LiveJournal was one of the first “social networks” around. It combined the ability to post thoughts and receive comments with the ability to link to various other people through common interests ranging from writing stories about grown men having sex with children to writing stories about children having sex with grown men. LiveJournal has since been replaced by other systems that are far and away superior to it, but it still maintains a hefty userbase, mostly of geeks, who still think it’s the bee’s knees. In fact, many LiveJournal users enjoy looking down their nose at people who merely have blogs.

This is partly because geeks despise change. Anything that is different from how the geek first got into it is bad and wrong and must be avoided. It’s also partly because, to be fair, many of them have deep and long-term LiveJournal relationships already established based on mutual love of not drinking soda and see no need to abandon them.

But if you look at some of the features of LiveJournal, it becomes pretty clear why geeks are enamored of it. Being a proto-social network, it allows you to have a list of friends. You can lock some posts so that only your friends can read them, and you can drop a friend from your list so that person won’t be able to see those postings anymore. This ability to see who has “friended” you and limit items solely to your friends means that LiveJournal is an excellent resource for setting up your own echo chamber where everyone can tell you how pretty, talented, and awesome you are, and anyone who is insufficiently flattering can be deemed a “troll” and banished.

Thus, LiveJournal is essentially a virtual high school where the geeks can enjoy all the fun of cliques and ostracizing others that they may have missed out on during actual high school. They can engineer high drama through friend list manipulation and get violently upset when they find out they have done something that has disappointed snapelovervampyre. Nothing on LiveJournal is so ridiculous and petty that it can’t be blown up into a full-scale raging Geekageddon that sends countless echoes and reverberations through the Internet. (Actually, just through LiveJournal, but for many LiveJournal users, it is the entire extent of the Internet.)

The fact that LiveJournal is also the number one website for writing stories about various Harry Potter characters having sex with each other is just a bonus. It is difficult to take even the most cursory of browses through LiveJournal and not come away thinking that 99% of it is devoted to documenting the different possible configurations of Hogwarts-enrolled genitalia.

On LiveJournal, Snape gets more ass than a toilet seat.

On LiveJournal, Snape gets more ass than a toilet seat.

Geeks love LiveJournal so much that when it does something that bugs them, such as pointing out that the Harry Potter characters are owned by someone else and are all underage, making the sex stories about them somewhat dubious, the LiveJournal people won’t actually leave and go to a different network, they just have a pretend boycott for a day. Despite the undeniable power displayed by them not posting for 24 hours, they really got a voice when an election was held for a meaningless advisory board seat and the winner (after much high drama) was legomymalfoy, who immediately made her journal private afterwards.

Unsurprisingly, having so many hive-minded geeks in the same place results in them getting a vastly overrated opinion of their importance. In any particular LiveJournal community devoted to some geek subject you’ll find the erroneous belief that, should all those members be suddenly wiped out with a well-aimed grenade, the item of their admiration would instantly cease to exist. LiveJournal allows them a common area to complain about how the creators of that item are inexplicably not keeping these geeks at the forefront of their thoughts when making plans.

Perhaps the single greatest example of this is the scans_daily community, which scans and posts current comic books. They’re not unaware that there are laws against this; they simply feel that, as fans, they are entitled to ignore them. Here they can buy comics, scan and post them, and then complain because the books are slapping them in the face. The geeks in this particular community are twice as enraged because they simultaneously fail to get the respect they deserve from both comic companies and the LiveJournal owners. But again, they wouldn’t dream of setting up shop elsewhere.

LiveJournal is a complete geek clubhouse, where you can not only discuss Liam Neeson slash fiction, but can exclude pagansexpony and talk mean about her in secret if she has been particularly heretical about pretend Liam Neeson porn.

It’s just like high school except that vampires and geeks are cool, and therefore geeks LOVE LiveJournal.

3 Responses

  1. You forgot to mention the fact that if you don’t have a LiveJournal account, you can only reply as “Anonymous” (if they’ll let you reply at all) at which point you’ll be branded a worthless non-LJ-having coward.

  2. Or Dave could just use an Open ID account, like his Blogger, Yahoo!, Flickr, WordPress, etc. and join the rest of us in Web2.0.

  3. […] people have of discovering new titles, or even comic books in general, because remember, this is LiveJournal, and for most people there, the Internet outside LiveJournal is a vast, uncharted wasteland peopled […]

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