The Great Livejournal Migration of 2010
August 10, 2010 8:52 AM   Subscribe

A friend is thinking of doing away with her Livejournal and writing Facebook notes instead so she asked for comments and thoughts to help with her decision. What sorts of comments and thoughts should she be most aware of?
posted by Green With You to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (34 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm not exactly sure what the question is.

But she should keep in mind that while Livejournal has group privacy settings - facebook doesn't.
So, anytime she makes a note entry, all of her friends can see it.

That's why I still keep my livejournal despite that most of my friends don't anymore.
If I want to write something semi private, I can customize which friends see it.
posted by KogeLiz at 8:55 AM on August 10, 2010

Depends on what she uses Livejournal for... there's not much information to go on, here. Facebook notes has very limited privacy functions, and no note-by-note privacy options. It's also fairly limited in its formatting options, from what I can understand. I'm not sure it's possible to generate an RSS feed of Facebook notes, and it would be fairly unfriendly to anyone who's not on Facebook.

If she's looking to share news and events with her friends, Facebook notes offers a greater benefit in allowing her to tag friends, but that also has the downside of being kind of intrusive (to anyone who doesn't care or doesn't want to read the notes) and exclusive (for the people that don't get tagged). For pretty much any other purpose, I'd really recommend setting up a blog with Wordpress instead.
posted by Phire at 8:55 AM on August 10, 2010

--Not everyone is, or wants to be, on Facebook.
--It will be harder for people to keep up with her notes on FB because the application is constantly throwing information at you. It used to be you could create a list called 'Friends I Really Care About" and only see those people's updates in your newsfeed, but then they changed everything around and that type of filtering no longer seems to work.
--You are putting your content in Mark Zuckerberg's hands, something I personally would not ever do.
--You will lose the community aspect of having a LJ.
posted by micawber at 8:56 AM on August 10, 2010 [4 favorites]

Facebook Notes seems like an afterthought of a feature, honestly. If anything, she should just get her own blog and manually link each entry on Facebook.
posted by griphus at 8:56 AM on August 10, 2010 [4 favorites]

I've never thought of the two as being similar platforms. What does she intend to post on Facebook that she has, up until now, been posting on Livejournal? Most of the things I see on Livejournal aren't really the sort of thing I'd expect or want to see in my Facebook news feed.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:58 AM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I'm not exactly sure what the question is.

I just wanted to get some idea of the kinds of problems and benefits that could be expected if she did switch from Livejournal to Facebook. So perhaps try to answer this question instead: What are some problems and benefits to switching from Livejournal to Facebook for journaling?
posted by Green With You at 9:01 AM on August 10, 2010

But she should keep in mind that while Livejournal has group privacy settings - facebook doesn't. So, anytime she makes a note entry, all of her friends can see it.

Not entirely true- you can make Friend Lists on Facebook, and then when you write a note, you can specify which friend groups can see the note.

griphus is right, though; the Notes feature is such an afterthought. I just went to look at my friends' notes, and I could barely find the page. Then as I looked through, I realized that none of these notes were publishing to my News Feed, not even for the people I haven't hidden in the News Feed. So it's unclear to me how you can have your friends see your notes if you don't tag them in it (and I personally find it annoying to be tagged in a note unless it is specifically about me, which it never is).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:09 AM on August 10, 2010

So, anytime she makes a note entry, all of her friends can see it.

This is not true; Facebook has per-post settings (the little padlock icon) that lets you specify exactly who can see any given post or note, and you can even specifically exclude certain individuals or groups from seeing whatever you post. However, you do have to go to a certain amount of effort to set up your FB privacy settings and set up different groups of friends, if you're concerned about who's going to see what. (I have a regular labyrinth of differently-categorized "friends" I wrangle every time I post something, but I have a lot of time on my hands these days.)

Still, the other points about lack of custom formatting (being able to insert images in between paragraphs, etc.), concern about FB issues in general, etc. make it seem like sticking with LJ or starting a regular blog would be better for your friend.
posted by Gator at 9:10 AM on August 10, 2010

I'm going to agree that the Facebook "notes" feature is not much used by my Facebook friends. Maybe we're different from other people, but people seem to use Facebook for short updates ("mmm, this is good coffee!"), photos, and sharing links. The only people in my circle who blog do it off Facebook, and post links to their blog posts as status updates. Folks very rarely post longer Notes, usually for personal news that is too long for a status update. A friend recently posted a note giving details of her toddler's upcoming spinal surgery, for instance. People don't seem to use Facebook notes for the kind of thinking out loud, news analysis, book reviews etc that people use blogs for.

