LiveJournal: Not for everyone
March 13, 2014

LiveJournal: Not for everyone

Holly Bowen | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 4 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction

My LiveJournal expertise is based on 12 years of personal experience. In general, LiveJournal is not necessarily intended for use by professional organizations; the vast majority of its users are simply hobbyists who post diary- or blog-style content to their own personal journals or to interest-based communities. That being said, there is nothing stopping a professional organization from using LiveJournal for internal and/or external communications. Users may create communities with restricted membership, so an organization could set up a blog or bulletin board for its own employees. In my experience, using LiveJournal for external communications would prove more difficult, as most content is user-generated and not affiliated with any sort of business pursuits.
  • The friends list feature aggregates content posted by the users and communities you follow, so you don't have to visit each individual journal.
  • The privacy settings are easy to use and understand. Posts can be set as public, friends-only, private, or you can create a custom privacy filter that enables access only by certain users you have approved.
  • LiveJournal offers a wide variety of journal styles and customization options, with the most options available to paid subscribers.
  • Communities enable users to make online friends and connections who share similar interests. Users may comment on posts and initiate conversations with original authors and other commenters.
  • It is difficult to discover new content on LiveJournal unless you know where to look. The search feature needs improvement; for example, searching for a specific term will not produce a comprehensive list of entries, although some will appear. Rather than browsing for new content, it's better to use LiveJournal to follow the blogs of specific users or communities.
  • Organizations hoping to use LiveJournal to advertise products or services may be met with resistance from users who see the platform primarily as a tool for informal communication.
  • Posts are generally displayed in reverse chronological order. In communities with a large number of users and posts, content can be pushed down so far on the page that it may be overlooked. Someone may post a topic first thing in the morning, only for 25 other people to post to the community over the course of the day. Users must scroll through all of the day's posts in order to reach that first morning topic. Unlike a discussion forum or message board, the posts do not show up as a condensed, easy-to-access list of topics.
  • I have not used LiveJournal in a business setting.
LiveJournal is similar to Tumblr in that most of its content is user-generated and informal, but LiveJournal posts tend to feature more text than visuals. Image and video posts are popular on Tumblr thanks in part to its effective tagging system, whereas LiveJournal is primarily used for text-based entries that may or may not feature supporting visuals. LiveJournal also features a tagging system, but it's more difficult to find new content because many users restrict access to their posts so that only approved users ("friends") may read them.
LiveJournal does, however, offer more opportunities for interaction than Tumblr. On LiveJournal, users may reply directly to a post's original author, and the author may reply back in the same comment thread, providing an opportunity for conversation. On Tumblr, users may comment on posts, but the original author cannot reply directly to them in that comment thread. He or she would need to send a private message or create an entirely new post to reply to someone who had left a comment.
Because I use LiveJournal for personal purposes, like communicating with friends who share similar interests and hobbies, and because I am not currently a paid subscriber, there is no risk to my continued use. That being said, I feel like increasing numbers of people are leaving LiveJournal for Tumblr and other blogging platforms that offer a larger, more rapidly growing userbase and more effective search function.
In general, I would not recommend LiveJournal to organizations wanting to communicate to potential customers. Although it is an easy-to-use blogging platform with a large number of free and relatively inexpensive customization options, it is known primarily as a source of user-generated content. Smaller organizations looking for a free or inexpensive blogging platform may find LiveJournal useful, however, as a way to communicate with employees or existing customers.