One of my Legions of Loyal Readers suggested today that livejournal might be not the most professional place to host an online journal. I know that's not a unique opinion; I read the journals of several people who keep their professional blog elsewhere and their personal journals on livejournal. I can't help wondering why, though.
Sure, the average reported age of a livejournal user is 18, and livejournal certainly has a reputation as a haven for cranky high-schoolers, and secondarily as home of the fanfiction bloggers, and thirdly as whatever all the 141,000 Russians are blogging about. But livejournal has 2.6 million active accounts, 6.5 million total, and only 1.5 million who self-report as under twenty.
Surely plenty of the remainder are adults and professionals, some reasonable minority of whom are using livejournal for professional purposes.
More importantly, I'm a huge proponent of allowing people to use the tool that best suits their needs. Back when I was in IT, I always tried -- occasionally successfully -- to mediate the tool fights: "You, tech people! Stop insisting that Emacs is the correct text editor for the HR department when Notepad (or Pico, if they were on Solaris) will do! You, management! Stop insisting that the developers read their e-mail in Outlook!" It ought to be about letting people use the tool that best suits their needs and lets them get their jobs done most efficiently.
So, blogging: as a blogger, either you don't want to encourage discussions, or you do. If you don't, then what tool you uses doesn't matter much from a reader perspective. But in my opinion, discussions are nigh impossible to follow without threaded comments. Not too many of the major blog products allow threaded comments: livejournal does, and slashcode (slashdot
), and whatever dailykos
uses. Most of the others provide long, nearly unreadable, unthreaded discussions (see makinglight
for a heavily commented yet unthreaded blog). From my perspective, then, livejournal is an *excellent* choice for a professional blog. It's free to set up, provides the hardware and software, offers threaded discussions, an easy posting interface, and an RSS feed if I'm willing to pay a token for a paid account. Yet clearly there's still some bias against having professional identities here.
So those of you who share that bias, please, tell me why. Would it go away if I were to embed the lj in a webpage hosted elsewhere, so the livejournal.com was invisible from the URL? Or is it something inherent in the design of livejournal, or something else entirely I'm missing?