This morning brought a reminder that it was twenty years ago that I opened up an account on LiveJournal. For about four years, “LJ” was my home on the web. It was where I wrote MANY articles, connected with people across their journals, and started interacting with a few people with whom I am still in touch today.
My journal site is still there today, with a much younger photo of me (I still had brown hair!), but my last entry was 11 years ago in April 2013, and that was just an update to a post four years earlier in April 2009 saying where people could find my writing. I haven’t really written there for most of 16 years… since back in 2008.
In those early days in the mid-2000s, LJ was a vibrant, social place to be. There were no advertisements and it was one of those amazing places of creativity during that time. Strong communities were built and thrived. Many of the ways we started interacting there (ex. “friends”) would carry over into later services.
Wikipedia outlines some of what happened after that… Brad Fitzpatrick sold the site to SixApart and I think they understandably wanted to figure out how to turn it into a business. But then in 2007 it was sold to a Russian media company… and things changed more and more after that. (Viewing my site today I am amused to see some of the ads displayed to me having Cyrillic text.)
In my own case, I’d started to branch out. Those were the glory days of “blogging” as a thing, and at the end of 2005 I’d launched first Disruptive Telephony and then Disruptive Conversations as places where I very prolifically wrote on different topics. I continued to use LJ as a place for “personal” blogging… up until I decided to start up the site you are reading this article on.
Still, for a few years, it was my home on the Web - and I’m grateful for the time that I was there!