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In which I spray you all with words as a form of apology - Tactical Ninja

Dec. 4th, 2013

09:49 am - In which I spray you all with words as a form of apology

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Right, so I feel the need to apologise to those who have replied to my posts from Friday and Monday for being kind of crappy at replying to comments. I could make a bunch of excuses but the fact is I'm embarrassed.


Heh, yeah, so did I. Turns out, not so much.

You see, last count that post had more comments than any post I've made in a while on LJ, and almost all of them are saying "Hey I'm still here and I enjoy reading your posts."

Which was really nice to hear, especially from some folks who I honestly thought were long gone (missprune and lunaticbubbles I'm looking at you and no, I would never cut you!). But since that post came from a place where I was all "Here I am faithfully posting myself daily and nobody gives a shit so why do I do it anymore wah wah wah!" it was a bit humbling to realise that actually, people do give a shit and I was just being a self-pitying wally.

Well, that's not entirely true. The fact remains that the interactions here aren't as prolific or as deep as they used to be, and they are mostly now with what I call 'internet friends' rather than folks I know in meatspace.

However, what that doesn't indicate is that people have stopped reading. That's honestly what I thought, and that's why I'd come to the conclusion that it wasn't worth the effort. I have to be honest. Fuck, I am honest. It's there on my profile. I'm an opinionated attention whore. If I just wanted to express myself I could do that in private - but for me, knowing that people are reading is much of the reason I write. I like that someone's hearing what I have to say.

So finding out that I'd misread the signs and that people were still reading and enjoying what I write has caused me to rethink.

The thing is, the internet has changed. That was also obvious in the comments, lots of people mentioned not feeling like there was anywhere else like LJ.

I remember the forums too. I started my internet use on the Londonskaters forum - a place for people (mostly in London) who liked rollerblading. It was there that I learned what LOL meant, and vowed never to be a LOLer (eating my words oh yeah lol).

*ahem*

And then there was LJ, which was a logical progression that sort of gathered the boards together. But, something was lost in that transition too - the element of commonality that special interest boards offered. It became a mishmash of everyone's thoughts about everything without necessarily having anything in common.

And now, it's changed again. People who are 'good' bloggers tend to have their own domains and blog from there, and people seek them out. Everyone else is on Facebook, as the internet turns to shortform, easy blogging. In my opinion, it provides an avenue for expression for those who want to have a presence on the internet, but don't have the time or the talent for longform blogging.

Twitter and Tumblr take this to the extreme. I struggle with Twitter because while it's good for links, my style of expression requires more words and I find that while Short and Pithy is an interesting form for expression, it also lends itself extremely well to Snarky and Negative. And that puts me off committing myself to it the way I have to LJ, because I often find myself depressed and angry after an afternoon on Twitter, and it's almost impossible to have a meaningful discussion there.

Tumblr is even more extreme. It's set up so it's difficult to interact at all (you can add a facility for comments but it's not a native function), and the only way people can generally respond is to like or reblog what you've put there. So there's this easy, one-click way of sharing but it seems that what it really is, is a few people generating content and a whole lot of people one-clicking a response, so that the same content gets recycled while giving people the satisfaction of feeling as though they are contributing without ever having to generate content of their own.

I have a Tumblr presence because I have a dream that my costumes will get noticed and someone will offer to be my patron so I can travel around making and wearing costumes. It's working. 24 people liked my last post! That's up 7 on the previous one! *cough*

Yes I am being facetious - I am both amused and disturbed by how much of a thrill I get when someone I don't even know likes something I put there - but there's a grain of truth in my use of Tumblr to gain exposure. However, everything I post there links back to here, because tutorials like the ones I make would go nowhere on Tumblr. People there don't seem to be into things that require time and effort to read.

So, here we all are with nowhere else to take our particular style of expression. Dr Wheel agrees that there is nowhere else like LJ, because the manner of expression on the internet has been dragged to what I consider to be the easiest common denominator. He also pointed out that LJ feels a bit broken these days. And it's true. Pretty much everyone's experienced the 'We reset the server just for shits and giggles, please manually refresh to see anything' message the last few days. And it falls over every now and then, and some things don't work how they should.

