A lot of people consider blogs to be obsolete. I’m not one of them. There are ideas, essays, and discussions that can’t be expressed in short-form social media such as Facebook or Twitter.
I started using LiveJournal in 2008. It was a continuation of journal posts I wrote on OkCupid. (Don’t bother looking for any old journals on OkC; they were all removed when the site was purchased by Match.com.) I wanted a platform to write about more than relationships, however tangentially. I chose LiveJournal because, at that time, most of my friends who blogged were using LJ.
I stuck with LiveJournal for years, even as the site became harder to use. My blogging friends gradually left the site, but I stuck with it for various reasons, mostly having to do with old blog posts relating to Isaac’s biography that I was using as reference.
Last night, I learned something that finally crossed the line. The LJ servers were moved to Russia (which I knew), and the LJ user agreement had been changed to acknowledge that they had to follow the regulations of the Russian Federation (which I had not known). This means that all posts were subject to potential censorship if they were critical of the Russian government, and the LJ site was subject to datamining by Russian intelligence.
I was willing to keep using LJ and paying their modest no-ad fee as long as they were a refuge for the disenfranchised and dissenters. This is no longer the case. There’s little to keep me on LJ anymore.
I’ve switched to WordPress.com. It has its own wonkiness. While writing this post I learned that it’s no easier to use than LJ was. I’ve lost some things during the switch: LJ has made it harder for people to export old blog posts to a different platform; you may notice that the posts I copied from LJ between 2014-2017 no longer have comments, pictures, tags, or paragraph spacing.
So be it. The old LJ posts are still there if anyone wants to look at them.
I know there’s only about five people at most who read my blog. But one of them is a valued reader: me. My blog is a useful personal reference and exercise. That is sufficient for me to continue.