decafbad follows up on Dylan Tweney’s aside (“…LiveJournal.com (which most weblog news stories overlook for some reason) boasts more than 650,000 [users]…”), asking why is LiveJournal largely ignored in coverage of blogging?
But 650,000 users… that’s a lot. More than Radio and rivalling Blogger.com. Is there a real qualitative difference in writing between the groups? I would still imagine there’s a lot of crap to be found via Blogger.com. I’m not sure about Radio, though, since I get the impression that the 15 year olds have yet to flood into the userbase and its following seems more tilted toward professionals.
The answers suggested in the follow-up discussion boil down to two things. (1) LJ is used more for diaries than for blogs (in the sense of personal inward-focused) daily posts vs. including links to the rest of the web in most posts, and (2) LJ users don’t ping Weblogs.com. A corollary to (1) is that LJ sites are less likely to be interlinking to the rest of the blogosphere.
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?
Then again, it’s not like LJers don’t link out. I know plenty of counterexamples to that. When I started my own LiveJournal in January of this year, my previous weblogs had been more in the world of online diaries and notebooks, visible to the public but not focused on gaining a large readership. I was happy being off in my own thread most of the time. But looking at my journal‘s archives, I see that I was using it as a general purpose blog, with a mixture of observations, introspection, and web sightings. I explicitly wrote about PEP early on, seeing the blog as a place to keep track of my thoughts about that project.
Since July RFB has sucked up more of my energy and bodega has become again more of a personal journal but also an entry portal for x-pollen entries, which tend to be memes I want to note and pass along.
The decafbad post, by the way, had some information about RSS feeds and LJ I didn’t know (that you can add a feed as a friend, which is their version of an aggregator), and the follow-up comments included an interesting link to LiveJournal’s Meme Tracker, a list of the top URLs linked to by LJ users (again giving the lie to the stereotype that LiveJournalers are all writing about being grounded, etc.).