2

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.

2

Logos

When I first created this site, I liked this theme I’m still using. It’s called “Structure,” and the logo they had by default was a block-capital S and T connected by the T’s crossbar. I thought how neat it would be to have my own logo in a similar style. I got an icon designer application and spent far too long (probably close to three hours) drawing a 32 x 32 pixel icon, literally pixel by pixel. If you look at the tab on your browser where you’re reading this, you should be able to see that icon. It’s a light gray capital “W” superimposed on a black capital “W”, slightly offset to the lower right.

But I’ve wanted something better since then. Because ugly. Because lack of graphic design talent. Ideally, it would replace or augment the image at the top of the page where it says “WriteWright The blog of Gary D. Henderson.” Ideally.

The other night, I had a new contact through the “Contact Me” widget and went to that site to deal with it. They were encouraging me to upload my business’s logo. The desire to have my stylized W/W icon/logo hit again, so I spent a couple of hours trying to find sites that would allow me to design logos.

Did I mention that I suck at graphic design? I mean, like really. I have a certain amount of artistic ability (I took art classes for years, and didn’t suck too badly), but I stopped trying to develop it when I discovered computers when I was a junior in high school. (Making a computer jump through logic hoops I designed seemed more fun (and easier, and faster, and more rewarding) than drawing, painting, etc.)

I found quite a few sites out there that allow one to design a logo for free. They usually have a selection of “clip art” one can choose from, and then text can be added. I went through quite a few of them, poking at them to see if they had anything I didn’t hate. (Started off on the right foot, at least. “Didn’t hate” instead of “liked.”)

I was surprised when I found something on every site I tried. I stopped after five. Below are my results. Some sites allowed me to download the design; for others, I had to take a screenshot and clip the image. Which is why, for instance, one of them has visible grid lines and a couple more look a bit rough.

That won’t be the case in the finished logo.

While most of them allow you to design the logo for free, if you want to actually use it, of course, you have to pony up. What I don’t know is what “should be” a reasonable price would be for something like that.

So I thought I’d put the potentials up here to see what people think. Because with the whole ‘suck at graphic design’ thing I have going.

I’m not attached to any of these to the point that I couldn’t just delete them and move on. But these do represent what I thought looked best from the alternatives each site offered me.

Let’s begin!

WriteWright Logo from LogoTypeMaker

WriteWright Logo from LogoTypeMaker

This was the first site I tried. As I flipped desultorily through many uninspired suggestions of clip-art, this one popped up randomly, and looked enough like my original vision that I took notice. It was originally in shades of sickly green, but one of the options they allow is to change those colors, so I did just that. I like the monochrome look I’ve selected for this site, so I stayed with blacks and grays. I would probably play around with colors a bit more and dump the text entirely.

WriteWright Logo from OnlineLogoMaker

WriteWright Logo from OnlineLogoMaker

This one is arguably the closest to my original concept, although I’m not overly fond of the font. (I think it’s the curviness.) But it is the only font they supplied where the W allowed an exact overlap, with all the widths and the angles lining up. I know because I tried every single font I didn’t hate.

WriteWright Logo from LogoMaker

WriteWright Logo from LogoMaker

On this one, I don’t think I got the colors exactly matching, but the concept I was going for is obvious. Again, it kind of goes with the “W” theme, closer to the first design than my original idea, but it’s kind of appealing, to me. I like the ‘rite’ and ‘right’ added on this one, and would probably keep the text.

WriteWright Logo from LogoGarden

WriteWright Logo from LogoGarden

Total departure. This site didn’t have any “W” designs that weren’t hideous, but instead of ditching it altogether, I decided to flip through the hundreds of clip-art images they had to see if any of them called to me. They had a whole section for “writing and writers” and the quill pen is a natural enough association that I went with it. Others that drew me were a stylized pen nib, and a pencil reminiscent of the LiveJournal logo. (Neither of which is shown, because ultimately, I got tired of designing logos. Also because the pen nib design could be taken as a stylized depiction of cleavage, which is probably the point.)

Is the quill maybe a little too cliché?

