Bubbles: A Continuation

Since my last post about the ace community got over seventy comments (!!), I decided it was time to make another post.  In a minute, I’ll get to some of the ideas that came out of that discussion, but first, I want to try and clarify what I’m reacting to and what I want to change.

What motivated me to write about this is a consistent pattern of problems (primarily among ace advice blogs and ace-themed blogs on tumblr) that, by all appearances, stems from a lack of awareness of or responsiveness to other people in the community.  The problems I’m referring to include (but are not limited to) persistent sex-normativity, repeatedly telling people how to identify and what labels they should use, being so ignorant of major ace discourse on sex-positivity that you give your followers the impression that everyone has been silent on the subject until now, and giving advice to nervous teens without thinking through all the possible consequences (corrective rape tw for what I’m implying, although there could be a variety of negative outcomes; point being I think advice-givers should be a lot more understanding and supportive of being hesitant to come out in those circumstances, especially when the asker is clearly anxious about it).

These ill-informed choices could hurt people, and I want them to stop.  More broadly, when someone sets themselves up as an authority on the subject (which is inherent to the act of creating these kinds of ace/advice-centric blogs), I want it to at least occur to them that they can link to other voices and resources.  I want self-nominated spokespeople to always be wiping off new corners of their terministic screens.  I want them to be tuned in to suggestions for better education, and I want the blinders to come off.

I’m also maybe more idealistic than I should be.

Regardless, here are some of the paths forward that, based on the discussion in that comment section, appear to have some potential.

  • Tristifere, Cinderace, and Elizabeth expressed interest in collecting a big, centralized stash of ace posts, searchable by topic, which could be useful in the case of 1) anyone who thinks to themselves, “I wonder if anyone has ever written about asexuality and X topic,” and  2) aces new to the community who are trying to soak up all the information they can.  This would be time consuming and may not change how ace/advice blogs operate, but it would be helpful to some people, and if word spread far enough, it may take some of the askload off those blogs in the first place.
  • Some folks also expressed interest in one of my earlier suggestions, an ace news tumblr that would help people keep up to date if they followed it.  Then summaries and links to current discussions would be delivered to their doorstep, without them having to seek out context or have to follow all the right people to know what’s going on.  As long as such a blog had several mods and was well-coordinated enough, I don’t think it would take much effort as far as upkeep is concerned.  The real challenge, I think, would be getting ace/advice bloggers to follow it.  On the one hand, they’ve proven obstinate in the past.  On the other hand, presenting it as another general asexuality blog may help seal the deal, if this is anything to go by.
  • Siggy also suggested looking into RSS feeds, which would allow people to recreate something like the tumblr dashboard without being restricted on what kinds of blogs they could follow.  To make a big push for this, like Siggy suggested, we should probably come to an agreement about which program/app to recommend (Sci advocates Feedly).  I was hesitant about Feedly due to its… account-creation technicalities… but once I got in, the formatting does look like it would be the easiest sell compared to other options out there.  It also allows you to categorize the different sources you follow, which is neat.  The current concern I have with it is that it doesn’t seem to have access to tags or a blacklist system or anything like that, which I expect will be a big deterrent to some people.  Do y’all know any way around that?

14 responses to “Bubbles: A Continuation

  • queenieofaces

    If we’re doing anything involving large scale linkspamming/linkblogging, uh, I volunteer, since I already spend a lot of my time doing that.

  • Scottie Holmes

    hello. i’ve never commented here before, but i am one of the mods of the blog Life-of-an-asexual, which you reference in your post. one of our followers directed me here. i want to thank you for what you do. i have posted a link to this article as well as a public apology to the followers of our blog. i’m afraid i haven’t kept as good a directive over my fellow mods as i should have, which resulted in this terrible oversight on my part. i just wanted to let you know that i have seen this, and i am taking this matter very seriously and will be following up with the other mods to make sure we avoid something this careless and damaging in the future. again, thank you for the work you do

    • Coyote

      Hello! Wow, I wasn’t expecting a response to that, much less such a graceful one. Given the broad scope of this post, I hope you can understand why I didn’t expend more time detailing my criticism. Still — I’m immensely glad you’re taking this seriously, and if you haven’t already, I’d recommend checking out Queenie’s excellent linkspam on ace advice (and having your co-mods keep it handy too).

      • Scottie Holmes

        thank you for the link! i’m familiar with queenie’s work, she’s done a lot of good for the ace community. i will definitely reference that and give it to my fellow mods to look over. i admit i took this position on sort of a whim and have realized it’s more work than most people think, but i take the well-being of our followers very seriously so i’ve been doing my best to step up and make it work. The Ace Theist as been a great resource for us, so i really appreciate this

  • Tristifere

    re: the big library of queeniespams: I’m currently getting another project on the rails (acing history), but – like I said in your previous topic – I’m happy to hand over my stash of links and help out getting lists on topics I’m familiar with.
    Also, if you decide to include non-English resources, my language skills are at your disposal.
    I feel a bit iffy about posting my email for the world to see, but drop me an ask on my tumblr or on acing history, and I’ll give it to you.

    • Coyote

      I saw that! It looks like a great project, and if you’ve no objections, I think we might just link to Acing History in place of a history section. And non-English resources would definitely be a good idea, so I’d love to have your help with collecting and sorting those.

  • Blog Rants: Masterpost | The Asexual Agenda

    […] I’ve been planning this series ever since I read Siggy’s post on starting your own blog, and parts of it even before that. It seems especially timely now in light of both this month’s Carnival of Aces theme (writing about asexuality), and this discussion at The Ace Theist on discussion bubbles in the ace community. In case you don’t have the time to read almost 90 comments, there’s a continuation and summary of proposed ideas here. […]

  • Blog Rants: Introduction | Prismatic Entanglements

    […] I’ve been planning this series ever since I read Siggy’s post on starting your own blog, and parts of it even before that. It seems especially timely now in light of both this month’s Carnival of Aces theme (writing about asexuality), and this discussion at The Ace Theist on discussion bubbles in the ace community. In case you don’t have the time to read almost 90 comments, there’s a continuation and summary of proposed ideas here. […]

  • Asexuality Archive

    Regarding the “big, centralized stash of ace posts”, that was pretty much my original plan for Asexuality Archive, so I think that’s an awesome idea. I have an unused gift certificate that should cover a year’s worth of web hosting (including a domain name), that I’ve been looking give to a project with potential for a while. That sounds like a project with potential. Interested?

    • Coyote

      Whoa! Flattered by the offer, but after that year’s up, I… well, I’m planning to stick to what’s free, let’s say that.

      • Asexuality Archive

        After the year’s up, if the site is successful, then it probably wouldn’t be much of a problem to hold a pledge drive or crowdfunding thingy and cover the costs. And if that doesn’t work, there’s always anonymous benefactors…

        I think the value of having a domain name is immense. It makes it easier to remember (No one will say “Is that ‘asexualagenda.wordpress.com’ or ‘.blogger.com’ or…?”), makes it seem more “authoritative”, and makes it more likely to span “bubbles”. Tumblrites won’t see a “.wordpress.com” and turn away, and WordPressians won’t see a “.tumblr.com” and flee for the hills.

        And with the hosting service I use, you can easily install multiple pieces of software. If you want a WordPress, a forum, a Wiki, and custom written software, you can do all of that. Need a certain plugin? You can do that. And you get email at that domain.

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