I was working on a post explaining why I think Dreamwidth is worth getting excited about, but it's turning into a long rant about what sucks about LiveJournal (their code is awful, slow, and lacking key functionality--and management went from being completely amateur to completely indifferent about the good of the users... in a nutshell). I may or may not actually finish that post.
But in the meantime, I'm kind of excited about Dreamwidth...
It's a fork of the LiveJournal codebase that seems fundamentally different from LJ itself and all the LJ-alikes that have come before in that:
- They took the time to get a business plan and some serious coding done before launching
- They know how to launch a site, with stages of beta testing to ease the system into place
- Where LiveJournal's feature improvements seem to have stalled at snap.com previews that give my ad-blocker one more thing to filter out, Dreamwidth's improvements include things like splitting "friending" someone into the separate operations of subscribing to read them and granting them access to your locked posts, and writing a style system that actually works and supports flexible CSS layouts
- They seem to actually have (wait for it) a business plan! No, really. Like, a long-term strategy for how to balance the numbers of paid accounts with free accounts and not have to spam the users with ads to make ends meet.
- There seems to be a starting assumption that freedom of expression matters, which is a refreshing change. I wasn't caught in LJ's "Strikethrough 2007", but using the dragnet of keyword-matching to mass-delete all accounts that list Lolita as an interest (to pick an example) is abusive and shows a fundamental disregard for the best interest of the users. The fact that those who opposed the move were met with a wall of "Oh, it's just the Harry Potter pedophiles whining because big bad LJ took their kiddy-porn away" didn't exactly help with earning respect or trust.
Anyway, thanks to my lovely and awesome wife, I got an invite code and now have a Dreamwidth account of my own. Same username as here. There's already an option to cross-post to LJ from DW, and I think I heard that you can add LJ journals to your DW reading list too. If all of that is true, I won't need to be haranguing my LJ f-list to switch. Of course, if Dreamwidth comes anywhere near living up to the potential it seems to be showing, you want to get in on it.