WriteWright Logo from GraphicsSprings

WriteWright Logo from GraphicsSprings

Finally, this one is back with the overlapping / nested “W.” The original colors were somewhere in the puce range, but I switched to graytones. Again, I would probably dump the text. This one has a certain . . . “Art Deco”? . . . look that I like. But is it too much like the Volkswagon logo? :)

I did a Google image search for “W” logos. There are a lot of them. Some of them are close to some of the designs above, but then there’s only so many ways you can twist a “W” and have it still recognizable as a “W.”

Anyway, you tell me. I lack the graphic design skill, and frankly, they’re all kind of blurring together at this point. Does anything stand out?

4

I Just Don’t Understand

There are a lot of things in this world that I don’t understand. Most of them involve other people. I’m not really all that misanthropic, but the degree to which I am is entirely attributable to people acting . . . weird. Insane. Bizarre. Evilly. Take your pick of modifier.

One thing I really don’t get is spam comments on blogs. Especially small blogs, like mine. I don’t have thousands of subscribers. I have in the range of less than a dozen hits per day except when I make a new post, and then that number triples. So, really, what are they attempting to gain?

This was posted today. On my NaNoWriMo 2012, day 18 post. Which, if you don’t know how NaNoWriMo works, was posted on 11/18/2012. Nearly two years ago.

I enjoy what you guys are usually up too. Such clever work and reporting! Keep up the terrific works guys I’ve you guys to my personal blogroll.

The “person” who made the comment doesn’t link to a working website. It literally uses “example.com.” Clicking on the username would take another reader . . . precisely nowhere. So what, exactly, is the point of making the spam comment? No commerce can happen. No malware can infect. No personal information can be gleaned. I block all suspicious comments and moderate all comments from new commenters. I don’t make this a secret at all. So no one would ever have seen it had it not been for this post.

Five other spam comments made since I last cleaned out my spam folder all have spam/malware sites as the poster’s URL, so I can kind of see the point in those, even if I think the person doing it is a waste of DNA and air. But that one up there . . . just wow.

Here is the text of the other five, edited to remove product or website names. Why? Because they amuse me at the same time they baffle me. Would any native speaker of English — or any other language, for that matter — really think these were legitimate comments?

I arrive from the single relatives house remedy was not achievable and i had to battle it alone. At 19 I used to be considered recovered by frequent health practitioner but 4yrs of recovery i can let you know there is no these thing. Simply because I ended binging and stopped purging didn’t mean I used to be healthy or which i experienced the right mindset. I really never feel it ever goes away and i have tried using and unsuccessful countless diet programs since the line involving an consuming condition and diet plan is around invisible. For the initially time I experience I’m able to [BOGUS SPAM PRODUCT NAME] is a good helper for t and do it the right way but that doesn’t indicate it really is not a battle. Acquiring over the scale I worry nearly every time and this previous week seeing nearly 50 % a pound just about killed me but a lot additional poor arrived from good for all those 6yrs. [6/21 on this post]

In my knowledge, the selection around the scale flat traces a little bit then [FALSO ESTAFA EL NOMBRE DEL PRODUCTO] is slower. This is attributable mostly to h2o, not fat, rather than muscle mass progress. You actually never make considerable muscle although eating in a deficit. I’ve found that my prior 1-1.5 Lbs for every 7 days decline on the scale has turned into .5 to .seventy five Lbs for each week thanks largely to drinking water expected for muscle maintenance….perhaps a teeny weenie itsy bitsy muscle mass advancement, but very little appreciable that may present up on the scale me thinks…only been undertaking this 30 days or so. [6/21 on this post]

Everyone loves what you guys are usually up too. Such clever work and coverage! Keep up the fantastic works guys I’ve you guys to blogroll.| [6/20 on this page; link was to a different FALSO ESTAFA EL NOMBRE DEL PRODUCTO]

However, nothing can be compared to an Internet-based outdoor network which allows users to share all of their exciting hunting stories on the web for others to read and discuss. I hunted in Connecticut, still all the old timers swore by Arkansas hound dogs. Game sites are extensive, and it is easy to get lost. [6/19 on this post; link was to a site my company has blocked]

The Pumpkin Wizard provides template patters by theme. Make tiny spiders from black chenille stems and attach them to the cobwebs. ” Make sure it’s shouted in a French accent as well. [6/16 on this post (OH. THE. IRONY.); site is a malware ‘gaming’ site.]

