Teesside Snog Monster (jiggery_pokery) wrote,
Teesside Snog Monster

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Now We Are Six

My LiveJournal is six today! Crikey, that's old. My most successful offline diary-keeping effort lasted a little over seven years and faded somewhat in frequency towards the end, so that might be an indication of how long it takes me to get bored.

My use of LJ remains disorganised; in conjunction with the long sets of day shifts and night shifts I work, it's far too easy for me to wake up, have a quick check of my Friends list, open five-to-fifteen interesting-looking comments pages without commenting to them, come back after work and add several more, then there's BBC News and all the other sites I check. Repeat for four or five days and, bang, suddenly I have 50 or 100 extra tabs to deal with. Sometimes I can make an attempt to clear dozens of them during the time I have off between sets of shifts, but it relies on me being in the right mood and real-life matters of housekeeping (or, dare I say it, leisure) not getting in the way. Plus, when the application you use most is a web browser, having to deal with a browser with dozens-to-grosses of tabs open is slow and wearing - yet I don't feel comfortable screaming and killing them all in a giant act of tabicide en masse, so to speak.

All too often it means that I end up replying to your posts, or even my posts, weeks or months after you've made them, simply because I've had the tab open that long. Now it may annoy the heck out of you to receive these long-delayed replies; if it does, this would be a good time to shout up. On the other hand, there are a good number of old posts I look at and think "Yeah, I sort of have something to say, but it's nothing particularly special, and the post is very old by now and the moment has passed... skip it." If you do receive a long-delayed reply, please take it as some sort of compliment that I think you'll not be driven crazy by a "better late than never" comment from me. It also tends to be the people who write the most by volume and by number of interesting posts - the ones whose blogs I most enjoy - who get disproportionately many late responses, simply because if you write a great post, I often want not to give you a less-than-thoughtful response.

This also knocks on into my posting practice; unless something really grabs me and I want to make a time-critical post, it's far too easy for me just to make a note, plus possibly a URL or two, to get around to later in a file I have called lj_temp.txt. Currently this is 2,441 lines long, with half a dozen quarter-written LJ posts, plus probably fifty or a hundred one-word pointers for things I vaguely want to post about at some point. It also includes all sorts of other things that have nothing to do with LJ; as this is the one text file I deal with most frequently, it's the best place to store things if I want to find them again quickly.

I like posting about "what I'm thinking about" rather than "what I'm doing", largely because so much of the time, what I'm doing is neither terribly interesting nor too far from routine. Conversely, I don't like posting about journalling, even though it seems to take up a disappointingly substantial proportion of what I post; if I'm thinking about journalling - and if I'm posting about it, then I am thinking about it - then I'm not getting on with the rest of my life. This meta-posting does not add to the sum of non-transient human knowledge in a way that my other posts might, possibly, on a good day.

It is traditional to grouse about the way LiveJournal has been run, particularly since the purchase by SUP last December. Whisper it very quietly, but other than the massive misstep with the removal of Basic accounts in March, and the horrible, horrible removal of some interests from being filtered, the new owners have otherwise been far from objectionable by virtue of all the changes they have made being for the better, at their best, and easy to ignore, at their worst.

Nevertheless, because LiveJournal is increasingly corporate, and because it is capable of massive blunders like those two, it is not cool. You might recall "No Content Day" back in March as a response to the removal of Basic accounts. Some people considered it "slacktivism" (a lovely neologism!) but in Soviet Russia, where the LiveJournal platform and blogging are so synonymous that there is no other word for "blog" than the local abbreviation for LJ, the one-day strike actually attained a reasonable degree of traction.

Shortly after the announcement of the removal of Basic accounts, synecdochic made this very interesting post about a putative journalling service that might come into existence some day, stressing how hypothetical the speculation was in a very knowing fashion. synecdochic openly admits to having been a LJ staff member in the past, clearly knows her onions technically and has a good grasp of the challenges of making such a service scaleable and thus financially stable in the long term. (Incidentally, I note that the intended owner/operator of Scribblit has recently found it all too much before the site got out of beta.) synecdochic also hints that an announcement, of unstated nature, might be coming this week. Watch that space.

