anildash (anildash) wrote,
anildash
anildash

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LJ really is something different

I get to talk a good bit about LiveJournal, since I do a lot of public speaking on behalf of Six Apart, or about blogs in general. And one of the ways that I've been referring to LJ is as "the original online community for original thinkers". Basically, it's my shorthand way of saying "yeah, maybe the stereotype is that people on LJ are weird, but really it's just that they're different. And there's a lot of us that are different."

Although I dress like a suit a lot of the time these days, so maybe all my indie cred is gone. ONOZ.

Anyway, the point was amplified to me by some of the recent analysis I've seen about LJ. Most notably, Discover magazine picked up the story about the great analysis by Matthew Hurst of Microsoft. (Shout out to Matthew for using LJ's Serious Business sister service, TypePad.)

In the graph that Discover used, LJ is the distinct part in the upper right corner. Check out Matthew's first graph to get an idea of how truly distinct LJ is.

That image, to me was reassuring -- LJ is different than the rest of the blogosphere, though obviously it's loosely connected to it. And if LJ shows up as substantial, well-established, and a little bit off to the side of the other millions of blogs out there, I think that's just fine.

Also relevant, of course, is XKCD's map of online communities. Given that LJ shares some open source tech with Facebook and some audience with Xanga, I don't mind that it's between them both on the map. But I think it'd be more appropriate as an island. :)

Interestingly, the relationships between all these different communities were confirmed for me when I wrote my recent post on LOLcats and kitty pidgin; The link to my post spread through different online communities at different times, and the diffusion on LJ was almost totally distinct and unconnected to the other communities. The post hasn't been huge on Digg or MySpace, at least yet. I take that as something of a compliment. ;)
Tags: blogosphere, charts, community, livejournal, lj, maps
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