Writer’s Block moves off LiveJournal’s front page

LiveJournal users are definitely not happy about  this change to the site's front page.


Lauren Rae Orsini

Internet Culture

Published Mar 30, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 7:15 pm CDT

Stumped writers can still seek inspiration from Writer’s Block, LiveJournal’s daily prompt. They’ll just have to look for the feature somewhere new.

When the 14-year-old social network announced some much needed updates earlier this month, it added that “Writer’s Block is going away.” However, a new blog post clarifies that it meant the phrase literally—Writer’s Block is going away from its spot on the front page.

“What we failed to make clear is that Writer’s Block is not gone, it was simply removed from the LiveJournal homepage,” a staff member wrote in a blog update.

Now users can seek out the prompt at Writer’s Block, a community journal created specifically for the feature. LiveJournal wrote that it made this change to reflect the feature’s decreasing popularity.

“We never intended to ‘kill’ Writer’s Block, but we did feel it was time to remove it from the homepage based on the recent response rates,” it said.

According to fan community LJ Writer’s Block, the feature has been around since 2008. Prompts vary from the mundane to the unsettlingly weird. (In 2008, Gawker highlighted one Writer’s Block exercise that encouraged authors to fantasize about destroying office items with a crowbar.)

Writer’s Block has also inspired multiple spin-offs within the LiveJournal community. For the writer who wants up to ten new prompts every day, there’s The Question Club. For prompts with a personal bent, there’s Ask Me Anything. And for political, edgy, and “adult” prompts, there’s Writer’s Block Unplugged.

LiveJournal users didn’t seem all that upset when they thought Writer’s Block was ending.

But Friday was a different matter. While they were alright with LiveJournal cutting the page completely, they’re upset now because it looks like the network is moving features users care about in order to promote its media site initiative. Some users wish LiveJournal give less front page space to top communities like Oh No They Didn’t! (ONTD).

“I don’t care one fig about the ONTD communities nor do I care about the popular entries and top communities,” wrote awry. “I’d much rather just have the stuff relevant to my account on that page. And writer’s block was just fine where it was at.”

Several users suggested LiveJournal release a modular front page, so each user could pick and choose the features they wanted to see on it. However, given that LiveJournal only just made it possible for journalers to schedule blog entries in advance, it’s doubtful they have the technology to make this latest demand a reality.

“It’s OUR homepage. We should be able to customize it!” wrote katje0711.

Photo by Rennett Stowe

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*First Published: Mar 30, 2012, 12:24 pm CDT