Michael (fireheart) wrote,

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A More Elegant Media for a More Civilized Age

It’s your father’s social media. This is the social media of a Writer. Not as clumsy or as random as a Facebook or Twitter, but a more elegant weapon for a more civilized age. For years, Live Journal was the medium of discussion and promotion in the Internet. Before the dark times, before the Empire.

I wandered back over here because I was using Live Journal as an example of early adoption in a strategic document I was writing for work, and I realized, as I looked at it, that Live Journal offered some things that the numerous other platforms that I use do not. It offers a persistent repository of long form reflection. I was able to look back at some posts from years ago and realize that my personal recollection of those events had shifted and colored with time. There is great value in being able to have such a log.

Couldn't I just have a personal journal? Sure. And I'd probably be wise to download by LJ logs and save them in Google Drive, but, so long as LJ remains on the Internet, it is a good repository.

How is this different from my blog? Well, my blog is not a place to talk about me and my story. I might tell a story from my life for illustrative purposes, but it's not the place to record my story. It's a place to share lessons and advice. Very different.

What makes this an interesting format is that it is a place where anyone could find what I am writing, but likely no one will. This means that I have to be careful what I say, because the wrong thing could get me in trouble one day, but it doesn't have great self promotional value.

Being careful what I say reminds me of how much things change. In 2001, back when I first started using LJ, I had recently broken up with a woman named Amanda. I mentioned her by name in my Journal, and she was quite upset that I had violated her privacy by using her name on the Internet without her permission. She was not the only one who was upset by such things, so most people in my Journal are referred to by some kind of psuedonym. Amanda became SWSNBN or She Who Shall Not Be Named. Snarky? Yes. Yes I was. Not proud of my 21 year old self, but looking back it's pretty funny.

Now, everyone has a Facebook, with their real name, pictures, city, birthday, likes, interests, relationships. Everything is so much more open. And, yes, she has a Facebook page.

A more elegant medium for a more civilized age.
Well, it was actually the scene of many a flame war, so I don't know how civilized it really was. However, the medium encouraged a longer format of writing. It's hard to write 1000 words three times a day, so most people posted 1-3 times per week. LJ didn't need a sorting algorithm because there was a natural barrier to posting. Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, of course, have no such barrier. You can post 10 times a day like nothing, and thus 1500 friends posting 10 times a day makes for quite a bit of traffic, and very little of it is of any great value. With all the traffic, you still don't really get to know people or what is happening in their lives. You learn their politics. Share their jokes. Read their articles, but you don't really know them anymore.

And that is why I shall be posting here now and then. America's #1 source for Michael news is back, posting now and then. Leaving messages for future Michael if nothing else.
Tags: insight, live journal, social media
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