Many of my friends are on Facebook, but many others are not. If my blog posts were inside Facebook, the friends who have chosen not to join couldn't see them; it would also be harder for people to share my blog posts with others, on the rare occasions they want to do that.

I haven't used LiveJournal so can't do a direct comparison, but I'd be hesitant to try to use Facebook for the kinds of things I do with my blog.
posted by not that girl at 9:17 AM on August 10, 2010

It depends on how your friend (and her friends) use facebook and livejournal, but if she's looking for an alternative to livejournal facebook is not the thing which springs to mind.


-- Who is on facebook? I don't know about your friend but I have EVERYONE, by which I don't mean I have 400 contacts, but I have this weird mix of former lecturers, former bosses, current co-workers, relatives (aged 15 - 50) and people I knew in high school. Some things I've written about online I would not be comfortable sharing with these people. As other people have mentioned, she could set up a particular filter for things she wrote.

-- Information overload: facebook swamps you with a stream of information, and it's easy to lose good content in this stream of Whatserface Jones is now friends with Whatsisface Smith. This might make people who would otherwise follow her LJ lose her notes.

-- I'm not sure if I'm articulating this particularly well, but the way I and people I know use facebook is not really as a blogging platform. It has a bunch of features (notes and photo sharing) which might lead you to believe it's a similar tool, but most people I know use it as a way of skimming through holiday photos, bringing attention to this news story or that catchy song, what Ms X is thinking right now, quickly notifying a bunch of people of a change of job/address -- etcetera. If that's what your friend uses livejournal for, and if she wants to keep in touch with facebook contacts who don't use livejournal, that's great. I don't feel like the majority of people I know on facebook use it to ponder over something, write in-depth about any particular subject or indeed read a long text. As other people have mentioned, notes are an afterthought.

-- I feel dorky saying this, but the thing I miss about livejournal is (dramarama people aside) its community. There is no such thing as a facebook community, there are just a helluva lot of contacts. There's no serendipitous meeting people who share similar interests. Most people use facebook/etc to keep in touch with people they already know, not make new friends.

Whether it's an advantage to switch to to Facebook depends on who your friend wants to keep in touch with and the kind of updates she wants to post. I believe there's a livejournal app you can plug in to facebook which will make a note whenever you post. Maybe that's a compromise?
posted by the cat's pyjamas at 9:18 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

What kinds of things does she write?

Whom does she want to reach?

How much does she care about being able to efficiently access her whole archives?
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:19 AM on August 10, 2010

Best answer: A lot of people I know will not click through to a link on Facebook (myself included), so if she wants her off-Facebook friends to read her notes, she will have to make sure they are not anti-Facebook. I'm also nthing the facts that there is a lot of information on Facebook and things get lost in the shuffle and that the usability of the notes feature is minimal.

An option that works for a lot of people I know is to set up Facebook to automatically import all public entries she makes at LJ (or any other blog place -- anything with an RSS feed). Those entries all show up as notes and are permanently archived at Facebook (as much as anything on Facebook can be/is permanent).
posted by shamash at 9:25 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Livejournal has its problems, but inconsistent privacy isn't one of them -- it's very easy to set up different groups to "lock" your entries to and entries that you have made private or filtered will never have those settings changed without your knowledge. Facebook has a history of changing privacy settings for its own reasons, and making your management of those settings unintuitive and difficult.

Facebook also seems to have a mandate of broadening the circle of people who can see your content (and whose content you can see) whenever possible. This is very different from Livejournal's more passive approach, which for most people begins and ends with letting you know who's "Friended" and making it easy for you to friend them back if you're interested.

Facebook is an entirely closed system -- one needs an account to participate, and you can only follow your "feed" if you're logged in. Livejournal is much simpler for non-members to interact with, and gives you the ability to allow those non-users to comment on your public posts.

Finally, in my personal experience, Facebook is something people use to waste time and Livejournal is something people sit down to READ, making sure to catch up with anything they've missed. I have a Facebook account, but very rarely use it and get annoyed when people expect me to know something because they've posted a comment about it there -- it's too much of a firehose of content for me to keep track of, and I know that's true for many of my friends as well. But when I've been out of town for a few days, I always sit down and make sure to catch up with my "friends list" on Livejournal -- it's less spammy, and people tend to share their important thoughts there at more length than the quick status message version on Twitter or Facebook.

