An Odd Change In A Dying System

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 8.442% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

Back in The Day, when I had infinite people reading me on LiveJournal, I’d post an entry and the comments exploded.  I’d hit “post,” and five minutes later I’d have fifteen comments.
Now, I make a big ol’ important post and sometimes I don’t get a comment for half an hour.  That used to unnerve me – is this a bad entry? Did I say something wrong? – until I realized what was happening.  English LiveJournal is slowly dying.
What used to happen was that the LJ friends page was like Twitter or Facebook now – so constant a stream of data that you just refreshed your friends’ page and wham, new entries.  Maybe you didn’t check it twenty times a day like I did, but the friends page was a ritual where my latest entry popped up in real time.  I was a part of the info-stream.
As LJ use has declined, though, the traffic patterns have changed for me.  People no longer read my blog as part of a daily pulse; it’s in their RSS feeds, or bookmarked separately, or they wait for me to post the interesting links to Twitter (since I don’t Tweet-spam every post).  I still get roughly the same number of comments, but as opposed to arriving in one explosive comment-dump, they now arrive scattered over the course of two days, like late passengers departing a red-eye connection.  I’m read at their convenience, not the convenience of LJ.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is a little weird.  Some days I post a SRS ENTRY and then wait until I get one comment just to ensure someone’s listening.  By the time I get out of the tub, I have like three comments, which used to be the sign of an entry falling on its face.  Now, I’m patient; the user feedback will arrive in due course.
If you write it, they will come.

1 Comment

  1. Kellie Lynch
    Jun 18, 2012

    And then you sometimes have people who have been checking Google Reader on their phone and starring posts to respond to when they’re next at a computer, and then forgetting to look at the starred posts for a month. Hrm.
    LiveJournal was definitely a completely different animal from blogging. It really contributed to active conversation, having all your friends’ daily ramblings right there in the same place as your own personal outlet-slash-soapbox. I remember the rush I got when I posted an entry and watched the lj-notification emails roll in. The instant feedback was pretty addictive, and I miss it a lot.

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