Communities of personal bloggers in 2019, is that a thing
January 3, 2019 5:24 PM   Subscribe

I want to find an active community of personal blogs. I want it to be writing-based, non-commerce-oriented, have privacy protections, and be in a format which encourages conversation and relationship between people. Basically I want Livejournal from 2006. Instagram and Tumblr are not wordy or conversational enough. Twitter is too impersonal. Facebook is too terrible. Is there a place that I am missing? (Plus related question: where are the random standout personal writers on IG, FB and so forth?)

I’m aware of Dreamwidth but don’t know how active it is. Metafilter hits a lot of my buttons but obviously is not a personal social media site (though I’d love to read the blogs y’all would produce if it were). Help?
posted by hungrytiger to Writing & Language (12 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
Dreamwidth isn't as active as you'd like, but a lot of us who'd slowly shifted to Tumblr are trying to reactivate it. It's likely the only site that has the features you'd like. You could set up an account, look for people to follow, and check in and poke at it occasionally to try to nudge the site into the activity level you'd be happy with. is new and shiny, and has more of the media-sharing features that make it popular with Tumblr refugees. It's very active. It's also picture-heavy and flooded with Tumblr-esque posting activities, although there are some more substantial conversations. However, it's in beta, and the features are still rough. Also, the owners have no idea how they expect to make money off it. (They had a Kickstarter. Current vague plans are "premium accounts with better features, plus maybe adverts something something.")
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 5:39 PM on January 3, 2019 [4 favorites]

posted by CMcG at 5:43 PM on January 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

Would fit? It's sort of a weird hybrid, so there's plenty of short, tweet-like discussion as well as people sharing their blogs. I left because I was let down by it, but it might work for you. I still think the core idea is really cool.
posted by bellebethcooper at 9:22 PM on January 3, 2019

Wordpress? I haven’t seen too much actual community but I think it might be there if you dig a bit. As for mefite blogs, check out this thread.
posted by mygothlaundry at 10:27 PM on January 3, 2019

Dreamwidth might work, here are some tips on finding some stuff there:

* Here are the most recent posts on there--you're going to see some nonenglish stuff and a bunch of fannish stuff, which may or may not appeal, but you can scan through pretty quickly and know that a post you see there is being posted by an active person. (You're going to see a decent amount of Cyrillic, and the reason for that is LJ was super popular in Russia, which is why LJ was bought from Six Apart by a Russian company because it actually had value to them which it didn't as much in the states, which caused a diaspora of Russians that DID NOT WANT their journals to be on servers under Russian control, so they toodled on over to DW at various points)
* there's a comm called addme where people are posting profiles
* Another thing is that Dreamwidth can function as an RSS reader. This can help make it more useful to you than it would be if you were relying on just Dreamwidth alone for content; you can add third party RSS feed content here and subscribe to it. So for instance that thread of MeFite blogs? You can use Dreamwidth as your feed reader for them!
* If you find anybody whose journal you want to read, you can view their friend's page, and if they have a paid account, you can view their network page too. If you find a community you like, you can read the member posts to see people posting. Examples: my reading page, my network page. You're not seeing everything I see, because of the privacy locks on some of the posts, but it's an example at least of the principle. If you find too many feed posts on one of them and want to cull it down, use the toolbar to filter it to personal or community posts!
* I think it's okay to say this given the top post, but sciatrix has a journal there and is super good. I also enjoy siderea and ladybusiness which is a community scifi-ish review blog, I've seen them mentioned on Metafilter before in posts.
* Pop a word or phrase into the search engine and see who used it in posts and/or comments

If you're willing to pay money to Dreamwidth (which is the only way that rinky dink non-adfunded site can stay afloat at all), you're going to get a few more options:

* You'll end up with a network tab on your journal. That will show you posts from the journals that the journals you subscribe to subscribe to. More info on that.
* Popular subscriptions in your circle -- this is pretty much your network page but instead of posts it's showing you the most popular things people in your circle have subscribed to
posted by foxfirefey at 11:53 PM on January 3, 2019 [7 favorites]

Here is a cool blog I found roundaboutly through a FPP once. On it it lists many other blogs, presumably some of which you would enjoy if you enjoy this one.
posted by wym at 12:33 AM on January 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

It occurred to me while I was writing the previous up that we could actually have a community on Dreamwidth where MeFites who had journals there could join, so I went and made one. That will let people who are on there have their entries show up here and then when people start wishing in a well for other MeFites on Dreamwidth there will be a handy reference to give them.
posted by foxfirefey at 12:35 AM on January 4, 2019 [9 favorites]

Dreamwidth is picking up lately due to the exodus from Tumblr. I just created a new account there a few days ago, and for me it's like a breath of fresh air compared to FB and IG and Twitter. I'm a former LJ user too - I got a permanent paid account in 2006-2007 - so I was really sad when the critical mass shifted to FB shortly afterward.

I'm hearing from several different sources that FB is in decline, and that gives me even more hope for Dreamwidth.
posted by velvet winter at 1:03 AM on January 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

Thank you, foxfirefey for the community! Awesome idea.

There are a lot of homegrown ways people find other interesting folks on Dreamwidth, so once you start poking around, chances are you may find other friending memes or communities, etc. too.

For example: I do a weekly salon post on Fridays, which is basically a public post with a little bit of structure (I usually start with a widely applicable sort of question) but is open for anyone to talk about anything in a "Let's hang out in my living room" style. I've got an eclectic set of commenters, and some people have found it a handy way to find other interesting people.

Here's this week's. (As that says, I am moving apartments today, so will be in and out.) But I've been on Dreamwidth since before its official opening, and I'm glad to help with questions about it once my computer is set up again, and a bunch of people who show up in the salon posts also have a lot of DW experience or interests, so I also encourage "Hey, anyone know people doing X?" questions.
posted by jenettsilver at 2:23 AM on January 4, 2019

Just heard about, which is both a blogging community and also an open source platform, Write Freely, to host your own (federated) blogging community.

The software is way bare bones compared to the Good Old Days of Livejournal, and home community looks to be pretty niche right now; more about owning your own words rather than the community aspect, but maybe people will start more communities!
posted by troyer at 9:00 AM on January 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

I have a theory that some of what you're up against in trying to find what feels like LJ in 2006 is being twelve years older than you were in 2006. At least that's what I've concluded about my own missing-LJ-in-2006. There's also the fact that there are more options now and less feeling of a central place where the blogging happens. And of course fb ruined everything in its own special way. Dreamwidth is sort of ok but when I've looked at friending threads everyone seems super young and super specialized in their interests, which mostly takes us back to sentence 1 of this response.
posted by Smearcase at 2:05 PM on January 4, 2019 [3 favorites]

I agree with Smearcase. Reading and writing journals takes a lot of time, plus LJ and Dreamwidth both make it somewhat difficult to upload pictures compared to other social media. Many people who were happily journalling a decade ago have either moved on or closed down their public internet life once Google came along. Forums, Yahoo!Groups and other places have all kind of died off as well over the years, so it's not just LJ.

There are still some active communities on English LJ that are still enjoyable like The Question Club, Retrofuturism and Vintage Ads.
posted by Calzephyr at 9:56 AM on January 5, 2019

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