Today is the 13th anniversary of the launch of my LiveJournal account. Back then, LJ was one of the best blogging platforms there was. It still is, come to that. But the craze for blogging then was really the precursor to social media generally. Few LJ'ers were writing long-form posts. There were a lot a cartoons and pictures and memes and comments simply of the "LOL" variety.
Once Facebook became generally available, lots of people with LJ accounts began drifting over there and quit posting on LJ. New users looking for a place to be noticed and post cat pictures went straight to Facebook. FB is now the 300 lb gorilla of the internet, though younger, hipper kids seem more interested in Snapchat, Instagram, etc. I mean, who wants to use the same social media platform your grandmother does?
So, why am I still here on LJ? Well, because I am of the minority who write long-form posts. I think in whole paragraphs. And I like the LJ interface. (I also have a permanent account, with lots of pictures. I have a lot invested here.) I have a FB account, too, which I check more often than I do my LJ account, but FB really isn't equipped for writing anything more than two or three paragraphs. So I write my long-form posts here and share them there.
Some of my LJ posts are mere whimsy, but others are scholarly and/or professional. LJ allows me to share theological stuff, sermons, Bible study materials, Scouting best practices. It is a vehicle for me to do the ministry to which I was called by God.
I could never have known, thirteen years ago, how much of my ministry would be conducted on the internet. I used my FB account to keep up with parishioners and work for various causes with my colleagues. My LJ account allowed me to explore a lot of things in-depth, which I could then share more widely by posting links on FB. I don't have a personal web page, though if I were pastoring a church again, I would certainly want my congregation to have one. To reach the people you want to reach, you have to have multiple, integrated platforms.
For how shall they hear without a preacher?