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Note: Posts have been migrated to my personal blog at finnie.org, and new entries are being posted there, and not here. Please go there if you would like to comment on an old entry.

Hello, LiveJournal

My LJ paid account expired today. You're not exactly inspiring me to renew.

Edit: For context, I posted this during a week-long RSS outage. I have since moved my RSS feeds (and anyone still posting on my friendslist) to Google Reader. I still check here occasionally for friends-only posts, but they're pretty rare.

Goodbye, LiveJournal (not really)

Executive summary: Please add rfinnie to your friends list, but don't remove fo0bar (me) from your friends list.

Today, I launched my new web site/blog at http://www.finnie.org/, syndicated on LiveJournal at rfinnie. I imported all of my LiveJournal entries (all 770 from the last 8 years), and will be using that site for blog updates. I'll still be using fo0bar as my daily drama/RSS reader, so please don't remove me from your friends list, particularly if you post friends-only a lot. I never really posted friends-only (7 times out of 770, and most of those were simply time-sensitive), so that was never really a consideration for me.

What was a consideration in my move, however, was the community aspect. LiveJournal is a community site, with a blogging interface. Many times actual discussions result in the comments section of a journal post, whereas my observations of standalone blogs are more of a series of one-way streets. You post, someone comments. pdx6 mentions that "if you drive enough traffic to your site, the standalone blog model will work", but I see that as more of the exception, rather than the rule.

However, I have taken steps to mitigate this. My new blog has threaded commenting enabled (see this popular imported post for an example), and I have enabled OpenID commenting. You may or may not know this, but LiveJournal (Brad specifically) is the inventor of OpenID, and you all have OpenID accounts, whether you know it or not. If you want to comment on a new blog post on my site, you'll see three fields: Name, Email and "Website (OpenID Enabled)". Simply put your LiveJournal URL there (http://fo0bar.livejournal.com/ for example), and leave Name and Email blank. You will be redirected back to LiveJournal, where it will ask for your permission to post the comment. If you approve, it will show up just as if you commented from LiveJournal (because you just did!). BTW, this will work from any OpenID-enabled site, not just LiveJournal.

(Related plug: Hampr is another one of my projects, and is fully OpenID enabled. Hampr is a personal bookmark manager site with an integrated Firefox extension (soon to receive a major facelift).)

Despite the downsides, there are some real reasons for moving. LiveJournal, for whatever reason, has horrible karma in Google (as of this writing, Google lists 118 results for site:fo0bar.livejournal.com, again, out of 770 entries), so this will give me increased visibility. LiveJournal itself has a certain stigma as well. For example, I recently posted a review of a new monitor. IMHO, it looks more "professional" on a standalone blog site than as a LiveJournal post. Plus, I think I've got a design that is both good looking and functional.

Note that any recent (or not so recent) LiveJournal news has not really influenced my decision. I'll stay around as long as there are a few rats left, whether or not the ship turns out to be sinking. And they'll probably continue to receive my $25 per year.

So again, be sure to add rfinnie to your friends list. And of course, I'll still be around, commenting on what you had for breakfast. Cheers!

Oh! I almost forgot. I already have a new post over there: a hard-hitting exposé on reusable grocery bags. Fun for the entire family!

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