In a deviation from my current pattern of either using this space to rant, ramble, or whine about my life, I am instead going to rant, ramble, and whine about some blogging and internet issues instead.
To start things off, a few weeks ago, I switched over to Mozilla Firefox. I've had it installed for a while, but I was always rather attached to Internet Explorer and couldn't be bothered to learn something new. However, my system got hit with some spyware or adware or a virus or something, which caused IE to crash violently - it would freeze, I couldn't close it or do anything with it, and I couldn't access any of my folders, because Windows uses IE to display those. The only way to fix this was to reboot, which I dislike doing, particularly when I'm in the middle of something. I discovered I could access other programs from the Start menu, including Mozilla, which worked while IE was frozen. And I have yet to look back ^^
In a bit of shameless promotion, I will tell you all that I absolutely love this browser. It runs so much smoother and faster on my PC than IE ever did, the tabbed windows are particularly cool (I can look at multiple pages without having to open up the program over and over!), I have yet to get a single pop-up ad, and it hasn't crashed or frozen once ^^ Plus, 'Firefox' is a far cooler name for a browser than 'Internet Explorer'.
However, this leads to some interesting webdesign problems. Namely, a great number of people assume that everyone in the world uses IE, and only test their layouts in IE. Largely, code is cross-browser compatible. Practically all the sites I check on a regular basis are readable in Mozilla, and look nearly the same as they do and IE (The one big change being scrollbars - colored scrollbars are IE only CSS). But then, on a few sites, I get this. Which is utterly unreadable and unnavigable. There's at least two blogs I read doing this too, and another one that used to before the layout got changed, although I won't rant on specific people in public. The moral? Do the world a favor, and check to make sure your layout works in other browers, as well as other resolutions (that's a whole other box of worms). I know I do, and I'm quite proud of the fact that my layouts don't look like crap in resolutions and browsers other than IE at 800x600 (which is what I originally design in). Currently in the process of finding whatever bug (something in the CSS or div tags, I believe) causes that problem above, so I can metaphorically smack people upside the head with the version that actually works ^^
On to another topic! I told Ammie I would eventually write out my thoughts on the subject of LJ vs. blogs, so now that I'm all fired up, I will, although it's more of a 'pros and cons of LJ in list form, and why the cons outweigh the pros'
Pros of LJ
-Friends page: Good for checking lots of LJs at one link, although you could concievably do the same thing with blogs and RSS if people would bother with it.
-Threaded comments: One of the two things that as far as I know are unique to LJ that I really like. I find threaded comments seem to promote more discussion (as well as randomness ^^)
-Friendslock/Custom privacy settings: Even I occasionally have things that I'd rather keep from specific people. However, people keep asking for features along these lines for future builds of Movable Type, so we'll see what happens.
Cons of LJ
-Friend's Only: I've expressed my dislike of it before, and I'll do it again. I know people have their reasons, but it's irritating to an outsider. I read blogs and LJ because I find them interesting. Guess what? I can't tell if you're intresting if I can't see your entries!
-Friending and the politics thereof: Ties in with the above, and probably is going to get the most ranting. People get too...worked up and emotionally tied to their friends list, and who friends them back and whatnot, I guess is the best way to put it. People will bitch and whine about being defriended, and I know I've got people who's LJs I don't really find terribly interesting to read any more that I haven't taken of my friends list because I don't want to deal with a bunch of pissed of people. Several of them are people on Friends Only who I friended just to see if I would actually like reading what they wrote. While doubtless this type of thing exists somewhere on regular blogs, I've been reading and blogging for nearly three years now and have yet to see any of it. Also with blogs, there's more of a sense that the people who link you do so because they actually read your blog. I can practically guarantee you that half the people who friended me on LJ, though, don't really. And don't say 'I don't care if people read it or not', because deep down inside, half the point of keeping public journals is to want to share your thoughts and/or life with the world, and it's nice to know people do in fact read it. I'll fully admit it, I like knowing that people actually read my blog.
-Layouts: LJ is a webdesigner's nightmare. You can't change very much with a free account, and it's awful to try to write HTML that will display properly on more than one browser/resolution (I figured it out, but it took a lot of experimenting), and even if you have a paid account, the LJ code is a total bitch to deal with. And coming with someone who used to deal with tables and still deals with CSS, that's saying something. And even then, nobody sees your nice layout except you because everybody reads from their friends page. I'm a webdesigner. I like pretty layouts. I like seeing pretty layouts. I like people seeing my pretty layouts. I like other people seeing other pretty layouts.
In short, I really only keep LJ around because I know that nobody reads this thing any more. I love it so very much more than my LJ, it's just not many other people feel the same way. And now all my pro-LJ friends will come screaming down on me, but I don't give a fuck. There was more I had to say about something, but it got lost somewhere under my elitest bitching and now I forgot ^^