The Death of LiveJournal
I joined LiveJournal on January 7, 2003, because a group of friends I had been interacting with for ~13 years suddenly all disappeared from our usual platform (over internal politics by the people in charge) and went to LiveJournal. I have well over 3000 blog entries on LJ. I loved the site because of its privacy features and ease of design.
Recently, now-Russian-owned-and-operated LiveJournal explicitly changed their terms of service to require obeying Russian law. This entails “protecting” minors from discussions of “sexual deviancy.” This is code for LGBTQ+ issues. In order to continue using the site, one has to click “agree” when logging in, and if you don’t, Bad Things™ will happen. (i.e., They disable/remove your account and you lose all access to your blog.)
So I clicked ‘agree,’ but I cannot and do not and will not ever actually agree to those terms. So what that means is that I have to find some way to export all of my 3000+ posts from LJ and import them either to here or to my Blogger blog. Blogger is probably a “better” choice in terms of tone, but I prefer WordPress for the control I have.
What I don’t have is a good way to do this all at once. There is a LiveJournal importer, but it has only negative reviews, because apparently although it tries to import comments along with the blog posts themselves, it ends up duplicating the comments. And not just once or twice, but up to ten times, each. This is something I, too, noticed back before I created this site, when I was playing around on WordPress.com. It was ugly and useless, and I never did get everything cleaned up. It’s a big reason why I’m not hosted on WordPress.com and have my own domain, in fact.
What this means is that I must export my posts — sans comments! :( — from LiveJournal to XML files, then import those into WordPress. But on LJ, one can only export 1 month at a time.
I have 170(ish) months of posts, which will generate — you guessed it — 170ish files, and each one will have to be imported into this blog separately.
What this means to all both of my loyal readers is that . . . things may get weird, here. I have no idea what the LiveJournal posts are going to look like when they end up on WordPress. I have no idea what the date stamps will be. I have no idea what WordPress will do with my formatting or my embedded media or my userpics . . . I just don’t know. I’ll have to try a test, and even that may not be a good indication.
What I do know is that I will turn off the thing that automatically tweets, Google+s, Facebooks, LiveJournals, and Tumblrs new posts, because that would get real fugly, real fast.
I don’t know how long this will take. I do know it will require a ton of time. Time I don’t really have. So it will be slow going. And I also know that although I’ve tried to keep my blog here at least PG-13 because it represents the “professional” part of me, should I ever be published and people come here looking for more me (Hey, it could happen!). My LiveJournal . . . is not PG-13. It’s not NC-17, but it’s certainly at least R-rated. So I will just warn you now. :)
As soon as I’m done exporting all my posts and I’m sure that everything is safely saved and thoroughly backed up, I will be deleting my 14-year-old account on LiveJournal. They will receive no more of my money. They will receive no more of my time. They will receive no more of my consideration. I’m done.
Now, to all the people who are going to snidely comment, “LiveJournal is still a thing? I thought it was already dead!” . . . we get it. You’re very funny. But I really like some of the stuff I have on that site. It’s some of my best writing, and I hate to lose all the comments that I got over the years from friends, former friends, and strangers alike. But there’s no way to preserve them. Will I keep every silly one-sentence pun post? Probably not, to be honest. But whether you knew it or not, there is — or was; I suspect this TOS change will drive most of the decent people who are still using the site away — still a thriving community. Perhaps not as active as it once was, but still active nonetheless. And part of me will miss it. But a much bigger part of me hates what it has become, and refuses to use the site on their terms.
Stay tuned for further developments.