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There was LiveJournal, though, and the FBI woke me up that morning calling and asking questions about stuff some users had been writing....
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wow, so many intense experiences
Yeah... E-mail was the only thing working that morning for me. I couldn't make a phone call on either my cell or my dorm phone. Oh and I was in Milwaukee.

When did LJ launch? I don't think I found it until sometime around 2003.
April 14, 1999. A couple months before Blogger (and the word "blog" becoming popular)
Interesting, what did you tell them. I am not even sure what kind of privacy concerns there might have been then.
+Brad Fitzpatrick Ah I see. Blogger was my first intro to blogging.... (If you don't count the "news" page on my first website.) The posts still exist somewhere. Actually, I think I imported them into my LJ. Which does still exist...or did exist anyway last time I checked. I bought one of the permanent accounts when you had one of the sales. Of course, I haven't touched my LJ account in forever.
I think looking up usernames and their registration emails / IPs, maybe? Forget.
I still have my IRC logs from that morning. Where I heard most of my news. :P
Yup, and I wrote in my LJ about it too. I'd actually started my account only about 3 months beforehand. 
Brad, please reinvent blogging. I imagine that a "next-generation blog" (NGB) can both publish your own posts and receive your friends' blog posts (like receiving an email), so that they function like a virtual, decentralized social network.

For example, there are two people, Alice and Bob, and their NGB accounts are:


Alice can share with Bob by adding Bob's NGB address to a "circle" of hers in her NGB user interface. If Bob accepts that sharing, every time Alice creates a new post in that circle, Alice's NGB server ( will send that post to Bob's NGB server (, and that post will show up in Bob's incoming stream in near real-time.
That is to say, if blogs can send messages to each other, we can do without "social networks" like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ :-)
Well, not just "blogs", but yes, we're in agreement.
It's funny how many of the things people like so much about Google+ are basically just nicer-looking, less functional versions of features that LJ had in place a decade ago. It really was ahead of its time.
+Scott Hammack - Except Google+ has 'Real Names' (tm)! That makes it better! Much better! I feel so much safer and more secure now that the spambots that try to put me in their circles have first and last names and stuff!

Actually, I agree with you. Circles are better thought out and implemented than friend groups were, in my opinion. But I still think LJ is overall a better platform than Google+ is in terms of straight technology.
Since everyone has started talking about LJ, I've just got to add that my greatest community involvement online, of more than superficial social contact, was on LJ. Come to think of it, I can't think of many other sites where there's a good mix of personal space and community space within the same platform.

Brad, I've always wondered if you miss working on LJ.
+Jay Rossiter Whatever floats the boat. But of course there should be a public protocol that enables blogs to send messages to each other, just like the email protocol.
The federated social web and Diaspora both around and not doing so well, unfortunately. 
+Matthew Gregg Probably those previous attempts (Google Wave, distributed social networks) are not simple enough. The simplest way is to let blogs send messages to each other like email accounts, so that your blog gets your friends' new posts in real time :-)
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