Welcome to Aquarionics. Just in case this hasn’t come up before, the whole point of Aquarionics is that it is defined as whatever I want it to be at the moment. Currently that means a start page for me to stay up to date with other people and very little else. Work is causing fun stuff, three hours commute a day is causing a lack of time, and said three hours streaching to six because it is an apparent impossiblity for both First Great Western trains and the Met/Circle/HammerCit Lines to have their act together at once.
But this entry isn’t about that. This entry is about public diaries, and definitions of such. My central position on the subject of online diaries is that a diary is either public or private. Never submit to a website anything you don’t mind the world reading. In my case, that definition is a little closer. Aquarionics will never get anything that I wouldn’t want my mum to read, simply because my mum reads it 🙂
I know several people who keep semi-private diaries. In the OpenDiary sense, this means that the only people who can read it are other OD members or people given their own username/password for it. In the LiveJournal sense this means only people on their Friends list can read it. This idea is the central reason why I dislike LJ, the assumption that if you don’t have a LJ, you can’t be my real friend.
I still hate it, and hate the cliquism it generates, but I can now see the point of it. The central reason for me starting this weblog, back in early 2000, was to keep in touch with friends and family while I was at University. For a while, I had two journals, this – which was pretty damn personal – and an OpenDiary, which was for a specific level of personal posts I wanted to hide from a specific set of people. Natually this failed, and it just became a different diary (One of the many things I lost when my hard-drive was wiped a couple of weeks ago). Shit happened, as shit does, and I took it off OD completely when it threatened to hurt someone.
At that point, I decided upon the solution above, I will not put anything online I didn’t want the entire world to read, simply because the people I don’t want reading it might stumble on it if it’s just “not linked to by anyone”, or be looking over someone’s shoulder, or someone can’t see the harm in showing them, or, or…
My complete lack of faith in humanity in general to do what I want them to, really.
So I started to get annoyed when friend after friend got LiveJournals, and then made them private. I wouldn’t – and don’t – trust any volenteer maintained system with that kind of information on me. Credit-card details, maybe. Dirt, not. This is where I saw the line, and that is where it’s been for a while.
Recently though, I’ve seen a real reason for it, and it’s a real reason that annoys me. A few people that I know live lifestyles that some others disapprove of (This isn’t difficult. It’s hard to do anything anywhere without someone disliking your insulting predisposition to breath while doing it) and they have done so. Loudly. Insultingly, and in comments, of the “You’re making it up”, “You discust me” and other unhelpful comments. This falls short of the line as drawn above, it’s not something they don’t want the world to read – they couldn’t care less if the world knew – and there is an audience of people who follow their life via the diary, but the constant barrage of insults gets them down.
I still think that it should be possible to read a small-f friends LiveJournal when you are not a capital-f Friend in LiveJournal, by some kind of readers account thing, but LJ accounts are free, it might be worth getting one to follow my friends’ lives.