Please tell me I haven't missed the blogging boat!
November 28, 2011 8:55 PM   Subscribe

Websites like Livejournal? RSSing? Cross-Posting? Questions inside.

I'm pretty sure this question hasn't been asked--all research has turned up fruitless. This may seem silly, but I've been out of the blogging game for many years so please, bare with me...

I blogged via Livejournal for 8 years before I really became an adult and started working too much to obsessively blog and check my friends’ entries. I kind of miss it, because for me, Facebook is nowhere near as interesting as reading friends’ blogs via the friends list on Livejournal. And yet, I feel somehow that there’s nothing else like it. I’m an avid web surfer. I’m constantly googling random things and using StumbleUpon. It seems if such things existed, I would know about it.

I have several questions.

One, is there truly a site like Livejournal? Mostly I’m looking for a blogging platform that has the “friends’ list” that Livejournal has. This is important first and foremost. As a side question if such things don't exist, is there a current firefox app that allows you to cross-post to both Livejournal and Blogger or WordPress (whichever I happen to choose, or if I choose to blog at each of them)? If this is my only option because Livejournal is one of a kind, how active is Livejournal *really*? Am I doomed to subscribe to random blogs I find all over the web via RSS, and if I am, what's the best way to read these?
posted by camylanded to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Dreamwidth. If you want to try it out, memail me your address, and I'll mail you an invite code. I'm on there as 'bork'.
posted by spinifex23 at 9:02 PM on November 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

I think the closest thing to a LJ "friends" blog would be tumblr, which lets you follow and gives you a dashboard for doing so.
posted by msbutah at 9:03 PM on November 28, 2011

Are you looking to just read other posts, or also make posts of your own to your friends? I ask because one thing I loved about LJ was that you can make posts "friends-only", whereas Tumblr has no such functionality.

I also miss the friends' list of LJ. But yeah, following a set of friends on Tumblr is the most comparable modern implementation I can think of.

Cross-posting's not impossible; Windows Live Writer is a free little MS program which lets you post to the sites you mention (though I can't remember if it lets you post to more than one at a time..)!
posted by The Biggest Dreamer at 10:01 PM on November 28, 2011

You're in luck, because the software behind Livejournal is open source. That means that there are approximately a ton of sites that look and feel exactly like LJ. Dreamwidth, as mentioned above, is one of them - there's a more exclusive feel to it because of the invite codes, and a lot of the people in charge were involved with the fanworks communities on LJ, so they might attract a greater gathering of that crowd. You can check out the wikipedia list of LJ-clones to see if there are any you might like. In general, though, LJ has the biggest userbase, which tends to make a big difference in finding other users with the same interests, active communities and discussions to join, etc.

tumblr is a bit different; as a longtime user of LJ, I could never wrap my head around the reblog system, but as I understand it, it's designed with more of a scrapbook feel in mind: upload pictures and short texts to capture a certain mood or feeling. Or create a thematic tumblr, like Women Fighters in Reasonable Armor.

Twitter and Plurk are a bit like Livejournal in the sense that you can subscribe to your friends and see all their updates on your feed/timeline. However, they're really designed for very short updates.

You've mentioned Blogger and WordPress which, as you say, don't really allow for friends lists so much.

If you wanted to go old school, maybe you could give Xanga a try. Off the top of my head, I think this is as close as you probably get to LiveJournal without being exactly the same. As far as I remember, you could see a list of your friends' entries and comment on them, albeit without the nice threading system.
posted by segfault at 10:03 PM on November 28, 2011

I should have specified--- I'm looking for an active blooging community that offers "friending" or a friends' list I can read compiled on one page. I know that the communities and friends I once had on the site have not been active in over 2 years (unfortunately!).

Tumblr I've seen and heard of, and it seemed interesting, but it's not quite what I'm looking for. I'm looking for a place for a personal journal, basically, somewhere I can post, and then go to a page and see others' personal journals as well. I suppose it's just not the popular "blogging" method anymore!
posted by camylanded at 10:10 PM on November 28, 2011

This really depends on your social circle. A lot of people in fandom have moved to Dreamwidth, which is smaller but still active. But then, if you were in fandom I'm not sure your friends list on LJ would be dead, as there are still a lot of fandom people on LJ and active fandom communities there.

But, yeah, as far as I can tell not many people outside of fandom (or Russia) use LJ and LJ-like platforms for blogging anymore. In my experience, it was never that popular among my friends anyway.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 12:02 AM on November 29, 2011

You can use Tumblr kind of like LJ with very ratcheted-down commenting functionality, depending on who you follow and how you post. You would basically make a bunch of text posts and follow people who post interesting things and say interesting things. Their posts would show up on your dashboard, which is what takes you to when you're signed in, and is the equivalent of the LJ friends list.

The thing missing from this is that there is no real proper way to then discuss the content of someone's post - the primary forms of interaction are instead "reblogging" ie taking that post and putting it on your tumblr, perhaps with a response of your own added to it, "liking" ie clicking the little heart symbol so they know you enjoyed their post, or sending them a message, which they can respond to privately or publish your question/message and their response on their own tumblr, but there would be no back and forth series of replies naturally evolving from that because that's just not how tumblr really encourages users to use the site. There are a variety of plugins, groups of friends and fandom styles who work around tumblr's ways to make a more functioning community feel in some niche areas, but it's really a much more personal, "here is the stuff I like" sort of... aggregating platform than LJ, which is more about talking to and with each other.

However, if you don't actually want to talk to the people you friend, then the following function of tumblr works just fine.
posted by Mizu at 12:57 AM on November 29, 2011

What about G+? While it mimics FB functionality in many ways, some people use it more as a blogging platform since it never had character limits, and I think it would allow for the other things you're after.
posted by solotoro at 2:40 AM on November 29, 2011

If you're not interested in fanfiction, use Tumblr; the dashboard is the equivalent of the friends list. Do not use Dreamwidth; that's almost all that's there except for a few open-source software types.
posted by Electric Elf at 7:24 AM on November 29, 2011

You know, LiveJournal is still there. It's not as popular as it used to be, no, and I regret that. Because, like you, I am much more interested in content-based online interaction. I would rather hear someone's thoughts and learn something real about them than see a picture of what they had for lunch. So yeah, I stick with LJ, weird though it makes me.
posted by Because at 8:21 AM on November 29, 2011

My friends and i, who were all avid LJ users, agree that Google+ reminds us of our LiveJournal days. I don't have experience browsing for strangers with similar interests, but it's part of the functionality...
posted by beyond_pink at 3:07 PM on November 29, 2011

Seconding Dreamwidth. It lets you crosspost to Livejournal and I think to a few other platforms, and it definitely has the friendslist capacity. I'm on both DW and LJ and use the crossposting feature.

I'm undoubtedly biased because of a lot of the Tumblr-related problems I've seen happen in fandom, but I've found Tumblr absolutely hideous. It seems horrendously difficult to see any conversation which might be going in the comments (if indeed there is any - if I try and read the '133 notes' posted to any given post it all seems to be notifications of reposts. Ugh)
posted by andraste at 3:32 PM on November 29, 2011

Late to this party but I think Dreamwidth is the opposite of what you want. From what I can see it's almost entirely a splinter off the existing LJ user base, not a place where there's a lot of new people interested in that kind of blogging.
posted by 6550 at 3:25 AM on December 6, 2011

« Older Quantitative analysis of freemium game purchases   |   If this isn't the droid I'm looking for, which one... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.