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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:nothings
Date:August 21st, 2011 02:42 am (UTC)
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I was a "latecomer"--I joined the original TinyMUD the day it shut down, but it's been 22 years for me too so I guess time makes oldbies of us all.
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From:elthar
Date:August 21st, 2011 03:31 am (UTC)
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I had a character on ye olde originall TinyMUD, but didn't hang out there nearly as much as I did on TinyHELL (second TinyMUD ever), and I stuck with the Random-and-Moira MUDs until I ended up wizarding the damn things. Go figure.
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From:rfrancis
Date:August 21st, 2011 02:43 am (UTC)
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Yeah, I was just posting earlier on Fitocracy about how G+ needs get on with providing people with crossposting APIs -- of course they also need to be able to filter that stuff like Facebook can, so that's probably the holdup.

I dunno, man, as I posted on G+, I feel like my LJ-posting days (as opposed to LJ-commenting days) may have come and gone. It's just too much screwing around for something nobody new is going to come see, unlike, well, G+. Yeah, right now Google is clearly comfortable running some people off, some of whom are friends, and that's sad, but...

So I guess what I'd actually like is to be able to crosspost FROM G+ TO LJ, since the interface there is so much less annoying to me. I'd probably just go back to auto-friendslocking my LJ at that point. (I already use an extension to crosspost from G+ to FB and/or Twitter when appropriate, so I'm okay there.)

Feh. This social networking stuff is a pain in my ass.
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From:elthar
Date:August 21st, 2011 03:39 am (UTC)
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People are hard!

The "host on LJ, crosspost to G+" method feels right to me, since G+ seems to bridge the LJ-ish "write stuff here" and the FB/Twitter-ish "share stuff here" atmosphere. The tricky part for me isn't the posting, since there are tools to help with that; it's the reading, since so many people (unlike us!) only use one of the networks. So I end up having to juggle multiple browser windows, yet again, and Twitter for the most part gets ignored.

Conveniently, LJ just offered me a two-week trial of paid membership, which will allow me to decide if I want to re-up, and at the very least will grant my extra userpics a new lease on life...
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From:r_ness
Date:August 21st, 2011 06:58 pm (UTC)

Whoops, that anonymous comment was me; feel free to delete the duplicate.

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The "host on LJ, crosspost to G+" method feels right to me

Yeah, I've been doing that. It feels like the right mix to me, too.

(Actually what I've been doing is "post on dreamwidth, automatically crosspost to LiveJournal, hand post a link from Google+ to dw and LJ". Clunky, but effective.)
[User Picture]
From:chris_warrior
Date:August 21st, 2011 09:47 pm (UTC)
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the reason i stay with livejournal is the same - it feels more like a journal. and i have a very handy searchable software app that i can use to back it up.
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From:elthar
Date:August 22nd, 2011 12:00 am (UTC)
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Exactly. Though I should maybe look at similar software apps for myself, since I don't have an easy way to search at present.
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From:chris_warrior
Date:August 22nd, 2011 12:15 am (UTC)
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i like ljArchive, even though it occasionally crashes with Win7 (i dl'd a hotfix that may help) and is no longer supported.
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From:elthar
Date:August 22nd, 2011 12:32 am (UTC)
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I have drunk of the Apple-flavored Koolaid, no Windows 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 04:37 am (UTC)
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It's true. She's on the friends/follow/whatever list of EVERY PERSON I KNOW. It's completely disturbing.
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From:firni
Date:August 21st, 2011 05:35 am (UTC)
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I'm actually a terminator, but don't tell anyone. Are you John Connor?
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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:rfrancis
Date:August 21st, 2011 04:56 am (UTC)
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Mac has vim, but Linux doesn't have TextMate. ADVANTAGE: VIM
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From:elthar
Date:August 21st, 2011 05:00 am (UTC)
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Alternately, ADVANTAGE: MAC

But yes, yes, a vim plugin would do handily as well.
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From:flit
Date:August 22nd, 2011 05:09 am (UTC)
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A vim plugin would rock so hard. Let it post comments, too.
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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:teal_cuttlefish
Date:August 22nd, 2011 03:39 am (UTC)
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Yep. Undescribables, even.
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From:flit
Date:August 22nd, 2011 05:10 am (UTC)
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LJ feels safer to me, even though I'm mostly-public. It's a nicer community.
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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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