Why do you miss LiveJournal?

Continuing the discussion from Discover Scuttlebutt:

What do you miss about livejournal? I check in every few years, to see how social nets have moved, so let’s compare!

I had a livejournal.

Mostly it was because all of my local friends were on the same free software blogging platform, that was mostly not evil if not outright good. (Livejournal was free software, gave away XMPP accounts to it’s users and helped create and popularize OpenID. ) and it had achieved a critical mass where I could also have discussions with strangers and meet new people.

Ive tried out Dreamwidth. Post being sold to Russia its where most of the oldschool livejournal devs seem to have gone. It doesn’t seem to have enough critical mass though for communities of my interests anyway. Most of my local friends don’t seem to be interested in leaving the proprietary silos that replaced livejournal.


Thanks for sharing!

I can’t tell if I don’t have friends, or if they all just avoid talking about social media with me. I suspect I have some friends, and most of them use corporate social media, so…

My philosophy has been to focus on “slow” tech, to let go of novelty and focus on connecting and building diverse networks. Practically it means RSS and static blogs, jabber and forums.

@trashHeap you’ve expressed the “critical mass” criteria before, and I want to explore that. What does that mean, both in objective terms, as well as subjective value to you?

I used to be really into building intentional online communities, but now I am content with building watering holes and inviting folks back to my place, for platonic knowledge sharing. ^_~

Thats where I am mostly at too. Though there was kind of a golden age for me where this wasn’t the case. Kind of hard not to be nostalgic for it.

Its entirely subjective. Im not sure I could articulate it beyond: doing my best to find other froody people to chat with along my interests and not finding enough to keep me coming back?

This could also mean my interests are often just a bad fit for the platform in question admittedly.

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One reason I like Discourse so much is because it hits this sweet spot of using an decentralized, private inbox to track conversations. That it happens to be an email inbox doesn’t diminish the effect. I am “active” on a handful of instances, and I get enough from it.

One thing I like about talkgroup is that once I capture one of my friends, they are here. A lot of folks just read the digests, but they are aware of each other. In this way I am able to curate an intentional network via subtle signal boosting, based on my interest at any given time.

I mean, I could move this site to forums.interi.org and no one would notice. I drive the conversations here, and by all metrics this “community” is sick and dying. I know this, because there is literally a dashboard that tells me. :slight_smile:

But I am in for that slow burn, ya know? And despite how inactive this project may be, it is just over three years old, but in that time 35 people created 571 topics (or more), and that feels important. We didn’t do it because we were manipulated by ad companies, or our bio-family compelled us. We just wanted to talk (or argue or boast or cry or scream).

We are a talkgroup.

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That’s a really great question! Here are some more-or-less random reasons. I miss that my friends were on it. I miss friends-locked posts. We self-selected as people who loved to write and comment, so it feels completely different from Facebook friends-locking (which I consider public), and it was way fewer friends, and didn’t purport to be all your friends and bio-family and so on. We could achieve that by carefully selecting groups on corporate social media, but I haven’t, and neither have those friends, so that’s why, I guess, I say things like “I miss livejournal” when really I miss those friends: our interest in livejournal was one of the things that brought us together, and fb, as the universal panopticon, is specifically not about only “catching” people that are weird in a particular way. I liked to hear how my friends were doing. I wrote in my livejournal both for myself and for my friends. It felt safe.

Why did it feel safe? Friendslocking? Friendslocking specifically because it was few (relatively) friends?

The communities felt safe too, somehow. We didn’t immediately believe the very worst in each other? I was in a community for the diva cup like ten or twelve years before I ever tried one in real life. Was this specific to livejournal?

Was it because it was a particular time? Before massive social media?

I know that I miss it. But what do I miss? I miss writing stream of consciousness. So why don’t I blog it? Again, because it’s public? Did I feel like no one would look at my little livejournal so that’s why it felt safe? That’s not how the internet works and I know that. Was it friendslocking, again? But I also know nothing is totally safe, and even lived through a mishap where someone was using someone else’s computer and saw something from a third person they weren’t supposed to see (because of course A was logged in, so even if person B went to the URL for their own friends list, demonstrationexamplepersonb.livejournal.com/friends, they’d see any posts that A could see even if B couldn’t see them), it still feels… better?

I keep coming back to the “private but totally not private” friendslocking thing. I guess that’s what I miss. Psychological safety. I had people who’d read it for some reason. And I’d read their stuff. And that felt nice.

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My take is that Scuttlebutt is currently the most interesting way to produce that kind of friend-interaction. Because it isn’t a silo, but it builds on the permissions thing well enough. Like Diaspora, but with less trust in servers and admins.

Let’s do it! Because the thing that was holding me back was that most people probably wouldn’t be interested and it may be hard to set up, and I like to spend my effort with accessible tech, ya know? But I think Scuttlebutt might work because there are few people on it. And I also think we could get it picked up for our tribe as the de facto way to blog at each other, sans a public-facing API or standard. :slight_smile:

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that’s kind of what i think too, haha. weird for me to admit that because i crave validation. but that’s the point. not just any validation, but validation from a certain few people. which is just all of human experience. haha

here’s a post from 2008 that talks about why i loved livejournal: my friends are funny and posted funny links. there are tons of comments, too.