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Livejournal, you are reprieved - for now

Well, my resolution to shift to Dreamwidth has lasted less than a day. Several things changed my mind, of which the most important is that Livejournal seems to have started working again. But also Dreamwidth is really lacking in a number of the good features that LJ has built on in the last few years - there is no image hosting as far as I can see, the embedding of media from other sites is clunky and unrealiable, and there is no way to schedule a post in advance (for the last year or so I've been writing the coming week's book reviews the previous weekend and scheduling them to come out each day). On top of that, to reflect posts to Facebook and Twitter, you have to cross-post to LJ as DW doesn't have that capability. It's basically where LJ was five years ago. So I am returning to LJ for now.

But LJ is on notice. The system is clearly under financial and political pressure, and I am preparing backup options. A kind friend has hosted a Wordpress backup for several years now, and I will probably go that way eventually. But I will plan it carefully, and ensure that I have set up all the necessary bells and whistles. A lot of my public life is in this blog, and I want to preserve it securely.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 29th, 2016 07:06 pm (UTC)
I was alarmed by the 3-hour scheduled outage just before Christmas. Given that I am familiar through work with hardware resilience/redundancy and zero-downtime web deployment, it is a bad technical indicator that such an outage was required. My public posts are generally copied (manually, with occasional editing for links and styles) to WordPress.
Jan. 1st, 2017 06:49 am (UTC)
I was alarmed by the 3-hour scheduled outage just before Christmas

From what I've seen, that was done in order to transfer the entire hosting setup to Russian servers.

Without any announcement LJ is now in Russia and your content bound by Russian, not US, law, which I'm really uncomfortable about: the lack of any actual announcement is what's annoying me the most.
Dec. 29th, 2016 09:59 pm (UTC)
"The system is clearly under financial and political pressure"
As this post points out, LJ is now hosted in Russia by a Russian group. Make of that what you will, which may not be the same as that post; but it is worth serious consideration.
Dec. 29th, 2016 10:03 pm (UTC)
Let us know if you fine something comparable, to which everything can be moved. I have a huge amount of pictures in my galleries.
Dec. 29th, 2016 11:51 pm (UTC)
I like that DW's paid options allow me to automatically import all of my LJ posts.
Dec. 30th, 2016 02:08 am (UTC)
That's paid now? I have never paid, and I was able to import everything over - but that was in 2009, when DW was still new.
Dec. 30th, 2016 07:24 am (UTC)
Not just paid, as I just did it and I have a free account (though am considering paying for one to support the site). I find I much prefer DW to LJ now and definitely consider it my primary journal, but that may just be because I've never used any of the newer features Nicholas misses on LJ and have close friends there.
Dec. 30th, 2016 07:42 am (UTC)
I migrated in 2009 when Insanejournal wasn't doing it for me in the wake of the Strikethrough events. I've been crossposting ever since, but most of the people who I was following on LJ have moved on to greener pastures since 2010. I was advocating a return to blogging hosts like DW and LJ as facebook tends to distill all communication down to its lowest common denominator. Then Trump got elected, and Russia was a factor. Now it's anyone's guess as to what will happen.
Dec. 30th, 2016 09:29 am (UTC)
What backups / offline archiving tools are you using for LJ?
Dec. 30th, 2016 09:36 am (UTC)
LJArchive, from here; Dreamwidth; and a Wordpress backup hosted on my friend's server.
Dec. 30th, 2016 08:06 pm (UTC)
I've been backing my LJ up over on Dreamwidth off and on since the sale to a Russian company. I'm shereent over there. But I agree with you about the site's clunkiness. I have to keep relying on their LJ-DW terminology translation page in order to get anything done. I _think_ I've added you to my reading page over there.
Dec. 30th, 2016 10:44 pm (UTC)
While I can totally understand the concerns that people have been expressing this week, I have to admit that this development's immediate effect on me is minimal; all of my posts are public, so no corporation or government has access to any more of my writing here than a search engine or determined reader does.

My main concern is that LiveJournal continues on (including the more recent features you mentioned)--the last thing I want to have to do is migrate over to a version of this site with even fewer active anglophone users.
Jan. 1st, 2017 06:54 am (UTC)
Image hosting exists but it's been in beta for ages (far too long in fact): some of DW's problems are Denise's fairly substantial health problems, I cannot imagine coding using a speech-to-text interface.

I will dig out better instructions but if you email posts in with attached images they're hosted, and there is (somewhere), a barebones interface for managing images.

Scheduled posting has been on their todo list of features since they launched, I was unaware it was available on LJ now, it wasn't last I looked, and yeah, embedding is a bit weird: some of it is the slightly perverse-but-understandable desire of some on the open source side of DWs team to only want to implement open standards compliant features and that dream of an interoperable web appears to have died a death.

I have wanted direct post notification for Twitter for ages, there was a feed based workaround and Andrewducker has a system in place that works but it should be native by now.
Jan. 1st, 2017 10:56 am (UTC)
Image posting may as well not exist if it's that difficult to reach. I see that scheduled posting has been scheduled as the next improvement to make since 2009. As you say, a direct feed to twitter should have been native by now.

In general, I've been deeply unimpressed by the practical results achieved by open source evangelists. Maybe I have just been unlucky.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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