Livejournal, remembered
January 22, 2019 6:32 PM   Subscribe

“The Linux of social media”—How LiveJournal pioneered (then lost) blogging (Ars Technica), by Steven T. Wright. We had promised to never include ads on the site, and all of a sudden we have our new management telling us, ‘The site needs ads, the site needs ads.’ It was an impossible situation.”
posted by Monday, stony Monday (52 comments total) 47 users marked this as a favorite
 
Given the burst of activity that Dreamwidth--long the main recipient of refugees from LJ for reasons ranging from Strikethru to privacy losses to the sale to a Russian company--has been seeing in the last few months as people look for a sustainable alternative to Tumblr in fandom, this is a really interesting and kind of timely read.
posted by sciatrix at 6:35 PM on January 22 [18 favorites]


Social media has moved, as storage and bandwidth have become cheaper and cheaper, from long-form to short-form interaction.

I still feel that my best social media days were on LJ, because I like to read and write longer things. It's gone from the paragraph, to the facebook status, to the tweet, and now to instagram, just photos and video. I've seriously been left behind by this evolution because I'm not that good at it.

I can't say it's unfair, but really, post-Livejournal, writing more than 20 words at a stretch is just no longer rewarded.

Plus, I met my wife because of Livejournal, so I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for bradfitz and his weird little web service.
posted by tclark at 6:39 PM on January 22 [42 favorites]


The most valuable thing LJ did for me was handling Strikethrough so terribly that DW and AO3 got underway.

That "stubborn," "adversarial" userbase? They're cool. LJ can rot.
posted by bagel at 6:43 PM on January 22 [19 favorites]


(that link goes to a super long Fanlore page with broader and deeper context than TFA.)
posted by bagel at 6:44 PM on January 22 [1 favorite]


Dreamwidth is also getting people from the death of Google+. It's main limitation in replacing either G+ or Tumblr is it has a truly awful image uploading system
posted by happyroach at 6:47 PM on January 22 [5 favorites]


Hey, is anything happening with that Tumblr replacement Maciej Cegłowski said he'd take a stab at?
posted by theodolite at 6:52 PM on January 22 [3 favorites]


So I'm reading along, and I'm eyeing up my Dreamwidth and the folks returning to the platform, under competition from only one other site I'm aware of (Pillowfort), in the wake of a few bad community mishandling incidents on the behalf of Pillowfort that I can't imagine DW pulling. I'm also thinking about its business model, and why Dreamwidth has survived so stably up into today, such that it's comfortably ready to pick up a burst of users who are transitioning from a more Web 2.0 experience to a site that remains structured firmly in Web 1.0.

I should add for folks that aren't familiar with fandom that Tumblr has recently kicked off something very like Strikethrough for the modern era, which is triggering another exodus that seems to be headed towards three distinct centers (Discord, PF, and DW). I ought to do a post about that, except I haven't bothered hunting down links. So there's a lot of people moving between platforms right now and trying to convince chunks of their social networks to move to one of these three general places. And DW is picking up a not inconsiderable group of active posters and bloggers. I mean, time will tell if this is a one-time flash in the pan, but it's really interesting to me watching a whole bunch of people, some of whom were never around on Livejournal or Dreamwidth during the platforms' heydays, taking to this new-to-them format and adjusting to it and learning to use it effectively.

Dreamwidth is one of very few other site platforms where the leadership is like MeFi's: both the co-founders are old-time internet people who are very plugged into communities, there's a clear business model where users support the site (there are no ads on Dreamwidth; site revenue is funded entirely by paid accounts from users with some extra features), but more to the point the site is surviving so well because it has a remarkable level of trust from its userbase, which it's followed up with by making decisions that encourage its userbase to feel safe (e.g. rebuffing pro-censorship challenges ala Strikethrough and Nipplegate, to the point of having to take a new payment handler), while also not providing an environment that is particularly Nazi-friendly.

