End of an Era

End of an Era, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Livejournal, Friendster, MySpace, social media, the web.
Photo by Monoar Rahman on Pexels.com

Were any of you on LiveJournal? LJ was social media before social media, back in the pre-Zuckerberg days of Friendster and MySpace (remember those?) People would friend one another and write journal entries about anything and everything. Once posted, friends (or the public, if you wanted) could read and comment on your entries. You could also join communities to discuss specific topics with other like-minded users.

I loved LiveJournal. Your posts could be as long or short as you liked. I posted everything from random updates, to recipes, photos of my cats and garden, and memes and quizzes (so many). Posts showed up in your feed in chronological order as they were uploaded, not in the order chosen by some obscure algorithm based on post engagement and black magic (and you couldn’t pay to boost your posts, either). If there were ads, they were unobtrusive enough that I don’t remember them.

End of an Era, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Livejournal, Friendster, MySpace, social media, the web.
Photo by Prateek Katyal on Pexels.com

Unfortunately, a brand new type of social media came along and I, along with most other people, jumped on board. Twitter and Facebook were fun. There were games, there were multiple kinds of engagement (Likes! Retweets! Poking!), and they were easier. Who had time to read and write page-long entries when you could enjoy 140-character witticisms? I never thought about algorithms or information gathering or any of the potential negative consequences of these platforms that are now a depressing reality. By the time I realized that LiveJournal was better, everyone had left it. The site is still there but, from what I can tell, it’s much less active, and has also made some changes to be more like the other guys. Going back is pointless.

I spent the last few days copying and pasting my old LiveJournal entries into a Word document (because of course there was no easy way to download them), and then I deleted my account. I really should have done it years ago, but it still was a sad moment. Much as I wish it wasn’t the case, it’s the end of an era: an official conclusion to when the internet was still a tool and not a monster.

I started on LiveJournal in 2003 and was active until 2007. I tried again in 2010/2011, but it was too late by then. My entries amounted to 160,321 words, which is equivalent to two decent novels (and why I went to the trouble of saving it all).

For fun, I thought I’d also share a meme from one of my early entries. Feel free to revive it, either on your own blog or in the comments below. For the record, I have since added Douglas Coupland to my shelves 🙂

September 30th, 2003

07:35 am: Fun with authors…
Instructions: Take one list of authors, remove those whose efforts do not grace your shelves and bring the list up to ten by adding some more that do. Bold indicates newly-added authors.

Cherie Priest
Douglas Coupland
The Dalai Lama
Terry Pratchett
Neil Gaiman
JRR Tolkien
Douglas Adams
Edith Wharton
Charles De Lint
J.K. Rowling
Vladimir Nabokov
Joseph Campbell
Margaret Laurence

Current Mood:

enthused

Current Music: The Chieftains, Celtic Wedding

(It was also nice to be able to add your Current Music and Current Mood. You could customize the mood icons too: I opted for goth girl. The one for feeling sick was a gif where she alternated between her usual look and having blonde hair and bright clothes.)

What sites do you miss from back in the day? Share in the comments…

Do yourself a favour and spend some time with a book instead of social media: download one of mine now…

Aspasia S. Bissas books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw, book, books, free book, free books, freebies, freebie, free ebook, free ebooks, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, dark romance, historical fiction, gothic fiction, gothic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, dark reads, indie author, indie fiction, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer paperback, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

More Bookstore-Cat Love

More Bookstore Cat Love, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas. aspasiasbissas.com, books, bookstores, cat, cats
Photo by Hatice Yardim.

Given that libraries have kept cats as far back as Ancient Egypt, it’s probably safe to assume that bookstores have had resident cats for as long as there have been bookstores. Besides stopping rodents from destroying the books, cats are a soothing presence to (non-allergic) staff and visitors, act as a store’s (or library’s) public face, and add life to what can be a sterile environment. On top of all that, cats and book people are a natural combination. Here’s a small sampling of the bookstore cats who keep books safe and hearts warmed…

More Bookstore Cat Love, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas. aspasiasbissas.com, books, bookstores, cat, cats, Otis and Clementines, Nova Scotia

This adorable kitten is just one of many who get fostered (along with the occasional mama cat) at Otis & Clementine’s, in Nova Scotia, Canada. Visitors to the bookstore can play with, and adopt(!), the kittens at this store. Check out their Facebook page for more info on available kitties (kitten season is generally early spring until late October).

More Bookstore Cat Love, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas. aspasiasbissas.com, books, bookstores, cat, cats, kittens, Otis & Clementines, Nova Scotia, Canada, adopt don't shop
In case you needed more convincing to visit Otis & Clementine’s
More Bookstore Cat Love, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas. aspasiasbissas.com, books, bookstores, cat, cats, Wild Rumpus, Booker T
Booker T at Wild Rumpus

Wild Rumpus, a children’s bookstore in Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA), has a number of cute animals on staff, but their two kitties are Booker T, who loves to get cozy wherever he can–including in unattended strollers, and Eartha Kitt (below) whose large size hides a tiny meow.

Eartha Kitt at Wild Rumpus

Kona Stories in Hawaii has two adored (and spoiled) rescue cats:

More Bookstore Cat Love, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas. aspasiasbissas.com, books, bookstores, cat, cats, Kona Stories, Hawaii, Loki, Kinsey

Loki (back) and Kinsey (foreground). These two are so popular they had to get their own separate Instagram accounts so the store’s account could focus on posting pictures of books.

