Options for LJ Refugees

I see from LiveJournal that a mass panic is going on following a substantial numbers of layoffs at the LJ offices in San Francisco. Personally I can’t see LJ going away. They still have their Russian operation, which is the head office, but I guess they may be less responsive to English-language customers in future.

Anyway, if you are looking for a new place to blog, one of the easiest options is to sign up at WordPress.com. You’ll get a free blog with vastly more functionality than LJ, and better free themes as well. The free blogs do have some ads, and a wordpress.com address, but if those things irk you then there are premium account features available. Alternatively, if you are web-savvy and already have a site of your own, you can download the software for free and manage your own blog.

I’ve been using WordPress for several years, and I’m very happy with it. If you have any questions about it, please ask.

8 thoughts on “Options for LJ Refugees

  1. The trouble with WordPress is that it’s a blogging platform, and nothing else, and that’s not what people use LiveJournal for. There’s no way to lock your posts so that only a pre-determined group of people can see them, and there’s no way to have communities, or a view of recent entries from those people who interest you, in chronological order. It’s also completely impossible to set up for non-geeks, or even semi-geeks – I can wrangle Movable Type with little effort, but WordPress I find impossible.

    Many people are setting up accounts as InsaneJournal as a bolt-hole, should it become necessary. It’s the same code base, and has the same features. Most people are even choosing the same usernames.

  2. Feòrag:

    You are right that WordPress doesn’t allow post-locking to a pre-defined friends list. There are some privacy features, but they don’t do quite the same thing. On the other hand, if this caused LJ users to think more carefully about what they are putting online, this might be a good thing.

    You certainly can have communities. WordPress blogs can have many users (though the free ones do have a limit).

    No, there’s no friends list, people will have to learn to use RSS feeds, and that will be a Very Good Thing.

    As for set-up, if you sign up for a free blog at WordPress.com you don’t have to do any set-up.

    And seriously, I would not recommend Moveable Type to anyone. I’m a fairly serious geek, and I won’t go anywhere near it.

  3. And seriously, I would not recommend Moveable Type to anyone. I’m a fairly serious geek, and I won’t go anywhere near it.

    Is that because of some features you dislike or because it’s a bear to set up and maintain?

  4. I shall let Mr. Scalzi speak for me. He’s an ordinary user who, unlike me, doesn’t have the experience of many years as a professional programmer. I just see way too many horror stories.

  5. Feòrag: I’m biased but…….I wouldn’t dismiss WP so quickly until you’ve seen the amount of plugins available for it. You can expand the basic package in all directions and it wouldn’t surprise me if there’s a plugin which exactly mimics those features which LJ users regard as unique.

    WP programmers are always keen to point out that the software also works as an efficient CMS, it’s not only a blogging platform. A number of online magazines use WP as their CMS backbone.

  6. I think it is premature to claim LJ is dead.

    Backups are always a good idea, of course.

    However, WordPress does not have the infrastructure in place to support federated, private blogs at this time.

    Nor do I know of anyone else who has demonstrated the ability to deploy and run Live Journal software at internet scale.

  7. Bill:

    Agreed. I’m amazed at the level of panic. If it had been, say, a German or Japanese company reducing staff at a US subsidiary I don’t think that there would have been anywhere near the level of panic.

  8. I dunno, LJ is a nice safe padded place for folks to evolve toward being real bloggers, where you can make your mistakes in friendslocked posts. Yeah, anybody who wants to make the effort can get at your stuff anyway. But that’s like putting curtains on the windows. Any jerk who wants to rip them down can.

    We’ll see how it shakes out. I’m not worried, although I’m realizing just as I need to back up my computer I should back up LJ, since the content isn’t duplicated anywhere. So that’s positive.

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