The image thing is the big sticking point to Tumblr, I agree totally, especially having had a chat with a fanartist over a miscommunication about reblogs vs. signal-boosting recently. Even images hosted elsewhere are kind of a pain to embed there, and I'm watching a lot of new folks pick up trial-by-fire HTML because DW's rich text editor is, delicately... shit.

But it's interesting that there are so many people picking it up anyway, especially those people who, like I said... don't have fond blogosphere Web 1.0 memories to fall back on. I'm kind of hoping the new influx sticks around as active as it's been since December. I'm enjoying having come out of delurking and nattering cheerfully around my own space.
posted by sciatrix at 6:57 PM on January 22 [25 favorites]


I can't say it's unfair, but really, post-Livejournal, writing more than 20 words at a stretch is just no longer rewarded.

Sometimes I'll write, like, a YouTube or Reddit comment consisting of two or three paragraphs, and I routinely get comments like "lol that was a great novel bro".
posted by escape from the potato planet at 7:01 PM on January 22 [43 favorites]


I miss LJ. It's the only place on the internet that truly felt like a community.
posted by hoodrich at 7:20 PM on January 22 [30 favorites]


I like the values of Dreamwidth, but I still think one of the uglier design problems of it is that getting to the mobile-friendly version isn't all that intuitive. And well, iOS/Android get the majority of the clicks and hits these days.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 7:33 PM on January 22 [1 favorite]


Sometimes I'll write, like, a YouTube or Reddit comment consisting of two or three paragraphs, and I routinely get comments like "lol that was a great novel bro".

tl;dr Gramps

I too miss LiveJournal and the pre-easy-to-upload-images-and-video internet. I valiantly tried to do fandom on tumblr a couple times and just failed miserably. I just don't care about pictures that much. I'm a shit artist, and not very cleverly quippy, and tumblr made me feel like I no longer had anything to contribute to fandom. Also as a platform it seems purpose-built to generate passive aggressive drama (is that what the kids are calling "impressions" these days?).
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:35 PM on January 22 [5 favorites]


I've seen a few people comment on this article that they met their spouses on LiveJournal - so did I! Marrying someone you met via LiveJournal seems way more common than I thought. I think I'd struggle to form an emotional connection with someone via modern social media like Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

LiveJournal was great in that it allowed for longer thoughts which in turn revealed more about a person than a "sound-bite". I miss it.
posted by decryption at 8:01 PM on January 22 [5 favorites]


That was a lovely article. I'm not surprised to read a lot about the behind the scenes at LJ - when I was a web developer, we were so young and didn't know what we were doing either.

For a lot of people, LJ was cheaper than therapy or their only therapy, where they could be known and anonymous at the same time. I am still a pretty committed diarist on LJ. I'm not sure when I'll ever leave, even though I back up to DW. I still have friends there - if it appears dead to the author it might just be that everyone I know locks down their journals. Broadcasting your thoughts online has a bigger price today than it did twenty years ago.
posted by Calzephyr at 8:17 PM on January 22 [6 favorites]


I miss getting to read actual long wordy entries.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:22 PM on January 22 [9 favorites]


I won't lie, for a split second I thought Ello could be the LJ replacement. It gave users the ability to write long posts with formatting and inline images. And then it just ... didn't do whatever it was that an Ello is supposed to do.
posted by komara at 8:40 PM on January 22 [3 favorites]


I'm reading my old LJ posts, and not only am I surprised that I don't hate most of what I wrote, I really like the way the old site looks. So clean and simple.

I forget how great it was.
posted by Ickster at 9:12 PM on January 22 [1 favorite]


Livejournal was also important for the creation of Memcached, a caching system still used by many large Websites today.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 9:22 PM on January 22 [6 favorites]


I'd probably still be a regular on scans_daily, which has been on Dreamwidth much longer now than it was on LJ, I'm pretty sure, but the lack of easy image posting (s_d is a comics reposting and review community, for those not familiar with it) hampers the experience.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:52 PM on January 22 [1 favorite]


I miss LJ. It's the only place on the internet that truly felt like a community.

It's worth noting that the community died a long time before LJ did.

