January 6th, 2009

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Hancock & Ice

I finally saw Hancock, the super hero movie with Will Smith? I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I can't remember where, but I'd heard some not so great things about it, so my expectations were kind of low. But I TOTALLY, TOTALLY DUG IT. It helps that Will Smith is Always Awesome All the Time.

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So yesterday, it was Icy In Texas! There were ICICLES ON EVERYTHING. Icicles are like bigfoot here. They're so freaking rare. I remember when I was a kid and we visited our relatives in Missouri, and there were icicles bigger than size 17 knitting needles (those are pretty big, if you don't know), and it was the most incredible thing ever. Anyway, ice around here is sort of the closest thing we get to snow sometimes, and it only lasted the one day, so I took a butt ton of pictures of it.

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Speaking of pictures, I remembered that something on my pitifully neglected Mission 101 List was to do 26 Things, an interpretive picture taking scavenger hunt. The gist is they give you a list of 26 things to take pictures of during the month, and then you post them at the end and see what everyone else came up with. It's just for fun, but I figured I'd link to it in case anyone else wanted to give it a try! It was down for a long time, but they have a new January list up, just in time for my fancy new camera. :)
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So, you've probably heard by now the latest that LJ is up to. If you haven't, furiosity put together a pretty comprehensive list of articles on the matter. The highlights: LJ laid off a bunch of employees and, while the servers are staying in the US for now, they will be operating from Moscow.


I'm not going to bother with what I think of all this, as my usual initial reaction to LJ drama is "OH GOD WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE" until I've had a chance to calm down. Instead, I want to talk about why all this matters to me. Not just this announcement, but everything that's been happening to LJ in recent years. The sale to SUP. The removal and return of Basic accounts. The "rare" permanent sales turning into "annual" permanent sales. The new profile pages. Everything.

It matters to me. I'll admit (shamefacedly, but I'll admit it nonetheless) that I cared more this year about the fate of LJ than who got elected President. Why? Why does a website matter so much to me?

I don't think there's any one answer I could give. This place is important to me. I think the fact that I consider LJ a "place" rather than a "website" is key. I've had this thing since 2001. Back then, it was run by people, fellow users who really cared about making livejournal a great place to set up a home and settle in. There were no ads. Paid accounts were a new idea. Though I didn't really have any need for one myself, I wanted a paid account for no other reason than to support the people running such a welcoming site.

Every friend I have is on livejournal. That is not an exaggeration. Every single friend I have owns a livejournal, save two, and I always feel weird having to fill them in on the parts of my life they've missed due to not reading lj. Even my family has started posting to their ljs more. Not everyone posts as obsessively as I do, but the point is, livejournal is how I stay connected to the people I care about, and to meet new people who appreciate the same things I do. One of my very best friends in the whole world I wouldn't even know were it not for lj (yes, Nikki, that would be you! <3). Livejournal is people.

And with every announcement, I watch it get shoved closer and closer in the direction of some corporation. It feels so sterilized, so mechanical...not at all the warmth I felt when I first joined. I still have the connection with my friends (both real life and ones I've met through lj), so strong that I wouldn't want to leave. I don't know if I could leave, even if things got really bad. (I'm not saying today's announcement means things are going to get really bad, but things are getting steadily...more worrisome.)

It matters to me because livejournal is my home. I miss the site that was run by people. I don't want my home to be taken over by the all mighty dollar.