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LiveJournal and the World

One of the main reasons for LiveJournal's charms is that it was invented in isolation. When bradfitz came up with the idea, he was unaware of the already extant blogging phenomenon, and really, it's just as well. It might be in part thanks to this ignorance that LJ has the friends and communities and commenting networks which give it its own particular features and style.

Because LiveJournal was designed to favor internal communities, it's retained a comfortable insularity. For example, if you reply to a post anonymously, LJ doesn't cue you to leave your email address and non-LJ website or weblog URL. There's nothing wrong with this: it's a natural consequence of the setup which encourages visitors to become users. Still, it's because of this internality that LiveJournal Review can have cause for complaint about the Technorati ratings.

Now for those of you who've never heard of Technorati in your life, Technorati ratings are the most recent and actively used version of the blogging ecosystem, tracking who is linking to whom and who is quoting who. With LJ, the emphasis is on following other peoples' posts and comments. With Blogger (major, widely used, weblog software; the company which owns it, Pyra Labs, is the one which was recent bought by Google), one of the abilities which comes with the free version of the product is including lists of links on the main page of a weblog. Consequently Blogger users are natural candidates for high Technorati ratings.

Why am I telling you all this? In part, it's to give some context for the LJ Review comments. In part, it's to let those of you craving a part in the world outside LJ to do things like alert weblogs.com to your existence with their ping webpage (if you show up on weblogs.com, your page will be followed by Technorati). Partly, it's because, while I don't often talk about the rest of the weblog world, I do follow a fair amount of it.

Really, though, it's because, while LJ Review has a point, and it does bother me when discusses of weblogs in general neglect the existence of LJ (now approaching a million accounts!), it doesn't bother me that LJ doesn't have a built-in relationship with weblogs.com, and advertising its members work because, much as it might lead to even more people joining LJ in order to participate more easily in LJ discussions, it would equally go against one of LJ's basic premises - the best audience for our writing, especially writing about everyday life, is one composed of our friends, be they online or offline ones. And our friends don't (usually) need to check an impersonal medium such as weblogs.com or Technorati in order to discover that our work exists.

Update: In a fit of bad timing, it seems that both LJ Stats and Technorati are having problems at the moment. Technorati is failing to return link cosmoses (is that the plural?) and LJ Stats isn't working as it's meant to. Presumably both will be back to normal soon.