Trying to head off some criticism at the pass, assuming that synecdochic is who I think she is, she is part of the LJ establishment who has been responsible for implementing some extremely unpopular decisions in the past. She implies passim that she has not necessarily agreed with all the policies that she has had to implement in the past, though this has not stopped her implementing them. With this in mind, it will be interesting to see what policies she (and her co-workers...) might choose to implement in the future when she does have a greater degree of agency and can take more aggressive decisions regarding the desirable extent of backwards compatibility.

The question of how you should regard someone who knows the failings of a policy but nevertheless implements it is an open one, and I have done some dishonest things to web site users in the past that I've hated doing by virtue of "I was only following orders". This is a matter of a grey scale - as has been pointed out elsewhere, an extreme application of this pings Godwin's Law - but I am definitely more on the side of the jobsworths than most. And yet...

The strangest thing about the LiveJournal Advisory Board election is the way that it has made me feel socially conservative like very few - if, possibly, any - things ever have done in the past. I am not used to feeling that someone, or some sense of humour, or some sense of values, is as instinctively and innately worth opposing as I felt about that election. I'm not used to having those sorts of feelings and I don't feel comfortable having them. Perhaps I'm just growing old.

Should a new journalling site ever come to fruition that seems to sufficiently meet the description "LJ done properly", I would give serious consideration to moving across, especially as I perceive some degree of will among movers and shakers to moving across that I haven't perceived before with other projects. I do agree with this point by bateleur that the value of LJ is in the interaction tools and I have made the point myself that Metcalfe's law points us all in the direction of staying on one site rather than spreading ourselves out to the four winds. However, this development has tantalising prospects: genuinely interesting (i.e., not Vox) new functionality, owners who might bring back the spirit of when-it-was-cool-before-I-joined-it LiveJournal in the site's development and policies, better-than-OpenID interaction with other sites and maybe, just maybe, a userbase which doesn't make ohnotheydidnt about as representative a community (and, thus, sense of humour) of the site as anything else.

It's interesting to follow non-LJ blogs and compare them to LJ ones. The non-LJ ones seem to be missing those things that I think I would miss if mine were a non-LJ blog less than I thought they would do. Syndicated feeds aren't perfect, sometimes by accident and sometimes by design, but they work adequately for most purposes. OpenID is gaining wider acceptance; I've seen criticism of the system in the past, but am afraid that I am not yet convinced against the system's utility. (I am very probably far closer to not understanding the criticism properly than I am to understanding the criticism properly and regarding it as a price worth paying. Sadly it will probably take me suffering a loss of some sort through use of OpenID to make the point clear to me.)

Similarly, this criticism of increased online social connection is interesting, though sadly does not spell out the potential abuses it rails against clearly enough to immediately convince me that this is a practical problem rather than just a theoretical one.

At the risk of barking up the wrong tree, I wonder whether it's worth drawing a parallel to the question of circumstances under which freedom of speech, or more specifically publication, can reasonably be considered not to be in the public interest. Again, I may be being more confused than usual here, but it has been suggested that even though the traditional caste system in Japan has long been outlawed, there are still some black market publications which permit someone unethical to take a prejudiced opinion on someone based solely on their name and place of origin. Is this an example of a possible undesirable consequence when information becomes too free? (Yeah, I think I've lost track of my point a bit here; I really don't understand the other point of view that I'm trying to take on board and am hoping that one of you who understands it better than I do will explain it to me.)

A part of the problem is that I (uneducatedly) subscribe to similar fear, uncertainty and doubt regarding WordPress and other installed-on-your-server blogging software as I do with regard to Linux; specifically, in the arms race of security vs. abuse, as a user you need to keep up-to-date in order to beat a considerable force who seek to misuse your resources, which requires proper understanding. With Windows, it's not so hard; keep applying the updates, stick on a firewall and anti-virus software and you're most of the way there. I'm prepared to suffer a lot of indignities and technical shortcomings; I am prepared to settle for "merely good enough", rather than the very best, and "merely good enough" in theory is perfectly adequate in practice. Just how consumptive of time, effort and emotion is it to keep a Linux installation or a WordPress installation up to date in practice?

