I don’t have comments enabled on LiveJournal, for which I’m very glad, because LJ has just enabled a feature that allows people to crosspost their comments on other users’ locked LJ entries to Facebook and Twitter.
Although visitors from Facebook and Twitter won’t be able to read the locked post, they will know 1) that it exists, 2) the URL and LJ name of who posted it, 3) its title, and 4) the text of the comment, which may or may not include an excerpt from the post and/or enough contextual information to make it clear what the post is about. Since Facebook has very poor privacy controls, its quite likely that this information may be visible not only to the social circle of whoever crossposted it, but also to the public at large, meaning that someone looking for personal information about you could find it via search engine without even knowing the person who crossposted.
It’s currently impossible to turn this “feature” off–you can hide it from yourself, but you can’t stop other people from crossposting their comments on your private entries to their Facebook and Twitter pages. Needless to say, this is a massive breach of privacy.
I would include here a long rant about how LiveJournal is a cynical and unethical company, desperately scrambling to squeeze every last penny from its customers while regarding them with contempt. But you’ve heard it all before, and honestly, I’m over it. It’s clear to me that LiveJournal is never going to change, but meanwhile, Dreamwidth is out there showing that a viable alternative that develops smartly and treats its user with respect is possible.
Read the dw_news community to see how straightforward and open they are compared to LJ.
Example 1: Dreamwidth is redesigning its posting page. Instead of suddenly unleashing a surprise new posting page full of features that users don’t want and fixing problems one by one as users complain, Dreamwidth has 1) announced far in advance that it’s going to change the posting page and explained why, 2) released several test iterations and solicited user feedback first, 3) fixed problems in advance before launching it on the public, and 4) actually listened to the user feedback and made lots of changes in response to our needs and preferences.
Example 2: One of those censorship groups went after Dreamwidth and reported to their payment processor (first PayPal, then Google Checkout) that Dreamwidth allows legal but potentially pornographic content. Instead of caving and deleting content, Dreamwidth stood up for its users, took a financial loss, and put in a ton of extra work to switch payment processors to one that wouldn’t require that they censor legal content.
Example 3: Read Dreamwidth founder Denise in the comments here promising that Dreamwidth won’t spring any kind of crossposting feature without privacy controls and the ability to turn it off, and clearly getting why users care about this stuff.
It’s ridiculously easy to switch to Dreamwidth. They have an automated system that will import your entire LiveJournal in about five minutes. If you want to stay in touch with your LJ friends, they have an automated crossposting system that allows you to post to DW and LJ simultaneously–you can even edit posts in one place and they’ll be updated at both.
For step-by-step instructions with links, use coffeeandink’s How to Move from LJ to Dreamwidth in Six Easy Steps.
You can set up an account by paying $3, using an invite code, or moving as part of a group.
My invite codes are free to anyone who wants one (let me know if you use one so I can take it off the list):
If these are gone, go to dw_codesharing and someone will give you a code.
For groups, their instructions:
Promo codes are a special code you can use to create multiple accounts. If your community or your RP has been eyeing Dreamwidth, but have been not been sure about getting enough invite codes, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details.
You might also want to look at the guide to Dreamwidth for LiveJournal users and at their guiding principles.
I’m slowly making DW my fannish home, and it would make me ridiculously happy if more of my friends would switch, or at least crosspost. If you crosspost, you won’t lose any of your social connections on LJ, but you’ll also make sure that your friends at DW won’t lose touch with you. Please consider setting up a DW account and crossposting–I would love to see you over there.
I have no personal or professional connection with Dreamwidth–I’m pushing for them because I respect what they’re doing, and it feels more positive and productive for me to rave about DW than to complain about LJ.
If your response to this is to tell me that you don’t care about privacy and are too lazy to crosspost, please don’t. I have heard it often enough already. However, if you’re interested in switching and need advice, please let me know–I’m happy to answer questions and help however I can.
Originally published at rusty-halo.com. You can comment here or there.