Got an email today from David F. Gallagher with regards to my pondering why LiveJournal seems largely ignored. He pointed me to his new article about LiveJournal in the NY Times: "A Site to Pour Out Emotions, and Just About Anything Else"

All in all, it seems a good article for which the right amount of homework had been done. Good exposure for LJ, yay! It also again answers my question in the same way a lot of you who responded to my first post did: It's the culture, stupid.

I also just noticed a referrer from over at Radio Free Blogistan that echo much of what I've been thinking:

What's interesting is that feature-by-feature, LJ's functionality is comparable to or better than that of most other tools. The difference seems to come more from how the tool tends to be used than from its inherent capabilties. I wonder if having the word "journal" in the name (see also diaryland) tends to promote the more diaristic uses of application?
See, I think my problem is this: In a lot of ways, LiveJournal is my old neighborhood. My first successful attempt at semi-sustained online narrative happened there, so much of what I consider a part of the experience comes from LJ. Now, 0xDECAFBAD is my attempt to get a foot into the bigger neighboor out here. But ever since I stepped foot out of LiveJournal, I've been trying to figure out ways to bring things I miss from in there to out here.

In one of my quickies from yesterday, I vaguely mentioned maybe launching a LiveJournal-based site whose explicit goal is to be more outward-facing to the blogosphere, and to be more blogish than journal-like. I think a site like this would be a good idea, maybe.

But... here are my problems with being the guy to launch that site:

  • I like making and breaking toys, not taking care of and feeding them.
  • Unless you pay me a lot and then don't bother me at all, I don't want to host your junk. :)
  • I've been wanting to see journals & blogs more decentrallized, to avoid the growing pains that LiveJournal has.
In short, I've seen what trouble the LiveJournal team have gone through, and I'm not all that interested. Besides, I think that a decentrallized solution could all but erase the maintenance side of things, if everyone's responsible for their own personal servers. Maybe a pipe dream, but it's the only one that I think will eventually work.

Hmm.. have to think some more, but must get back to work now.