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Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

make this clear

Re: LJ firing

Dear fandom:

Please to hold back on the panic.

Did you know that there are still people who have their primary fannish internet interaction on Usenet? (For the unfamiliar: Usenet is a bit like an old-fashioned Bulletin Board and a bit like an enormous collection of mailing lists.) Livejournal is a tool. It is not fandom, and if it bites the dust, we will find new tools.

What should you do right now?

1) Backup your LJ, as discussed in the previous post. You should probably also make copies of any posts you made on communities that you want to be sure and preserve: e.g. story posts to communities, newbieguide posts, crack_van posts, ship_manifesto. If you don't own the community, you'll have to do this piecemeal, sadly. (If you are a community maintainer, you may want to consider backing up your whole community, which, if I understand it correctly, ljsm will capture the posts (although possibly not the comments?).
<ETA> I am informed in the comments that both LJArchive and ljmigrate will archive some amount of posts to communities. It's not clear if it's all posts or just your posts, nor whether it includes any locked posts or not. </ETA>
<ETA2>Any entries you can see, ljarchive and ljsm can archive.</ETA2>

2) Be prepared, in the event of failure, to move to a new blog. If you have your own webspace, wordpress looks pretty good. (If you were particularly ambitious, or not fond of wp, you might go to the trouble of converting to wordpress and then, from there, to drupal or movable type or some other powerhorse CMS.) If you do not have your own webspace, and do not wish to use insanejournal, Blog2Blog supports migration from livejournal to Windows Live and Blogger (i.e. blogspot.)

3) Get familiar with RSS and OpenID. In the event that LJ implodes, RSS will allow you to fake having a friends list, and OpenID will give you a consistent identity around the web.

You can either pick from the scads of RSS clients to use on your computer, or use a web-based reader to recreate that logging into your friends list feel. It is entirely possible to read flocked livejournal posts from rss, although you have to make sure that, if you are using an online reader, (a) it supports authenticated feeds and (b) you trust it to secure your account data and not make public your feeds in some way. NewsGator Online, bloglines, and netvibes reportedly support authenticated feeds. Google reader does not, although there is a Yahoo! Pipes work around.

You have an OpenID from Livejournal, Insanejournal, Journalfen, and probably any other lj-based website you are associated with. You also have one from AOL Instant messenger (openid.aol.com/screenname), Blogger (blogname.blogspot.com), Typekey (profile.typepad.com/username), and Yahoo! (setup at openid.yahoo.com). There are many, many other websites foaming at the mouth to give you an openid, although your best bet is probably to delegate your openid to your own webpage.

4) Get contact info for the people you really do want to follow on their way out the door. Give contact info to the people you think want to know about the things you're doing.

At one point, I thought that someone had created an automated directory, where people could say, "This is my LJ account, and I am also known at these other URLs." in case of an extended LJ outage or move (I think it pre-dated strikethrough, but was popularized by it), but damned if I can find the website now or remember what it was called.

<ETA> stewardess remembered. It's http://www.fandom411.com/ and one manually adds one's information to it. Also, you may want to consider becoming a user at fanlore, which, in edition to letting you correct the history of why exactly every single Ghost Soup fan falls into tears at the words "Angela's giant head", also gives you a place to tell people exactly who you are, at length. </ETA>

In any case, now is the time to make sure you know who your friends are and how to reach them outside of an LJ private message. (Oh, BTW, did you know that LJ now includes the text of the PM in the notification e-mail for a PM? I encourage everyone to stop using screened comments to communicate hidden info right this second. Get it PM'd, confirm you got the e-mail, and delete the PM. Much better.)

5) Relax. LJ is not going down tomorrow. It's not going down for the foreseeable future, although it may become a less fan-friendly place, as development is moving to Russia (and, I infer, focus on the needs of Russian bloggers, which are not at all the needs of fandom.) Lots of Silicon Valley shops are firing some people without collapsing, because, hello, major global economic crisis is actual reason for some and convenient excuse for others. You've got time to figure out what sort of new personal publishing platform you might like, and what newsreader corrects all those niggling flaws in the flist you've ignored for years, and whether that girl who you friended five years ago who never comments is a friend or an enemy. Just chill, people. Chill.

