Wednesday, July 27, 2011

welcome to the new home

Good morning. LiveJournal, at which I've been blogging since 2004, seems to be undergoing terminal technical meltdown, and to some extent seems to be taking its offshoot Dreamwidth with it. (Anyway, I've never been at ease with Dreamwidth, which seems to me to fall into the uncanny valley of simultaneous close similarity to and disconcerting difference from LJ.)

I feel very sorry for the noble Russian dissidents who form a large part of the LJ user base and who are the targets of the DOS attacks that are causing LJ's problems, and who apparently have nowhere else to go, but I see no need to demonstrate my solidarity by refraining from posting somewhere else. It's frustrating, for, as I recently wrote there, I'd prefer to stay on LJ, but I need a platform that, like, works.

For several reasons I decline to go to Facebook, the currently fashionable perch of many of my friends. Its appalling corporate disregard for its users' privacy is sufficient reason by itself, but there are others which predated that in my concern. Its platform is designed to encourage frequent very short posts, which I find distracting and irritating to read in large bulk. My mind is not equipped to flit among people at such rates, however much I want to keep up with what they're doing or saying. FB is largely inaccessible to readers who are not themselves FB members, while I have always had readers (and commenters) who are not LJ members. And FB seems not to keep archives, while the primary value of my own posts for my own use has always been as a diary and aide-memoire of my past concert-going and other activities.

And so I turn to Blogger or Blogspot or whatever this is called, which several of my friends have been on for some years, so I am trusting that they like it. I regret the absence of aggregation, which was the feature that initially appealed to me about LJ, but I can live without that. I hope that my friends will find this new blog, read it if they like, and even comment on it. My intention is, as it was on LJ, to write posts of up to a few hundred words, usually no more often than once a day, and not always that often.

Lastly, this offers me an opportunity to use the preferred spelling of my username, Kalimac, which was unavailable when I joined LJ. Kalimac Brandagamba, as explained in notes buried deep in the last appendix to J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, was the "untranslated" "genuine Hobbitish" name of Merry Brandybuck, the character I most closely identify with. He's a practical fellow who can take care of himself, but he's also a stuffy little pedant who spends all his time in Rivendell looking at maps. That's me. Early in my online days I sometimes used Meriadoc, his full name in the story, as a handle on bulletin boards where anonymity was desirable, but every time I did so, I found that others were desperately eager to inform me that they knew where the name come from. I tired of this and decided that I hadn't been obscure enough. Hence Kalimac.


  1. Hi David
    Since my daughter posts on Blogger, I've been a member for ages.
    If you want to aggregate a reading list, use Google Reader. Technically, you can put any blog on Reader, but the Blogger stuff works best. I just had to press "Follow" on the top header.
    Blogger itself also has a smaller aggregate function. If you don't use Reader, Go to your Dashboard, and you'll see an aggregate of Everyone on Blogger you have decided to Follow. I like Reader better, but Dashboard works as well.
    I do hope LJ feels better, meanwhile I will follow you here.

  2. The Blogger Reading List will aggregate Blogger postings, similarly to the LJ Friends list. I assume you are familiar with feed readers (Google Reader, for example) for aggregating postings from multiple blogging platforms.