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For the past several months, but most notably in the past two weeks or so, my friends list on LJ has been populated mostly by posts that begin with things like...

"So I'm going to post to LiveJournal, even though nobody uses it any more..."

"Oh wow, I still have my LiveJournal login! Does anyone still post here?"

"I sure miss LiveJournal. I wish people posted here..."

Well, in the words of the psychiatrist from Local Hero, "I'm still here, Happer!"

For a long time, I made a point of responding to these posts in a cheery "I'm still here! I still read! Keep posting!" But honestly I'm starting to get a little peeved about it now. Like newspaper articles about the death of print or songs about how the heart of rock and roll is still beating, these posts are quickly moving from the occasional wistful sigh to a particularly formulaic and tiresome genre all to themselves.

It's true that LiveJournal isn't the New Shiny Social Media Platform. Any platform older than six months is officially not the New Shiny Social Media Platform. Twitter is ten years old, and people have been saying "Twitter is dead!" for nine years. Tumblr was where all the cool kids hung out for about fifteen minutes, but even that was considered passé once one of its users noticed somebody over 20 had an account. And yet, somehow, there's more happening on my Tumblr feed than I can possibly keep up with, so I end up scrolling past most of it like flipping past 250 channels of cable TV and there's still nothing on.

Despite its 1998-tastic clunky interface, it's still among the best platforms for long-form posts. So I say this to LiveJournal readers: IF YOU MISS LIVEJOURNAL, POST TO THE SILLY THING ALREADY. As they say, "If you post it [and tell people about it, important detail], they will come."

The thing about all internet content, is that it thrives on regular updates, and withers if you let it sit. This is as true of LiveJournal as it is of the Huffington Post. This is one reason why Facebook has its infuriating and seemingly-random interface, to make you feel like you're seeing something "new" every time you log on. LiveJournal just shows you the feed, in blessed sequential order and in paginated form, something precious few platforms do any more because it doesn't make for "good marketing."

In short, LiveJournal, by virtue of still being itself after all this time, has managed to stay in the form of what social media should be like, and frankly I intend to reward that by staying here and continuing to post here. If you like it, and all these "I miss this place..." posts sure make it sound like people do, then you should keep posting too.

After all, that's kinda the point.

-The Gneech



Apr. 15th, 2016 04:29 pm (UTC)
The old gray mare just ain't what she used to be. . . That what some people say, but honestly Livejournal is one of those exceptions where it actually is EXACTLY what it used to be. And that's totally okay. I agree with you 100%, that Livejournal is the best thing going for anyone that wants to put down an idea or thought in text that's larger than a paragraph or two and share it with the net. it's one of a few instances lately where just because something is newer, it's not necessarily better. Livejournal seems to be suffering the same fate as IRC.
You probably remember I've been on IRC forever. I've been using it since I first found furry in the 90's. I still find it to be the very best thing for group chats, and honestly miss the days when it was the hub of furry communications. Now a days it seems like a lot less people are on there. Just the rooms that I tend to frequent, (including my own) are down about 2/3 of their populations. I can remember when #Fursuit used to have over 90 people in it most of the time, now it's usually under 30. A lot of that is because people just drifted off IRC to things like Twitter, Facebook, and more recently they've latched onto Telegram almost as fervently as I.S.
This is largely for two reasons that I can figure out. First off, most people are spending a lot more time on mobile devices than sitting down to actual PC's anymore. Right now, I'm typing this on my iPad, but I'm one of those guys that carries an Apple Bluetooth keyboard around with him, so long form documents on the iPad are easy. Most people don't do that. So anything that involves a lot of typing usually doesn't go over well on mobile. The other thing is that both IRC and Livejournal went through long phases where they didn't really have very good mobile experiences. The Livejournal mobile website used to be a nightmare of malfunctions and pages that didn't load right. I can remember many times typing out entire posts on my little Nokia E73, just to watch them vanish after I hit the post button. Similarly, until recently IRC has been at best a battery hog on mobile, at worst you had situations like on iOS where you were constantly disconnected by the mandatory 10min timeout.
Now a days, both have much better experiences. The Livejournal mobile app is a lot better now than it was. And the mobile site is more reliable. And there are things like bouncers, and cloud based IRC solutions like my personal favorite, IRCCloud, that allow you to not only stay connected between a number of devices, but also save a LOT of battery power on mobile devices and get around the iOS timeout by staying connected on the server and just connecting again very quickly when you reopen the app. You don't miss any messages and you save tons of battery, it's pure win! Unfortunately, that long spat of time where things were rough on mobile caused a lot of users to jump ship to other services that even if nowhere near as good, worked better in the new mobile dominated world.
So fast forward to today. Most people under the age of 25 have probably never even used things like Livejojurnal or IRC. They still have populations, but it's largely in other countries (IRC is still much bigger in Europe than the US, though globally it's shrinking, and LJ is huge in Russia.) I'd love to see more people use them, but it's kinda' become a "Facebook issue". A large population of the former LJ users have gone to Tumblr, and now they're staying there because that's where everyone else is. IRC is in a similar situation with everyone seeming to have gone to Telegram at this point. I'm not exactly sure how this could be fixed really. But I actually have been thinking of using Livejournal more lately, (it's why I saw this post,) so at least I'm going to be back. Here's hoping over time others see us on here, and the others that come, and come back too.

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