lukeii asked me if I wanted an invite code (remember them?), and I originally wasn't impressed by the concept of an online journal and declined.
I'm not sure what swayed me in the end, I think it may have been reading lukeii's journal and realising the world of possibility.
Anyway, I believe it was eec, my fiancee, who warned me that LJ was addictive.
Well, I went through my joining/creating communities phase, probably the height of my obsession. Sadly, I couldn't get my community ideas to work (probably because I didn't have the committment to really work at promoting them). I very rarely interact in communities these days, but I find myself reading an ever increasing list of personal journals.
I am a regular lurker on lukeii's friends page, and I think I should "friend" the journals I read regularly. I think I worry too much about the social niceties and whether it's acceptable to "friend" someone out of the blue. Or "unfriend" someone you don't read, for that matter.
So, I was looking back at my very first entry, and thinking about what I originally intended or expected this journal to be, compared to what it has become.
Funnily enough, it has remained pretty close to my original expectations:
"it's probably not going to be a day-to-day diary of my life...I think it's just somewhere that I can ramble on without someone telling me to shut up, or getting that dreamy, far-off look that means they stopped listening ten minutes ago"
That seems to pretty much sum up what I use my journal for.
I have the occasional report on my day, but mostly I just talk crap about whatever takes my fancy.
One thing that has changed, is the feeling of who I'm writing this journal to (or for):
"It's funny with this journal writing style, I feel as though I'm writing to a particular person, but I'm just not entirely sure who that person is. I mean, I know that Luke will probably read it, and maybe Duane and who knows who else, but I don't feel I'm writing to them. I kind of understand the 'Dear Diary' thing now."
Now, when I'm writing in my journal, I actually write it with an audience in mind. I write it assuming that those of you that have me on your friends page are going to read it.
And that to me is why Livejournal is such a wonderful, and successful, web community. People do read my journal (at least some of it), and they respond to what I say.
It encourages me to be as interesting as possible, and not write it as a personal diary. Apart from one or two entries that were for very specific purposes, I have never made my entries 'friends only'. I have certainly never made a 'private' journal entry. I just don't look at LJ in that way. Despite the name, I see this as more of a broadcast medium than a journal or diary.
I'm sure other people use LJ differently, which is another strength of this site. You can make your journal 100% private if you want.
Anyway, that's my take on Livejournal.