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Dear Diary - Stomping Grounds
August 20th, 2011
07:17 pm
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Dear Diary
Once upon a time, there was paper, and I would go through fits and starts of keeping a journal. I'd buy some kind of blank book, write in it every day for a period of time, then the frequency would drop off, and the book would wind up on a shelf. Sometimes I'd fool around with practicing real cursive (I generally scribble in a cursive-y print), or use the journal to play with some cool new pen I'd bought, or conversely buy myself some cool calligraphic pen to inspire myself to write.

Then came the web, and I made a few half-assed stabs at home pages, or anime reviews, or even a blog, but none of those efforts ever got any traction.

Then a bunch of my MUDder friends found LiveJournal, and it was Good. I posted pretty regularly here for a number of years, and built up a community of both folks I'd known beforehand and folks I only knew (and in some cases still only know) through LJ. Eventually it became too much to keep up with on a daily basis, and my reading dropped off, followed by my posting, but every few months I remembered to toss up an "I'm alive" post, or come by to specifically read a friend's journal, and maybe glance over the ol' friendslist while I was at it.

As my LJposting ramped down, along came MySpace, which in terms of aesthetics is the armpit of the Internet, but people I knew from roller derby were there so I signed on up. And Twitter showed up, and again, derby lured me over there, but who the heck can drink from that firehose? MySpace faded away as people migrated over to Facebook, and I followed along.

And that's when things got a little odd, as I started discovering not only derby people and the MUD crowd, but con people, and high school people, and even family. I went ahead and changed over from my derby name to my government name, like I was "supposed" to. But Facebook feels closer to Twitter than to LiveJournal, and while I've tossed on a few little snippets of "here's what I'm doing," I've never felt like, y'know, writing anything of significance. That's what was great about LiveJournal; for whatever combination of reasons, I was equally comfortable tossing up little amusing snippets and long biographical or philosophical screeds. (The snippets were usually more likely to generate long comment threads than the screeds, go figure.)

Now we have Google+. It has some good points, to be sure -- a pretty clean user interface, good performance, and it's under active development. But not everybody is there, and then there's the whole issue of requiring "real" (by which they mean "real-sounding") names, and that's had enough electrons spilled over it that I don't need to add any more, other than to note that the debate ironically comes along just as I'd adapted to the idea of using my real name for Facebook and even inter-league derby announcing.

So. What to do?

I happened to go back to LiveJournal the other day, and found myself reading through a couple years' worth of my own journal. ("Hey, I like the way this guy writes!") And I really enjoyed the memories it brought back to me, and after all, what is the point of writing anything resembling a diary or journal if not to record memories that are worth saving? Sure, Twitter's good for amusing aphorisms or links to web articles, and blogs are fine for political diatribes or whatever, but in the end, I find that LiveJournal feels more like a journal.

So chances are that I'll continue to do what I'm planning to do with this post -- write it on LiveJournal, and cross-post it to Facebook, Google+, and in some cases Twitter. That's the best way I can think of to be inviting to the people I know on all the various services, yet still be comfortable on my "home" service. And if it ends up bringing people to my LJ who would never have looked at it before, well, that's the whole idea of social media, right?

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From:randomdreams
Date:August 21st, 2011 01:31 am (UTC)
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I'm doing something similar. I dunno how to divide up my posts sometimes, though, as my posting style on LJ doesn't work on G+. Frustrating.

Somehow I'd managed to forget you were a MUD person.
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From:elthar
Date:August 21st, 2011 01:49 am (UTC)
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I was reminded that yesterday was the 22nd anniversary of the first TinyMUD being opened... and I happened across them just a couple of months later, so, yeah, over two decades and counting.

I figure that I'll crosspost my substantive posts to G+ and FB, and for the odd little snippets I'll add Twitter. With luck LJ will grow native G+ crossposting ability sometime soon here...
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From:firni
Date:August 21st, 2011 04:16 am (UTC)
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I'm here, I'm there, I'm everywhere except Myspace.
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From:elthar
Date:August 21st, 2011 04:19 am (UTC)
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OMNIFIRNI
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From:rfrancis
Date:August 21st, 2011 04:38 am (UTC)
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I realized what I want: I want a vim plugin to post to Facebook Notes, Google+, and Livejournal. It's the only right way to write things of length. (Twitter and status updates I can probably manage without an editor.)
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From:elthar
Date:August 21st, 2011 04:54 am (UTC)
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Make it a TextMate plugin and I'm there. :)
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From:pecos
Date:August 21st, 2011 06:00 am (UTC)
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There's such a different feel in here, like your journal is on a desk in a closed room rather than that you're scribbling on the wall in a buss station.
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From:elthar
Date:August 21st, 2011 02:50 pm (UTC)
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That's a good analogy, actually -- especially for Twitter. I'd rather write in a nice leatherbound journal than on a chalkboard or bathroom mirror...
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From:chris_warrior
Date:August 21st, 2011 09:48 pm (UTC)
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this.
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From:aminotluni
Date:August 21st, 2011 12:18 pm (UTC)
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I've missed reading your journal.
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From:elthar
Date:August 21st, 2011 02:56 pm (UTC)
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Thank you! I'm sorry to see by looking over your journal that you've been having difficulties, but I'm glad to see by the latest entry that things are moving in the right direction, and I wish you continued good progress!
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From:teal_cuttlefish
Date:August 21st, 2011 06:31 pm (UTC)
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I'm glad to see you back here; LJ seems to be where I reside. I try other things, but g+ does not enthrall me, and I use FB mostly for politics and infuriating my brother, which I can do with the politics, so it's an interesting side effect. LJ feels safer, especially with locked posts.
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From:elthar
Date:August 21st, 2011 11:56 pm (UTC)
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It's not even the locked post thing for me -- I very rarely locked any posts (though a few times I locked to a list of parents, because parents Understand). It's just all the intangibles, y'know?
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From:raybear
Date:August 21st, 2011 07:14 pm (UTC)
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so funny, I was just opened up my friends page yesterday for the first time in MONTHS, nearly a year? and it felt so natural and good, like I never left, and I'm thinking of trying to work lj back into my life again, too....
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From:elthar
Date:August 21st, 2011 11:57 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, like that! Although it is a little drafty nowadays... but on the flip side, that should make it possible to keep better track of my friendslist!
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