I noticed that the article didn't one of the big contributors to the fracturing of LiveJournal: congratulations, this month was the 10th anniversary of RaceFail. Even as it exposed fr actures inLJ communities, it caused repercussions that are still affecting the F&SF community today.

And then there were the trolls and harassers like Requires Hate/Winterfox who damaged the most delicate communities on LiveJournal, for shits and giggles. I think by the time the major service outages had rolled around, the sense of community that was central to LiveJournal had died. The Russian purchase was basically the coup de grace.
posted by happyroach at 11:07 PM on January 22 [12 favorites]


The problem with Dreamwidth is the 1990s-vintage LJ codebase. The site is a mass of horrible Perl scripts, and keeping it running is enough of an Augean stables that there is no time for adding improvements. As such, it's unlikely that it will ever see modern APIs enabling an app ecosystem/granular OAuth-style access permissions, or similar. (They recently did add HTTPS, though, so there is that.)

It'd probably be easier building something from scratch, using LiveJournal as a conceptual model (for the idea of permissions and such), whilst using the latest best practices (OAuth for authentication, posts with rich media attachments, a REST API, and such).

In fact, in the age of ActivityPub and federated social sites like Mastodon and Pixelfed, it'd probably be more interesting to see something like a federated modern LiveJournal-alike, which allows users to follow/give access across instances, and uses modern cryptographic protocols to enforce the integrity of this. Hopefully someone in the fediverse with fond memories of LiveJournal will pick this up.
posted by acb at 12:59 AM on January 23 [5 favorites]


Haven't tried it yet, acb, but isn't that what plume https://joinplu.me/ is supposed to be?
posted by Gotanda at 1:54 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]


It doesn't look like Plume has LJ-style permissions/access controls. Which means its functionality is basically like a blog with a RSS feed, only on the blockchain the fediverse. Being able to control access to one's posts is quite important for a social platform, especially in this world rife with griefers and Nazis.
posted by acb at 2:31 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]


Like many others, I was also eyeing Pillowfort, but I'm less worried about ethical lapses and trolls (both of which seem to be a form of omnipresent background radiation in social media) but the very fluffy business model that gives me pause. The internet has matured if only in terms of persistence, but somehow still largely made up of services that seriously believe that they're going to figure out the money part later. Each new social blogging service acts like it's the one soap bubble that's not going to pop, with the result that no-one gets really invested in any of them individually.

I'm writing a OU story in instalments on Tumblr, a task for which it is very much not suited, but there's an audience that seems to like my stories even if they have to comment through reblogs and blatant hashtag abuse. I used to be part of a really great group of fictionally-inclined people on LJ that would read my stuff (in the brief gaps between the drama) and though there's lots about the platform I won't miss, I have never really found that combination of an engaged audience with the tools to express themselves anywhere else.
posted by Eleven at 3:49 AM on January 23 [4 favorites]


Another one here who met their husband on LiveJournal (and also the bridesmaid and a sizeable amount of wedding guests).

I'm twittering, and 'gramming, and tumblering, and 'booking — but all those platforms combined feel like what LJ used to provide. I'm currently juggling four different twitter accounts to give me a watered-down version of LJ's filtering capacity, ffs. There are communities in all those SoMe places, but they are not criss-crossing in the same way that LJ did. You don't build trust in the same way, simply because you cannot filter and differentiate between the various groups.
posted by kariebookish at 4:11 AM on January 23 [4 favorites]


Livejournal kept the Everything2 userbase in contact with each other during the terrible server outage of 2003. I will always thank them for that.
posted by fordiebianco at 4:38 AM on January 23 [3 favorites]


I found about this article from a Facebook group of former LJ volunteers - both Support and Terms of Service folks (I was the latter), where multiple people noted there are some inaccuracies in the details. (The main strokes are fine, it's the details that people don't know to ask about that a lot of people get wrong in this kind of thing.)

The thing for me about LJ and then DW has always been the intersection of long-form text possibility, with being able to overlap people from different spaces, and still having a reasonable amount of control about how my stuff is available and to who (and tools to limit undesireable commenting without completely shutting down the entire conversation: on DW you can freeze comment threads, for example, if a particular line of conversation is going wonky, without pulling the entire post. Or you can drop it into a different access group and keep the useful comments.)

