March 5th, 2014

Me

My Ten-Year LiveJournal Anniversary

Today marks ten years that I've been part of the LiveJournal community. When I think about it, that that much time has passed is hard to believe. It doesn't feel that long ago that LiveJournal was a thriving community, so full of interesting and funny people writing about interesting and funny things that there were days I would rush home and log on to make sure I didn't miss anything good. And I would find so many new journal entries waiting for me that I'd have to go back one, two, maybe even three full pages to find where I wanted to start reading from.

Now LJ has transformed into a frequent target for DoS attacks from Russian hackers and an occasionally wistful game of "I wonder what happened to so-and-so." In the late 2000s, everyone pretty much moved from LJ to other forms of social media, mostly Facebook and Twitter. They split their time for a bit, posting here occasionally while also posting there, and then they eventually stopped coming here altogether. LJ's return on investment in the form of readers and commenters had dwindled, which just didn't make it worth the effort anymore for a lot of people, I guess. LiveJournal turned into a bit of a ghost town, perhaps not quite as abandoned as Friendster or MySpace but nowhere near the lively, interactive community it once was. It makes me wonder if long-form blogging might soon go the way of the dodo, as 140-character tweets, picture-based Instagrams, GIF-heavy Tumblrs, and even here-now-gone-in-a-minute Snapchats take its place. I'm tempted to say it's because nobody wants to read anymore, but that's not true. It's really about ease and convenience. For a lot of people, it's just easier to send out a one-line zinger on Twitter than to spend the time writing a detailed, thought-out blog entry. And it's sure as hell easier reading one when you're standing in line at Starbucks and scrolling on your phone. (Or whatever it is you crazy kids do these days!)

I've drifted away from blogging myself over the years. Now when I blog it tends to be about my books. When I have something to say about a TV show or movie or current event, I'm more likely to post about it on my Google+ and Twitter accounts. (I tried Facebook for a while but hated it and left.) But I still love LiveJournal in that way you still love your old, beat up Star Wars VHS tapes that you can't bring yourself to throw away because they're the originals, man! Well, for me, I suppose, LiveJournal is the original. I still feel some loyalty to it. So I'll continue to blog (though these days LJ mostly mirrors the blog entries I post on my website -- except for this one you're reading now, which is an LJ exclusive!), and I'll continue to come here to read other people's blogs.

But I'd lying if I said this was the same LiveJournal I joined ten years ago.