If I were evil, I’d take money to spam. I mean, it must be lucrative or no one would do it, right? But my bogus comments would be written in standard English. Some of those just hurt my head to read. I guess I could never really be a spammer. I’d twitch too much at the horrible grammar. Although I did laugh out loud at the last one exhorting me to shout something that isn’t made clear in a French accent. Because that’s apparently a thing.

Well . . . all right, then.

<‘Orrible Franch akSONT> «I’m French. Why do you think I have this outrageous accent, you silly king?» </’Orrible Franch akSONT>

5

The Naming of Blogs

So, where did the name of my blog come from? I shall tell you, and it’s a short tale.

I needed a ‘professional’ site, unassociated with my other two blogs, where I could blog about all things writing-related. My non-writer friends didn’t want to see that for the most part, and the kinds of things I write about on the other two sites aren’t “professional.” I use language I don’t use here, etc.

I wanted my name as a domain, but some lawyer already owned garyhenderson, so with some trepidation, I looked for and did not find ‘garydhenderson.’ So I bought it. Looked for hosting, and set up WordPress. Within days I was ready to go, having picked what I had been told was the best kind of template to use for writing: black text on a white background, with a simple design and no extraneous pictures or colors or fonts.

But I didn’t want to just call the blog ‘Gary D. Henderson’s blog’ either. I wanted something with pizzaz. Panache. A certain . . . je ne sais quoi.

I love me some puns. And I also love homophones. Words that sound alike but have different meanings and etymologies. Words like pear, pare, and pair. Or pedal, peddle, and petal (if you’re from the south, they’re practically identical).

Or write, rite, wright, and right.

I tried desperately to work all four in, but in the end, none of those sounded like anything I wanted to read, much less write.

And what is a writer if not a wright, of a sort. So: write wright. Or WriteWright.

Since that domain is taken and so is the Twitter account (I tried to get the guy parked on it to let me have it, but he did not answer), I couldn’t fully embrace it other than using it as my blog title, which I’ve done, as you can see.

I also own several other domains relating to the series of novels I’m working on, but they are parked and not pointed at anything right/write/wright/rite now.

All in good time. :)

If you’re at all curious about my other two blogs and how they got their names, you can find the entries here (LiveJournal) and here (Blogger).


This post is in response to The Writer’s Post Blog Hop 2014 #4 prompt, Explain the Name of Your Blog. The host is Suzy Que. Other entries are linked from her blog post.

1

BlogLovin Post

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

This is a post just used to claim this blog as my own on BlogLovin. There’s really nothing to see here. :)

0

I Should Be Stopped

Insane by fraleyla, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  fraleyla 

I’m trying to design some business cards for WorldCon later this year. I’ve got it down to a couple of designs, the only difference being how the picture of me is oriented with relation to the text, which consists of my email, Twitter, Facebook, and website addresses (that would be here).

Both of them have a picture of me (different pictures), and underneath the image it has my name in full, and underneath that, my Twitter bio, which is this.

Creator and Destroyer of Worlds

But a couple of days ago in a chat with a friend of mine, I said the following.

I invent imaginary people and make them have conversations in my head. I also write.

I don’t know why, but I find this quite funny. My friend, it must be noted, neither laughed nor even reacted, but that is probably because she expects these kind of statements out of me, and believes that any reaction — positive or negative — could be taken as encouragement.

Is it just me, or is that better than Creator and Destroyer of Worlds? It’s a big longer, but . . . maybe I could make it work. I don’t know.

What do you think?

1

Thank You

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I appreciate it, truly.

I apologize, however, for requiring registration in order to leave a comment. I know it’s a hassle. I really do. I would open things up if I could, but from the first day I set up this blog, I started getting spam comments, spam pingbacks, and spam user registrations. I’m still getting spam user registrations to the tune of five or ten per new blog post. The point of it just escapes me. They’re all using emails from 163.com, mail15.com, and hotmail.com.

If you have any useful suggestions on how to stem the tide without making it impossible for real people to comment, I’d be grateful to hear them.

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