Earlier this month, or more like late in December, there was a kerfuffle over LJ’s data servers being moved from the U.S. to Russia, where the parent company is located. There are many business reasons why consolidating operations may be justified. I never saw any publication of these reasons, but I’ve been a rank-and-file member of a corporation long enough to know possible reasons (cost savings, economies of scale, yada yada). However, it happened at the time that many American users were also concerned about the outcome of our presidential election, and the president-elect’s apparent ties to the president of Russia. As a result, a good number of LJ users fled for other ports.
It’s been a week or two since I looked for any news. I actually never found any real news, to be honest. Most of the information came from users of LiveJournal or Dreamwidth, either their posts themselves or social media news outlets whose only sources were those posts. My searches covered the Russian English-language outlets I used in the past, but they had nothing.
I did not flee. I just ran out of time to say things. It would be a lie to say I didn’t consider my options, but I came to the conclusion LJ is still (still!) where I see the best sense of community and the best platform to support it. Moving anywhere would require a lot of reaching out to try to get my friends to, not necessarily move with me, but at least look me up in my new home.
LJ being more wholly Russian doesn’t concern me any more than it used to. I’m not Russian, and I’m not likely to say anything controversial that relates to Russia or its people (there’s no audience for that, for me). If for some reason the situation deteriorates as far as censorship goes, it’s likely to be caused by people in the U.S. and it will affect all hosts. I think we’re far from that stage.
Now, if the technical situation deteriorates, as with the DDOS attacks on LJ several years ago when LJ was almost unusable for a few weeks … well, that’s why we have backups. I’ve been trying to back up my journal to a WordPress site. The only problem with THAT is, LJ’s back-end seems to be unreachable by WordPress’s import app. I don’t know how long this has been going on, or whether it’s linked to LJ’s server move. Fortunately, I had a very spotty posting record in 2016 and I can manually copy entries from LJ to WP with little effort (particularly since I seem to like repetitive tasks like that). So that’s just a little annoying, but not a major roadblock.
There’s one other little technical glitch I just noticed, though. Former LJ user Altivo has been kindly allowing his Dreamwidth posts to mirror to LJ (at least, I think he could say no if he wanted). He posted on the 19th, and it just showed up in my friends timeline today. Why the delay? I suspect some sort of system glitch, and nothing on his part. That makes two back-end glitches, if I am guessing right (and I’m not an I.T. guy, especially not for LJ or WP or DW). It’s a situation that bears monitoring, but not a lot of concern.
Anyway, here I am. I’m not gone yet. I hope you’ve all been fine.