Social networking forerunner
It is considered an endless font of drama, as users frequently have very public arguments and trolling runs rampant in some areas. Users can choose to lock down their blogs, or journals as they're known on the site, to allow access to only specific users or to display their thoughts to the entire web. This feature applies to communities (where several writers contribute to the same blog) as well as individuals. Locked down journals are termed friends-only, as users who follow each other's journals are considered "friends", regardless of any actual friendship. This terminology has led to numerous upsets over the course of the site's existence, especially when dealing with the plague of serial adders that occurred in the mid 2000s.
LJ was created and launched by Fitzpatrick on April 15, 1999 and used as a method to keep his family and friends informed of his activities and whereabouts. From September of 2001 to December 2003, the site functioned in an invite-only manner, preventing users from creating multiple troll accounts and reducing strain on the webservers used. During this time, several imitation sites were founded which did not include this system, based on Fitzpatrick's open source framework for the site.
Currently LiveJournal is owned by Russian company SUP, who in 2009 laid off a number of San Francisco-based employees (San Francisco was where LJ was headquartered for some time) and moved most operations to Russia. Previous to SUP's ownership, LJ was purchased from Fitzpatrick's company, Danga Interactive, by blogging company SixApart in 2005. SixApart sold it to SUP in 2007.
Despite changes in ownership, the site still has a tremendous number of users. It has, however, lost relevance with the development of websites such as Facebook and microblogging services such as Twitter.
- Founded in 1999.
- Currently owned by SUP
- Currently offers five varieties of accounts: basic, plus (ad-supported), early adopter, paid, and permanent.
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