Monthly Archives: February 2009

    Pecha Kucha

Glancing at the event calendar, I see that there is no Pecha Kucha for us poor NJ-ers, sigh.

In any case, this seems like a great idea, for both the presenters and the audience. The audience gets to not have to snore through hours-long presentations in which they have no interest, and the presenters are encouraged to ponder the most essential elements of their subject. It’s more challenging, but also more rewarding.

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    RSS

I set up a Bloglines account as instructed, but honestly, I don’t know how often I’ll be checking in. I created an RSS list of all the blogs/journals I followed a couple of years ago through Gregarius, and it kind of fell by the wayside. I think it’s probably because the first blog/journal website I became familiar with after the heyday of mailing lists was Livejournal; the people I followed moved their writing to Livejournal, I created one of my own, and for many years it was where I spent most of my online time. I’m used to the format there, and it’s been a bit difficult to dig myself out of that niche.

In LiveJournal, you have a ‘Friends List’ of all the journals you follow, the look and layout of which you can customize to your heart’s content. Bloglines is — dare I say it — rather ugly? I’m used to following the latest posts in a setting that is aesthetically pleasing to myself, that I can change whenever I grow bored with it.

Beyond that very superficial reason, one of Livejournal’s greatest weaknesses is also its strength. The Livejournal Friends List shows only journals that are on Livejournal; for other blogs, you’re on your own. But because of that, there’s a sense of community to it. There are blogs that feel more like a soapbox than a forum of discussion; comment threads are hard to follow, and discussions are difficult to track. One of my favorite blogs, the one kept by Neil Gaiman, doesn’t even allow comments. Livejournal is set up to be a social website rather than a simple journaling one, and one feels more welcome commenting on a random post from an unfamiliar user than one would while browsing a post from a pure blogging service, I think.

There was a huge brouhaha over certain issues in Livejournal a few years back that caused many friends and myself to consider moving off of Livejournal, which was when I set up my (other) WordPress blog. I did try to move to it, and I set up the Gregarius feed aggregator to simulate my Friends page. It took too long to load, was ugly and never felt right, and eventually most of us returned meekly to Livejournal.

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