But more than that, I can find things. From six months ago, from six years ago. From 15 years ago, in my case. (I am a paid member on DW, and have been from the start, but even without the search options, there's tagging, there's being able to go "I'm pretty sure I was talking about this in May 2008", and there's the memory function if I wanted to use it.)

That's something that so many of the other social media tools are missing these days, and in those spaces everything feels ephemeral to me (which is good in some ways, but prone to the vagaries of memory and what happened, and why this situation feels weird six months later.)
posted by jenettsilver at 5:17 AM on January 23 [9 favorites]


I still feel that my best social media days were on LJ, because I like to read and write longer things. It's gone from the paragraph, to the facebook status, to the tweet, and now to instagram, just photos and video.

This is a common complaint from my spouse and I. Everyone in our circles of friends sort of abandoned LJ -- partially with good reason, but more because of the siren call of Facebook. Post length and quality of content shrank. People that I knew stopped expressing themselves and simply shared links to people that I didn't know expressing themselves (...and clickbait).

Last year I started disengaging from Facebook, and the conspiracy-mongering about Soros was the last straw. I'm not going back to LJ with its anti-LGBTQIA policies and other bullshit, but I started my own blog. There's no community, and not many are reading it, and I kind of don't care because at least I'm writing again.
posted by Foosnark at 5:23 AM on January 23 [18 favorites]


... I started my own blog. There's no community, and not many are reading it, and I kind of don't care because at least I'm writing again.

Seconded.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:43 AM on January 23 [3 favorites]


Thirded.

I was an active LJ user, writing in fandom communities and on my own blog. My friends group wasn't huge, but we all were close and supportive in our writing and personal lives. When the mass exodus happened, it disappeared within months. I stay in touch with a couple people via facebook and twitter, but it isn't even in the same universe of community.

I started a wordpress blog when I ditched LJ. I rarely used it until last year, when I got a cancer diagnosis and had something to actually write about. I linked my cancer posts to facebook so relatives and friends could see how I was doing, but I haven't updated since November. It's not hard to spend an hour doing a 700-word post, with pictures, about my goofy dogs that I know my fandom peeps would read and enjoy and comment on; it's not as obvious a good way to spend my time if five people will see it and just hit "like" or whatever. But I've decided that I don't need to justify my time--if I want to write a pet post and get enjoyment from the doing of the writing, that's enough.
posted by chaoticgood at 6:06 AM on January 23 [6 favorites]


I had an LJ (which I've never discontinued) and I went to tumblr on the strength of russian ownership and whatnot, added to friend's urging that tumblr was "so much better" (she was superwholock enthused, I was not) and I did, basically, LJ-on-tumblr, which is to say not a lotta reblog, lengthy, thinky, diary-like text entries with few images. And then tumblr, bless its little black heart, censored a lot of things that I didn't feel were censor-worthy. So I bought a dreamwidth (you don't have to buy one but I'm adulting over here) and it (a) looks and feels like LJ and (b) seamlessly imported my LJ stuff from like six years ago. (It did not import my tumblr stuff because of reasons, but I can live with that and manually import what's important.) I can do this.

People can read it or not, but that was never really the point for me anyway. The writing was the point.
posted by which_chick at 6:09 AM on January 23 [10 favorites]


The thing for me about LJ and then DW has always been the intersection of long-form text possibility, with being able to overlap people from different spaces, and still having a reasonable amount of control about how my stuff is available and to who

This. Being able to easily say 'I want only my X friends to see this post' and to be able to lock that down, hard, regardless of who you referenced or tagged. But also, being able to write long, thoughtful, meandering ideas, and have folks comment in serious ways on them. You just can't do that on Facebook, without having 'click here to read more' all over the place, much less the user privacy settings.
posted by corb at 6:19 AM on January 23 [13 favorites]


LiveJournal was by orders of magnitude my best period online, but I don't think the type of community that I valued there is at all feasible anymore. It doesn't have anything to do with the technology or features, it's just that everyone's too aware that online privacy is an illusion; that anything you put online is going to be seen by someone you didn't intend to share it with. Eventually, if not immediately.

