In these times of Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, we tend to assume that everyone has abandoned LiveJournal — the community-oriented blogging platform that peaked about a decade ago, pre-dating even Friendster and MySpace by several years. Strangely, it was Facebook and The Social Network, which includes scenes of Mark Zuckerberg trashing an ex-girlfriend on his LJ, that got us thinking about the site again.
Acquired by blogging giant Six Apart in 2005, it was sold less than three years later to a Russian corporation, where the company now focuses its efforts. (Even the country’s president, Dmitry Medvedev, has his own LJ.) But that doesn’t mean it’s lost all U.S. relevance yet. In fact, some notable cultural figures continue to maintain their LJ presence. Check out who’s still there — a list that includes ’90s alternative stars, cult writers, and current emo sensations — after the jump.
It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that a musician with so much angsty teen appeal — and one who’s fond of working every possible marketing angle — has held onto her LiveJournal. She’s a “friend of” 500 other LJ users, which is pretty impressive until you realize that her Twitter followers top 450k. These days, most entries are teasers for posts at her blog, but she does sometimes tack up an inspirational quote. Fun fact: She’s also a member of the groups “feminist_rage,” “vaginapagina,” and “wtf_sexism.”
These days, he may be more famous for his Twitter feuds with Courtney Love, but the Great Pumpkins does, in fact, retain a LiveJournal. Its profile page features a photo of him in a funny hat. The blog is sparsely updated and fairly press release-heavy, although Corgan does seem to drop a less formal note for his 2100+ followers every once in a while.
Adults may not know Vizzini by name, but if you’ve watched or seen the trailers for the new film It’s Kind of a Funny Story, you’re aware of his work. The 29-year-old author wrote the semi-autobiographical YA book that was adapted for the movie, along with two other novels. And you know what? He’s got a pretty big LJ presence, including a detailed post on seeing the film for the first time, complete with an array of photos.
The anti-folk troubadour who got her big break soundtracking Juno also maintains a LiveJournal, although her posts are somewhat sparse. She gives us new tour dates and videos, chastises old fans for mocking her new “Juno fans,” and even fills out those LJ surveys you might remember from high school!
Eccentric British author and comic book world hero Warren Ellis has long maintained an active LiveJournal. He tends to update several times a day, with interesting links, photos, and personal and professional updates. Recently, he’s been writing a bit about RED , the new Helen Mirren/Bruce Willis movie that was adapted from one of his mini-series.
More talented character actor than A-list celeb, James Urbaniak is perhaps best known as the actor who played R. Crumb in the 2003 Harvey Pekar film American Splendor. He also appeared in indie hit Henry Fool, Charlie Kaufman spy flick Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, and Julie Taymor’s Beatles tribute Across the Universe. Stoners may also know him as the voice of the villainous Phantom Limb on Adult Swim favorite The Venture Bros. Urbaniak is fairly active on LJ, posting news about the TV show, as well as fun videos and musings on internet memes. He also wrote a touching tribute to Pekar after the author’s death in July.
It only makes sense that an emo-pop band with a largely teenage following would maintain at least some LiveJournal presence. The group certainly seems to update the blog personally, with most notes coming fast, loose, and (in classic LJ-style) generally uncapitalized from flame-haired frontwoman Hayley Williams. Back at the beginning of the year, she considered pulling the plug on the site but ultimately re-embraced LJ’s ability to let Paramore connect directly to fans.
The author of dark, funny, homoerotic novels that have won her cult fame, as well as a major biography of Courtney Love, Poppy Z. Brite is a regular LiveJournal user. She writes about her life, writing, gardening, and her hometown of New Orleans in clean, enjoyable prose.