There've been attempts to create other platforms that are better than LJ (dreamwidth I hear is a thing) but so far there's been nothing that's really taken off. Diaspora turned out to be more or less a Facebook clone. So did G+. What we need is something with the shiny tech of those platforms, but that does the thing that LJ does so well - which is, allow the creation of community based around content generation rather than content recycling.

Until that happens, I guess here is where I am. And, um, as it turns out, so are a bunch of people I didn't think really gave a crap, but actually do. So yes, I am embarrassed. I underestimated you. And as it also turns out, not writing is quite hard to do.

Damn you, habit of 10 years.


These sheep are also embarrassed:



This is because they are naked. Yep. 3 x Perendales, 1 x Coopworth, 1 x Dorper, 4 x Gotlands (told you they'd be Trendy Breed Of The Year) and 1 x Mongrelly-looking Brown-fleeced No Clue. Oddly enough, No Clue was the healthiest. Also, Ms Flystrike from last mainshear is looking healthy this year and has raised a lamb. Yay for successes!

Comments:

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From:blue_eye
Date:December 3rd, 2013 09:01 pm (UTC)
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Yeah...what you said.

I go hot and cold with Twitter. Even then, everything gets lost somehow.

I never warmed up to Tumblr either.

Facebook has become such a cumbersome platform. It's easier to keep track of things here. On Facebook, it is more difficult to "lose" stuff.

People who are 'good' bloggers tend to have their own domains and blog from there, and people seek them out.

Damn, I want that sfm. Can't think of anything to write about on a regular basis.

You know I wubs the sheep.

LOL!

*ahem*

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From:tatjna
Date:December 3rd, 2013 09:03 pm (UTC)
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I've never made the transition to domain-based blogging because I don't have a theme. All the successful bloggers out there have some thing that they blog about that people are interested in (which I guess is an extension of what forums used to be). Me, I just write Stuff. About Stuff. And sheep. ;-)

But yeah, Facebook looks complicated, and I gave up when the signal to noise ratio tipped over into "I can't find anything worth reading."
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From:m_danson
Date:December 3rd, 2013 09:02 pm (UTC)
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I'll be on LJ until it dies or kills me. I like the format and have managed to create a community here.

That said... I sometimes use the LJ polls feature to check up on who is reading. People are more inclined to responde to amusing polls about turnip and other things.

I love tumblr for eye candy and zoning out, but I don't comment there. Facebook is mostly useful for making plans and scheduling with groups of people I know in meatspace. I haven't tried twitter yet.
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From:tatjna
Date:December 3rd, 2013 09:04 pm (UTC)
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I admit I barely read Tumblr. I just can't keep up, and I'm only following like 20 people. Mostly cosplayers and people who post pictures of Dragon Age men with no shirts on art.
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From:pombagira
Date:December 3rd, 2013 09:20 pm (UTC)
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so blogs and the like..

there has been some chatter the last couple of weeks about blogging, on your own domain, and how there is less traffic now days so there is wonder if blogging is becoming a thing of the past..

but then i wonder if actually that there are so many blogs good and bad out there now that the audience is spread thin, and it is easy to start your own if you don't like what is going on.. creating more of a glut if you will

there is so much social media type stuff out there that it is difficult to see it all or read all the interesting ones, one pagan blogger has mentioned how it they beleive it is all about syndicated blogging magazine style sites now.. maybe, or maybe not i am not sold on that idea ..

err yeah.. blogs..
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From:tatjna
Date:December 3rd, 2013 09:26 pm (UTC)
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I think there's a point there, in that there is a metric fucktonne of blogs on the internet, but people's willingness to visit individual sites to read stuff is waning as more and more thing seek our attention.

Feeds and aggregators have been helpful for people, but since the Google one was removed I'm not sure what's available along those lines any more. I've never used a feed as such, although if I see a blog I like I'll syndicate it onto LJ so I can read it from here. That's how I read Bunny's blog. I haven't had to do that to Happy yet because he's obligingly still cross-posting.

But there are very few blogs I'll go out of my way to read regularly. As for magazine-style blogs, they leave me cold. And I refuse to use those little clicky buttons that want me to repost their content on FB, Twitter, Tumblr, Digg, G+ and your auntie's knickers. Because that's just more content recycling.

