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July 24th, 2005

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02:58 am - HBP-2 and counting
Many happy returns of the day to wordplay, gaby723 and shista.

Back to work and not too much has changed, which is a good thing. So long as I can make the sleep pattern work, about which I am hopeful, then all is well. If I'm up this late tomorrow night then it's a bad sign, though.

Today was the first day after the night shift and I have spent it rereading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which for all its faults is far more thrilling than I remembered it to be. While there's a part of me which wants to abort and branch out to psychic_serpent's trilogy, which I never did finish, tomorrow I finally re-read Order of the Phoenix and then on Monday I get to dig in at last to Half-Blood Prince. LJ has largely been better than the mass media about avoiding specific spoilers, though there's enough that intimates certain developments that I have some pretty big clues about two (of the most?) important developments. I was amused by this spoiler-free story about a mass spoiling activity in real life, though. (Being so far behind the pace is annoying, but with work and Manorcon, it couldn't be avoided. Book 7 will trump [almost?] everything, though.)

My weight has crawled up to 185 lbs. - 13 stone 3 - after at least 5-10 lbs. of overindulgence in the US, rather making a mockery of my userinfo weight claim. Let's see if I can reign things in to make room for next time I go back.

Recently, Blogebrity pointed me to the existence of bramcohen, the LJ of Bram Cohen, who created BitTorrent. It was pretty impressive that someone that important - or, at least, someone who had created such an important piece of software - would use LJ. An occasional thought I ponder - normally with addedentry - is who the most famous LJ users are; at one time I thought that it was impossible to both use LiveJournal and be a celebrity, but I now don't think that's true. I think it's possible to both use LiveJournal and be a counter-culture celebrity, but there is not yet an example of a mainstream one.

Verified LJ celebrities include comic authors (warren_ellis, muskrat_john), web browser and other open source software developers (bramcohen, brad, asadotzler, jwz, stinkygoat,...), Young Adult/fantasy authors (pegkerr, blackholly, madlori...), poker players (extempore, simontrumper...) excluding, of course, all those wonderful folk who become (micro-)celebrities through their excellent journals. It's also true that counter-culture is a big brush here - if one of my Friends eventually wins the Hugo award for best novel - unlikely but not impossible - that's both pretty big celebrity and still counter-culture.

Yet the politicians (beingjdc aside), the journalists (adamsmithjr and sbisson aside) and the athletes tend not to pick LiveJournal as their blogging tool of choice and I don't know why. (I have a suspicion that the celebrities also tend to let their more counter-culture-focused sides out on LJ, too.) When there are comparatively many politicians who use Blogger. Movable Type, TypePad or the like, why do people tend to gravitate away from LJ? Why did the Olympic athlete who blogged use one of the LJ clones? (Can't remember which one - might have been InsaneJournal at a guess.)

Bedtime. The sooner I get to sleep, the sooner I can wake up! (Alarm clock? What's that?)

(5 comments | Leave a comment)


Date:July 24th, 2005 02:11 am (UTC)
I wonder how many non-tech types select their blogging tools based on the recommendation of people they know who use them. That's how I chose LJ; I knew nothing about on-line journals, stumbled into the HP fandom, realized that LJ is where the conversations I wanted to be a part of were taking place, and hopped on over.

Just a thought.

Glad to hear from you and see that you're doing well!
Date:July 24th, 2005 10:40 am (UTC)

Who are these people?

Just amongst my friends2 list, there are two authors who would appear on any sensible LITDAQ game:

greygirlbeast, Caitlín R Kiernan, a sci-fi writer.

docbrite, Poppy Z Brite, a horror writer. I'd suggest that Ms Brite could be the example you're seeking.

There are probably others, it wouldn't surprise me to find a magazine editor or a puzzle writer somewhere out there.

Why do other people tend to gravitate away from livejournal? I think part of it is simply because LJ has about a fifth of the market, Blogger has about a fifth, Movable Type about a fifth, Manila and Typepad perhaps a tenth between them, and at least a third use other content management systems (including an offline composer.) If someone's thinking of starting up their own blog, and choosing at random, there's far more chance that they'll pick Something Else.

But people don't pick at random. They'll go where their perceived peer group goes. So teen girls tend to go for Livejournal or Xanga, people writing about politics will either use something esoteric or Blogger, people writing about science seem to use something esoteric or Movable Type.

The exact causes are lost in the mists of time, just as are the reasons why the estate I'm on has a preponderance of Aston Villa supporters, while the one just behind cheers on Birmingham City.
[User Picture]
Date:July 24th, 2005 11:30 am (UTC)

Re: Who are these people?

So teen girls tend to go for Livejournal or Xanga, people writing about politics will either use something esoteric or Blogger, people writing about science seem to use something esoteric or Movable Type.

You've seemed to hit it.

Teen girls are there for the community aspect, so the LJ-friends list is pretty useful. Politics is very image-dominated, so they would want something professional rather than something communal.
Date:July 24th, 2005 01:27 pm (UTC)

Re: Who are these people?

They'll go where their perceived peer group goes. So teen girls tend to go for Livejournal or Xanga, people writing about politics will either use something esoteric or Blogger, people writing about science seem to use something esoteric or Movable Type.

Agreed - it's about the community image, even if the community doesn't exist in any real form.

And thanks for the birthday wishes, Chris!
[User Picture]
Date:July 27th, 2005 06:54 pm (UTC)
Neil Grayston, who played Alec (the "mouthbreather") on Wonderfalls, has a LiveJournal at 8jumper.

LiveJournal does seem to have its far amount of geekery. I actually started out using Blogger. I really liked it. The reason I switched to LiveJournal was the community aspect. At the time I was using it (I don't know if it's since changed), it didn't have built-in commenting. I got around this by creating an ezboard for my blog and having the blog template insert a link to it after every post. But then I started reading LiveJournal for the HP fandom, and I liked what I saw, especially the commenting and Friends page. So I moved over here. :)

I think LiveJournal appeals to geeks because there's so much we can play with here. Layouts in both S1 and S2. Phone posting and email posting. Embedding your journal on your website. We can write tools for LiveJournal, become betatesters, contribute source code, and become Support volunteers.

But I think what really attracts people here IS the community. People who are wanting to connect with others use LiveJournal and its child sites, or MySpace and Xanga. Those who are writing more for an audience and less to interact with others use Blogger or Moveable Type. I've noticed since moving to LJ that my posts are more personal, random, and off-the-cuff, rather than being written to entertain. I don't think that's a bad thing because it's been very helpful--almost like a form of therapy--but I do sometimes miss the creativity of my blog. I'd probably still be using Blogger if I didn't like getting comments so much and reading other's journals.

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