LiveJournal is a website where users can keep a journal. It was founded in 1999 by Brad Fitzpatrick, an undergraduate computer science student who transformed his personal journaling app into something others could use too.
In addition to writing and posting journal entries, LiveJournal users can also share their comments in message board-style threads. All users–even non-paying ones–can set various options for commenting: who can read their journal; screening different types of comments before they are displayed; or disabling all commenting altogether.
They can set their privacy levels to make certain aspects of their journal private, such as username or userpics; or create a friends-locked journal where only those on their friend list can read it. Furthermore, users can join LiveJournal communities and friend other members within these groups.
As of 2014, the site boasted an international user base of 10 million uniques and 30 million monthly visitors in the United States alone. It offers custom blogging themes, domain mapping, and other features that enable users to customize their accounts; this includes uploading graphical avatars (known as “userpics”) which appear next to a member’s name in prominent areas on the webpage such as Internet forums.
It boasts a high user participation rate, as it serves not only as an online diary but also serves as a social space where users engage with each other in various ways. This makes it popular with groups of friends who share an interest or school students looking for another learning resource.
LiveJournal stands out from other sites like MySpace and Facebook, where blogs are typically created independently from the rest of the website. Here all content – posts, comments, pictures – is centralized in one place so it’s accessible to anyone who visits the site.
This encourages a more vibrant, engaging, and persistent community. Additionally, it is more user-friendly than many other websites so even non-technical users can learn how to use it with little difficulty.
Platforms such as Blogger.com provide an ideal option for those who wish to blog but lack the time or resources to construct and launch their own website. Plus, posting on one single blog post can reach a vast number of readers.
LiveJournal accounts are free, but not without some downsides. It has been known to have issues with management and suspension or purging accounts without warning or explanation, leading to distain among users towards both the site and its staff.
In 2007, Strikethrough occurred and more than 500 accounts were suspended without warning or explanation. This caused a great deal of distrust between users and the site’s managers, which ultimately manifested in user migration to other platforms.