Watts (chipotle) wrote,


So my last entry was June 11th and it begins, "I've been lax in updating this. Maybe I'll try to make this a weekly thing, but no promises."

Boy, good thing about the "no promise" part there, huh? Wow.

I'm trying to figure out when LiveJournal became--well--mostly irrelevant in my writing. In 2011 I've made only four posts, counting this one. In all of 2010, I made only 13; in 2009, 35; in 2008, 51; in 2007, 66; in 2006, 83. (Those numbers count "locked" updates, so not all of them will necessarily show up if you're bored enough to browse the archives.) In previous years I'm pretty sure I broke 100. I never used Facebook, but I think I started using Twitter as my main platform for small life updates around 2009, and in 2010 revived my "linkblog," Coyote Tracks, as a technology blog where most of my writing attention is going. While it's tiny potatoes by Big Name Blog standards, it has over 1,000 followers on Tumblr and 650 or so RSS subscribers.

I suspect at this point I should face the truth that I'm not likely to use this venue very much anymore. I don't even check my LJ "friends page" daily anymore, and I've never successfully integrated Dreamwidth, LJ's erstwhile replacement, into my browsing habits. While I appreciate the philosophy of DW's founders, in practice... well, in practice DW is where you start a blog as a quasi-political statement about how much you hated Six Apart or now hate SUP, and then cross-post to LiveJournal because you know the majority of your friends are still there. (I have exactly one friend who used to post on LJ, moved to DW and stopped cross-posting.) At this point I simply don't see DW achieving any kind of critical mass. I think that may be just fine for them; they've pretty much gone out of their way to target themselves to the copyright violation fan fiction community, and as long as they achieve critical mass there they'll be more than happy.

If not Dreamwidth, what does replace LJ? Personally, of course, I like Tumblr; I've seen it derided as "the dumber, naked LiveJournal," but I think that seriously underestimates how stupid a lot of LJs have historically been. Choosing a hosted blogging service by the apparent median IQ of the blogs hosted on them is going to leave you with Field Notes. Tumblr has the equivalent of a friends page, and you can choose to allow comments.

But the answer, more than likely, is "nothing." It's possible that the notion of a public journal that LiveJournal implicitly promotes is a notion that people are moving away from. Most people really don't want to share all of their life: they want to share general bits with everyone and specific bits with specific people. Some people want to just write rants; some people want to write daily or weekly columns, or to just share interesting things they've found around the net (or photos of things they've found in real life). Even though LJ was in many ways first with all that functionality, it's not really best at any of that functionality anymore. The people who can't handle having more than one site to do everything are mostly stuck in Facebook; for the rest of us, diffusing our attention across a few different places on the net turns out to be fairly easy.

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