I read back through my old journal entries from those days, and those of my friends that haven't been deleted, and try to imagine being that honest and open and unfiltered about what was going on in my life as we were back then. I wouldn't think twice about it, because the first thought would be "hell no". Social media is for good news and cat pictures; deep thoughts go in person or not at all.
posted by ook at 6:48 AM on January 23 [7 favorites]


[Dreamwidth is] comfortably ready to pick up a burst of users who are transitioning from a more Web 2.0 experience to a site that remains structured firmly in Web 1.0
I’ll tell anyone who listens that LiveJournal was the first Web 2.0 site. It had all the hallmark features:
  • The content on the site was primarily posted by its users
  • Users connected to each other to see what they were posting
  • Your main view of those posts was through a custom feed, the Friends Page
  • It went through the scaling pains of growth of every social media site, and then solved them for the rest of Web 2.0 by building memcached like Monday mentioned
Of course, demarcations are never so clear, and LiveJournal definitely has some Web 1.0 quirks. Like how themeable it is by its users, which made it always slower to follow up on Web 2.0 UI design sensibilities. And today it’s not very mobile-friendly or multimedia-friendly. But none of that is what Web 2.0 was originally about. After all, Web 2.0 predates the iPhone.

LiveJournal shaped how web sites were built forever after, and I feel like it never gets enough credit for that. Probably mostly because Brad Fitzpatrick was happy to stay in engineering, mostly out of the public eye, while Mark Zuckerberg was happy to be the CEO of Facebook.
posted by brett at 7:12 AM on January 23 [9 favorites]


I met my spouse on LJ too; there was a chain of "x knows y knows z in real life," but mostly we were just in the local anime scene via LJ friending. (When people asked how we met I just said "social media." Think what you want, it's true.)

At the same time, I was a suuuuuper toxic asshole through that era, mostly but not entirely toward myself, and I'm kind of glad to archive that on a hard drive and walk away (sans the even MORE toxic comment thread fights with my wellactually ex, yay).

Which you shouldn't do, and I understand that anyone can justifiably gotcha me with my asshole 22-year-old self at any time. I don't think I can move on and grow as a person if I don't at least try to set it down. I don't know whether internet assholes deserve to try to grow. That's the question of the age, isn't it.

Started a new DW last week, because the ex and his stalker tendencies knows where my first DW is (and my Tumblr, which I never took to). The DW mobile experience is painful. I hope it goes well, and in a different way than my LJ experience, however awesome it was at times. Because I'd like to think I'm a different person now.

^^^ See, I'd never thrive on Twitter/Mastodon. Words words words.
posted by cage and aquarium at 7:17 AM on January 23 [2 favorites]


Along with a lot of things being listed here, one of the things that I always really liked about LiveJournal before the Russian takeover was the fact that the admins were listening and wanted to resolve issues with how the service worked and make it better for everyone. You could go to Brad's LJ and see how various projects were coming along or follow the admin LJ and make suggestions. I am not happy to learn that Brad was constantly on the verge of burnout, but I did feel like he was accessible and he cared. The admin at DW care. Jack and Mark Zuckerberg do not care, and I have no confidence that they would actually read what I had to say if I were to speak directly to them.

I closed my LJ a couple of years ago, I want to say before the election, and it was a rather scary place at the end. I made a passing comment on my journal once to then-current events around Iran in a post and received an anonymous and immediately deleted comment (which shouldn't have happened, it was very strange) saying I was right to question what I was hearing in the news about Iran and that I was having my perspective shaped by my government. Nothing like that had ever happened to me before.

By a similar token to ook's comment above, I worry that a future LJ-esque site would be infiltrated by scores of people arguing and posting in bad faith to repress other communities. There was definitely drama and inter-community strife on LJ, but not large groups of people(bots?) attacking one another from their respective corners.

