When blogging first became popular on the Internet in the early 2000s the world wide web was still a bit rough around the edges. Options for building a blog were limited and in fandom circles (especially anime and cosplay) LiveJournal was THE place to start posting your thoughts, opinions and general nonsense.
There are hundreds of thousands (millions, even?) more people using the Internet then there were just five years ago. The world is full of users going gaga over Facebook right now and many of them (and by them, I mean “you”) are going through the growing curve that some of us already lived through seven or more years ago. For example:
- Facebook users now deal with who is and isn’t listed as a Friend. (This episode of South Park serves as proof. You should watch it if you haven’t yet.) Well, back in the before time, the actions of users was a source of constant drama on LJ (which is how we all referred to LiveJournal.) Wars were fought and words were typed in harsh half-assed grammar when someone took you off their Friends List or when you removed someone from yours. Seriously. You folks on Facebook have NO idea. You’d think the world was ending with how melodramatic it got at times. Think Degrassi Junior High but with fanboys acting like the overly emotional teenage girls… but with more drama. It was bad and yet oh, so fun.
- In the past year, Facebook added the ability to set the level of protection of who could and could not read your posts and updates. LiveJournal already had that. Custom lists were a great way to make Friends Only posts for groups of friends: locals, fan clubs, family, etc. So you see, the “new” technology is really kind of old.
- We posted the same “look at what I found on the Internet” crap on LiveJournal that everyone does today on Facebook: goofy pictures, photos from trips, etc. The main difference was we had to actually write code to get some of the things to show up in our posts. The other difference was that we (thankfully) didn’t have “Farmville.”
I started blogging in March of 2003 because my friends were asking me to and the posting of life updates was becoming the de facto form of quick communication. Smart phones weren’t a major thing yet, so the main way to “socially network” was to post something on your LJ and wait for responses (that you’d get email notifications of) throughout the day. My posts were regularly public and when I got on my soap box about something… damn. My friends and I quickly became amazed at how many people seemed to give a shit about my opinion.
Fast forward to a couple of years ago: I jumped from LiveJournal over to Blogger (aka Blogspot) for a while after I bought the domain TomCroom.com. It was different than I was used to after the years on LJ. I had no list of readers that I could see in the form of a friends list; just an RSS feed that I hoped folks were reading.
After some advances in technology, I made the switch to WordPress about a year or so ago. I began by importing my Blogger posts and then going on as if nothing happened. A couple of months back, though, I realized that it made sense to have all of my silly Internet blogging history in one place. I discovered that WordPress could, in fact, import from LiveJournal.
SO – I have imported my entire LiveJournal which, for the record, took a LONG time. Since many of the posts were “friends only” and not for public consumption, I have password protected them. I am, though, going back to the beginning and will (from time to time) read a month’s worth of entries to tag and unlock them. It’s not going to happen overnight, but I’m sure there’s some funny stuff hiding out there worth a chuckle including the oft sought “Buffy the Vampire Slayer took its plot from Knight Rider” post.
Nothing that exciting yet, but here are the March 2003 posts:
- Wow… I feel so “part of the crowd” now!
(NOTE: I’ll add fun notes as I go to some of these posts. This is my very first blog post and it’s extremely unspectacular to the point of bordering on embarrassing. It’s fun to notice, though, that out of the four replies, two of the LJs are deleted and the other two haven’t been updated in over a year.)
- Entry Number Two…
(NOTE: I mention adding pictures. Since bandwidth was still expensive back then, you were limited to three small avatar pictures to represent you on posts and replies. Today, I use Gravatar when I universally post on the Internet.)
- .hack: INFECTION
(NOTE: These early ones are fun! I make mention of my PS2 and Xbox. For the record, the “rule” still applies to my PS3 and Xbox 360 even though I just use Gamefly. LOL)