LIST IS FOR CLIQUES

A couple thoughts on the rollout of updates here. Gonna try not to sound too bitchy or make it all about me 😬
  1. β€’
    I feel like most people give something a year. When my sister opened a vintage style clothing store in 2012, people said "give it three years," but generally I feel like it's a year. A new job, a new town, a lease on an apartment, a hair style - you give it a year, they say (hopefully doesn't apply to the Trump presidency).
  2. β€’
    List started its Beta phase in Feb 2015, and since I wasn't there I can't try to sound like an expert on that time. But the general observations are that it was a select, exclusive group of celebs, friends of celebs, comedy folks, various taste makers and shapers of culture.
  3. β€’
    Then List went public in Oct 2015, and that's when the community as lots of us know it began. And over the course of its first public year, plenty of updates were rolled out. And we were miffed at some of them, but none quite so much as the removal of relist and trending, last Oct.
  4. β€’
    Ever since, the timing of that particular update always made sense to me. We can never know how the inside story of this little app has unfolded behind the scenes, so I'm doing a lot of speculating here, but I've always felt:
  5. β€’
    BJ, Dev, & the gang must've had an understanding with themselves that they would give it a year. They had seed money, but it wouldn't last forever (and that's veering into territory I have no business pretending to understand) and so they decided, "We go public. We give it a year."
  6. β€’
    "If it becomes huge in a year, great. If not, we reassess and go from there."
  7. β€’
    And I think they always had a pretty level-headed understanding that List was always going to be too niche to reach Twitter/Instagram level, but still - if you're dreamers and you're interested in contributing to culture, you have to shoot the moon. You have to believe it's an idea worth taking off and becoming big.
  8. β€’
    This was easier to do when you could see the # of likes for lists on a person's profile, but still - if you go to BJ's account and track the # of likes on his lists, you can watch a pretty good representation of the crest of the wave here.
  9. β€’
    The likes are small in the Beta months, then grow when List goes public and classic Gamma days take off, then the numbers REALLY blow up in May-July 2016 as android users are welcomed in, BJ does his TV List promo tour, and the (larger version of the) community as we know it now was fully formed.
  10. β€’
    But this is key: Then, in Aug & Sept, the numbers start to go down. This is *before* relist was taken away, remember. It's not a completely reliable trend - he still had huge lists in those months, but generally the numbers trended downward.
  11. β€’
    And no, I'm not gonna make it all about me (and Chris K) and bitterly say "Hmm, did anything negative happen here in Aug and the first week of Sept that would've discouraged listers from continuing with the app??" I'm sure only a tiny number of people stopped listing when that drama went down. Some stopped then, and have told me so. But not many.
  12. β€’
    I will say, as an aside - most of the people involved in that bullying stopped listing right after they got what they wanted (for Chris & I to leave the app), which makes me laugh at how ALL the main List HQ dudes *except Dev, bless his heart* followed and cheered on the @flounce account when it was created.
  13. β€’
    Look at the select few people that account follows & it's easy to see who made it and why. I said above it makes me laugh because this account was created as part of a cyber bullying effort that literally *hurt their app's usership, as opposed to expanding it.*
  14. β€’
    The HQ dudes condoned mockery of their users - because at the time Flounce was launched, I hadn't deleted my account yet, so I was still a user & my final list, which the first Flounce list was modeled after exactly, was still up. Plus, I'm not nearly the only person who's "flounced," so technically it mocks a bunch of people. End of aside. ANYWAY.
  15. β€’
    By the end of last summer, many of the people who'd joined in May seemed to have either never used the accounts they made, or stopped using them after a brief few months. And again, I speculate about all this with the humility of knowing I 100% have no fucking idea if I'm right about any of this.
  16. β€’
    But my theory is that, by Sept/Oct, the HQ ladies and gents took a look at the numbers and where things were, and decided two things:
  17. β€’
    1. It had been a year since going public, and whatever they believed and hoped would happen in a year hadn't quite happened. Huge influx of users after the TV tour and bringing in android users, but it hadn't become in some way *big.*
  18. β€’
    2. They decided that, if it wasn't going to be big, they may have actually liked it better when it was in the Beta phase.
  19. β€’
    I think it shouldn't be insulting to any of us - it's not to me, anyway - to consider the possibility that we active Gamma/post-Gamma folks might be thought of behind List HQ doors as kind of a pain in the ass πŸ˜‰
  20. β€’
    They tried letting "normies" be recommended along with blue check mark Beta celebs, and we bitched SO much about who was recommended and who wasn't and why that they eventually got rid of that.
