It wasn't perfect. It never is. But my parents were worried (quietly) about me running into Evil Influences with Strangers They'd Never Met, and I'm happy to say that their fears were unfounded. No one from the internet abducted me, although (much later) I've certainly now explored the evils of Strong Drink and Lascivious Fiction with people from the internet. But at that point in time, I was welcomed with age-appropriate open arms into a nurturing community of folk who didn't want to judge me based on my inability to speak in public or humiliate me for having an opinion that differed in any significant way from the prevailing community sentiment. By the time I was released onto the rest of the internet, I'd already learned for good that no matter how roughly the rest of the internet played, I was raised to behave better than that.
This is more than just my periodic ode to my internet origins.
I'm not going anywhere yet, and I'm certainly not going to disappear from LJ. I have too much community here, I have the Support crew, and I genuinely enjoy my work with suggestions. However, synecdochic and xb95, who were both employees of LiveJournal in the past, and who have been steeped in the open source and sane management ethos that old LiveJournal users will fondly recall from the days when brad was (usually) the biggest spark to drama in town, are starting up Dreamwidth.
Dreamwidth is to be a code fork of LiveJournal -- not just another clone site, but a site taking LJ's code as a starting place and asking, "What if?" and developing it in another direction. There's Project WTF, which takes Friends, and splits it into its logical components, Watching and Trusted. Importing an existing journal from LiveJournal or a clone is in the works, with exciting discussion about how exactly one should go about archiving comments. They helped form LiveJournal into the pre-SUP, pre-6A service many of us got to know and love. They've done this before. brad was never about running a business. synecdochic was raised to it.
It's open source. There are a lot of the same usernames around. I have made a home these many years with LJ Support. I get that same feeling of home with the Dreamwidth people. I wouldn't hesitate to introduce my parents to the discussion list (although perhaps not IRC, because Dad doesn't need to learn that much about fisting).
Stuff is scheduled to start speeding up around about February. I don't know how fast it'll go after that.