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Sep 27

Internet nostalgia

Posted on Sunday, September 27, 2015 in My life, Whining

I just read a headline for an article about what sites people used early in the internet’s history. That made me think about what sites I used to go to maybe not ‘when the internet was young’ because apparently that was a very long time ago, but at the beginning of my own internet history.

I think that most of those sites were very common. Most people have probably used them some years ago – yahoo, google, aol (?). I chatted on ICQ and had quite a few friends then. was another site I used to go to a lot. There were even chat rooms back then. The site still exists, but I haven’t seen any updates for several years (probably at least five years). Tumblr and Livejournal were two very important sites for me, but sadly I had to leave them.

I still use Care2. I have been on WordPress for a very long time. There’s even a blogger/blogspot blog that I don’t use, not my very first one, because I had one very early on, one that I deleted when google bought it.

Do I miss any of the old sites? No. I can’t say I do. The ones I’m using now are good enough, maybe better than the old ones. I do miss my old friends. It seems strange that I who feel so extremely lonely, used to have so many online friends. Of course, they showed up, became a part of my life and left again, over and over again, that is different people did, but I did have so many friends to chat with that I rarely felt lonely.

Another strange fact is that some of the friends I felt I was so close to, are just gone from my memory. I have forgotten their names. How can that happen? I think I might still have emails from them on some old disk drive or CD, but will I ever find them? I don’t think so. Maybe I should just accept that I had a great time back then and now it’s over?

I had a great time reading and writing fan fiction and even became a little famous in my modest way. Here in Sweden I have been on tv to talk about my slash writing. It didn’t turn out the way I had hoped but I don’t regret doing it. A couple of scholars have used my knowledge of fan fiction in their papers. Occasionally, I have run across a mention of me and/or my fan fiction here and there on the internet. That makes me smile. I still enjoy fan fiction even if things aren’t the same as they used to. These days, I suspect the majority of young and/or new fan fiction fans have never heard of my fandoms so there won’t be anyone new who takes an interest. Most of the newer fandoms aren’t for me, so I won’t end up making any new friends either.

Maybe sooner or later everyone ends up feeling nostalgic for the good old days. That reminds me of a new song by a favorite singer of mine – Darin Zanyar. His new song (at least it’s new to me) is called ‘Take me back’ (in Swedish). It seems he too, is nostalgic for the past. His better days. Now I’m sure he’s going to see better days again, but I doubt that’s true for me. I wish he wasn’t just hot and talented but actually had some magic that could ‘take me back’.


Apr 29

Some internet services

Posted on Friday, April 29, 2011 in Other

A while back I blogged about some favorite sites and I feel it’s time for a little update. Some sites are gone and as for the others, I’ve had time to try them out some more and can be more clear on how I feel about them.

This time I’ll limit myself to one post.


WordPress. If you know you’ll be writing long texts and mainly text (as opposed to sharing links, quotes, videos etc) this is the blog for you. If you want to keep things simple use – a web host that provides free wordpress blogs (with some ads – in the years I’ve been using I think I’ve seen one ad, once, though I’m not sure). It’s very easy to setup and use and there are plenty of free (and premium) themes to choose between. Lately, many new exciting themes have been added, so there’s quite a lot to choose from. Of course, if you would like to put your own ads on your blog to advertise your etsy or cafepress store, for instance, or your ‘real’ business, you can’t do it here. You can post fan fiction here, but it’s not really a great place for it. I have read a fanfic or two on wordpress and as with any text wordpress does a great job of displaying it. Some people post original stories too, but mainly this is a place for ‘ordinary’ blog posts. As such it’s a great community.

WordPress can also be downloaded to your computer, then uploaded to a web host or your own server. In most ways it works exactly like, except for the fact that you need to do all the work of upgrading, downloading plugins, new themes and so on. Fortunately, it’s not that difficult. First you’ll need a domain name. You might be able to find a good web hotel for free and a provider of free domain names (usually subdomain names, which isn’t exactly the same thing, but close enough), but you could also find web hosts and domain name providers at very reasonable prices. It depends on what you want to do. What you can do here, that you can’t do at (with a basic, free account) is make your own themes, or edit existing ones.


Tumblr is one of my favorites in this category. It makes it very easy for you to share links, media, quotes and short blog posts, though there’s no one stopping you from posting long blog posts as well. There’s also a community of sorts. You search for whatever you’re interested in, and the search will turn up posts from other tumblelogs. You can like (note) these posts, if you like them, and you can also reblog them. That will get the other blogger’s attention and they might follow you or at least like or reblog your posts. There’s a way to create communities, for instance you can allow people to ask you questions or you can pose questions that you let others answer.

Soup is similar to Tumblr, except in one way. So far I haven’t noticed much of a community here. You can search for, join or create groups, but they don’t seem to work very well. Also, though you can search for blog posts, I haven’t found Soup very good for finding interesting content. Maybe I’m doing it wrong. Even so, I must say I like Soup anyway. It’s extremely easy and practical to use. You can either post directly or you can automatically import content from other sites, then share the link to Soup so your friends and family can check out your own personal mix.

