Originally, I started my LJ as a political blog, and that almost by accident. I'd been exchanging e-mails with Jane, whom I'd kept running into on other blogs and who had just started a blog of her own, Armies of Liberation. She kept nudging me to start a blog of my own. I resisted, but (IIRC) at some point I felt moved to respond to a post by the fabulous ginmar. Commenting on a LiveJournal post, I promptly discovered, is not like commenting on a BlogSpot post, in that you have to start your own LiveJournal account to get commenting access. Which meant that ... I became a blogger. (BTW, I don't keep Ginmar on my friendslist only because she is extremely prolific and I've found her writing tends to dominate the screen when I f-list her. Also, for reasons explained below, I prefer to keep my LJ space non-political. But Ginmar is an absolutely phenomenal writer.)
Or rather: I became an LJer. I understand LJ doesn't like to be confused with "blogging". Be that as it may.
Just a couple of weeks later, I finally broke down (again, I blame Jane ... and Omar and Mohammed, it's their fault too) and got a blog on BlogSpot. That became the focus of my political blogging, and it remains so to this day. (My political blog is the middle link on the sidebar of my LJ.)
I pretty much let my LiveJournal account lie fallow for a long time, posting an occasional "hi there" post every few weeks but nothing more. In fact, there is a gap of over a year between my April 25, 2004 and my May 23, 2005 LJ posts.
I returned to LJ in earnest with this post dated December 2, 2005. I was feeling really burnt-out from political blogging and needed an escape. It was at that point that I basically decided I would reserve my LJ for purely personal, non-political writing and save the poltics for my site on Blogger. Occasionally I've bent the rules, but I like the set-up in general. So far it's been working very well.
One of these days I may write a post reflecting on the different structures of LJ and Blogger. Blogger is great for political rants - it's a huge auditorium, with a stage and a podium and a microphone, and you get to take your turn in the spotlight haranguing the invisible, anonymous crowd. LiveJournal is different: it's a face-to-face chat with friends over coffee and bagels. With Blogger, the goal is to get as many hits as you can: you install SiteMeter and begin trying to promote your blog. After all, you are sharing your brilliant insights with the world, and you want the greatest number of people to profit by your wisdom! With LJ, it's different. They don't make it particularly easy to install a SiteMeter ... but then, why would you want one? You've got your FriendsList. And if you're nice, and treat people respectfully, they'll add you to their FriendsList and you can be assured they'll follow your postings regularly. And if you write something really personal, you can always designate it a "friends-only" post. (The "friends-only" post is a concept that's entirely foreign to Blogger. What, you don't want the entire planet to read your thoughts?!?)
So, I didn't mean to write it, but I think I just wrote it ... does anybody detect a pattern here? Anyway, thanks to all those on my f-list and to any occasional readers as well. It's been fun getting to know all of you over the internet, and I look forward to continuing the relationship in the coming year. And I'm hoping to get to meet some of you in person! That would be REALLY cool.