go to morning minyan in a few minutes (which is why I'm up so few hours after getting to bed last night), in order to find people for this evening
go to work, finish writing my presentation ie make up a week's work in a day
help someone from the community sit shiva, fulfil the mourning requirements for her mother, which is the major spanner in the works that has turned my plan from a tight schedule into not really manageable chaos
pack and get things organized for trip to England, which is probably going to have to happen during time I should be asleep tonight, since I don't have any other options
get up after a few hours' kip on Friday and give a group meeting about why I don't have enough data
get myself to Cambridge, arriving about 1 am Friday night if all goes well
get up on Saturday in time to have breakfast and not get into trouble with the parents
go to shul
go to cartesiandaemon's and try to fit a whole romantic weekend into a couple of hours
attend various meet cartesiandaemon's friends social events Saturday afternoon and evening
get up far earlier than I would like to in the circumstances on Sunday, connect with parents and go to Brighton for Screwy's birthday
end up in the Pembury Sunday night and see lovely people
sleep for a few hours, then get a morning flight from Heathrow Monday morning
walk straight off the plane and into my bar mitzvah class Monday evening.
So I'm pretty much abandoning the chat to my friends part of my normal daily routine, sorry guys.
This morning, in a state between bleary daze and outright panic, I discover that LJ is no longer offering free accounts. It's bad when some wanky protest community gives you better information than the official news post. I need to think this over when I'm more with it, but this is probably the last straw that will drive me away from using LJ as the main place I hang out online. There aren't any good alternatives; I'm really hoping Scribblit actually launches rather than fizzling out.
LJ is no longer offering free accounts to new users, existing free accounts are grandfathered.
I'd be a little worried about the fate of any free LJ-like service if enough annoyed LJers decided they liked it. GreatestJournal's admin has basically given up in the face of the influx from LJ. So I'd be worried about whether InsaneJournal or Scribblit can keep going (and keep stable) if they get popular.
I'll stay here as long as my friends are here. I still make some friends-only postings. Getting those exported from another site so my LJ friends could read them would be tricky (obviously, public ones can be exported with RSS). In any case, I'm paid up until early next year so I may as well get value for money.
I like some of the new features (the comment thread expanding is nice). I'm not sure where else I'd go that would do threaded commenting (most "proper" blog sites don't seem to). I'd probably end up hosting myself, I suppose.
One thing I think I will do is make prominent links to the ad-blocking wiki on my profile and on my journal itself. As long as I remain a paying user, people won't see ads on my LJ anyway, but I think that's the most effective form of protest short of leaving. Maybe I'll start a meme...
mm. I don't see the difference between LJ-clones and LJ, really; there's no reason to suppose they won't go the same way. A different model is needed, otherwise there's just a constant turnover from one place to the next.
Indeed. A true peer-to-peer social blogging client with some distributed ID system and locally-held friends lists would work. Will work, someday. Maybe the technology already exists and it just needs enough people to take it up for the 'Network Effect' or some critical mass to be achieved.
In the meantime, better management is needed. I have expressed my own views on the matter.
Forgery is largely trivial in Usenet and largely impossible on LJ. Signing postings is easy enough; key distribution is trickier. In particular it needs to happen "under the hood"; if people have to copy even not very long hex strings around, it's just not going to happen.
I imagine that keys will be accepted for verifying further postings automatically, and that the software will complain if it spots one username associated with two keys.
You could extend this by having an easy way to sign statements about a given key, though you'd present it as being about a username; you'd think you were telling the world "bob1982 is really Robert Smith" but actually you be saying "da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709 aka bob1982 is really Robert Smith". When a fake bob1982 turns up, everyone's software will say "jackv99 doesn't think that's Robert Smith". Assuming they'd agreed that jackv99 was anyone.
How do you know bob1982 is really Robert Smith, well, you read their writings and their reactions and you form an opinion. Just like people did when ewx first turned up on LJ, in other words. And anyone who needed better integrity than that, and there'll doubtless be some, would still have the option of messing with incomprehensible hex strings.
Once this stuff is in place restricted postings are relatively simple by comparison. "Allow bob1982 to read this post" translates into "encrypt its per-post key under da39a3... and bundle that with the post". Comments of course would be encrypted under the same per-post key.
