Migrating from LiveJournal to WordPress

corporate AmericaAs many peo­ple no doubt are aware: LiveJournal laid off over half their staff. 20 out of 28 peo­ple were let go. Consequently, I have read a lot of people’s LJ blog entries that are hys­ter­i­cal freak­outs. I’m not sure it’s time for peo­ple to freak out yet, but it prob­a­bly is time to think about a pos­si­ble Plan B. The LiveJournal sit­u­a­tion isn’t like JournalSpace’s sud­den and instant clo­sure because they for­got to keep back­ups. If any­thing, it will be a slow spi­ral toward death. They’re likely to cut fea­tures to min­i­mize band­width and resource uti­liza­tion. They’ll likely increase the vis­i­bil­ity and inva­sive­ness of ads to increase rev­enue. They may get bought by some­one who can fig­ure out how they can make a profit (though it didn’t hap­pen with Six Apart nor the Russian com­pany.) It won’t be a sud­den clo­sure, but a slow tran­si­tion to being less and less usable.

It used to be that only peo­ple who are a lit­tle more techie could get a domain name and install a blog such as WordPress. These days, most hosts (I know of Dreamhost and GoDaddy for sure) have one-click installs that do all the techie work for you. I might also add that, once installed, WordPress has an option to import all your posts from LiveJournal. This makes a good backup of your con­tent (if not the com­ments them­selves.) The com­ments take a bit more techie work to import.

Once you’re sit­u­ated on your WordPress blog, there is a great lit­tle plu­gin that lets you cross-post new blog entries on your WordPress site over to LiveJournal. It is quite con­fig­urable and lets you enable com­ments on LJ or dis­able com­ments (forc­ing peo­ple to fol­low the com­ment links back to your home jour­nal for post­ing.) I ran this plu­gin for a lit­tle while, but gave up on it for esthetic rea­sons.

Migrating from LiveJournal to WordPress is quite easy. I did it back in April of 2007 when every­one was hys­ter­i­cal over LiveJournal for polit­i­cal (as opposed to the cur­rent finan­cial) rea­sons and haven’t looked back. I’ll gladly answer any migra­tion or gen­eral WordPress ques­tions folks might have.

Alternately, I’ve seen peo­ple start blog­ging over on social-networking sites like Facebook and MySpace because they have the pri­vacy and friend-lock func­tion­al­ity sim­i­lar to LJ, but these are plat­forms that are even less open than LiveJournal. With your own blog, you have own­er­ship of the data and can use and export it how­ever you want. LiveJournal has gen­er­ously added an export func­tion that lets you grab your entries and com­ments. Facebook and MySpace, on the other hand, leave your con­tent trapped on their servers. There is no easy way to extract it. Caveat emp­tor.

Posted in: Dear Diary

4 thoughts on “Migrating from LiveJournal to WordPress”

  1. I’ve set up a word­press blog on ariock.org, but I keep fail­ing at import­ing using the handy-dandy tools. I keep get­ting the fol­low­ing error:

    You don’t have per­mis­sion to access /wordpress/wp-admin/admin.php on this server.

    And I’m logged in as admin so I don’t know why I can’t access it. and to be hon­est, I’m not sure why I’d need to access it as I was already using it to do the damn import. feh.

    I need to call my host­ing peo­ple and see if they can take care of this. AND either upgrade word­press to the lat­est ver­sion or tell me how to do it.

  2. That, to me, sounds like a filesys­tem per­mis­sions error. If that is true, then either the file itself or the folder it is in is miss­ing a “read” or “exe­cute” per­mis­sion bit.

  3. The file (admin.php) and all con­tain­ing direc­to­ries (word­press and wp-admin) are sup­pos­edly 755. I shouldn’t need to write to the file, I don’t imag­ine.

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