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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

On LJ and DW ...

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet

"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

On LJ and DW ...

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bread and puppet
I've avoided talking much about LJ's latest shenanigans. Part of this is just sheer exhaustion with the regular cycle on LJ-induced outrage that has been going on since SixApart bought LiveJournal twelve years ago. Twelve years, y'all.

I've also been posting to Dreamwidth with automatic crossposts to LiveJournal for seven years now. (Yeesh. All this looking back makes me feel old.) I would have gladly conducted most of my activity on DW--ymmv but the site is far more user-friendly and the administration actually gives a flying fig about its users and isn't evil--but most of my friends didn't move, or if they did, commented on my posts on LJ, which made me feel somewhat like the person who chooses to move out of their bass-ackwards hometown but everyone they know still lives there, and they love those people, so they spend a lot of time there nonetheless.

Anyway, not much is changing for me.

  1. I will continue to post to DW as my primary journal site with automatic crossposts to LJ. I totally get why the new skeevy-as-fuck ToS has encouraged people to close their accounts (just as I got why people left when U.S.-owned SixApart pulled their multiple bouts of fundagelical-induced stupidity) but ...

  2. I plan to ignore that anyway and continue to leave up the "gay propaganda" and the slash and all the cussing I've dabbled in over the years and to continue posting these things when I want to. I'm not even clear if the ToS applies to me, as a paid account holder (and apparently the paid accounts are still U.S.-owned?), since I don't read Russian and the person LJ chosen to answer English-language questions on their news post could barely speak English ... but whatevs. I really don't give a fuck if LJ wants to shut down my account, so I'm going to continue to post what I want without special warnings or filters or whatever.

All that said, I AM diverting much of my reading to DW rather than LJ. In reading regularly on both sites over Spring Break, I've found that most people who are still posting are crossposting, and I'd rather read and comment on DW. I do get post notifications from a few close friends on LJ, and I'll keep replying to those, but I'm not foreseeing picking up reading on LJ anytime in the near future. Because honestly? I'd love to see what remains of journaling activity move to DW, so be the change, right?

I'm also trying to track down Tolkien fandom people that I'm not following yet. If you're over there under a name other than your LJ handle, can you let me know, please?

There is one thing, brought up in a discussion by the B2MeM mods, that disturbs me: LJ accounts are now liable to be shut down after six months of inactivity? Does anyone know if that is in fact true? And does it retroactively apply, even if someone has not accepted the new ToS (as in they are not longer around to accept said ToS)? I don't see why it wouldn't ... or couldn't. If so, I foresee a massive loss of fan history, not just in Tolkien fandom but everywhere, from both personal LJs and communities.

Here is what the non-legally-binding (so take with a grain of salt) English ToS says: "6.1.1. The Administration reserves the right to delete Account and Blog if User did not access the Account or the access was restricted for more than six months due to a breach hereof."

But I haven't seen discussion of this aside from the conversation among the B2MeM mods. Has anyone heard anything about this? I found a post on the OTW that talks about some of the other implications of the ToS, but this is not mentioned.

This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

  • I AM diverting much of my reading to DW rather than LJ. In reading regularly on both sites over Spring Break, I've found that most people who are still posting are cross-posting, and I'd rather read and comment on DW

    That's cuts me out of most discussions I'd like to know about probably. As you can well imagine I am really sorry to hear that. I will be deprived of your comments on other peoples' entries because I am not set up to be notified of everyone's DW cross-posts, when I do read there, I am the only one among my longtime LJ friends to join in the discussion.

    I am too tired to think about this. I fell off the wagon again of trying to cross-post from DW--such a pain in the ass and so fiddly for me. I even tried it backwards for a while--posting here and cutting and pasting to DW. I don't like tracking the two threads either.

    I still like posting here first because of the photo and graphic issues for me, and the majority of people who bother to comment on my daily blogs have never commented on any of my DW posts. In the two months I was cross-posting I tracked down everyone I could find who was duplicated on DW "friended them" there and only had at most three comments on my DW posts over the course of the two months or so I cross-posted every entry! OMG.

    There are three people I follow there, because they are ONLY there. They don't comment on my DW posts either! In fact, they rarely post.