I also miss using Semagic to post to my Livejournal. Perhaps someday a similar program will be available for DW.
posted by koucha at 7:21 AM on January 23 [4 favorites]


I use metafilter blue style as default. My LJ had a similar color and appearance.

Seeing these comments brings up many memories of a well run community -- each journal its own community in some cases. And, unfortunately, their downfall.
posted by filtergik at 7:29 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]


People talking wistfully about a blogging platform that was at its peak in a time after I quit daily blogging is a decidedly weird sensation for me.

Weirder though is reading Foosnark, EmpressCallipygos and chaoticgood and realising - at some point I stopped doing it for the love of writing and am only a shadow of my former self on the social networks.
posted by Molesome at 7:29 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]


And then there were the trolls and harassers like Requires Hate/Winterfox who damaged the most delicate communities on LiveJournal, for shits and giggles. I think by the time the major service outages had rolled around, the sense of community that was central to LiveJournal had died.

LiveJournal was never just one community, though. It was thousands. I recognize the name Winterfox but beyond "that's a name I heard on LJ once or twice" I couldn't tell you who they were or what they did because they didn't touch any part of LJ I was involved in. I mean, heck yeah there was drama--of course there was--but it was also pretty easy to be like, "Fuck this, I'm out" and retreat back to your own LJ or start a whole new community and lock it down so that whatever faction was causing you grief stayed out.

I'm fundamentally drama-averse. I wanted to talk about fandom and fandom personalities/trends with my similarly-inclined friends without the entire fandom being able to follow me back home. LJ made that super easy. Nothing else really does.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:12 AM on January 23 [8 favorites]


I think the world is ready for a New Thing now. People are fed up with Twitter and Facebook. Tumblr just suffered a heavy blow.

I don't know what the new thing is. A lot of people want it to be Mastodon, and I suppose it could be, but it's hampered by that tragic 4 column narrow UI. More likely it's something new I can't quite imagine, probably something post-literate. I'm definitely too old to predict what it would be.

Maybe it's worth looking to China to see what could be next in the English speaking world. All I know about over there is Weibo, which is basically Twitter except it works better because of the density of Chinese writing.
posted by Nelson at 8:52 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]


I run a Mastodon instance with a very high post length limit in part because I miss LJ. It’s nowhere near the same but it sure is nice to have a text box to ramble into at length again.

I definitely miss the pre-SMACK THAT SHARE BUTTON Internet. When telling your friends about an awesome post meant you had to make your own post and say “hey check out this awesome post about booper snoots (link), I think 👤chesspieceface said something really important”, it really meant something. Maybe friction on that turns out to be a good thing.

This article kind of made me want to try and make Federated LJ - because I think there is definitely something that feels like it might work about the model of a bunch of distributed, small installations - but I sure am busy with other huge projects, and I sure do not have any damn idea of how to get the privacy stuff working across sites and potentially untrusted remote admins.
posted by egypturnash at 8:56 AM on January 23 [7 favorites]


I welcome any new platform for fandom where people don't change their usernames every time they enter a new fandom. ARGH. HAVE AN IDENTITY I CAN KEEP TRACK OF FROM ONE POST TO THE NEXT.

(I also really miss getting to choose from a collection of icons for each post or comment -- it added a layer of meaning or a mood or an opinion, and would often lead to goofy discussions made up solely of icons)
posted by tzikeh at 9:21 AM on January 23 [10 favorites]


I've had an LJ/DW for forever, though I've had a long lapse in using it much over the past couple years. Partly that's because of Metafilter! I dump a lot of my thoughts and opinions on stuff here, where there's a more lively conversation going on. I definitely still like writing more longform or detailed comments, which Tumblr doesn't exactly reward or easily enable, but one thing I do really like Tumblr for is the "whisperspace" of reblogging with your own tags.