Which is probably why I'll never get paid to blog. And I do wonder if, after all this stuff has been capitalised, commercialised, standardised and bastardised until you can't tell one blog from another, there might be still a niche for people like me who don't do it for money. And if that may one day experience a renaissance of sorts.
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From:nick_101
Date:December 3rd, 2013 09:25 pm (UTC)
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To me, Livejournal is irreplaceable. I would never leave even if I wanted to.
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From:tatjna
Date:December 3rd, 2013 09:27 pm (UTC)
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I would never delete my journal, although I do have a (very large) backup file of it that I update regularly, just in case it disappears.
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From:goddessofchaos
Date:December 3rd, 2013 09:27 pm (UTC)
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It's true, there isn't really anywhere else like LJ, which is why I'll stick it out here, despite the problems. I can't communicate in 140 characters or less, I don't want to share anything too personal with the wide range of people on FB, I don't even get what Tumblr is for and I don't have any great desire to have a public blog and draw a large, and largely unknown, audience. I want to write in depth about my life and to interact with other people who do the same. And LJ is really the only place to do that.
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From:tatjna
Date:December 3rd, 2013 09:29 pm (UTC)
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Tumblr is for pictures of handsome men holding baby goats. I kid you not, it exists.
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From:zoefruitcake
Date:December 3rd, 2013 09:36 pm (UTC)
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I crosspost to Dreamwidth, but most of the friends I have on there are from LJ, I think I only have 2 or 3 on there alone
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From:tatjna
Date:December 3rd, 2013 09:38 pm (UTC)
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I keep wondering if it's worth doing that, but from what I understand your experience is pretty normal in that most folks over there are also here. And I guess since it's essentially the same platform, that makes sense since there wouldn't be a big point of difference.

I do wonder if there's some dilution going on through that though.
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From:villagecharm
Date:December 3rd, 2013 10:13 pm (UTC)
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I am sort of terrible at posting comments these days, especially because I'm often reading LJ on my phone (another major change from Ye Olden Days of LJ) and I have thick sausage fingers that make extended phone typing undesirable. I am glad we added each other during one of those friending frenzies, though, as your posts are genuinely interesting. I promise I will post more comments!
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From:tatjna
Date:December 3rd, 2013 10:20 pm (UTC)
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Heh, now that you mention it, the advent of mobile has coincided with the popularisation of minimalist social media. One-click interaction like Tumblr works really well on phones.

(I know this because my work's nanny filter blocks tumblr and so if I want to post there I use my phone)

And it's also true that I use my desktop at home mainly for gaming, so really only communicate on the net when I'm at work. Hmm..

And yes, I enjoy your posts too and am glad we collided. ;-)
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From:t_c_da
Date:December 3rd, 2013 10:19 pm (UTC)
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And as it also turns out, not writing is quite hard to do. ... Damn you, habit of 10 years.

I too have a habit of now nearly 9 years - tuning in to read Tats at Ten - and my day seems strangely empty without it, so Welcome.Back!
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From:tatjna
Date:December 3rd, 2013 10:21 pm (UTC)
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Hah. Your daily watch-setting op-ed bollocks at smoko time...
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From:changeofthemoon
Date:December 3rd, 2013 11:55 pm (UTC)
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If you ever figure out what that magical new platform is be sure to let us know ( really). I've been on the hunt for something flashy but with community and real privacy settings for years now.
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From:tatjna
Date:December 4th, 2013 12:07 am (UTC)
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Yep, there's a good reason I'm still here. I just wish more people would have agreed with me! ;-)
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From:girlguitarist
Date:December 4th, 2013 12:23 am (UTC)
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ALL THIS EXACTLY. I also started out on message boards, made my first online friends, and we all migrated to LJ. Now only one still occasionally (though rarely) posts in addition to myself. And on Facebook we've kind of lost touch so that is sad.

I keep trying Twitter and just can't get behind it.

To me LJ has become a little less of a social platform and more of a replacement for my paper journal but I like that there is still this little bit of interaction. Just not the same. I think it will be a LONG time, if ever, before the internet in general starts seeking out these deeper connections again. I feel like it has a bit of space left to get shorter and to the point before it swings back around. Or maybe that is just wishful thinking!

