Sunday, October 21, 2007

Why one kills a feed from one's own blog

First posted to my Yahoo 360 blog Saturday April 21, 2007 - 09:18pm (CDT)

Very recently, I set up a livejournal for a few reasons. I wanted to have a place where I could post videos on youtube, whose owners have insisted on setting their system so that one has to give it the password for one's blog before it will give one the code for embedding a video into one's blog. I wasn't about to give them or anybody else my Yahoo or Blogger password. What I needed was a blog that I wouldn't be as upset about losing, should somebody at the other end misuse the information I was sending to this unfamiliar company, contrary to what is usually considered just basic common sense on matters of security. Also, having an account at another large provider like Livejournal would have the virtue of allowing me to post replies to blogs on that other service.

I set up a new blog called "Stuck in Limbo"

(url and link removed)

and then set up blog feeds, only to make an annoying discovery, which one can see for oneself just by following this permanent link

(url and link removed)

Looks really shabby, doesn't it? The formatting doesn't carry over to individual posts, when one reaches them through a feed. Why they would set it up this way, I don't know and I don't care. One might also note that there is no provision for setting up feeds there, or for creating a blog roll, meaning that I can't really link from there to other sites of mine, I can't swap links and owing to the very limited formatting choices available, I can't even make my livejournal look like anything other than a site one might have put together sometime around 1996.

I might put a little effort into it, but the kind of "drop dead" attitude that leaps out of these design choices does nothing to make me want to put a lot of effort into making my livejournal into anything other than the minimum effort that I'm being encouraged to make by the provider. The best that I can do is keep the amount of text on the new place to a minimum, just showing a lot of films, so the dodginess of the look is no more of an issue than it needs to be, and not use any permanent links - and that means no feeds from that blog.

I guess that takes care of any trust issues with third party providers who don't seem to respect security consciousness, because I won't have any writing to lose over there? Yes, at least there's that. Why are people like this?

Comment added later: Maybe I'm assuming the worst too quickly, projecting past bad experiences (eg. the guy at Internet Trash who flew into a rage when I reported the nonworking FTP on his service) into an assumption of a future bad experience. I'll report the problem and we'll see whether Livejournal can handle the news any more maturely or professionally than have a number of other services I could name. At this point, how much do I really stand to lose if they lose their minds? Maybe they'll pleasantly surprise me?

There's a first time for everything.

Note added June 5: But this was not to be the first time for that, as noted in this post to my Googlegroup. I've removed "Stuck in Limbo" from my blogroll, and will probably only be using my livejournal membership for commenting in the future.

Note added, October 7, 2011: I've since recycled the name "Stuck in Limbo" - it's going to be the name of my real time photography microblog on Typepad. Livejournal would eventually fix this "feature", but was never willing to work on its notorious censorship issues, which seemed to stem from its willingness to give unchecked administrative power to adolescent volunteers. I mean this literally - at least one former member of the abuse team described himself as having been "a typical teenager" at the time he started work on the team. Use your common sense, and imagine how that would work, in real life.

I decided that I didn't need that headache, which is why you aren't seeing any links to Livejournal in this post.