    Believe me if DW becomes busier and LJ crashes someone will buy DW and it will be the whole story all over again. No reason why someone could not make at least a modest amount of money on DW if there were no LJ and we DO live under capitalism. (And that is how all of the social media sites go in the end--whatever their founders' original purposes/principles were.)

    I did finally figure out why I cannot pay for Dreamwidth with a manageable tiny monthly fee like I pay for everything else--LJ, Dropbox, etc. It is a money collection problem for DW and not just jackass elitist inconsideration which I thought it was.

    I wish I had known that several years ago, but they have not well enough publicized their reason for making it hard/expensive for poor little me. That was my number one resentment of and gripe about DW all of these years.

    So, if I can put the old grudge against them aside--about the money stuff and the fact that I had to originally wait months for one of there precious permits, because I was not cool enough to get in on the ground floor. I could move over theoretically and maybe it is more user friendly for paid users and I could be super-disciplined and creative about how to change my way of budgeting (ha!!). But then I could not pay for LJ and that would require something on the order of me moving the HASA archive alone to backup all the photos I have hosted there over the years and finding their links all over the internet and correcting them all (I know no one cares about that but me!). It's pretty hilarious that I do so much to maintain a Tolkien fandom presence on the internet when I have never been very mainstream or especially well read! I'm probably delusional that it even matters, but I'm as stubborn as I am crazy.

    Apologies for the rant. It is Sunday and I am babysitting (grudgingly) and Alex doesn't want to go the movies with me today. I really, really want to see that movie Your Name (Japanese anime film which is getting rave reviews, being called "a beautiful masterpiece about time"--I know he would love it from the reviews and I know his taste as well as my own); but he is agitated about juggling his homework and his i-pad addiction. He would have to shut it down now and do his homework to be able to see the film! Somebody just shoot me!

    My apologies again about the stupid rant!! Of course, I will find you wherever you are. But now I feel like I need to feel guilty about either forcing you to follow me here or do what it would require for me to rationally follow you there. It feels like a choice--but I am not even sure that is not my mental illness talking and not rational thinking.

    Maybe the gods are trying to tell me something about how I manage my life.

    Edited at 2017-04-23 04:40 pm (UTC)
    • I will be deprived of your comments on other peoples' entries

      Since I haven't commented regularly on LJ for years, I don't see how you're going to be "deprived" of anything. I get email notifications for a handful of people I know in RL--you're one of them!--but most of those people barely if ever post; you're the only one who posts with any regularity, so your LJ is really the only place I comment.

      Have you contacted support about your cross-posting issues? Mine was ridiculously easy to set up and has failed maybe a half-dozen times in the seven years I've been doing it ... so it should not be difficult and I'm sure they can help you. I was willing to help you but you were pretty emphatic about not wanting help.

      I'm also not willing to NOT support a non-profit, fandom-friendly, fan-run website whose objective I support out of the hypothetical possibility that they will become insanely popular and sell to the highest bidder. I don't see journal-style blogs becoming popular enough for that to be a worry, for one, but if it were to happen? I'd cross that bridge then. I could set up my own journal on my own webspace if I wanted.

      LJ, though, has been and continues to be despicable since they were sold by Brad. And that has nothing to do with the Russians--you know I have no high opinion of SixApart, whose Christian fundamentalist-flavored decisions a lot of people seem to have conveniently forgotten in the current hullabaloo. I'd much rather my money and support go toward the site that is currently doing work I support than to withhold said support out of a cynical conviction that they are going to "sell out." That seems a recipe for a self-fulfilling prophecy, imo. Plenty of non-profits stay as non-profits. (Did any current social media networks even start as non-profits?)

      I had to originally wait months for one of there precious permits, because I was not cool enough to get in on the ground floor.

      I'm sorry to hear that. I was given nine invites for people and advertised them on my LJ and had almost no takers. Then, when we opened the SWG on DW, we (the SWG) also offered invites to members who wanted to set up journals there (on an offer from DW); we had no takers then.

      So I don't know why you missed both of those opportunities, but I'm sorry you did since it's negatively colored your view of the site and really needn't have.

      Anyway, I don't know why you're upset with me since I'm operating under the same system I've been operating under for seven years now, with the exception that if I have time for flist-reading, it will occur on DW rather than LJ.

