I was recently asked (with some amusement) why I continue to maintain a LiveJournal, given that it's "for 13-year-old girls", I've already got a Web site, and there are some Usenet groups where I'm certainly welcome.
On the first point, I don't see why it's relevant. LiveJournal is just a really cheap weblogging tool, and I can use it to post any kind of writing. That lots of young girls use it is of no import to me. If they have anything interesting to say, more power to them.
As for my static Web site, while it's not that difficult to put stuff there (I certainly know how to write HTML and use FTP), I'd long wished for a simple tool that I could use to add quick updates with a common template. The LiveJournal, from my perspective, is just an adjunct to the site that has one, and it frees me from maintaining anything on the host side. I may well tire of its many technical limitations eventually and defect to TypePad or something, but hacking my LiveJournal's styles to work a little better than the default has been an interesting challenge. The friends-list community aspect is kind of interesting too, but that was an unexpected side benefit, not the initial draw.
Finally, Usenet's a great thing, and is even thriving in spots. But there's a whole audience of people who don't care to read it, and some of them who knew me from elsewhere kept bugging me to get a weblog over the past year or two. Also, it's interesting (though perhaps not so pleasant for readers) for me to have a forum of my own where I'm under no particular pressure to perform to existing standards. I'm not about to give up Usenet any time soon; I post largely different things there.
Matt McIrvin's Steam-Operated World of Yesteryear
- In defense of LiveJournal