Microblogs/Status updates

Twitter is the most famous microblog. Despite the name, I see very little blog-like about Twitter. To me it’s mostly a place to keep up with what others are saying and most importantly, sharing. I have found links to many fun and useful sites here. You can follow celebrities. Some of them are actally the real celebrity – look for the official approval. Others are very clever fakes, that are almost indistinguishable from the real thing. Some are just jokers masquerading as a celebrity for fun or even to discredit the real celebrity.

Plurk is another relatively famous microblog. I have been using it for such a short time I can’t really tell much about it. So far I haven’t found anyone to follow, if that’s what you do. What I do know is that you can customize your background, and you can vary the verb that prefaces your post. You say, wish, think etc whatever it is you post. That’s about it. What I like about Plurk is that they don’t claim the rights to whatever you’re posting, like Twitter and Facebook do.

Friendfeed is sort of halfway between a microblog and a tumblelog, at least it seems that way to me. It’s owned by Facebook, but doesn’t claim ownership over your posts. There are groups/rooms you can join, but my brief attempt to network there didn’t work out. I still enjoy those groups a lot, though, for the links to interesting sites that they provide.

Here too you can automatically import feeds from your blog, tumblelog or other microblog, or other sites, like Goodreads too or simply post. You can also customize your background. They also provide little widgets you can put on your homepage or blog.

Search engines

At the moment, I only use Ixquick (apart from Wikipedia). It’s a very nice substitute for Google for those of us who don’t want to use that. Unlike Google, they don’t record your searches. It’s quick and easy to use and gives great results.

Email is the best free email I’ve ever tried. Again, this is quite a good replacement for Google, although of course it doesn’t work exactly like Gmail. You get plenty of storage, you can collect mail from your other email accounts there and you get as many aliases as you like, that is email addresses. They allow you to download your email to your email program, or you can just access your mail online, whichever you prefer. Or you can do both, and choose imap. They offer quite a few different suffixes, ie .com, etc. And they use ‘green’ servers.

Social network/community

Care2. I’ve been a member of Care2 for years and I still love it as much as I did from the start. There’s not a lot that’s new about it, so I won’t go into all the features in detail. I’ll just list them. Free email, free e-cards, free donations, petitions. You also get your own profile page and you can join (or create) groups.

Livejournal, Insanejournal and Dreamwidth are blog communities, but to me they’re also very successful social networks. The blogging part works great, and the communitites are/can be great, depending on what you’re into. All three are fan fiction friendly. (Which doesn’t in any way imply that WordPress is against fan fiction. I have had absolutely no indications about that.) At LJ etc you’re far more likely to run into people interested in fan fiction, than on WordPress (can’t say anything about Blogger, since I don’t use it)..


Book communities. Librarything and Shelfari aren’t at all bad, but Goodreads is the best book community I’ve tried. When I’m going to buy books, I always consult Goodreads first.

Though I still use AIM, MSN and ICQ as well as LJ Talk, I prefer to use Jabber, which is an independent chat/IM. To use it, you need a multichat program, like Adium for Mac or Trillium (?) for the PC. I could be wrong about the latter. It’s been a while since I used a PC. Wikipedia can tell you more.

Skype. I’m told you can use Skype for video chats. That’s not really my thing. I do know you can voice chat, which is basically like talking on the phone, for free. If you can use Skype in your mobile/cell phone, you can actually talk on the phone for free. Naturally, you can also text chat. The main drawback with Skype is that it’s kind of ‘heavy’ so if you are short on RAM, it might not be the best choice. If you’re wiling to pay, you can also talk on the phone for a very reasonable price. There’s even a real, physical phone you can use with Skype, which means you don’t need to have a computer online. You get a ‘real’ phone number that ordinary users, without Skype or even internet, can use to reach you.

I suppose I should mention My use of is a bit erratic. Sometimes I more or less forget I have an account there. At other times, I ‘blip’ lots of songs that occur to me. When I’m in the mood for it, I like a lot.

Fan fiction. I can’t leave Archive of Our Own out. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a really great (relatively) new online fan fiction archive. It’s absolutely awesome. If you’re into fan fiction it’s a must. AOO is a major reason I’ve started reading fan fiction again. Actually, I never stopped, but Archive of Our Own (along with LJ, IJ and DW) makes it such a pleasure.

Finally, Project Gutenberg. It’s a treasure trove filled with older literature available for free. You can read it online or download it to your computer, smartphone or e-book reader. There are other sites with free books, but Project Gutenberg is the most famous one, I think. I’ll finish with a list of a few of the authors you can read for free at Project Gutenberg’s site. Jane Austen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, PG Wodehouse, Agatha Christie (just a few early titles), LM Montgomery, Edith Nesbit.


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