Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

Lucky Thirteen

I posted my first LiveJournal entry on February 24, 2002. This entry serves as my 4,712th post. When I began this weblog, I did not understand much about weblogs. I learned about that species of reader LiveJournal called "friend" a few weeks later.During the past 13 years, I average 362 posts per year. I miss some days.I make multiple posts on other days.

I post nearly all my posts public, though once in a very long while I post privately. My reasoning about friends' posts holds that the confidentiality proves illusory. I choose instead to post publicly,even though that requires a bit of discretion about what I say. I try not to post too much about work, because I work in a field in which keeping secrets serves a positive purpose. I do not post as much about my wife as I would if my LiveJournal were purely chronology. That protects her privacy, though nothing I would post if I posted everything would affect her privacy much.

When I read old entries, I am struck by how much more like essays they read then what I post now. Now I am a bit more inclined to recording my day than setting forth my theories. This stems in part from the decline in readership in weblogs. When I keep my record as a personal diary, what I did each day becomes good to record to look up later. I like that I can see what I did on x day y year ago by reviewing my LiveJournal.

I've met a lot of really interesting,good people through LiveJournal. I have also had real-life friends and friends from other virtual media that I got to know better through LiveJournal. I've met some offbeat (offbeat as in odd, not offbeat as in good) people as well. There was the person, years ago, who not once but twice faked having cancer to try to dupe folks on LiveJournal. I recall another friend who got conned into providing some benefit or other, only to learn, to that friend's chagrin, the true story. A few people over the years ran their journals entirely fictitiously, and often the most transparently faux are the ones that work the most strenuously to keep up the appearances.

I read on Facebook the other day how a LiveJournal friend just got tenure at her university. I remember when she started her Master's degree program of study. I took a walk with a LiveJournal friend one day in Phoenix, years ago. He died a few years after that. I see his birthday notice pop up each year on social media. I remember reading one LiveJournal's friend wedding/honeymoon Livejournal. Her son is now 8 or so--she posts his pictures on Facebook, doing cool science/IT things.

I am not one of life's great tiff-ready warriors,but I have experienced some LiveJournal drama. I like to recall with a bit of puzzled amusement the person who unfriended me here and on Facebook because I sometimes give my creative content away for free and stand up for liberal licensing. I probably deserved de-friending a bit when another Livejournal friend, a skilled creative writer, felt I sounded too smug when I told her she would one day succeed. I have committed all the various sins of the defriended. I expressed sympathy about a journalist's boss' position that the LiveJournal friend should attend work during that friend's scheduled hours. I teased someone else about liking the Beatles. I was often boring and wrote paragraphs that went on forever.

I miss the old days of LiveJournal. But I miss lot of things. I have the software Pidgin, a great cross-platform IM chat program. But nobody really IMs any more. That may be a blessing. IM chats could last forever. But I miss the easy facility of simple IM chats.

Also, computer telephony--VOIP communication, now permits me to speak for free or nearly for nothing to people all over the world. Who would have imagined, though, that we all would get the power to call anyone affordably,but only get it in a post-phone-call age?

I'm grateful for all my LiveJournal friends, both past and present. I've learned a lot here, read some great writing, and met some lovely people. I plan to keep on writing so long as it feels good. I have a journal on that other dream journal place, but I don't cross-post to it. I just have it in case I need to shift over there.

It's been great to read the stories, to learn to listen and to tell my own story.
Thirteen years it's been since I started this journal, and perhaps it will be a day or three more before I finish it.
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