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.