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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