      It's totally cool that you like LJ more--I get why it meets your needs better. It does not meet my needs better. I'm sick of its image-heavy posting page and, since the server move, about half the time I open a page, I have to stop and refresh it at least once to get it to open at all on my whack Internet. It took about three minutes to load this page to write this comment, for example. I'm tired generally of sites that add these pretty bells and whistles like the entire world lives in an urban center with cable Internet. And I don't give a damn about the gallery or about having hundreds of icons. One of the things I liked best when I moved to DW seven years ago was that it reminded me of old-school LJ, and because of their stated commitment to accessibility, it has remained a much easier site for me to use over those seven years, even as they've built on the original open-source LJ code. LJ is terribly organized, and I get the impression from the mangled staff comments on the news post about the ToS that English-language support is going down the tubes too (as though LJ has had much in the way of support anyway; when my comments weren't showing up recently and I contacted support about it, I received a reply blaming me for something I didn't do that the person believed made it happen, then magically, a day later, the comments started showing again. And I pay money for this shit??)

      Still, I'm keeping my LJ open (and may even keep my paid account; I haven't decided on this yet) because I don't want to lose that connection with people for whom DW is not a good fit or who don't want to move for whatever reason.
      • So I don't know why you missed both of those opportunities, but I'm sorry you did since it's negatively colored your view of the site and really needn't have.

        Started trying way earlier, and had waited months and finally snagged an invite by that time. You were busy with a real life during that time, while I was busy for months trying to get an invite to DW because I actually believed LJ would fold. I never knew LJ until Sixpart and it didn't seem much more Christian and fundamentalist than the people on HASA who voted down slash fics! Or fandom people who insisted that the MEFAs should be censored for adult work.

        The problem with the cross-post is I cannot find a better photo server for my purposes than LJ. Last thing I was doing was using LJ again as my photo server and then posting twice since it does not post from LJ to DW.

        I'm sick of its image-heavy posting page and, since the server move, about half the time I open a page, I have to stop and refresh it at least once to get it to open at all on my whack Internet.

        And I thought I had the slowest loading internet in the world. That, in and of itself, would cause me to dump LJ--I never glance at that "image-heavy" first page, although I do hate it on general principles. Well, I guess I can never move to Vermont! I had an internet like that when I had dial-up in Park Slope with a teenager and a telephone and two computers 15 years ago and I had no patience with it then!! Because I was used to instant access of everything at work.

        So, I'm sorry, I have to suck it up that I eventually will have to use DW, or stop trying to reach people, one or the other or both.

        I never found that LJ had any service anyway. Their service is run by volunteers who do not know its ins and outs as well as I do!

        Missing out on discussions: I can't keep my balls in the air as is. I always come onto the Heretic Loremaster the day after everyone had a hot discussion on something. I never managed to get that notification system to work for me.

        I have appreciated it very much that you started posting again after finishing your thesis, and that you did almost always read my posts.

        I have thought to setting up my own web page on occasion, but the amount of attention I get here and on Tumblr shows I have no need for one. I am living in the past. I remember when there was a possibility--only about five years ago of--having a lively discussions here, more often than not. No such luck these days. At least I can keep in touch with a couple of people by email.

        My world is getting smaller and darker all at the same time and this recent LJ business and final exodus of people I enjoy being in contact with has been the final straw. It would HAVE to happen when I was depressed also and not when I was on an "up" and feeling positive!

        And my stupid pictures and graphics are just a big fat excuse. Not even Laura cares about my stupid pictures.
        • And I thought I had the slowest loading internet in the world.

          I sometimes remind myself that I don't either and that people who live in rural areas outside the U.S. would probably think what I have is lightning fast! :) I have satellite Internet, which means that if it is raining, cloudy, or snowing, then the speed drops significantly. Or if I'm trying to use the Internet while Bobby's watching a snowboarding video or surfing Facebook. Pretty much it sucks unless I'm hone alone on a sunny day (like now! And even today, I have had problems with LJ, which tells me it is on their end and not on mine for once.)

          I never managed to get that notification system to work for me.

