, do you have some uploaded?
- What about your profile, has it been updated? Did you put any information you think you'd like to have in it, maybe filled out your interests? If you imported it, have you updated it to accurately reflect where it's at now?
- Anything you want in your link list?
An open invitational
When you see somebody who could use an invite, you're going to want to have one handy. So, if you run out of invites? You don't have to wait until the next invite code distribution. Politely request more from links on the invite page. Chances are you'll get them after some processing delay.
And you know earlier, about putting on your journal/profile about having a Dreamwidth journal? It could be a good idea to give a mention that you have invites for people who want them there, too, so someone who wants one knows they can ask.
Be a know it all
Knowledge is a powerful tool. Read dw_news just to make sure you keep up on the basic important things. If you're newer to Dreamwidth, you might want to backread some--you can learn a lot that way. If you're hardcore about knowing every detail, you can read the fastidious the_dw_herald. Scan the FAQs to see if there's anything interesting. And if you have a question, Support can help answer it.
If you know what's going on, you're going to run into fewer unpleasant surprises. You'll be up to date and able to answer any questions other, less involved people might have. And you might discover useful information about new features you like, helping you use your account to the fullest!
Support the community-ist party
Communities on Dreamwidth can be in a bit of a double bind: not enough content gets posted to them to attract people, but they don't have enough posting people in them to get content! You can break this vicious cycle. Find communities your enjoy, through dw_community_promo, dw_news post promotions, communities your circle is in, interest search, community search, and the latest page. Join those communities! And post to them, and make comments on others' posts! If you're looking for a community you want but can't find it, create it and nurture it, or suggest it to create_my_comm.
Sharing is caring
Chances are if you're rooting around Dreamwidth enough, you'll find something you really like--or something that somebody you know would really like. If that happens? Sling a link their way and share it! If you find a community or journal you think a fellow DWer would be into, suggest it to them if they're already on Dreamwidth! Don't force or fake it; just keep it in mind when you find something that you think is nifty.
dw_suggestions needs your input to help improve the service. You can vote and comment on current suggestions, or make a new one. Making a suggestion doesn't mean it'll get implemented, but at least it gives Dreamwidth something to consider and a record of the discussion.
More carrot, less stick
This section is only for people who are angry or frustrated with LiveJournal. It's possible that LiveJournal has done things you consider ethically dubious, harmful, or stupid. It's possible that LiveJournal makes you feel stuck; so many of your friends are on there, and they're not inclined to move. Maybe they have the same issues as you do but a more difficult time considering a migration, or maybe the reasons that are important to you don't motivate them to the same extent.
However, when you are angry at what LiveJournal has done and hold Dreamwidth up as a comparison or the only alternative at the same time, it can be an unwelcoming introduction or reminder. Using Dreamwidth as a stick for LiveJournal's transgressions is more of a double edged sword. It might attract some people, but it can repel others: people resent feeling pushed into making that kind of a move, even if they are upset with LiveJournal too, and others who don't see the same problems you do could assume that Dreamwidth is only for the sorts of people who are angry at LiveJournal. Others may wonder why if Dreamwidth is so great, you still care about what LiveJournal still does, even though you are a dual citizen (by choice or necessity) and the things LiveJournal does still affect you.
Over to you
Thoughts and suggestions are welcome!