What are the main reasons you use LiveJournal?
1) It is a community of people who share their thoughts and feelings in a deep and meaningful way.
2) the LJ culture encourages reaching out to strangers. Not just in communities, but generally as well. I have always felt that to offer LJ friendship is to give a compliment, because for many people that is a key to their inner world. (my journal is public so I just leave the door open)
3) I have years of history here and love LJ for the way it has changed my life for the better, and I have a fantastic and fairly prolific flist.
4) see ALL of the reasons listed below also.
What are the things you love best about us? What are the features you like most? What makes LiveJournal special to you? In your opinion, what do we have that other places don't?
These are all kinda the same question so I'm going to answer this from the perspective of "what functional parts does LJ offer that others do not?"
1) navigation is centralized so that each journal feels like part of an intricate web, rather than places like blogger or tumblr or pintrest which are more like a zillion dots connected to a central hub but not really to each other. On other blogging sites I feel like I swim and swim and never find land. On livejournal I feel like each journal is a pool, and you can climb out to the homepage or a userinfo page, and from there you can navigate anywhere. You don't have to go from page to page before you find navigation to a central location. I can't stand that to make things "look sleek" other sites make the navigation clumsy and make you take multiple steps to do anything.
2) I am able to fully customize my journal layout (not just choose from a set and make superficial tweaks) and therefore I can make it really feel like my home, safe and beautiful.
3) profiles are meaningful, letting you know at a glance what is actually important to the person and not just what might be important to advertisers (like facebook). Having a big open space that I can use however I want is essential. The ability to use html is essential. On LJ profiles are also easy to find and linked to in many ways -- you don't have to jump through the hoops you do on twitter or tumblr.
4) the ability to change out icons. For a visually-oriented person like me, this is essential to feeling a connection with someone in a text-based medium. I use my own face for most of my icons, to associate my face with my words. Other icons also express me in a more artistic-interpretation kind of way. I feel like I learn a lot about a person from the icons they choose. Having only one 'avatar' would show only one facet, and disallow the "setting the mood" that choosing an icon allows. Mood icons do NOT serve this function.
5) The tagging system; it's the best I have found. The ability to easily look through a list of your tags makes it easy for a new person to find what they want to know, and the auto-suggest of tags you have used means that you are less likely to have duplicate tags. I also like the tag editor, simple and easy.
6) the commenting system is intuitive and very conducive to multiple threads of conversation (very important).
7) your interactions with friends get saved in an easy-to-find place (on your post) rather than getting lost forever.
8) poll-making is easy and clean-looking and offers multiple types of question/answer choices. It's not just check boxes.
9) communities have excellent functionality, way better than other 'groups' options I've seen. The ability to moderate posts as well as membership is important, and the chronological flow of posts means that nothing gets buried without chance of being seen.
10) full control over what you track and get notifications about! You can choose to get notifications from one group and no others, VERY important. You can track users to see if some of your old friends come back to LJ eventually. You can track particular entries. You can get notifications when someone links to you or mentions you (currently this is only for public posts but it should absolutely be for posts that you have access to, such as from someone who has you friended).
11) the locking function is easy to understand and use. This is important because most people have to feel safely private in order to be comfortable sharing openly with the people they choose.
12) the structure of my archives is well-organized and I don't have to scroll infinitely to find what I want. Especially useful is the by-month view where you can see all the titles. This also allows for a more permanent kind of sharing, since others can read way-back too.
13) you aren't automatically exposed to friends-of-friends, so you don't have to deal with strangers chiming in nearly as often, and because people are more selective about their friends here, if they do happen to chime in it is usually a good thing instead of more white boy trolling.
14) no censorship of my friends' page. I see everything that people choose to share with me without having to go to their individual page.
15) encouraging original content by not making resharing/reblogging easy like on FB and Tumblr. It's still possible, but because it's not easier than writing one's own entry, people write their own stuff.
16) it's easy to private message with someone and find/read them afterward -- unlike tumblr which is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to find and then clumsy to use, FB which tries to force you to chat with people instead of messaging and makes you jump through hoops to get to a place where you can actually read a message longer than 2 sentences, or twitter which makes you stick to 140 characters even in a direct message, and where you either have to follow a line of clicks or use code which could so easily expose your 'private' message. These are all awful and so most of the time I'm tempted to send something I just don't bother.
17) the "nudge" feature. 'pokes' are annoying and useless, but nudges are (at least to me) flattering and encouraging without being pressure-y like sending a message yourself because they're indirect and there is no expected response