In practice, I suspect that the status quo will prevail and I'll keep doing what I've long been doing; seldom can change be more convenient than maintaining the staus quo and I don't think this is one of those circumstances. In the past I've thought about starting something specific to talk about games without wearing a LiveJournal hat; the idea still appeals, but it all relies on me getting more serious about writing, and I'm not sure I can afford to make that a high priority at the moment. So here's to another six years!

Poll #1202262 Quick tabbed browsing poll

Counting all the browsers on all the computers you consider yours, how many tabs (or windows) do you have open in total at this moment in time?

1 (or I don't use tabbed browsing and only have one window open)
2 or 3
4 to 9
10 to 27
28 to 81
82 to 243
244 to 729
730 or more

Poll #1202263 Slightly less quick tabbed browsing poll

Counting all the browsers on all the computers you consider yours, roughly how many tabs (or windows) do you usually have open at any one time?

1 (or I don't use tabbed browsing and usually only have one window open)
2 or 3
4 to 9
10 to 27
28 to 81
82 to 243
244 to 729
730 or more

Counting all the browsers on all the computers you consider yours, what is the largest number of tabs (or windows) you have ever had open at any one time most likely to have been?

1 (or I never use tabbed browsing and only ever have one window open)
2 or 3
4 to 9
10 to 27
28 to 81
82 to 243
244 to 729
730 or more

Any other comments? (If you type "ticky" in, does it become a tickybox?)

Because it's an even birthday, I permit myself to update this:

Top Commenters on jiggery_pokery's LiveJournal
(2,642 of my own comments excluded from rankings)
1bateleur259 259
2ericklendl242 242
3Anonymous211 211
4imc200 200
5daweaver179 179
6addedentry178 178
7leiabelle161 161
8meggitymeg160 160
9ringbark147 147
10undyingking129 129
11lambertman122 122
12missingdonut120 120
13hermorrine114 114
14hedwig_snowy103 103
152ndavemusic102 102
16jumbach93 93
17bopeepsheep88 88
18applez84 84
19brigbother80 80
20huskyteer79 79
21zorac77 77
22picklepuss77 77
23rialtus74 74
24glissando74 74
25dancingrain74 74
26songmonk73 73
27frayer70 70
28oinomel7170 70
29beingjdc65 65
30fruufoo65 65
31mr_babbage64 64
32sophie1061 61
33quidditchmaster59 59
34expetesso58 58
35jaydlewis56 56
36amuzulo55 55
37radinden54 54
38philonightmare54 54
39jvvw50 50
40themightyuser50 50
41malachan47 47
42oldbloke43 43
43cygnusfap42 42
44j440 40
45catalana36 36
46dr4b35 35
47folk34 34
48geekosaurus33 33
49tall_man32 32
50alice_and_lain31 31
51quiz_master_man31 31
52irinaauthor30 30
53gamps_garret30 30
54karen220529 29
55bookshop27 27
56zarchasmpgmr26 26
57verlaine26 26
58ealuscerwen26 26
59mrstrellis26 26
60foreverdirt25 25
61black_dog25 25
62calliaume25 25
63trebro24 24
64xnera23 23
65mhw23 23
66sincelastjuly23 23
67sir_gareth22 22
68heidi822 22
69the_maenad22 22
70ewx21 21
71kearie21 21
72earthquake190620 20
73elements20 20
74rhysara20 20
75owlman19 19
76acinonyxjubatus19 19
77athena_arena19 19
78sir_quirky_k18 18
79flourish18 18
80strangefrontier17 17
81dramawench17 17
82truecatachresis17 17
83akahannah17 17
84titanic_days16 16
85chrisvenus16 16
86fangexploring16 16
87hmtriplecrown15 15
88heinous_bitca15 15
89dinahrae15 15
90elvie13 13
91mewcenary13 13
92pseudomonas13 13
93tromboneborges13 13
94oddree13 13
95allysonsedai12 12
96elsalus12 12
97wednesdayschild12 12
98biftec12 12
99tropes12 12
100mortari11 11

