January 20th, 2015

beats working

Has it really been ten years?

I got asked recently by a Facebook friend why my LiveJournal blog is called aefenglommung. Actually, my blog is called The Daily Mustard; my LJ name is aefenglommung.

Well, when I started blogging in 2005, it was at the height of LJ's popularity. LJ, along with Xanga and MySpace, were attracting lots of people to the field. But folks were more careful about sharing personal details online in those days, so most LJ accounts had made-up monikers and limited personal data. Not that it stopped people from pouring out their angsty souls online, particularly among the young, but folks were more careful about at least some things.

Then came Facebook. Facebook positively encourages people to share everything about themselves. It's a data-mining dream. And people do share everything about themselves on FB. FB drained away from LJ and the other blogging sites all the folks who wanted to post little short responses and "how I feel today" updates. Those who stayed on LJ were those who wanted to think in whole paragraphs. Meanwhile, those who cannot even muster whole sentences to express themselves in roamed on and found Twitter. And Instagram.

Anyway, aefenglommung is a constructed compound from Old English, and it means "evening twilight." Æfen is OE for "even" -- still in poetic use as a form of "evening," as "morn" is still in use for "morning." Glommung became "gloaming" in ModE. I have been in love with OE since I was 14 years old. J.R.R. Tolkien got me interested in it.

Most of my fellow bloggers in the ministry field are using their own names. It's a professional thing. I've considered doing that; I mean, my actual name is not exactly a secret, even on LJ. But after ten years (my LJ 10th anniversary will be on January 29), I'm kind of set. This is my on-line identity, such as it is.

I still prefer LJ for blogging, though there is much more traffic over on FB. Facebook doesn't do long-form posts well. Also, posting pictures directly to FB is a problem (you give away your rights, among other things). So, I do little status updates and such on FB and comment on friends' pages, but all my longer pieces and graphics are posted on LJ first, then linked to in a FB post.