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February meta-blogging [Feb. 5th, 2013|12:17 am]
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I request advice.

Several people have suggested I move off LiveJournal because it has a negative prestige aura surrounding it and a lot of people are unwilling to read or link to LiveJournals.

Further, one of the interviewers at one of the hospitals I visited found my blog and told me that if I got hired it would be unacceptable to have a blog that was easily traceable back to my real name. Even if I never talked about medicine on it, it's still probably not a good idea to have patients know too much about my personal life. Also, if I expressed any controversial political opinions (me? controversial political opinions? really?) it might bring someone into disrepute or something, or even offend patients and destroy the therapeutic relationship.

I originally deliberately linked this blog and some of my other writings to my real name in order to bury Google evidence of certain stuff I did online when I was a dumb teenager, but that mission is pretty thorougly accomplished and now I agree with my interviewer that even if I don't get hired (cue serious of elaborate ritual hand gestures to ward off unthinkable misfortune) it is to my benefit to switch back to my normal totally un-Google-able pseudonym of Scott Alexander (well, actually just my first and middle name).

So things I need to know:

1. What blogging platforms are good? I've heard good things about Blogspot as easy to use and set up. Anyone have extremely strong feelings on this matter?

2. NAMES THAT ARE NOT HORRIBLE. This has always been my Achilles' heel and it continues to be so. alicorn24 suggests that blogs should be an anagram of one's name (hers is Hyaena Hell Infusion). A good blog-sounding anagram of "Scott Alexander" is Astral Codex Ten, and this is my current top contender for future blog name. If you don't like it, come up with a better one. Note: my habit of hating other people's ideas is still in force.

3. Are people going to keep reading this if it switches off of LiveJournal? If a lot of LiveJournalers say they would desert me once I live this bubble of easy syndication, I can always just get a different LiveJournal under a different name. Answer in the form of a poll:

Poll #1894693
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 131

Do you prefer this blog be on Livejournal or elsewhere?

View Answers
I would prefer it be elsewhere
22 (17.2%)
I don't care
50 (39.1%)
I prefer it on LiveJournal
38 (29.7%)
I would stop reading this blog if it were elsewhere
18 (14.1%)
linkReply

Comments:
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[User Picture]From: sniffnoy
2013-02-05 08:58 am (UTC)

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Well, if you leave LJ due to it having negative prestige, there's always Dreamwidth. :P
[User Picture]From: lpetrazickis
2013-02-05 02:41 pm (UTC)

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I submitted someone's Dreamwidth post on evolution to reddit last week, and anonymous visitors were hit with the stupid "Are you over 18?" prompt.
From: (Anonymous)
2013-02-05 10:02 am (UTC)

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Speaking as an outsider with no LJ or other social media accounts, I don't really care where it goes as long as it has an RSS feed. Wordpress (both the software and the site) and Blogspot both offer RSS feeds of comments as well as of posts, which LiveJournal and Dreamwidth don't.

-- random Firedrake
[User Picture]From: aiela
2013-02-05 12:11 pm (UTC)

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This is what I was going to say. An RSS feed can be made for LJ and people can "friend" that and keep reading you on LJ as they have before.
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From: (Anonymous)
2013-02-05 10:03 am (UTC)

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I'm not going to register on livejournal just to vote in that poll, but I think it definitely should move somewhere else. The horrendous URL generation that LJ uses should be enough to merit a switch.
From: (Anonymous)
2013-02-05 03:03 pm (UTC)

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Yeah, that's definitely got some bias to it - asking only the readers registered on LiveJournal whether or not they'd like the site to stay on LiveJournal. For the record, my response is a 'no.'
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[User Picture]From: adelenedawner
2013-02-05 10:04 am (UTC)

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I don't care except that if you go somewhere that's not followable via RSS I'm unlikely to keep up with it.

Also, while I don't think it'd be particularly well suited to your writing style, there's a few of your things I've wanted to reblog on my tumblr blog, which would be easier/less awkward if you either used it as your main thing or - probably better - set up an account that automatically generated links to your main blog whenever you posted there. (Ozy appears to have the latter kind of setup.)
From: (Anonymous)
2013-02-07 09:34 am (UTC)

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Wordpress has the "Publicize" option, which lets you automatically spit your posts onto social networking sites (Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Yahoo... Yahoo? Really? Okay). So you could, in fact, set up a Tumblr for it and then never think about the Tumblr again.

I cannot say enough kind words about Wordpress. It is my favorite and I love it and I am going to possibly set up a shrine to worship it as a God.