For polls you could have the poll submissions be effectively comments, with the originator issuing updates with the latest canonical results. The supercession mechanism this implies could be more general than just polls.
I think the biggest problem is making something that is as easy to use as LJ is at the moment. Otherwise it's going to struggle to get any adoption.
So installing some local HTTP server for it (ala Freenet) is probably out. Maybe you could have the option of doing that or going to other people who offered it as a service as happens with USENET servers?
(Who said anything about HTTP?) Part of the point is to eliminate the need for anything but connectivity: a centralized service can fail, become greedy, be attacked, etc. If you're still thinking in technological terms like "installing a local server" then that is missing the point too; it'd be an application and the details of how it worked would not be particularly exposed to the user. I'm not talking about distributed blogging for geeks (who have no trouble at all finding places to talk with other geeks), I'm talking about distributed blogging for everybody. And that's not easy.
The point is that the tradeoff is such that people are going to have to be extremely unhappy before they'll switch to a system like that because it requires a lot more effort. It's not just a question of installing something (which not everyone can cope with anyway), you need it installed everywhere you blog (which might be work, internet cafes, other people's computers, etc) and indeed you'd need it installed in those places for reading too. Indeed, part of the draw of blogs is to communicate with the larger number of people who don't have any kind of blog at all. If you need to install a program then all those people are lost, as is part of the point of running a blog (to some degree for some people).
No, no, no. It needs to work via HTTP whatever it is.
Perhaps the best thing to do is to design a system like LiveJournal but that is partly decentralised. So you still have LJ like companies, but far more of them, and they're interconnected somehow. If one companies annoys you too much there would need to be a way to seamlessly transfer your account / blog to another provider.
I was assuming a system like news, eg. local servers inter-operated and the default was to get an account on a local/cheap/friend's server, or if you were a geek you could run your own site. That seems to have all the advantages of: can do it yourself if you want; can just pay someone to do it if you like; but are not then tied in to them.
"Easy to use" exactly. I had a wish list of features I wanted in a social networking/blogging system, some based on an lj-like system, some different, but @1, right at the top, was "Be easy to start using from LJ etc", so it does about as well what you have already, plus extras, and there's no reason not to switch.
That's the thing. It has to be as easy as it is now and better for anyone to want to switch. Probably it needs to be a lot better, or conversely future LJ has to be a lot worse than it is now (SUP seem to have this as a goal).
In some ways what I want is an LJ clone that will tide me over until someone invents something evidently better. Also, I think there are some things that the LJ model just does better than any other alternative, particularly the kinds of network that LJ encourages.
The way LJ has gone is not a function of the technology that LJ uses, I think. Another site that had a vastly different technological model would be subject to the same market pressures. They would be just as likely to get bought up by someone who wanted to pillage and run. They would be just as likely to grow beyond their own infrastructure, etc. Conversely, an LJ-clone site run by people with a different attitude would be at least somewhat less likely to go down the same bad path.
LJ has lasted 7 years, I've been here for 5 and most of my friends for at least 3. And it's not actually unusable yet. If we get another site that starts off as a hobbyist gig, and lasts even half that time before we have to move on, that's a heck of a lot better than not getting such a site. Yes, there's turnover, but a halflife of several years before a mass exodus is pretty good for any internet community. Frankly, who knows what the internet will look like in a few years' time?
As an interim solution, an LJ-clone where free accounts are ad supported, but the ads are only on site pages and not interfering with my content would be a very good start. An LJ-clone that is 18+ or small enough not to care about American prudery, so that it doesn't make non-members click on stupid disclaimers to view "adult" content, would be a great improvement. If I wanted a different model, I'd be on Wordpress by now; the technology is objectively better and the business model is pretty sane compared to LJ these days. But it doesn't have friendslists or some of the other features I really need from a journalling system, so.
sorry i didn't make it last night - i was slightly distracted by People Making Music and also by a crappy headache which resulted in me sitting zonked out on pub sofa in islington. i still seem to have it. hope you had a good evening, and yes, we should arrange to meet sometime. sometime my brain is working better