I can't get behind domain blogs. I do it for my business, but really don't have the time to be hunting all over the net for what I want to read. I've tried aggregators but end up with too many blogs and get overwhelmed!
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From:tatjna
Date:December 4th, 2013 12:27 am (UTC)
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Yeah, that is my problem with aggregators too. Syndicating things here that I want to read works well because this is my internet 'home' so I have it open pretty much all the time, and that way I catch a lot more of what I want to read than if I had to deliberately go look at another page.
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:December 4th, 2013 12:30 am (UTC)
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Tumblr is for porn (real and just for fan service), twitter is for news and rage, facebook is for the NSA, and LJ is for introspection.

Actually, Path was an interesting social network that limited your connections to 20 people, to try to make it more intimate.

I'd like to create a modern social network that allowed threaded conversations, took privacy seriously (and had something as simple as "friends-only"), and encouraged long form writing (perhaps by highlighting larger posts, or giving people arbitrary scores of "depth".
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From:tatjna
Date:December 4th, 2013 12:32 am (UTC)
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If 'depth' actually meant 'word count' I reckon I might win that one.

Cos it's a competition, right?

But yes. I would love if someone made this happen.
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From:zhelana
Date:December 4th, 2013 01:37 am (UTC)
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I'm glad you're not leaving us :) also naked sheep continue to make me laugh.
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From:tatjna
Date:December 4th, 2013 01:39 am (UTC)
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I particularly enjoy how affronted they always look when they realise they are naked.
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From:dragonvyxn
Date:December 4th, 2013 01:59 am (UTC)
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nice post. i tried to tweet but didn't really care enough about it. i don't do tumblr because i don't really know how? but i'll go have a peek at yours! and seriously once i get into this study about poetry and journaling, i'll totally be writing. too bad my little one tends to yell and grab me if i'm in front of the compy too long.
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From:tatjna
Date:December 4th, 2013 02:02 am (UTC)
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Hah. I am looking forward to your future post where you tend to yell and grab your little one for being in front of the computer too long. ;-)
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From:meathiel
Date:December 4th, 2013 08:07 am (UTC)
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Even though I'm annoyed at LJ at the moment - and very much so! - I still think it's the best thing that there is on the internet. It's the site I always check first ... and then FB ... then Pinterest ... then Tumblr ... depends on how much time I have.
I really like that I'm not restricted to xxx words ... this seems to be so ridiculous!
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From:tatjna
Date:December 4th, 2013 07:16 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I pretty much live here, and go visiting everywhere else. Except Facebook. Facebook, I just..can't.
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From:vernacularity
Date:December 4th, 2013 08:13 am (UTC)

oh god 43 comments?

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I'll go and check in a minute, to see if it has already been said, but beofre I forget: i think it is a totally normal part of interaciton

blogging for oneself, as in diarising and enjoying your own words and stories, sustains output due to self interest, but also there is this thing called interaction which rescues one from the pit of overindulgence and despair, knowing it is appreciated and/or worthwhile and relevant. That relevance is a key issue, and I think I have seen a change in style from the very issues-based social themes, with questions at the end, which everyone can relate to and have opinions on,and give the feedback of commenting. But maybe I better check cos I've been pretty slack with doing anything other than write and fix the van and get angry at work. Oh and get fat. And worms.

Edited at 2013-12-04 08:18 am (UTC)
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From:tatjna
Date:December 4th, 2013 07:12 pm (UTC)

Re: oh god 43 comments?

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I know some people with some drench...

And you're right. Moving away from issues-based blogging was a deliberate move on my part because I was finding myself becoming angry and disheartened with the world, and while writing here about that stuff was eliciting commentary that supported my ideas, it wasn't changing anything and that in itself was frustrating me. So I backed off and focused on myself and what makes me happy (and took a year off from being academic).

I guess I'm just not as relevant as world issues. Who knew?
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From:spotsofcolour
Date:December 4th, 2013 11:48 am (UTC)
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I meant to comment on your previous posts, but when I did LJ did that thing where it broke and it stayed broken for a bit, and then I got distracted by something shiny and forgot. Sorry.


