Divesting from LiveJournal
How the invasion of Ukraine finally made me leave my long time host.
Many, many years ago (2003 to be exact), when I was a wee twentysomething, I joined a nascent social network called LiveJournal. It was the it thing at the time for me, hosting a somewhat nerdy group of young people all writing about their lives and forming groups of friends and communities around various topics. Blogging had hit the Internet world a few years earlier, but LJ was one of the first platforms to make this easy and support semi-private sharing. You didn’t have to post to everyone, you could support friends-only, me-only, or even small-subset-of-friends-only.
For a while, this was a huge part of my life. I wrote about my personal life, my job, my accomplishments, my feelings. I’d write about stuff that only I could see. Because image hosting was expensive then, these posts would mostly be walls of text.
Most of what was posted there isn’t very interesting to anyone anymore. My archives were still somewhat open, but the amount of views were insignificant. I had had a few posts get some traction on aggregators like Hacker News, but even those weren’t relevant outside the scope of computer industry history.
I’d gotten a permanent account in one of their fundraising efforts, so it was pretty low effort to keep something up there. I would post something every year or two when I wanted to have something longer form than a tweet, but most of the time, I didn’t think anything about it.
That changed in early 2022. The Russian government launched a terrible attack on the people of Ukraine, and my heart broke a little seeing the flood of information coming from the war zone. I hadn’t had very many ties to Russia, but I did have this one: LiveJournal. In the 2000s, LJ had been bough by Six Degrees, one of the early blogging software companies. They then sold it to a large Russian concern, and more and more of their systems ended up moving in the the Russian jurisdicion.
So, in protest of this action, I made one last archive of my writings and set my account to deleted. I’ve redirected my thelifeunwired.com domain over to here where I’ll occasionally writing about things that I find interesting. I might even back-post some of the best stuff from my LJ days.