I just wrote a screed against Medium and tagged it “blogging”. When I looked at the tag I saw this post, which, had I seen it, might have stopped me from writing mine.
I think you are on the money, and I’m glad to see that I am not the only person who has nostalgia for early LiveJournal. I really think the wheels came off when Brad Fitz sold it. The SixApart people didn’t really know what made it great, and all of their changes killed the fun. It may have died anyway. I don’t know. I think these sites have life cycles.
There was a lot that made LiveJournal fun:
- It was subscription based, so nobody was trying to “monetize” the community. I was happy to give them my money for the upgraded features and picture hosting.
- It handled other media very well.
- You could format anything the way you wanted. The site was simple, but open, so almost anything was possible (full range of HTML, folks writing interesting ad-ons, etc.)
- The user base was broad and easily dissected. I am an old. I was happy there. We probably didn’t come close to crossing paths, but I had lots of people who I loved to read. There was no shortage of really wonderful writing.
I don’t know why there can’t be another, better, version of LiveJournal. I think the problem, really, is money. The old LiveJournal just didn’t make enough.