I have to say I have extremely similar feelings towards the various social media platforms as you do. I thought part of my loyalty towards LJ was simply because I'd been here for so darn long, but actually I feel like I've really grown into it now, and I'm at a point where I'm super comfortable with it and have a good group of LJ friends. When I initially started, I was 15 and the only people I knew on here were people from school, so it felt very much like I was projecting into the void. Now I'm older, I'm a better writer, understand internet safety a bit better, and have made judicious use of friending memes, combined with an understanding of LJ etiquette that I didn't have as a ridiculous teenager, and I feel like I'm actually comfortable in this little hole I've carved for myself.


What I like about LJ as well is that it encourages people to be more thoughtful about what they post, rather than facebook where people simply share mindnumbing inanities, or Tumblr where people share stuff that other people have done. It's hard to get an indication of what a person is actually like when they share the same things everyone else shares, and contacting them is so difficult that you almost get the impression that they actively encourage real interaction.

I think everyone gets that thrill when strangers say they're reading, however it's communicated. Everyone has always craved that form of validation, and the internet seems to make it easier and thus all at once more desirable (because we can see all the attention others are getting) and more shameful (because we perceive that we should be better than this, than everyone else scrabbling for internet fame).


Whilst I agree that LJ could probably do with a decent revamp, I do get fed up of all the nonsense changes which are being made. I don't like the e-gifts, and I hate the way the new entry page means I have to scroll up through my entire entry before I can scroll up the rest of the page. But these are fairly minor niggles really.
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From:tatjna
Date:December 4th, 2013 07:15 pm (UTC)
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I quite like not having to load a new page to look behind a cut, but I do wish the 'collapse' button were at the bottom of the cut so you could close it again when you've finished..

And the latest weirdness is that when I go to comment, it now places my cursor in the subject box. I've often typed a whole sentence before I realise and it makes me go *gnng*

So yeah, some good changes, some not-so-good, but I agree - LJ still does what it does better than any other platform, for all the reasons you've given.
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From:adam_0oo
Date:December 6th, 2013 01:13 am (UTC)
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I have found that nothing gets more comments than entries about friending and de-friending and lj changing.
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From:tatjna
Date:December 6th, 2013 01:15 am (UTC)
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Ha, so true.
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From:sophiawestern
Date:December 9th, 2013 02:04 am (UTC)
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Heh. :)
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From:ecosopher
Date:December 10th, 2013 10:35 pm (UTC)
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I saw this a while ago and sorry, only am getting a chance to reply now, albeit while allowing my children to watch altogether too much on-demand TV (in my defence, they got me up at 5, and I'm sitting here with them, so at least I know what they're watching. Sometimes I even talk to them, and I guess at some point I'll have to give them breakfast).

I have never liked tumblr. I just feel like I'm not cool enough. Or young enough? Actually I don't think I would ever have been cool enough, even if I were younger. I guess I just missed the boat on that.

I do enjoy having my LJ better than forums. I think the reason I moved away from forums is they got really big, and then people would come and go and you'd have this dynamic that always changed.

Twitter, I like it. But I struggle with succinctness. So it's also difficult and seems somewhat contrived.
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From:pundigrion
Date:December 13th, 2013 10:02 pm (UTC)
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My biggest issue with having a private domain blog is the lack of privacy. I don't think there is much else other than LJ that allows you to lock your blogging down as well (save for clones like DW, GJ, IJ, etc). Facebook is pretty awful for privacy and I just have no interest in it. Way tooooooo rambly for Twittr. I suppose I post enough pictures from Tumblr, except then again there is that rambling thing and I really like comment convos too. I know your journal is mostly public (and keep this very much in mind when I comment!), but I still think this is a concern for many seeing as most my my flist is locked entries.

Also, I've yet to see any Gotlands here, but Dorpers are actually making heavy inroads. Lots more various Leicesters at this year's fairs too!
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From:danjite
Date:February 27th, 2014 05:27 pm (UTC)
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Also, sometimes I save post in open tabs for months before I get around to reading and mulling in depth.

:)
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From:tatjna
Date:February 27th, 2014 07:48 pm (UTC)
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Hahaha you crack me up. ;-)
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