Obviously I'm a little biased toward LJ, because it's suited my needs very well. But my own preferences aside, what I'm saying is that your friend should spend some time thinking about what she wants out of her social media, about the internet habits of the people she's trying to connect with, what content she wants to share and and what manner of feedback she's looking for.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 9:28 AM on August 10, 2010 [5 favorites]

She should just make a blog on blogger or Tumblr and link it from her profile. 1) Not everyone on Facebook wants to read your notes. 2) Not everyone who wants to read your notes is on Facebook. Facebook is not made for blogging, but LJ is, so anyone who is your friend on LJ wants to read your posts. I personally would not want to read LJ-type entries of many of my Facebook friends. I understand her wanting to leave LJ, though, because yuck.
posted by elpea at 9:30 AM on August 10, 2010

If nothing else, Facebook is terrible because there is no easy way to sort through or manage your notes (or any other post). It's all simply chronological, which is a huge pain in the ass if you want to find something you posted a couple of years ago.

Better to use an external service or application that posts on FB's wall.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:34 AM on August 10, 2010

Ten years from now, if she wants to find something she wrote years ago, or if she wants to have everything she's written printed out as a book, I suspect the infrastructure (and 3rd party infrastructure) to do this is better on Livejournal - she'll be treading a well-trodden path, instead of trying to do something that not many people do.
posted by -harlequin- at 9:39 AM on August 10, 2010

Best answer: Like someone already said: keep the LJ and post the ones she wants to Facebook, like any other link. That way you have the best of both worlds and can keep them separate of needed.
posted by dozo at 9:44 AM on August 10, 2010

This is not true; Facebook has per-post settings (the little padlock icon) that lets you specify exactly who can see any given post or note, and you can even specifically exclude certain individuals or groups from seeing whatever you post.

I may be wrong, but I don't believe Facebook has a way to change the privacy on a post. Your only option is to remove it and re-post it. LJ makes this very easy.

I have one FB friend who keeps a LJ still and somehow her posts come across like this in her feed:
Sally Joe posted a new entry to 'sally_joe' at LiveJournal. Read and comment:
And I see them, so I think it's a pretty visible way to post. You might get friend-mismatch between the two systems though.

I'm not sure how this works exactly though. This is the application but it just links you back to LiveJournal.
posted by smackfu at 9:56 AM on August 10, 2010

I may be wrong, but I don't believe Facebook has a way to change the privacy on a post. Your only option is to remove it and re-post it.

I think you're right about that; another incredibly annoying feature.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:59 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

That's true for posts; you have to get it right the first time. But for notes, you can edit the note and change the privacy, I just checked on a couple of my own notes. (Not cheerleading for FB here, just saying, if you actually have the time and inclination to fiddle with it, you can do these things.)
posted by Gator at 10:09 AM on August 10, 2010

A couple of points in favor of LJ:

You can add tags to different entries. I have found this enormously helpful, if I want to find something on a certain subject, all I have to do is click on the corresponding tag.

If one has a paid account, there is a bulk edit tool for permissions. So you can change all the permissions on entries (either from a certain date range, or all of them in your LJ) with a couple of clicks. This may be important to her.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:14 AM on August 10, 2010

What? They're completely different things. I think your friend needs to figure out exactly what she wants to use it for before deciding, never mind the "pitfalls" and such.

Livejournal is more for blogging and larger amounts of text. Facebook is for social networking and keeping tabs on people. That's all there is to it, in a nutshell.
posted by Ky at 10:20 AM on August 10, 2010

Best answer: I believe there is a way to "push" a livejournal post through so it posts as a facebook update. At least one of my fb friends is doing this.
posted by pixiecrinkle at 10:29 AM on August 10, 2010

She should think to the next time she might want to do this...because inevitably it will happen. (I've moved my blog over the years from static HTML to Blogger to Moveable Type to WordPress, and changed hosts at least once in there too.)

LJ seems to be pretty straightforward to export from, if maybe tedious. (I'm not 100% sure, having never done it myself.) FB? Looks cludgy at best. Definitely nothing built in. And since FB's philosophical bent is "All your internets are belong to us" I wouldn't expect them to build such a feature.
posted by epersonae at 10:36 AM on August 10, 2010

And, curiously, it's not that hard to import an RSS feed (such as generated by LJ) into FB notes on an ongoing basis. I didn't like it, so I ended up using an app to do the same thing.
posted by epersonae at 10:38 AM on August 10, 2010

nthing what most have said, if it's serious content, put it on LiveJournal and import/link Farcebook.

