Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Okay, I screwed up. MySpace (or Hi5) evidently isn't proficient enough at providing blogging services for a majority of the population that takes the time to record a diary online. At least I knew that for a while.

Rather, the primary generator of creative writing, sordid blogging, and conveyance of emotion seems to be LiveJournal. This blog service, started in 1999 and now a subsidiary of Six Apart (which also produces Movable Type, which is like WordPress), now has become the standard for juveniles on the Pokémon Community and areas around me for producing the kind of text that you'd find in a girl's diary or one of those 'slam books' that cropped up at my school when I was in the sixth grade. It's become so popular that Mad crafts its regular 'Galaxy O' Blogs' section based on a typical LiveJournal page. (Don't thell them I told you.)

Yet is it too popular? As with MySpace, I certainly think so. As proof, I refer you to Erica (Demyx) on PC, who, in response to a blog survey I created, said, 'LiveJournal owns my soul.' (It sure does.) And the resemblances it has to MySpace, when the latter is stripped of the social networking daguerreotype, are quite uncanny. When you post on LiveJournal, you have the option of assigning a mood to it as well as a nifty sprite that renders that mood just to accentuate the tone of voice. On MySpace, where it's normal to type as if you were text-messaging on your Nokia or Sidekick, a post written with correct spelling and grammar and accompanied with conservatism in photos and text content automatically rips you out of the fold as it fails to effectively convey any mood. And here's something that's been passed down the line for years: friend lists, created on MySpace to gain all access to a profile and those that have added the owner of the profile as a friend, and created on LiveJournal to assemble a separate page dedicated to updates from friends and grant access to journals that are closed to the public.

I'm not going to say that I find that wholly negative. One, I have an account (surprise, surprise, it's crystalwalrein) that I use to keep track of updates from journals I read often and, in the case of those closed to the public, throw content into the open should it relate to me. (Which reminds me, I need to have a word with Virtual Headache about links coming from her blog.) I don't post, but I'm seeing if I can have the Atom feed from this blog pressed into my page there so that I can have a legitimate reason for being there. Two, I find that people that post on LiveJournal have a lot more sense when it comes to spelling, grammar, and emotion — and such traits follow them to any Xanga or MySpace pages they may have. One PC moderator has a decently laid out LiveJournal page and adapted to this style of writing both on her Xanga and MySpace pages, which are laid out in lavender Georgia font on a black background (although it's a colour scheme that I'm not particularly a fan of, the style of writing, especially when put next to her first posts on PC, makes up for it).

Even though it's more likely that you'll find controlled writing on LiveJournal, a few grievous habits go unchecked. They're a common sight on forum posts, but on a blog created with Blogger these things would look severely out of place. The first one is the use of the tilde. Barring its standard orthographic use in the IPA and the Portuguese language as a nasalisation indicator, in Vietnamese it's used to represent a rapid cycle of tone for the vowel; this has obviously carried on to the point where a standalone tilde, which is now a swung dash, is placed at the end of a sentence to indicate a trailing off of voice ('days go by~'). It sounds pretty, but when you're blogging, it's a lot better to use an ellipsis, even if your tone is swinging; strictly speaking, the swung dash is never to be used as a punctuation mark. The second is emoticon usage. I tolerate smilies in chats and forum posts, albeit the only non-graphic smilies I'll ever use are 'O.o' (shock, and semicolons can represent sweat, which augments the level of shock) and, very rarely, 'XD' (breathless laughter; the amount of D's is extended as per the length or intensity of the person's reaction to the response). However, you are not to use them when you're blogging; the people at the typography house or printing company making books hate to see glyphs being used to create makeshift faces, and time has proven that it's never going to make it to the printed page or, for that matter, a correct blog.

So what does this make LiveJournal out to be? Forum posts. You have the use of smilies and swung dashes, although posts are a lot more educated that the stuff you see on the typical MySpace page. And I happen to like forums; otherwise, I wouldn't be moderating two major ones. So I say keep LiveJournal and blog away as much as you like on it; after all, it's a lot better than a web page that usually is made with horrible colour choices and littered with ostentatious photographs. And it's been around four years longer than that particular collection of photographs and horrible colour choices has.


Lucy said...

As you know I do own a LiveJournal. I used to have a MySpace...but that went kaboom. I just didn't get the setup of it. It happened when I first found out about it. Which it was about two years ago. Well during that time I had a LiveJournal, but I only had about one friend that posted in it. And I didn't have anything special going on with my life...so it stayed there. Not until mid 2005. When I started to know about LiveJournal and its customization. That was the fun part. Puting pictures as the background and customize posts. And snice then I been getting my friends from PC and they had LiveJournal. So I been adding everyone. ^^ Everyone have nice journals. Now if something important happened in my life, I will post. Probably my schedule for week(of work). Or what I am going to do for the week. It is actually fun. Your blog is nice too. I think I want one just like yours, or close to it.

Anthony Jake La said...

What sort of example do you refer to with referring to other hosted blog services when it comes to spelling and grammar? o.o