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My journal, LiveJournal, RSS, etc.


At least half a dozen new people have started reading this journal in the past couple months, and regular readers periodically get confused about this, so I figured it was time to post a note explaining how this journal's interaction with LiveJournal works.

I post journal entries to my journal on my own website. I consider the version of the journal that's on my site to be canonical. It uses CSS stylesheets to display text and images the way I want them to appear, and it has a comments system where people can post comments on entries and I can respond. My main journal page also lists the most recent comments posted, which helps keep conversations going. You can search old entries and display all entries for a given date or month.

A while back, Josh S. kindly volunteered to provide a syndicated feed of my journal into LiveJournal. That means that every hour or so, LiveJournal's automated syndication system checks my site; if I've posted a new entry, the system posts the entry to LJ as if the LJ user jedediah had posted it. The entry then shows up on the "friends" lists of about 75 other LJ users, mixed in with the posts from other journals they're reading.

(Aside: There are a lot of misconceptions about friends lists in the minds of people who don't use LJ. A friends list is primarily just a way to read a bunch of other journals at once, with those journals' entries interspersed in chronological order. You can take a look at my friends list if you're curious about what they look like, though I should note that I've chosen a visual appearance for mine that's at the no-frills end of the visual spectrum.)

However, I'm not personally directly affiliated with syndicated LJ user jedediah. When an LJ user posts a comment on one of jedediah's entries, in LJ, I don't receive an email message telling me the comment is there, and in fact I'm unlikely to ever see the comment.

So, LJ readers: if you want to comment on one of my entries, first follow the link at the top of the entry in LJ, to get to the entry on my kith.org site. Then use the comment system on my site, which does automatically email me when someone posts a comment.

Anyone who's reading this on my site but would prefer to read it in LJ: go to the jedediah feed page and add jedediah to your friends list.

I also have a couple of RSS feeds of the journal. (If you don't know what RSS is, ignore this paragraph.) If you prefer to read journals using an RSS reader, then go to my main journal page and follow the links in the upper right corner of the page to see my RSS feeds.

I do have an LJ account that is associated directly with me; the username there is elysdir, which is my middle name. However, I never actually post entries to that account; it exists entirely so that I can read other people's LJ entries using my own friends list.

Whew. Hope that all made sense. If not, feel free to ask questions—but if you're reading this on LJ, be sure to follow the link to the entry on my site first.

Technical note: I use a journal system I built myself, using Dreamweaver to create PHP pages that pull entries from a MySQL database hosted at Pair.com. I also built journals using this system for Mary Anne, Vardibidian, and Dan P. It's not as slick and sophisticated a system as, say, Movable Type or Journalscape, but it suits my needs and I learned a lot about database programming by creating it.


So how come Mary Anne, Vardibidian, etc dont seem to have RSS feeds?

Well, in my case when Jed offered I said it wasn't necessary, so the blame is mine.


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