I was just leaving and stumbled upon an entry by an old-timer, from the original OD.
She commented on how customizable the old interface was. It was really neat. Choice of colors, wallpaper, backgrounds, typefaces size and weights: the layout of a diarist’s pages told you much about the diarist without even reading an entry. When you visited a diarist’s pages, it felt like you were dropping by their home and you could smell the lilacs or fresh cookies or the crispness of their office air or whatever it is that made that writer’s space their own – and then you settled in for a story, or a chat, or a rant. The context of the page design set the tone, the texture of the writing.
I’m not complaining. The neatness of this interface does compel the diarist to focus on the writing – because that’s all there is. I do miss the sense of community that I felt in the original interface, and with this old-timer’s post I realized it was the customization that improved the quality of the social connection. It helped create the diversity that made the community of diarists feel so rich.
[note: as a software coder, I also realize that customization was problematic and a security nightmare. That doesn’t mean its not also poignant.]