What it’s all about

Back from the Left Coast, which I will get into later. In the meantime, it occurred to me that I hadn’t let anyone know of the particulars regarding the Hidden Message.

Previously, I’d written all my thoughts in my LiveJournal, which served very well for a number of years. Over the last few months, a number of things changed concerning this arrangement. The first was the launch of my own podcast. The Secret Frequency, as it’s called, focuses primarily on my politics and my work in the Green Party, but it does also fulfill one of the needs that I had in starting my LJ: I wanted my own radio show, in effect…a soapbox where I could sound off on my ideas. There was also the nonsense that LJ has forayed into – from the Great Strikethrough through the sale to SUP, all with a profound lack of attention to customer service, verging on at times an outright disdain for bloggers and their content and privacy. I didn’t feel comfortable blogging there any more…I wished to be more in control of my words and how they were read, be more sure of the sanctity of my content, and be treated as a customer rather than a commodity.

A quick poll of my readers on LJ, most of whom really are friends of mine, not just in the LJ sense of being readers of my journal, revealed a profound sense of inertia – most really didn’t care about LJ’s shenanigans, as long as they themselves weren’t being directly affected by them, and even then, so long as it didn’t interfere with their ability to remain in contact with their friends, some of whom were now geographically dispersed from when they knew them originally. I’m not upset about that, nor do I think it unreasonable. Some have intimated I was being paranoid, and I suppose I won’t dispute that…but then, given things which I tend to see in advance (as I mentioned in my last post), I’ll take that over any alternative. The main reason is a matter of customer service: if I’m dissatisfied with the service, I’ll take my business elsewhere.

The idea I got from that poll was that, for those reading, LJ really was a social network more than anything else; what was being said wasn’t as big of a deal as the fact that I was saying something and showing I was still in the loop somehow. This tends to manifest itself with posts about kitties and lots of memes describing what kind of Pokemon you would be if you were one. Again, I don’t mind that at all – heck, I do it, too – but a part of what I wanted to achieve with my writing was more serious. I wanted to write to prove that I could, and to cover topics that were deeper and more thoughtful. I suppose there was also a secondary theme of convincing others of my point of view on a variety of topics, but I would hope I’m not so insecure that I would also not appreciate a considered debate on those issues.

Thus, I decided on a compromise. I’d keep the LJ open for just those “I-have-a-kitty” posts, and open another blog for serious writing projects. (In reviewing the tags I used most often on my LJ, they ended up being: politics, greens, my health, in the news, sex, and so on. Most of those will now be here.)

And yes, there will be some posts about sex. To publish them in such a way that they will not be offending anyone, I’ve decided for the time being to fall back on an old Usenet standby: rot13. Simply, I’ll encode the posts and give a link to decode them easily – if you don’t know, “rot13” simply means to replace each letter with the letter 13 places ahead in the alphabet, wrapping around to the beginning if necessary.

I’ll have some more on this later. Bed for now.

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