LiveJournal Archiving with DreamWidth

This post is mainly for those who use LiveJournal and wish to save their entries on something other than LiveJournal. After some searching and testing, I thought a post on this might help others that were wondering. It’s not long enough to be written as a guide, nor is there a need to, but it deserves a quick mention nonetheless.

Firstly, the two methods which I’ve tried:

  1. Exporting with LiveJournal’s native function: CSV or XML formats. The former is not that useful even after using software to convert CSV to PDF, while the latter had some trouble exporting on my computer.
    1. My main gripe with using XML exports was that simple items such as an apostrophe (‘) appeared as gibberish (technically, their HTML counterparts) such as (#$39). I suppose there would be a way to auto-convert these things into what they originally were, but that seemed like a lot of trouble.
    2. Converting XML exports into PDF files did little to change these…issues, it was akin to repackaging flawed objects in a new, shiny container.
  2. Exporting with BlogBooker to PDF or Word directly: This is quite impressive, having incorporated the moribund LJBook into their system to directly import from LJ if given the correct credentials. The PDF output looks fairly nice with some options for customization and printing as well as downloading for offline storage.
    1. One problem is the freemium model used by BlogBooker where one is limited to 4 export downloads a month. One could rapidly consume each download to archive their past LJ entries before utilizing the monthly exports as a monthly backup, but waiting multiple months just to archive a few months worth of entries seemed like a hassle.

LiveJournal has yet to provide a HTML export function, while mucking around with Python scripts or software that went silent (such as LJArchive) didn’t seem that attractive either, so I followed some suggestions to use DreamWidth.

Hence the title of this post. DW’s actually pretty good in functioning as a LJ alternative, having been built by a couple of former LJ employees. The set up most have used is as follows:

  1. Create a DW account
  2. Link DW account to LJ account for cross-posting purposes (what’s posted on DW will appear in the corresponding LJ account as well, images and all).
  3. Import past LJ entries into DW (tags work pretty well and import was done quickly).
  4. Post in DW (cross-posting is set to automatically post in LJ as well).
  5. LJ mirroring DW makes it such that one has two entry records in the cloud, so even if one goes down, not all is lost.

DW also provides the same CSV/XML export functionality as LJ, so they don’t differ much in that regard. It also has trouble exporting XML on my end (I end up with an empty XML file of 0 bytes), so it’s also identical in that regard. For now though, DreamWidth’s function as an online mirror (it has really nice skins/themes too, quite like WordPress) should be quite helpful to those looking to save a copy of their LJ entries somewhere.

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One thought on “LiveJournal Archiving with DreamWidth

  1. Pingback: Church drums & RwR 27/3 to 2/4 | Ramblings of Roe

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