Comments

(no subject)

skipthedemon on Tuesday, January 6th, 2009 @ 09:00pm (UTC)

This is a good and useful post, thank you. I came online to a bunch of vague 'Sky is falling!', wings flapping, and got very confused.

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zvi_likes_tv on Tuesday, January 6th, 2009 @ 09:04pm (UTC)

You're welcome.

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melannen on Tuesday, January 6th, 2009 @ 09:33pm (UTC)

Actually, the last version of ljarchive will let you back up posts & comments on any community you have posting access to. (It may skip locked community posts if you're not the maintainer - I don't remember - but it will definitely get all public content.)

I don't know if any of the other backup utilities do, but that one definitely will.

(On the downside, I'm pretty sure journalfen still doesn't support openID. Which is a shame.)

But yes. Backup, and spreading your fandom experience outside of lj, are both good ideas regardless of the state of LJ at the moment. Thank you for the helpful posts!

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zvi_likes_tv on Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 @ 05:37pm (UTC)

Well, they claim they do: http://www.journalfen.net/openid/

Their system may not be as, um, robust as some other OpenID providers, though.

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stewardess on Tuesday, January 6th, 2009 @ 09:43pm (UTC)


http://www.fandom411.com/

That's where you can search for an LJ member's other blogs and websites.

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stewardess on Tuesday, January 6th, 2009 @ 09:44pm (UTC)

I forgot to mention: it's not a search bot. People have to enter their own data.

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Many eggs in many baskets is ALWAYS the way to go

selkiechick on Tuesday, January 6th, 2009 @ 09:56pm (UTC)

There may be tool here for archiving communities

http://antennapedia.livejournal.com/266462.html

but the jury is still out on if it does or does not preserve comments. I will report back as flist affiliates test it and report back, if there are interested parties.

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jennyo on Tuesday, January 6th, 2009 @ 11:54pm (UTC)

Thank you for the overwhelming amount of SANE pouring from this post.

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natlyn on Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 @ 01:31am (UTC)

OMG! How did you know about that girl I friended 5 years ago??!

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zvi_likes_tv on Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 @ 02:58am (UTC)

My psychic powers of perception.

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jadelennox on Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 @ 02:38am (UTC)

ljsm and ljarchive will both let you completely back up communities you don't own (barring locks you can't see beyond). I know because I've been doing it all day.

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vassilissa on Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 @ 11:01am (UTC)

Did you know that there are still people who have their primary fannish internet interaction on Usenet?

They do? Poor things. I miss Usenet, I miss it a lot, but these days the spam level is completely intolerable.

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zvi_likes_tv on Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 @ 05:36pm (UTC)

Well, I may have made a whee assumption for dramatic effect. Even back in the day, I knew very few people who primarily did anything through Usenet. :)

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nostariel on Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 @ 11:14am (UTC)

I'm pretty sure ljsec lets you transfer communities as well as individual journals. It won't do comments, but then I don't know of anything that will transfer those.

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zvi_likes_tv on Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 @ 05:34pm (UTC)

It's supposed to let you transfer communities, but I've seen several reports of the function being broken, ATM.

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serpentjody on Thursday, January 8th, 2009 @ 03:23am (UTC)


Did you know that there are still people who have their primary fannish internet interaction on Usenet?

I've actually tried to explain Usenet / bbs to people recently; I did stop when their eyes glazed over.

Thanks for the very helpful summary!

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zvi_likes_tv on Thursday, January 8th, 2009 @ 04:08am (UTC)

You're welcome

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reginagiraffe on Thursday, January 8th, 2009 @ 08:10pm (UTC)

Happy Birthday!!

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zvi_likes_tv on Friday, January 9th, 2009 @ 12:23am (UTC)

Thank you!

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ignazwisdom on Saturday, January 10th, 2009 @ 12:07am (UTC)

Um, happy belated birthday! This would not be belated, except that I fell asleep with my computer still in my bed at 9:00 last night.

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zvi_likes_tv on Saturday, January 10th, 2009 @ 01:34am (UTC)

Thanks! And I totally understand. :)

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amedia on Saturday, January 10th, 2009 @ 02:17am (UTC)

This post is made of win and awesome. And cake.

Happy belated birthday, and many many thanks!

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zvi_likes_tv on Saturday, January 10th, 2009 @ 02:55am (UTC)

Thank you and you're welcome!

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