May. 29th, 2015

The return

May. 29th, 2015 12:09 pm
liv: Stylised sheep with blue, purple, pink horizontal stripes, and teacup brand, dreams of Dreamwidth (sheeeep)
After 6 years of using LJ just to keep up with my friends who are still there, I'm somewhat favourably disposed to the site again. I mean, I'm still annoyed that they silently took the Open Source code private; I'm fine with them making a profit from 15 years of work, much of it by volunteers, but I am less happy with them ceasing to give back to the community that made the site what it is. And they still have adverts, but they seem to have moved away from a business model based on forcing ever-more intrusive adverts on users, and towards a model of paying for premium services.

Regarding Dreamwidth itself, well. I think after 6 years we can agree that it's stable and functional and not just some passing fad. I perceive it as way more active than LJ, and better for meeting interesting strangers. There are many respects in which it's just technically better, better UI and better accessibility and search that actually works. And I basically hate the current look-and-feel of LJ, both the desktop and mobile versions look awful to me. Also I still love DW's business model of a sustainable site completely independent of advertising or venture capital or payment processors who want to censor legal content, and I love its commitment not just to Open Source principles but to welcoming and training newbies and providing a non-awful environment for contributors. But DW is very clearly being maintained rather than developed (and yes, [staff profile] denise keeps promising that we're just paying down technical debt and there will be features released any day now, but I've been hearing that for too many years to really believe it any more), so it's getting to the point where LJ is ahead on features and just generally feels more modern.

So I sounded out how my LJ readers feel about my starting up cross-posting again, and that was enough to sway me towards returning. Not so much the numbers who voted in my poll, but the fact that several people I thought had drifted away from LJ years ago turned out to be still there, silently reading. And unlike in 2009 nobody seems to be worried about the security implications of DW knowing my LJ password (sensible ways of doing distributed authentication being yet another feature that DW has been promising for years and is probably never going to actually deliver). I do think the thing of split discussions is annoying, but it's also annoying for people who wouldn't otherwise use DW to have to follow me over here, so I hope it balances out.

Since I'm actively posting again, I've been trying to tidy up my filters. I had forgotten just how bad the interface was for friends list management; DW's isn't great but it doesn't do things like divide the list into pages and lose changes when you move further down the alphabet without saving, yet jump you back to the beginning of the list rather than where you were up to when you do press Save, ugh ugh ugh. Anyway, I hope I haven't accidentally unfriended and refriended people several times because of the interface horribleness. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to make cross-posting locked entries work, in fact; I think maybe I have to create two filters with the same names on both sites or something. And boy do I miss DW's WTF innovation of splitting subscribing off from giving access to private stuff! I'll figure it out somehow; I rarely make locked posts anyway, so it's not a big roadblock.

I feel like... coming back to a house that had been shut up for 6 years. It's infuriating because nothing is quite where I expect it to be, and I've got used to living somewhere far more modern and convenient, and the neighbourhood has changed and not entirely for the better. But it's also incredibly nostalgic, this place was home and deeply important to me from 2003 to 2009. So, hi. It's a bit dusty and disorganized round here, but please do make yourselves at home. In spite of my ambivalence it's good to be back.

Soundbite

Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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