--Ozy
[User Picture]From: wildeabandon
2013-02-05 10:08 am (UTC)

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As long as it's somewhere with an RSS feed then I'll carry on reading, but I'm probably less likely to comment if it's not on LJ or Dreamwidth. Not, admittedly, that I comment much anyway.
[User Picture]From: atreic
2013-02-05 12:59 pm (UTC)

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Yes, this. Also, RSS feeds to LJ are a bit rubbish - sometimes things turn up late, or you get a big dump of lots of posts at once.

Also, one of the things I love about LJ is that you can friends lock stuff, and so you can blog about things it would be bad to say publicly, with a wafer thin line of defense. That probably works less well for you as you have a lot of non-LJ readers though, and a general intention to educate the world... :-)
[User Picture]From: 17catherines
2013-02-05 10:13 am (UTC)

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Wordpress is easy to use.

Blogspot is a bit of a pest for comments, because it defaults to showing readers a version of the blog post with their country extension on it (.au, in my case), so unless one convinces it to show you the no country specified version, one only seeds comments from people in the same country.

(and you have to do the convincing it to show comments from everywhere thing every single time you open a new post)
[User Picture]From: woodpijn
2013-02-05 10:34 am (UTC)

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+1 for Astral Codex Ten.
[User Picture]From: amuchmoreexotic
2013-02-05 11:27 am (UTC)

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I will read it anywhere that can spit out RSS, but for god's sake not Tumblr.
[User Picture]From: houseboatonstyx
2013-02-05 11:32 am (UTC)

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Blogspot is not so good for discussion. The comments aren't threaded, and they're in a separate file or something, so you can't easily look back at the original post.

Dreamwidth is great.

I've never got RSS to work right, so if you move off LJ and DW I'll probably not be able to follow. Now that I'd be much loss.
[User Picture]From: andrewducker
2013-02-05 11:41 am (UTC)

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If you move off of LJ then I (or someone speedier) will syndicate you straight back :->

I find it handy having people on LJ, but it's not the end of the world if they aren't. The important thing, in my opinion, is a decent, threaded, discussion system under each post.
From: (Anonymous)
2013-02-05 12:14 pm (UTC)

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I can't seem to fill out the poll, but it goes without saying that I will keep reading your blog, wherever it's located, at least until someone blindfolds me or starts administering electric shocks when I click on it. =)

-Darcey
[User Picture]From: nancylebov
2013-02-05 12:34 pm (UTC)

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I'll continue to read your blog, but it's a little handier for me if it's on LJ.

I think Astral Codex Ten is a great name.
[User Picture]From: celandine13
2013-02-05 12:37 pm (UTC)

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I feel bad for you that you're in a profession where employers actually behave as judgmentally as my paranoid fantasy of how employers behave.

[While I can't know how many people my blogging has turned off, all the responses I've actually gotten have been positive, including some from mathematicians back when I had a public math blog. The "prospective employer" who tried to get me to drop out of grad school for a dream job liked me *more* after Google-stalking me and finding my writing. But then, I'm in a different business.]

I switched *to* LJ, long after most people had left, because it let me write friends-locked posts. It's a good solution for the risk-averse graphomaniac -- you should consider it.
[User Picture]From: Julia Wise
2013-02-07 12:39 am (UTC)

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Given the setting, I don't blame them. I had a coworker (mental health clinician) whose ex-client stalked her via her blog.

It's good for patients to trust that their providers are stable, competent people. Everyone is unstable and incompetent at times, and it's better if patients can't easily read about their doctors' frailties. Especially about their psychiatrists.
[User Picture]From: lpetrazickis
2013-02-05 02:53 pm (UTC)

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Blogspot/Blogger was great right up until Google found the Google+ religion. I don't trust them to not kill it or hobble it now.

Wordpress, either on the .com or self-hosted, is the alternative. If you're self-hosting and you don't want your name showing up in the WHOIS for the domain, you'll need to pay a bit extra to the registrar.

Also, you'll want to prioritize security if you're selfhosting. Mine's been hacked at least twice.
From: siodine
2013-02-05 03:14 pm (UTC)

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I think you should get your own domain and setup wordpress with a unique theme on it. Then you should comfortably grow a writing/blogging side-career/hobby and invite interesting people to blog with you. I'm thinking of something like marginalrevolution.com or overcomingbias.com.

You often have competitive content and so you could become a well-known name in the blogging world where your thoughts have more weight and influence.
From: (Anonymous)
2013-02-06 09:46 pm (UTC)

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Seconding this. You're really good but LJ makes it seem less serious, and also - more practically - substantially harder to read things in your archive than Wordpress would.
-Lord A
From: ext_1635223
2013-02-05 03:41 pm (UTC)

RSS essential, WordPress a good option, LJ meh

(Link)

The main advantage of WordPress is control, with at worst moderate administrative overhead. You can own your venue. You could have put up a poll available to all, rather than just to LJ members. You can host your longer writings. Etc.