When you say some stuff in the tags of a thing you reblog, it's just some short commentary that's easy for other people who don't follow you to ignore or never see. Tag commentary doesn't have to be super nuanced, and it can be short, plus there's a sort of established style there in terms of the ways you do tag commentary. Your tag commentary can be shitpost quality or it can be insightful, but either way, it's low pressure. You don't have to format and conceive of a whole separate post, and there's no sense of invading someone else's space the way there could be if you commented on someone's else's DW/LJ post. There's nothing comparable to that tag whisperspace anywhere else, I don't think. A linkdump on DW can sort of replicate it, in that you can link to a thing, then follow it up with a bit of your own quick commentary, but that's so much more effort than a quick reblog. Also, gonna be honest, such a format would frequently ruin the comedic effect of tag commentary!

So I guess my dream platform would be tumblr style reblogging, image hosting, media embedding, and tagging + DW style journalling and privacy controls. And, maybe most importantly, a way to pay for all that that isn't "sell ads and user data." The question of where's the money coming from and long-term viability are why I've remained suspicious as hell of Pillowfort. Dreamwidth doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, sure, but at least I know that its business model can support it. Same for Pinboard.
posted by yasaman at 10:33 AM on January 23 [7 favorites]


This is probably a decent time to mention that I made a community on Dreamwidth for MeFites and anybody can use the reading page there to read public entries made by people who joined. Some thirtish accounts have joined because of the MetaTalk post or invites I made and I'm super pleased!

I didn't want to exclude people with offsite blogs, either, so I made a hub account that subscribes to feeds because Dreamwidth has feed reader capabilities, and people should feel free to request that I add them. (Quirk of the system: I'll have to make an account username for your feed, so if you could suggest one that would be great, it will be appended by "_feed".)
posted by foxfirefey at 10:34 AM on January 23 [17 favorites]


Joined! Thanks, foxfirefey!
posted by tzikeh at 10:46 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]


I think your MeTa post was a subliminal motivator, foxfirefey, so thank you! I'm a newbie here, so I will just read the reading page. Which is already full of great stuff.
posted by cage and aquarium at 10:51 AM on January 23


It's not hard to spend an hour doing a 700-word post, with pictures, about my goofy dogs that I know my fandom peeps would read and enjoy and comment on; it's not as obvious a good way to spend my time if five people will see it and just hit "like" or whatever.

It's really true...

Part of it is age, though, right? Those of us who remember livejournal fondly just had more time to spend on the internet back then. We gravitate more to shorter platforms now because we don't have the time for long posts and comments anymore, or like ook said we have more to lose professionally&socially by being open. I always assumed that there were places on the internet where the next gen was still writing and reading in long chunks, even on platforms that weren't designed to be used that way because the "engagement" metrics only measure how many pages you click on, or whatever.

Anyway, I haven't updated my personal livejournal, dreamwidth, tumblr, twitter, wordpress, etc etc in a bit but I still use all those platforms to comment on other people's stuff. And I joined reddit too...
posted by subdee at 11:08 AM on January 23 [4 favorites]


I miss when the internet was made of words.
posted by madcaptenor at 1:23 PM on January 23 [21 favorites]


LiveJournal will always hold a special place in my heart. It was my source of journaling (and friendship) through my 20s. Those friends have all migrated to Facebook/Instagram and (thankfully) we've stayed in touch but it's so different.

I imported all the entries into Dreamwidth and still look back on them fondly. I've gotten out of the habit of posting as frequently as I'd like so thanks for posting this. Good incentive to get back into the habit.

There's still something about the novelty of being able to post via voicemail.
posted by Twicketface at 4:01 PM on January 23 [2 favorites]


I also joined, foxfirefey! I'm on both LJ and DW as 'bork'.
posted by spinifex23 at 6:55 PM on January 23


Social media is for good news and cat pictures; deep thoughts go in person or not at all.

A friend's LJ was subtitled "All the news that's trivial enough to print" for that very reason.
posted by Lexica at 10:02 AM on January 24 [2 favorites]


I really miss the heyday of LJ. I made some very good friends--who became IRL friends--in a way there that I just don't feel that current platforms make possible.
posted by TwoStride at 3:17 PM on January 24 [2 favorites]


I miss when the internet was made of words.

I know, right?
posted by happyroach at 7:51 PM on January 24


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