First off, a happy belated Thilafa to everyone! Sadly, I didn’t get the cleaning I wanted to get done, but I’ve at least started the process. I need a proper broom, though, at least for display.
That covered, on to the meat of this. Some of you have noticed that I’m no longer posting natively to LJ these days. Others of you have noticed that a lot of people have said that they’d like to leave LiveJournal, and that many have headed to Dreamwidth. I understand the appeal of Dreamwidth being a good interim solution, but it’s really just going to fracture things further as some people move and some don’t, and people start losing track of each other because we all went to other places, and suddenly what used to be a community is a bunch of random people shouting into the void in each others’ vague directions.
Recognizing that, I may be adding to the chaos a bit, but it’s my hope that this will help in the long run. I present below the best guide I can at present to migrating off of LiveJournal and onto your own blogging platform, wherever you feel like putting it.
- For this, you’ll need to find a hosting provider, obviously. I’ll be migrating mine to Prismatic in the near-future, but you could theoretically run this anywhere you like. You’ve got a customizable interface, you can make it as pretty as you’d like, and you’re not tied to LiveJournal’s look and feel. Once you’ve found a hosting provider, you’ll need and likely want a few plugins to help set things up the way you had them before. There’s a little bit of backend hackery you ought to do to make this more secure by changing the name of the admin account from “admin” to something else, but that’s an advanced topic and one I’ll cover with/for folks who want to deal with it.
- XRDS-Simple plugin for WordPress
- You aren’t going to need this, specifically, but it provides necessary functionality for the next thing on the list, which you will want.
- OpenID plugin for WordPress
- Step one in really cutting links. OpenID is a one-piece login system for managing identity across multiple platforms. LiveJournal issues you one, if you’d like to use that one. Being the blogadmin of a WordPress install does, as well. With this, your users don’t have to create specific accounts on your blog to get access to things; they can just use their LiveJournal account (<username>.livejournal.com) to log into your site.
- Role Scoper plugin for WordPress
- This is the magic baby that gives you your “friends-locked” functionality. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best thing out there that I’ve found so far to do this, and it’s less-than-perfection is mostly because it’s a little like a chainsaw for your butter dish. However, it’s pretty easy to make this work:
- Install the plugin.
- Under “Restrictions -> Categories” on the admin column on the left, set everything to “Restricted by default”.
- Under “Roles” -> “Options”, make sure that User Roles is enabled, and that HTTP Authentication in Feeds is set to “Always”
- Under “Users” -> “Role Groups”, create a user group for each friends-group that you want.
- Under “Posts” -> “Categories”, create a category for each user group.
- Under “Roles” -> “Categories”, assign each user group to its associated category as “Post Reader” and yourself as “Category Manager” and “Post Editor”.
At this point, any post you make to a category will be locked to the users in the associated group. UPDATE: There’s a new dev-version that fixes a few of the minor problems; the dev version is the new link above.
- Live+Press plugin for WordPress
- This will make sure that every time you make a post in your new blag, it will crosspost to LJ. This one’s pretty straightforward to figure out.
- Comment Notifier for WordPress
- This will let you configure your blag to send email to people when other people reply to their comments, just like LJ.
- This is a web-based RSS reader that accepts LJ digest (and, for that matter, WP digest) feeds. Subscribing to your friends’ LJ feeds is a bit time-consuming, but it means not having to log into two different sites to catch up on LJ and non-LJ posters.
- Opera Mini 5 beta for Android
- I’m including this one mostly for my own personal benefit and that of any other Android smartphoners out there. The NetVibes mobile site is too slow for the built-in browser, and the site detects the native Android browser as not supported, but Opera Mini 5 beta gets picked up as Opera, so just set it to Mobile Listing to get rid of the iframes and then browse your RSS feeds from your phone!
This is Version One of this post, and as I flesh it out further, I’ll be putting a permanent copy somewhere for people to read, but it really is this easy to get off of LJ without losing anything important.