azurite: Life is short, talk fast (life is short talk fast)
Every time I go away from Dreamwidth blogging for a while, Dreamwidth goes and gets more awesome. I decided to nix my Premium account because even though I love the site and service, I was using it so rarely I couldn't justify the expense, especially when I've got my own domain and am often trying to post to my various WordPress-powered blogs on sites there.

The problem is, my sites are so new, so thin on content, that I don't have that built-in community.

This gets crossposted to LiveJournal, and why? Well, LJ has been around even longer than Dreamwidth, but LJ also had so so so many issues when Six Apart sold it (even before that, when Brad sold it to Six Apart). I really didn't like a lot of those changes, and I saw a lot of my fellow LJers move over to Dreamwidth. The communities sometimes followed, but not always.

I have a permanent account on LJ, which means it's not supposed to go anywhere, ever. Theoretically, all the interconnected services there are these days should mean that it's EASIER to cross-post and always stay up-to-date, but the real experience of LJ and DW are the Friends List/Reading Page, and these days, if I'm reading anything for a prolonged period of time, it's Facebook. Yes, there are fan communities there too, but it's very much NOT the same.

I never really divided my fandom self from my "real" self-- I'm not afraid to tell people who I am on Facebook or deviantArt or wherever, and I've never particularly cared about "IRL" friends or family finding out about my fandom activities.

"Judge not, lest ye be judged" I guess.

Long-winded entry continues here... )
azurite: (back to the future - save the clock towe)
Do you remember when LiveJournal used to be cool? You had to get an invite to even get a journal there. It was not only exclusive, it was run well. It just seemed to work. You didn't have this big complicated install, where you had to understand CGI or PHP or any of that stuff. You just went to the website, logged in, and wrote. You could get comments if you wanted, attach different moods and icons to each post to express yourself. You could organize things into Memories, and later, add tags. You could customize the look of your own journal, get friends, join communities.

You can still do all of that, and more (Scrapbook! Games!) but it's bloated now. I think everything went downhill the minute the site got sold to SixApart. They didn't know what the hell they were doing, and when SixApart sold it to whatever Russian company owns it now, it got even worse.

The amount of spam I get on my various posts throughout my LiveJournal history has increased nearly exponentially over the past few years. Communities are the one and only thing that LiveJournal and similar sites (like Dreamwidth, bless its heart) have over better, spam-free, more customizable blogging software--like WordPress, which I am now using for pretty much all of my websites.

I remember trying to deal with some of the spam over the past few days while my computer was "recovering" from an Erase and Install of the OS. I was busy installing updates and such, so I couldn't do it on there. I tried accessing the LiveJournal mobile site on my iPad, and I couldn't even tap on the login boxes, because every time I did, it thought I was tapping on the LiveJournal logo, so it just took me back to the homepage. It's because the mobile site wasn't properly optimized, and the full site must have used some Java that caused the login box to move around on the main banner. The mobile site--if one can even log into it--sucks, and that's becoming an increasingly dangerous thing in this day and age. Something that's BUILT to be accessible and responsive should be a priority for websites of any kind in this day and age. It's definitely something I'm aspiring to for my sites.

It's no longer a case of LiveJournal working; it's a matter of "if" and "when" -- it's also getting hit more and more frequently with DDoS attacks or other various outages that are never fully explained. LiveJournal doesn't have any sort of reliable presence to notify us of such outages AS they happen, so people are left in the dark. Sure, LiveJournal isn't exactly a crucial service, but it's still a pain in the butt when you're trying to access something specific--or perhaps writing something important--and all of a sudden you can't access it. If you've paid for any portion of the service--which a lot of people had, including me, way back in the day when I thought a Permanent Account might be a good idea--then you're essentially losing money for every moment of downtime, which is why LiveJournal is probably bleeding out its coffers trying to pay back users for all their lost time.