As an aside, you can export notes from Facebook with a third-party app. 'Give Me My Data' can export notes (and other content) in XML.
posted by at 12:02 PM on August 10, 2010

Pros to LiveJournal:
- The privacy controls on Facebook are a pain in the ass compared to LiveJournal.
- The public searchability (I want someone to see my posts) on Facebook is poor
- The archive (going through old notes) is a pain on Facebook
- The backup is nothing on Facebook
- Facebook is not designed with blogging in mind, but rather little social notes. The way they handle images, HTML and similar are a pain if you're used to LiveJournal
- People reading Facebook are in "skim" mode more than half the time. Don't expect anyone but your most involved friends to actually read more than a paragraph

Pros to Facebook:
- Please wait through this horrible ad while your Livejournal experience loads (yuck)
- That's where everyone is. If you want to communicate with close friends and family you already know, Facebook is the place to do it
- You can be chirpy -- there's no pressure to deliver a "blog post" or "serious content"

Neutral (depending on what you want to do with it):
- People will follow you for knowing you already and may read what you write, not try to get to know you for what you have written
posted by Gucky at 1:27 PM on August 10, 2010

I just left FaceBook because of the privacy issues and I was sick of peoples' passive-aggressive drama, which drove me nuts. Anyways, I never read anybody's FaceBook "notes" so I don't know if anybody else would. FaceBook isn't really a place for a journal or blog, and people may get sick of someone using their status updates as a "dear diary" type of thing. I would probably stick to blogger or wordpress on my own domain; she can easily post a link to it from her FaceBook and/or Twitter if she wants to drive traffic there, assuming anybody wants to read it.
posted by 1000monkeys at 4:38 PM on August 10, 2010

I think perhaps it would help if your friend could explain why she is dissatisfied with LiveJournal and what she hopes to gain by switching to Facebook or anything else.

My initial inclination is that FB probably doesn't provide the kind of "blogging" or "journaling" platform she really wants. With that said, I am someone who has had an LJ for almost 10 years and more or less I have "switched" to other platforms (a mix really, but FB is a major component. The caveat is that I don't really journal/blog like I used to, and therefore the LJ/blog system no longer really makes sense for me. I still have my LJ, and very occasionally post to it, but it's mostly there so I can read friends' journals.
posted by asciident at 11:29 PM on August 10, 2010

Response by poster: First, thank you all for your responses. They seem like they'll be very helpful.

I'd hate to guess at her reasons for wanting to switch (she didn't mention it initially and I haven't heard from her since then), but I'll hazard a few anyway: consolidation of websites (FB is very convenient and likely the website she now uses more than any other) and/or wider audience (the set of friends on FB wholly encompasses the set of friends on LJ plus there are other people on FB who aren't on LJ).

Those seem the most likely, but she hasn't said explicitly why yet so it's just a guess.
posted by Green With You at 9:09 AM on August 11, 2010

Best answer: If that's the case, I'll echo what some others have said: keep blogging/journaling via LJ and simply link to the entries on Facebook. The people who are on both won't mind terribly, and those who aren't will see them too.

I think there's even a way to set it up so that FB automatically announces new entries from someone's LJ, but I'm not 100% sure of the details.
posted by asciident at 10:06 PM on August 12, 2010

wider audience (the set of friends on FB wholly encompasses the set of friends on LJ plus there are other people on FB who aren't on LJ).

Blogging through Facebook notes is going to restrict her audience, since only people who are logged into Facebook will be able to see it. Also, a site like LiveJournal or Blogger draws in traffic from Google searches, which I don't think Facebook notes do.

But her friends are all on Facebook! OK, but they can all still read her LiveJournal or Blogger or WordPress posts. She can simply post the links to those on Facebook. It's still worth hosting the blog on a non-Facebook server, for the many reasons people have said.

In fact, she can go beyond posting the links. Why doesn't she totally cross-post her blog? Keep it on LJ, but copy and paste each post (or some of them) into Facebook notes. Best of both worlds.
posted by Jaltcoh at 10:31 PM on August 12, 2010

A lot of LiveJournal blogs are friends-only, so restricting the audience is kind of the point. Cross-posting to Facebook adds the complexity of having to manage two sets of friends lists, and forcing your friends to get LJ accounts when they probably don't care.
posted by smackfu at 6:55 AM on August 13, 2010

Response by poster: I recently saw her post a link to her journal on her FB so problems solved!
posted by Green With You at 1:16 PM on September 9, 2010

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