  21. β€’
    We generally bitch about a lot (not saying we shouldn't), and more importantly, there's this:
  22. β€’
    I wasn't around to witness the earliest days of public Twitter or public Instagram, but I'm willing to guess that List is a very special case in terms of how much communication there is between the makers of the app and the users of the app. We talk to them a lot, we call them out a lot, & sure now people yell at Jack on Twitter, but did they then?
  23. β€’
    I have to wonder if maybe part of the cold, hard look at things in early fall, gearing up for the one year mark, included talk of how maybe things were better (to them) before, when it was more exclusive, when it felt more like these folks just sharing little lists among their clique.
    And when @sarahsolene mentioned the word clique in her list about today's update, that's when I was reminded of this train of thought and felt like finally throwing in my two cents about the updates and where List is now. So thank you Sarah for noticing something I've felt here too! πŸ™πŸΌ
  24. β€’
    When you look at October's updates, they communicate that potential feeling perfectly:
  25. β€’
    1. Remove relist & trending, two elements of classic Gamma List days that helped build and expand the initial community here (the former because it helped us find each other, the latter because it was a thrilling ego-boost you couldn't experience elsewhere as a normie).
  26. β€’
    2. Add DM's, which - and forgive my application of a very personal experience to a large community experience - now that I know about the Facebook group chat of listers that trash talked me and plotted how to chase myself, Chris, and others off the app, I can state from experience that private DM capability is *how cliques are formed.*
  27. β€’
    I think that basically List HQ looked out at the overall community and saw a lot of good things, but also a lot of problems and headaches. And so I think adding DM's and removing that other stuff was a way of saying, "With what funds we have left, let's take it back to Beta days. Let's make some tweaks that encourage the more exclusive element."
  28. β€’
    They knew that removing relist and trending would discourage lots of normies from continuing, and they knew - and again, sorry for sounding bitter and referencing my own experience - that the introduction of DM's would *fuel* exclusivity, cliques, and in my opinion the overall tone of how Beta List seemed...
  29. β€’
    ...a little snarkier, a little more focused on comedy, and also a lot more focused on actual numbered lists as opposed to the blog-style feels/story listing that many of us have embraced since it went public.
  30. β€’
    Today's updates mirror those imagined perspectives I described as being behind the Oct updates.
  31. β€’
    1. Taking away drafts discourages the normies. And it also, I would imagine, saves some of whatever budget they have left because storage is the ultimate digital expense and you wild thangs have so many damn drafts I mean LORD.
  32. β€’
    2. Adding the feature of sending a List only to certain people reinforces the presence of small, exclusive cliques.
  33. β€’
    It's like cherry-picking among the community of Gamma/post-Gamma and again, that's why I laugh at the friendships some of the HQ guys have with members of the bully group chat, because these are listers who *contributed to the decline in user numbers via aggression & public mockery, yet mystifyingly are embraced and encouraged by HQ.*
  34. β€’
    Anyway, because of the personal element of my own experience, and because of bitterness being a bad look, I've resisted complaining from my own perspective about List updates in recent months. But when I read the word clique today, I felt like speaking up.
  35. β€’
    Surely this place is bleeding and sort of in the long-term process of being phased out, y'all. I don't know what happens when apps run out of money, I don't know what it looks like when apps wind down, but I have to assume it feels and looks a lot like this.
  36. β€’
    Again - I've voiced all of this as SPECULATION BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW FOR SURE.
  37. β€’
    But I think List started out as a place for cliques, and has been steered back in that direction.
  38. β€’
    And I guess the most productive thing we in the overall remaining community can do...is embrace being a large, inclusive, welcoming clique ourselves.
  39. β€’
    You're welcome in my clique, hope I'm welcome in yours. βœ‹πŸΌπŸ’œ
  40. β€’
    P.S. - the writing of a list this long, which will surely be difficult to do now that drafts are gone, was made possible via having auto update turned off. I saved this in drafts once while I was writing it.
  41. β€’
    Here you go guys, bullying on List is alive and well: WHERE THE FUCK DID MY FLAFTS GO???!!!😑😑😭😭
  42. β€’
    Also I should give a public shout to @audreypalumbo, who was leaving critical comments standing up to the Flounce account all the way back to the beginning of it in August. Each of her comments was deleted. For a person who made an account to publicly mock people for being sensitive, sounds like Ol' Flounce is pweettttty sensitive himself 😒😒😒😒
    Anyway thanks Audrey πŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌ
  43. β€’
    It just occurred to me I forgot to say for sure either way: I don't plan to leave. I'm certainly not deleting and how active I'll be, I don't know. But I'm not leaving, just thought I'd clarify for anyone who's curious since lots of us are clarifying and wondering at the moment! πŸ’œ