What I Miss about Blogging and Getting it Back

So, for those not in the know, I had a blog on Livejournal which I used actively from 2002 to 2008. (I have now ported the posts, complete with user comments, to my vanity domain blog: http://cheerfulchaotic.crazycrew.org/ — I’m trying to think of a better domain name before I have renew it in the next few months.) Prior to my internship with GAO in summer 2005, I posted several times per day on average. It fell off somewhat when I began my new profession, but the biggest slowdown happened when I became active in my union. In addition, my decline in usage roughly coincided with many other people switching to other services, particularly facebook. The company changed hands, and of course, there were ongoing complaints about privacy and information control, as with so many free services.

I loved Livejournal, and miss it greatly. And the thing I miss most is the interactive community, with long, thoughtful, original posts. Like many online social networking sites today, including facebook, google plus, and twitter, there were certainly posts consisting largely of recycled memes and re-posted links without much original content added, but I found LiveJournal richer, more personal, and ultimately more rewarding than its more modern, faster-paced bretheren. My blog has also been a great place for me to articulate, examine, and refine my thoughts, whether individually and interactively. And I met some wonderful people through my blogging, including a roommate or two. If not for my blog, I would not have checked out the place I ended up choosing for grad school.

I want to reclaim what I can of those advantages. Livejournal isn’t dead yet, but many of the hundreds of people I interacted with on that site no longer use it. Facebook is now more popular than Livejournal ever was. Hell, google plus is probably more popular. I want to set my blog up so that I post to it, and copies automatically show up on facebook, google plus, and livejournal, depending on the how I categorize or tag it. I’m comfortable with comments showing up in multiple locations.

The less obvious factor is how to aggregate the information streams from others. Livejournal included a way to subscribe to other bloggers on the site, though regrettably, it used a reciprocal “friendship” rather than single direction subscription model. I can piece together a ton of different sources via RSS feeds, and I may not be able to read them any better than I do facebook, but I don’t think I can read the facebook or plus streams from outside their sites (they need to pay for it somehow afterall). I tried this before to keep up with my livejournal subscribers, but it never quite worked right. It’s a project, among many projects to work on.