          That's my fault because I never bothered to fully learn WordPress. :^\ I learned enough to set up the site and that was it. My sister did a lot for me last year to make it less embarrassingly bad than it was but I hate depending on people to do things for me and really ought to have learned WP for myself rather than asking for her help. And it's stupid that I never learned--I can't explain why! I have learned Drupal, where the learning curve is like Everest compared to the flight of stairs posed by WP. Or I can build my own site from scratch but don't know the first thing about WP plugins. It's really stupid and embarrassing.

          Anyway, I'm eventually going to move my whole site to Drupal, including the HL, which means I'll actually be able to set up things that work. When I do that will depend on how quickly we are ready to move the SWG ... the SWG gets priority, of course.

          If ever you want your own site, I'd help you set it up if you wanted, and/or you could even host your domain on my server space, so you would not have to pay for hosting (just the domain name). This could solve the image-hosting issue too. For me, having my own site is more about having a space that I control completely (aside from my webhost's ToS ... but if they pulled an LJ on me, I could move to a different host if I wanted). I don't like counting on other people to want to maintain a project or not to change their mind about something that is important to me (like how LJ was ad-free when I joined and friendly, both of which changed when SixApart came on-board and only worsened with SUP).

          I lament the fall of old-school LJ too. I remember when if I missed a day or two of reading my flist, it was impossible to catch up. Now I can read my flist in fifteen minutes on a good day. I just fished out an old link from 2007, and I had posts with dozens of people commenting ... on dumb shit about my everyday life! Nothing momentous. Most of the people I feel really close to I either met or interacted with regularly on LJ.

          I don't think the loss of that was entirely LJ's fault--although their boneheadedness didn't do any favors!--but more the appeal of "micro-blogging" (don't know if you could hear me gagging as I typed that ;) and the instant gratification (I just typed "gratifucation"! ha!) of sites like Tumblr and Twitter. I have accounts on both but have been able to get into neither because it's the deeper interaction with content and people that I want--in short, old-school LJ.

          I actually enjoy your pictures and your journaling in general. I like that you share your everyday life; I want to do better with that but have trouble making it a priority, which means it doesn't get done.
          • I think part of my problem is my crazed hatred of "micro-blogging"--Laura comes to me a dozen times a week asking me what I think someone meant by their two-word response to her ten-word entry. I cannot wrap my mind about limiting myself to that kind of communication with others.
            • I agree! I have Twitter because it seems required to have an online Presence these days outside of fandom, but I mostly use it only to post links to my work and other people's Tolkien-related stuff (like your character bios!) Whenever I try to use it otherwise, I frustrate myself trying to meet the limits or what I say falls flat. Brevity is not a strength of mine, as though I have to tell you of all people that.

              Also! Do you subscribe to heretic_lore? It's a way to get notifications of new HL posts in your friends feed. (It's an RSS feed, so I do not get notified of comments to the feed, so you shouldn't comment on LJ, but it will at least let you know when I have a new post up with a link if you want to leave a comment or read what others have said.) After my [lengthy ... ha!] lament over my lack of WP skills, I remembered this.
    • Hi Oshun. Couple of things that might be helpful?

      I have a free account on DW and honestly the only reasons I can find to pay for one are 1) extra user pics (you get 15 with a free account and 100 with a paid one) and 2) to support the site, as the only finance they receive is through account payments and shop sales, and the vast majority of their members have free accounts.

      And there are no ads, unlike with free LJ.

      DW have finally brought in photo hosting. It's a tad more work than LJ, in that you upload the picture and then copy and use the image url in your post. It would work about the same to load the images on LJ and use the address over on DW, just you don't have to work between 2 sites.

      'I've found there's way more activity than before, people are commenting on posts so it looks similar to LJ re number of comments. Each time there's drama, there's an increase in use I know, but this is more solid than I recall before. I did a post asking how many people were regularly over there that I had friended and was suprised by the response. I'm trying now to respond over there to the people I know prefer the site.

      I do agree with Dawn, it's a lot like old-school LJ, Brad era, and the owners go to some effort to communicate. I don't know if they'd sell out if they got a good enough offer, but that's not the impression I get - it seems very much their baby.

      • Thanks for the information.

