Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Beginnings - Remembering J-Land

Seems that recently an anniversary came and went.  One for AOL's now defunct journal (blog) community.  It was known to those who participated there as J-Land.  And it was a place unlike any other I have come across on the web. 

I stumbled upon it quite by accident.  Read a few journals and thought "this might be for me, the medium I was looking for".  Back then, April 2005, Pete worked full time and I was a full time housewife.  I was looking for a little social interaction with other women and an outlet to share my faith and experience in Christ.  I found so many warm, real people there!  A mixture of evangelicals, Catholics, atheists and a sprinkling of others.  The wealthy, the poor and a big slice of middle America.  With a smattering of blogs from the British Isles and elsewhere.  There were entries of the daily grind, life's tragedies and celebrations, thought provoking issues, cartoons.  We became friends there.  Extended family.

We made fun of AOL (AOhell), made suggestions to AOL.  They tweaked and tried to listen.  Tried to be as involved in our community as we were.  Then one day someone said journals weren't profitable for AOL and we were asked to move or save our materials.

Most of us came over to blogger.  Some gave up blogging all together.  A few looked for other hosting.  As devastating to the community as the move was, I don't think it impacted us as much as the fast rise of other social media, like Facebook, did.  I, too, tried it but soon tired of it's nonsense games and short, quick status updates.  It was like a steady diet of candy instead of meat & potatoes.  

So much has changed.  Among ex J-Landers, here on blogger and in my own life.  I had a son entering high school and a pre-schooler, now I have a young man and a girl going into middle school.  Pete & I have slowly changed places with me working full time and he at the house, doing what he can, waiting for answers to his health issues.

But one thing has not changed.  No, two.  I'll never forget J-Land and the folks from there that have helped, encouraged and enlightened me.  And I still love this medium first and foremost on the web.       

6 comments:

  1. Hey Barbara- you know I loved J land too, but have become comfortable here. Most important for me about J land besides giving me and outlet to save my family and friends from my sometimes over bearing opinions ;-) are the friends and brothers and sisters in Christ that I found. I am so greatful for them and for me finding you all. Some are as close as my physical family members!
    I've been blessed to meet so many I can share with, pray with and for, care about and laugh with and most of all the encouragement I've gotten- hopefully given some as well. I still pray for you and Pete for different things every day dear sister of mine! I miss you both on facebook, but understand your thoughts about that LOL, and know you're so busy these days. Just know I think about you often! God Bless and tell Pete "hey" for me too :-) Love me

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  2. Hi Barbara,

    I know it's been a while since I have stopped by, but I hope you and Pete are well.

    I miss J-Land too. Nelishia introduced me to it & I started writing my journal July 2007. I was excited about the prospect of finally having a forum in which to express my political viewpoint besides just an occasional passing comment in a conversation.

    I really miss the community there that doesn't exist anywhere else. When I had to make the switch, I seriously considered not writing anymore as many did. There are a few that tried to recreate the community here, but it has not happened. I think it's largely due to Blogger being quite semi-private. No way to search out blogs like there was on AOL.

    I agree with you totally about Facebook. Nelishia are on it daily, & I do play a couple of the games there. The coolest thing about it is that I've reconnected with old classmates and others I grew up with who I haven't heard from in anywhere from 30-45 years. But much of the status updates - hard for me to say that it's even up to candy level. I'm now spending more time doing research for my my blog articles & writing.

    I, too, will never forget J-Land. It was an awesome time with so many great people. It was amazingly a very close-knit community of people that for the most part had never met each other. Very unique indeed.

    God Bless You All!

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  3. I miss it too and was hoping Guido's try at honoring the anniversary would inspire many to update at blogger... I have been back to blogging regularly again myself... still pop into facebook daily too though since that is where most everyone is... Have a great day! :)

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  4. I have never heard about this but it seems that it was certainly a place that you were meant to be at that time.

    I can't seem to get into facebook, although I have an account there. maybe it will just take me some time to get used to something new. .......but I'd rather eat meat and potaotoes, too! LOL

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  5. hi barbara, nice post & good blog, i think u must try this site to increase traffic. hope you have a nice day & keep blogging!!!

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So glad you stopped by! Come 'round any time. ~ Barbara

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