Well, I think I’m taking a huge step that I’ve been contemplating for a long time and finally decided to jump into. Those of you on LiveJournal might notice a new friend request later this weekend. That request will not be from a regular user, but one with a weird little orange “I” next to the name: The name associated with the account is “netninja.com.” This is me taking another step away from LiveJournal. Lots of people complained the last few time LJ f’ed up: when they suspended accounts based on nebulous concepts of “adult” content, when they silently dropped the free-non-ad-supported account level. Lots of people said “I’m closing my account.” I am not aware of anyone that did. There was that laughable “strike” that was about as effective as everyone not buying gas on a particular day, but that was it. I have always thought of myself as an early adopter, so consider this to be me trailblazing a path away from LJ that others can later follow. It’s not a cold-turkey “I quit,” but is a big step away. I joined LiveJournal in 2001. It was pretty cutting-edge back then. The developers had cool ideas and implemented them. Seven years later, LJ just feels stagnant. Decisions are made by an unseen committee inside of a Russian corporation. New and cutting-edge ideas don’t seem to be surfacing. Lots of new themes are available and there are increasingly more ways for someone else to monetize my content, but that’s about all I see. As a result, I’m taking yet another step away from LiveJournal. The first step was to set up my own blog and configure it to cross-post to LJ. This step involves OpenID and dropping that cross-posting.
This OpenID account does not mean that I will stop participating in the LiveJournal community. I can’t write journal posts with OpenID, but in all other regards it acts as a regular free account. I can be friended and unfriended. I can read protected posts. I can write comments. I can even have a handful of user icons. I’m not leaving LiveJournal–I’m just changing how I access it.
LiveJournal users will also notice that my cross-posting to http://brianenigma.livejournal.com/ will cease to function in a few days. While the syndication never actually broke and the code behind it was quite solid, the solution has always seemed a little too “string and sealing wax” to me. The established norm for that sort of cross-posting has always been RSS. You’ll always be able to read entries directly at Netninja, you’ll always be able to subscribe to the RSS, and because an RSS feed is available, you can see those entries directly in LJ by adding brianenigma_rss as a friend.