More Bookstore Cat Love, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas. aspasiasbissas.com, books, bookstores, cat, cats, Vanice, Libreria Acqua Alto, Italy

This gorgeous trio can be found at Libreria Acqua Alto in Venice, Italy. This store keeps books in gondolas to protect them from high tide, and apparently the cats like to sleep on the books. Is it just me or would it be worth the trip just to see the felines?

More Bookstore Cat Love, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas. aspasiasbissas.com, books, bookstores, cat, cats, Paris, France, Shakespeare & Co, Agatha
Agatha

While you’re in Europe, you can swing by Shakespeare & Co. in Paris to spend some quality time with their beautiful tortoiseshell cat, Agatha. A former stray, Agatha was found in the Mystery & Crime section (can you guess which author is her namesake?), and decided to adopt the store.

Finally, here are a few unnamed kitties from unknown stores. Do you recognize them? Share in the comments…

More Bookstore Cat Love, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas. aspasiasbissas.com, books, bookstores, cat, cats
More Bookstore Cat Love, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas. aspasiasbissas.com, books, bookstores, cat, cats
More Bookstore Cat Love, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas. aspasiasbissas.com, books, bookstores, cat, cats

Looking for a book to read while you cuddle your favourite floof? I’ve got you covered…

Aspasia S. Bissas books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw, book, books, free book, free books, freebies, freebie, free ebook, free ebooks, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, dark romance, historical fiction, gothic fiction, gothic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, dark reads, indie author, indie fiction, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer paperback, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

Happy New Year (+ 10 Things to Leave Behind as We Move Forward)!

Happy New Year (+ 10 Things to Leave Behind in the New Decade) blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Let me start by wishing everyone the very best in the new year and new decade!

The 2010s seemed to drag by, especially these past couple of years. To be honest, the last decade wasn’t a good one for me. Although some great things happened, I also lost my mom. Longtime friendships ended for no good reason. Things I’d been counting on working out, didn’t. Things I’d been hoping would happen never did. My much-loved car got totalled. And, oh yeah, my house was destroyed (sadly, I’m not being melodramatic– thank you, ice storm of 2013).

But all of that is in the past now and I feel a change in the air. Things are about to get good.

Happy New Year (+ 10 Things to Leave Behind in the New Decade) blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas
Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

As we look ahead to a (hopefully) brighter future, I’ve put together a quick list of things we all need to leave behind as we start a brand new decade…

  1. Regrets. Unless you’ve got a time machine and can go back and change things, let go of ‘what ifs’ and ‘should’ve dones.’ On the other hand, if there’s something you can still do– go for it. It’s never too late.
  2. Facebook. There are many reasons to quit Facebook (this article goes into some of them). Although the site is helpful in promoting my books, I’m seriously thinking of leaving (or at least shifting my focus to other social media sites).
  3. Outdated thinking. When the wheel was invented, there were undoubtedly people who didn’t see the point of the new invention; those people quickly got left behind (where they were probably picked off by sabre-toothed tigers). Things change, including the way the world thinks. It’s time to reconsider the beliefs we hold on to that are holding us back.
  4. The myth that working hard = success. People who have done well in life like to claim that hard work is what got them there. If you look closely, though, what you’ll find is that they actually owe their success to good connections, plenty of help, and a lot of luck. I mean a lot. Hard work might help you maintain it, but if all you needed to succeed was to work hard, the 1% and the 99% would have switched places a long time ago.
  5. The idea that there’s only one way to live. There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all when it comes to life. What works for you won’t necessarily work for anyone else (and vice versa).
  6. Conspiracies. You haven’t discovered mind-blowing super secret knowledge that everyone else is too blind/asleep/indoctrinated to see– you’re just delusional. Bonus fact: real evidence isn’t found on the internet.
  7. Cats vs dogs. This isn’t a thing. All animals are awesome.
  8. Anything vs anything else. We create artificial divisions to give us a false sense of belonging and it’s stupid. We’re all in this together: it’s time we started acting like it instead of going out of our way to create problems. We don’t have to be identical to get along and work together.
  9. Plastic. The entire planet is choking on the stuff, and recycling isn’t working. There are more and more alternatives to plastic every day, including products made of green materials, and products that come in plastic-free (or no) packaging. Seek those out.
  10. Bizarre humanoid singing-and-dancing CGI cat creatures. Let’s all just pretend that never happened, shall we?

What do you think– anything to add to the list? Share in the comments. All the best in 2020!

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

Happy New Year (+ 10 Things to Leave Behind in the New Decade!) blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Where to Find Me Online

where to find me online

A quick update today to let people know where they can find me online. I post different things on different sites, so feel free to follow me in as many places as you like. See you around…

AspasiaSBissas.com: My website is the best place to find info about me and my books, news, reviews, events, posts, and random fun bits. You can also subscribe to my posts or sign up for occasional email updates.

Facebook

Goodreads

Twitter

LinkedIn

Pinterest

Tumblr

You can also find info about my books here, including where they’re sold.

 

Where to Find Me Online

apps business cellphone cellular telephone
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A quick update today to let people know where they can find me online. I post different things on different sites, so feel free to follow me in as many places as you like. See you around 🙂

My Website: The best place to find info about me and my books, news, reviews, events, posts, and random fun bits. You can also contact me here.

Facebook

Goodreads

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

Other: I’ve started writing guest posts on other sites–this is where you can get links to those posts.

Don’t forget to download your free copy of my short story Blood Magic, and buy a paperback or ebook copy of Love Lies Bleeding too! (More info here.)

 

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