Settling In to WordPress

userpic=socialmediaA little over a year ago, I moved my blog over from Livejournal to a WordPress blog hosted at California Highways. Did you notice? You might not have, because I continued to crosspost from WordPress to Livejournal. I made the move because Livejournal, as a platform, was getting increasingly shaky, with frequent denial of service attacks.

In the year since, I’ve continue to enhance the WordPress blog, and have expanded the crossposting to include Dreamwidth. I currently crosspost to Dreamwidth, and then Dreamwidth crossposts to Livejournal. People can comment on the blog using their Livejournal IDs; alas, this doesn’t work for Dreamwidth as Dreamwidth is not supporting the latest OpenID standards. I’ve got a ticket open.

Through the year, I’ve seen the number of comments on LJ go down as the level of usage of LJ has gone done. Despite claims that people were moving to DW, I haven’t seen that much activity from there. I’m not sure where people have gone: Tumblr? Facebook? Twitter? G+? Other subject specific groups? In any case, I see less and less long-form writing and thoughtful pieces. I guess the internet has been overtaken by the TL;DR generation. That’s too bad.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the first year of “Observations on the Road” on WordPress. Are you reading and finding it interesting? Are there ways I can make it better?

Music: Kwamina (Original Broadway Cast): “Welcome Home”



6 Replies to “Settling In to WordPress”

  1. I’m still reading (via DW/LJ). I’ve found in general that I am far less likely to “cross sites” to leave a comment; I don’t know if that’s just me or more general. Here’s an example of why:

    I came here to post this comment. After typing the first paragraph, I realized I’d need to do the OpenID thing so I clicked on the LJ pencil. It took me to another page and asked me to log in to LJ, but when I clicked “log in” I got browser pop-ups saying “do you really want to leave this page?”. That didn’t sound right, so I killed that tab, opened a new one, and manually logged in. I then came back here and clicked the pencil again, and this time it took me to the LJ post page, starting an entry titled “Settling in to WordPress” with your URL in the body. Not what I wanted!

    Only at that point did I notice that your blog wants to load Javascript not just from your domain but from “” (whoever that is). When I allowed that I got, for the first time, a second row of icons, smaller this time — facebook, twitter, etc, ending with LJ. So I guess *those* are the OpenID links and I still don’t know what the first ones are. There is teeny tiny text under “leave a reply” before the icons that seems to say “(something) with”. So I clicked on the LJ pencil that *that* time it was an OpenID link — but after the handshake with LJ and page refresh here, my in-progress comment was gone. I would have just punted at that point, but I had copied it just in case something like that were to happen.

    I don’t know how much of the problem is WordPress, LJ, OpenID, or other, but the barrier to entry is higher than you may have realized. While I’d like to move to DW, I recognize that that barrier would exist for my LJ-based readers too, and I value the comments. Someday I’ll move anyway as LJ continues to sink into the swamp, but I know I’ll lose connections when I do.

    1. Thanks for your comments — as I’ve already got an account on the WordPress side, I don’t see all of this. Oneall is the site that provides the unified social login and OpenID feature, which is why you saw the Javascript from them. I fear that those coming from FB may be requested to install an app, but there’s not much I can do about that one.

      I was hoping to keep the barrier low, but I do recognize there is some barrier in any case. I could reopen commenting on the LJ posts — the problem is that the crosspost mechanism isn’t always reliable, and I don’t want to lose comments.

      I’m concerned from your comments that there may be confusion between the icons used to share a post on other social networking sites and the ones used for commenting. I’ll have to play with that some to see how the flow goes and how I can make them more distinct (some of that is out of my control as it is a factor of the plugin).

      I will guess subsequent comments will be easier after the first time, primarily because I believe it creates an account for your on the wordpress side (rummages around) well I see a subscriber account, so that probably to notify you of comments.

      1. I’m sorry if I sounded whiny. I didn’t mean to.

        When I only saw one set of icons I assumed they were the OpenID ones. They’re pretty small, so I didn’t immediately grok that some of them couldn’t be, like the envelope. Once I saw two I looked more closely. That could probably be done better but that might be something for WordPress rather than for you. If I were designing it I might explore putting the “share” icons behind a “share” control (I mean dynamic page load, not a conventional link). Or labelling that first row of icons, or something.

        I forgot to check the “notify me” checkbox on my first comment, so that subscriber isn’t me. I’ll check it this time, though.

  2. Dittoes to what Monica said. I don’t care enough to figure out how to reply from a site I already have.

    I am still reading you on LJ and enjoying what you write. Your entries crosspost completely to LJ, and don’t to any other site that I follow you on. If you’re on G+, then I’m not seeing the entries…perhaps we’re not in each other’s circles. I’m certainly not reading you on FB – I don’t follow my FB feed at all. I usually post to it when Karen’s sick, or I have something inconsequential to say that’s easier to say there than on LJ.

    I can get to G+ from work, & also LinkedIn. All other social sites are blocked, so I can’t read them there, and I usually don’t have the time to read them from home. Comments from me will happen, but will be few and far between.

    1. Posting to G+ requires me to manually crosspost, and given I get so little response there, I often forget to do it. I can set up Facebook to do an RSS feed, which is not possible to do into G+ (sigh).

      It’s starting to look like I may need to reenable LJ comments. There has just been so much spam on the LJ side of things of late.

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