        1) extra user pics (you get 15 with a free account and 100 with a paid one)

        I currently have 216 user pics and roughly 4,000 or more uploaded photos and graphics many linked from LJ to other sites. It has been one of my major forms of entertainment and methods of interaction--probably even more than my fic writing and canon research. etc. Yeah, I am a special little snowflake!

        LJ has been the greatest thing ever for me and I came in after all the hostile takeovers so I have no memory of better days.

        Thanks again for the information. It is very useful. I am going to need to know all of that stuff, because LJ without my friends is no longer LJ. So I am just railing at the gods at this point.

        • I keep my loaded user pics at around 40 on LJ, just because I find it hard to sort through more than that on the drop down when I'm commenting, though I have no idea how many hundred are sitting in my icons folder. 15 is really hard work for me but I'll swap them out regularly as I did on my rpg journals. I've used LJ photo hosting for ages even though I have webspace to load them to because it's just so convenient, but I'm starting to go back and save and store them now. If anything happens, I'm not losing the images as well.

          LJ's my longtime online home, even though it's so much quieter these days, so I do understand how you feel. Thing is, it's grown less and less like the site I checked multiple times a day back in the 'old days'. That makes me really sad.

          • 40 sounds like a reasonable number, but I always do everything to excess.

            LJ's my longtime online home, even though it's so much quieter these days, so I do understand how you feel. Thing is, it's grown less and less like the site I checked multiple times a day back in the 'old days'. That makes me sad.

            Same here!
  • I'm still trying to find motivation to look at DW again... I should probably at least back my stuff up and read my friends page there more often, but something about it just doesn't make me want to spend much time there yet. Maybe I'll see when I'm worrying less about other things in life and have a little more mental energy for this sort of thing (though I plan to keep posting and reading on LJ either way).
    • It's not a good fit for everyone, and I totally get that! I find DW much more pleasant than LJ, but my needs are not going to be everyone's.

      (It did take me forever to find a DW theme I liked that wasn't either ice cream-colored or light text on a dark background!)

      I do think it's a good idea to back up one's LJ in some way. Or any site content, really.
  • When I was away a few years back, I logged in once in a blue moon because there was already a rule about deleting inactive journals. I think the period was one year, though...? Anyway, I haven't finalized my move yet out of sheer lack of time and energy. I love the LJ community but the business, not so much.
    • there was already a rule about deleting inactive journals.

      Interesting ... I don't think they ever made good on it. At least, I have both communities and side LJs that I haven't touched in years and they're still open. :^\

      I love the LJ community but the business, not so much.

      Agreed! Although I've had a sharp drop in activity on my LJ since the server move (and an uptick on DW), so that motive is fast-fading, I hate to say ...
      • I got a notice about an inactive journal that I have had for nearly ten years and never used expect to upload a half dozen user pics and one entry. So now I make an entry once every six months or so.

        OMG people have let entire fandom fic archives disappear without a backward glance! Or asking anyone if they would like to take it over. How about Elffetish and its name generator? I cannot name OCs anymore.
        • You know that breaks my heart--I am such an Elf! I never want to let anything go. I would gladly host someone's personal fandom site before letting it just disappear. I always totally got the Elves and their specific use of the Rings of Power because I see so much of myself in that desire. I drove myself insane over that HASA Rescue endeavor, gave up other projects for it that I really wanted to do (like the B2MeM ebook, which I've yet to pick up!) because I couldn't stand the thought of all that fan history, all those stories lost. (Then it became a moot point because they went through Open Doors anyway.)

          The name generator is still available through the Wayback Machine, although Pixellated Feanor no longer works, but I have used the lists to kind of cobble together my own names. In my current story, I'm mangling Primitive Quendian for naming purposes!
  • You may be interested in this post as it seems to feature an independent translation of bits of the Russian TOS, including the bits you're asking about (I think I got the link from a comment of Rhapsody's):
    Of course, what the owners of LJ reserve a right to do if they want is not necessarily the same as what they are actively planning to do.

    By the way, DW is not technically not-profit (not implying they are making real money out of it), but I guess maybe you knew that and were using the term loosely to Oshun above.
    • Thank you! I will check out that link now.

      Ack--you're right re: non-profit status! And Denise had that in her last post too, so I had no excuse to fudge that up.
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