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[personal profile] shirou
I am going to make a renewed effort to post in my journal more often. I've tried this a couple of times before, and my posting frequency always drops off, but I'm going to try it again. Journaling takes more effort than writing status updates in facebook, but I think it's worth it.

My friends page is pretty barren these days. If anybody else is considering taking a renewed interest in journaling, I want to encourage you (yet again) to consider opening a Dreamwidth account.

What is Dreamwidth?

Dreamwidth (DW) is a Livejournal (LJ) code fork. This means that the DW developers started with the LJ open-source code, but rather than simply copy it over and call it their own, they have made significant changes, and in my opinion, improvements. When you first start using DW it will look a lot like LJ, but you will quickly start to notice the differences.

Why do I like Dreamwidth so much?

The main thing that I like about DW is that the DW management is unusually transparent with their actions and decisions, and they are focused on the user experience. In some ways DW resembles the LJ of old, before it was sold, first to Six Apart and then to SUP.
  • There is no advertising on DW; the sale of paid accounts funds the site. Currently I have a free account, but I may upgrade.
  • The news posts are frank and casual. Denise, the DW project manager and co-owner, is good about keeping everybody informed about what is going on. Her excitement and passion for the project come through loud and clear: it is obvious that she and Mark, the other owner, care about more than making money.
  • DW really strives to be inclusive: check out their diversity statement.
  • DW is committed to privacy and freedom of expression: check out their guiding principles.
  • For further details, you can see their business FAQ. It's a little dated but still basically applicable.
Like I mentioned before, DW also has some nifty features that LJ doesn't have. A few of these I have found quite useful.
  • Cross-posting with DW is really easy. I never update my LJ account directly anymore; I just update DW and LJ updates automatically. My edits and user pic selection also carry over.
  • Expandable cut tags. View this entry at http://shirou.dreamwidth.org/ to see what I mean. I have purposefully left this entry unlocked on DW so that my LJ friends can see it.
  • Instead of a single group of "friends," on DW you have two groups: those you follow (whose entries appear on your reading page) and those to whom you grant access (who can read your locked entries).
  • The above are my favorites, but there are plenty of others: sticky entries, replying to screened comments without unscreening them, simultaneous uploads of multiple user pics, etc. You will see that DW really is a code fork.
You may also be interested to read the guide to DW for LJ users.

How does one join Dreamwidth?

Creating a free DW account requires an invite code; comment here and I'll be happy to give you one. Currently I have five unused codes, and I might be able to obtain more if people are interested.
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shirou

November 2011

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