I'll miss it, but honestly? Bring back the blogroll. I can import my LiveJournal into WordPress now, maybe even figure out a way to crosspost it here to Dreamwidth (because I like Dreamwidth and at least want to support its continued development via communities I run), then I can just do everything I want from one single place. That'd be nice.
azurite: (disney - ariel ooh shiny!)
Did you know that [livejournal.com profile] 30kisses has been around for over FIVE years? I'm so proud. Anniversaries for things like that are the sort of thing I don't remember, so I don't make a big fuss about it. :P

For those of you that don't know, 30kisses is the fanfiction & fanart challenge community that I run on LiveJournal. It's also got counterparts on Dreamwidth and AO3. People pick a fandom, a pairing (couple of characters), and a Theme Set List with 30 themes, and then try to write to each of those themes, along with a central "core" theme. For example, 30 "kisses," where a "kiss" has to appear in each story/piece of art, along with 30 individual themes. Submissions can use more than one theme at a time, or have one theme spanning multiple chapters, be Alternate Universe/Reality/Timeline/What-have-you, whatever! So it's a great challenge and it's been very popular over the years. I created it in response to the absolute SLOWNESS of the original [livejournal.com profile] 30_kisses community, and I haven't looked back since. Apparently, people like it enough, because FIVE YEARS...!

It's amazing! And we've had some fantastically supportive, active members, one of whom has been churning out great fics for all sorts of fandoms, using various Theme Set Lists, including the most difficult one we've got, List Zeta/memory. As a thank-you and reward, we've given her a 1-Year Paid LJ Account and for completing the list, a 140 userpic Add-On over at LJ. It's not much, considering the community itself isn't paid and doesn't have a fancy layout, but I really wanted to thank people that seriously stick with the community, contribute to fandom, and of course, make my life easier by following all the rules... :D

I'd really like to bring 30kisses over to Dreamwidth, and I've already got the community token used, but I'd rather not have to create a dummy mod account just for the sake of managing the community. If a community can ACT like a regular user, posting entries and whatnot, that would be great. Or maybe you can already do that, and I don't know about it? Can anyone with some DW community experience share?

I'm working on overhauling the Hall of Fame for 30kisses; it's pretty plain looking, but at least the coding is valid, and it's easy to find everyone's entries. Still, I think most people read directly on LJ, because you know what order to read in, exactly what themes go to what number, and so on. I'm not sure if there's an easy way to do that for a Hall of Fame (on LJ or off), considering the SIZE of the HoF. I don't like the idea of breaking it up onto multiple LJ pages. :(

I also want to change up the way the banners look. Five years is enough time using the same narrow, vaguely-cutesy banner with a "kiss/lipstick" logo, right? If you've seen any awesome banners used for awards and the like online, let me know--I need ideas!

I'm very happy about this--among other things--right now. It's a good day, and I've accomplished many things, with the support and belief of others. Thank you, everyone! :)
azurite: (cat and mouse)
Testing to see if Dreamwidth and MacJournal (which I just nabbed from the new MacHeist nanoBundle) work well together.

Yes, and here's how:

Go to Journal > Edit Blog Settings

FIRST TIME SETUP ONLY:
Step 1: Type in your URL; MacJournal will fill in the http://.
Step 2: Type your User Name and Password; save it in the Keychain if you wish.

Step 3/BLOG SETUP EDITS:

-In the window that appears, type "Dreamwidth" or similar for the Name.
-Select "LiveJournal" for the type, since Dreamwidth is a port of LiveJournal (so to speak)
-For the URL, type your blog's complete URL, such as http://yournamehere.dreamwidth.org.
-The Post URL is this: http://www.dreamwidth.org/interface/xmlrpc
- Finally, type your user name in the User ID field. You shouldn't need to type anything in the blog ID field.

You can post by clicking on Share > Send to "Dreamwidth" (or whatever you've named your journal in MacJournal in Step 3). A blue bar will appear at the bottom of the screen if you've successfully posted. If you have crossposting set up on Dreamwidth, it will also crosspost to any other journaling services (e.g. LJ) that you have set-up there.

I recommend having the Inspector open so you can do things like add Tags; this field is not in the MacJournal window by default.

While you can see Moods, Friend Groups, and User Pictures in the sidebar when you click on Edit Blog Settings, there does not appear to be a way to actually include these in your individual entries at this time (please correct me if I'm wrong).

There is not a way to post to communities now or for the foreseeable future. This is something I discovered by perusing the Mariner Software forums. It's sad, but it's true, which means I likely won't be using MacJournal for much.

The next best bet? iJournal. It's got all the best features (though it's not exactly Semagic for Mac), though for me right now, it's being REALLY slow and constantly checking my friends' page for updates (even though it never bothers to tell me if there ARE any). It also used to notify me when my post was received by Dreamwidth, but now it just clears the window. Kind of scary!

xJournal appears to be at a standstill dev-wise, but I keep it around because I have old entries in that format still.

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