Total Commenters: 338 (238 not shown)
Total Comments: 8914

Report generated 09/06/2008 08:36:04 by scrapdog's LJ Comment Stats Wizard 1.7

Comparing this chart with the one from two years ago, I can try to work out who's been commenting most over the last two years.

undyingkingAll time: 129Last two years: 59
imcAll time: 200Last two years: 35
hedwig_snowyAll time: 103Last two years: 35
meggitymegAll time: 160Last two years: 34
bateleurAll time: 259Last two years: 31
ringbarkAll time: 147Last two years: 25
oldblokeAll time: 43Last two years: 20
geekosaurusAll time: 33Last two years: 19
oinomel71All time: 70Last two years: 18
sophie10All time: 61Last two years: 18
folkAll time: 34Last two years: 17
frayerAll time: 70Last two years: 17
addedentryAll time: 178Last two years: 17
mr_babbageAll time: 64Last two years: 16
bopeepsheepAll time: 88Last two years: 16
hermorrineAll time: 114Last two years: 14
songmonkAll time: 73Last two years: 14
malachanAll time: 47Last two years: 13
huskyteerAll time: 79Last two years: 13
jvvwAll time: 50Last two years: 12
elementsAll time: 20Last two years: ? 10+
rhysaraAll time: 20Last two years: ? 10+
2ndavemusicAll time: 102Last two years: 10
zoracAll time: 77Last two years: 9
lambertmanAll time: 122Last two years: 8
applezAll time: 84Last two years: 8
radindenAll time: 54Last two years: 8
brigbotherAll time: 80Last two years: 7
missingdonutAll time: 120Last two years: 7
dr4bAll time: 35Last two years: 7
gamps_garretAll time: 30Last two years: 7
rialtusAll time: 74Last two years: 7
foreverdirtAll time: 25Last two years: 7
jumbachAll time: 93Last two years: 6
beingjdcAll time: 65Last two years: 6
quidditchmasterAll time: 59Last two years: 5
trebroAll time: 24Last two years: 5
heidi8All time: 22Last two years: 5
fruufooAll time: 65Last two years: 4
glissandoAll time: 74Last two years: 4
j4All time: 40Last two years: 4
owlmanAll time: 19Last two years: 4
irinaauthorAll time: 30Last two years: 4
mewcenary All time: 13Last two years: ? 3+
allysonsedaiAll time: 12Last two years: ? 2+
elsalusAll time: 12Last two years: ? 2+
mortariAll time: 11Last two years: ? 1+
sundancekidAll time: 11Last two years: ? 1+

The uncertainty arises when people have moved from outside the overall top 100 to inside it. (For instance, could be that the likes of lathany and devjoe, among others, might make it onto the next list in the same way.) I'm pretty sure I've got a handle on name changes and the like. Nice to see second, fourth and ninth places (at least!) all unchanged from last time, but it's telling that the number of comments required to get into the top ten is so much lower than it was two years ago. I'm posting much less, obviously, and I may just be posting less to respond to. It's interesting to see who hasn't commented here even once in the last two years; sure, we know about some people stopping using their journals, but perhaps it's an indication of who still has me Friended but no longer reads me? ;-) Today is Defriending Amnesty Day; every day is Defriending Amnesty Day!

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  • John Evan Dickson, 6th October 1937 - 28th April 2021

    My father has passed away. No contact for now, please; I choose to assume your best wishes and condolences. (Edited: the date in the original title…

  • New game: Currency Cat

    Here is a simple, free-to-enter game to celebrate the recent turn of the decade. As I type at 2000 local UK time on 13th January 02020, the…

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    Insomnia last night inspired this game idea; maybe there's something to it, maybe there isn't. I might give it a try next time I'm at a games event.…