However there may be other options like WordPress. Just pick a platform with enough control and add-ons so that you can do what you want.
From: ext_1635223
2013-02-05 03:47 pm (UTC)

Re: RSS essential, WordPress a good option, LJ meh

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Also now that I've signed on to comment, and know what the ID lines mean, I note that
- only one other commenter is *not* an LJ member, and
- my ID line is crappy (other environments that I sign onto show my name and picture).

So either you are read almost exclusively by other LJ members (unlikely, but if true unfortunate) or most non-LJ readers won't comment. Either way unfortunate, you deserve a wider audience and a bigger community of discussants.

Edited at 2013-02-05 03:48 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]From: cactus_rs
2013-02-05 04:09 pm (UTC)

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It seems like you have such an audience outside of LJ that it would be to your benefit to switch to a more universal platform. I've always defaulted to Blogspot. While I can't speak for how the comments are stored, they are at least threaded now (this seems to be a recent development). I find WordPress to be slightly more irritating in terms of leaving comments.

It might be advisable to keep this (or another) LJ account for things you want to be private, because LJ's locking feature is super handy and not really well replicated in any other service.

Anything I could add to Google reader I would likely follow.
[User Picture]From: mercureal
2013-02-05 04:17 pm (UTC)

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I tend to respect Wordpress blogs more than Blogspot blogs; I think this is because writers who take slightly greater care to engineer their platform probably also put out greater content, but that's just a loose correlation, and many of the blogs I follow are as big on photography as they are on text (I prefer WP to BS 100% for photo/science blogs).
[User Picture]From: baal_ammon
2013-02-05 05:28 pm (UTC)

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I don't really care one way or another and I'll be reading you anyway.

On the other hand, I hope it does not imply the destruction of your current journal, as I have bookmarked large amounts of it.

Typhon
[User Picture]From: Meaningness
2013-02-05 05:37 pm (UTC)

Wordpress over Blogspot

(Link)

Definitely Wordpress, not Blogspot. Among many other things, Wordpress has convenient email notification for new posts/comments; Blogspot does not. (Both support RSS.)

Wordpress also looks better, gives you more control, and is the main product of its company, whereas Blogspot is a neglected purchase that Google will probably eventually drop.
[User Picture]From: ikadell
2013-02-05 05:40 pm (UTC)

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Te best thing about livejournal is the ability to talk in the comments and the thread system, so depends in whether you value that, and to what extend hour new place will have it.I will miss you if you leave.

Edited at 2013-02-05 05:40 pm (UTC)
From: ext_1635223
2013-02-06 06:32 pm (UTC)

talking in comments is good!

(Link)

You can do it in Wordpress and other blogging software.

I only have experience supporting Wordpress. It has a huge number of plugins that let you customize the behavior -- including comment behavior -- pretty much however you want.

Other blogging environments may do as well, I don't know.
[User Picture]From: sniffnoy
2013-02-05 05:46 pm (UTC)

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Yes, to be clear -- the main reason I suggest staying on LJ is that it actually has threaded comments. It's amazing how other systems have largely just thrown this away, or kept only a limited subset of it.

Another solution: Make a Reddit that only you can make posts to.
From: (Anonymous)
2013-02-05 06:05 pm (UTC)

Astral Codex

(Link)

Astral Codex is a great name for a blog and very appropriate for the good doctor. The "ten" part adds nothing except annoying cleverness (like that Jackdaws etc. that annoys a little bit me every time I see it) and I would leave it out.

This is an awesome blog and I will keep reading it wherever it is.
[User Picture]From: Johnwbh
2013-02-05 06:17 pm (UTC)

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IF your blog was named something linked to Yvain I would have found it faster, having loved your anti-libertarian faq but not found this until much later. So for the benefit of future people like me please call it something like yvainblog.com
[User Picture]From: mindstalk
2013-02-05 06:28 pm (UTC)

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I use RSS, so I could follow a blog elsewhere. But I check my friends page more than my RSS feed, and a blog would probably mean less commenting by me, since it'd be less convenient.

Dreamwidth = Livejournal as far as I'm concerned.

And though you don't seem to use them (I pretty much don't), LJ/DW have fine-grained privacy controls alien to most blogs.

Some blogs bring in Disqus for comments, which are threaded, though also really Javascript heavy.

I note if you host your own blog, you may have to do your own spam control.

Edited at 2013-02-05 06:34 pm (UTC)
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