In recent weeks, the mod team have been discussing options to make our particular corner of the internet more secure and user-friendly. Since our TOSing at LiveJournal, the community has regrown here at InsaneJournal. However, there still remain a number of issues with our new home - not least that we have no guarantee we won't get suspended from InsaneJournal just as we were from LJ. InsaneJournal was only ever intended to be a temporary home while we explored other options. Our search has been suspended over the past couple of months, but we've finally had the space to get back to it, and our top choice by a long shot is Dreamwidth.
We're now in discussions with the Dreamwidth admin and this is why we feel it's important to bring you guys to the table and get the input of the membership on a very important decision.
What is Dreamwidth?
Dreamwidth is a blogging/social networking site, much like LiveJournal or InsaneJournal. Where IJ is a clone of LJ, DW is a code fork - they've taken LJ's code and improved upon it. A crucial difference between DW and many other journaling sites, is its firm commitment to community, open source and free speech. You can read more about the site and its creators here: Ethos, Guiding Principles, Diversity Statement, Differences between Dreamwidth and LJ.
There are a number of reasons why the mod team feels that Dreamwidth will make a good home for our community.
The biggest benefit is one we've already mentioned - the chances of the entire community being nuked because of a single copyright claim are seriously reduced. Dreamwidth believes in acting within the letter of the law while protecting its users, and if they received a DMCA complaint for a particular entry, they would issue a takedown notice for that entry only. At that point, the poster of the entry would have the option of either removing the entry, or filing a counternotification indicating that they believe their use of the material is protected under copyright law.
(In the latter case, the poster would notify Dreamwidth (under 17 USC 512(g)) that they believe their use of the material is non-infringing. However, the rights-holder would then be able to file suit in Federal court, and sometimes they do - Marvel in particular is known for being a bit litigious, so the nuke button is the recommended option.)
That's the biggest advantage to the move, but there are other, notable ones as well:
Dreamwidth is ad free.
It's run by the former customer relations manager at LJ and one of the original programmers, who brought on board many former Livejournal staff lost in the recent takeover. So they understand the technical and social aspects of LJ, effectively making it more of a "run by the fans, for the fans" atmosphere over the corporate Livejournal as well as providing the technical savvy. They've been able to make a true fork of the code and then maintain it, not just clone LJ's code and hope that the parent site makes bug fixes available. InsaneJournal currently uses an ancient version of the Livejournal code which is noticably clunky.
Dreamwidth also offers the option of crossposting and importing content from another site using OpenID. While we can't import the community directly (more on that below), users have the option of importing content from LiveJournal or other journals and/or crossposting entries made on Dreamwidth to LiveJournal. ETA: OpenID also allows you to comment to Dreamwidth entries using your LJ or IJ account without having a Dreamwidth account.
When talking to the Dreamwidth admins and looking over their legal documentation, we were very impressed by their commitment to building a strong and diverse community. Their improvements to the LJ model aren't just aimed at creating a more user-friendly journaling site, but also one that's open in its business policies and its acceptance of customers with all kinds of needs, beliefs, and ways of life. (Many of those customers are fannish, just like us, so we can count on being understood.) We believe that Dreamwidth's ideals are similar to those that the community strives for.
Getting an account/Move schedule
Dreamwidth is currently in open beta. This means that right now there are only two ways to get an account: by purchasing one, or by getting an invite code from a current user. We've spoken to the Dreamwidth maintainers about the logistics of moving a thousand-plus member community en masse, and they've said that if we can poll the community about the number of people who will need invites, they will provide them to us in bulk. We'll probably distribute them through a closed community where people can comment to request a code.
[ETA: There seems to be some confusion on this point, for which we apologize. If you don't have an account already and don't want to buy an account, we will make sure that you get an invite code. We have a poll here that we're asking members to take so we can get an accurate headcount for the Dreamwidth admins. They will give us as many codes as we need, and then we'll distribute them, the exact logistics of which we'll get into later when it's time to finalize details.]
Anyone interested in purchasing a paid account, on the other hand, should know that prices rise on November 1st, if you wish to take advantage of the lower prices for yearly or six monthly accounts. We've been asked to mention that although Dreamwidth is slightly more expensive than LJ, it's completely member-supported and will never be ad-subsidized. More information about how the account price points are set is here.
The New Tagging System
At the moment, the one drawback with the move to Dreamwidth is that the tagging system is more limited than InsaneJournal. Dreamwidth only allows 1000 tags per community (1500 on paid communities). Currently on this community we run over 3500 tags, so obviously many will be lost in the move.
We're discussing with our tag wranglers the best way of handling this change, but currently the proposal is to use a combination between in-journal tags (set by the original poster) and a Delicious account which will allow more detailed tagging and act as an external back-up that can will be edited by mods and volunteers. More details to follow when the system is finalized.
Scans Daily on IJ
The existing InsaneJournal community will remain in place. There is no advantage in deleting any posts and the posts and comments will be kept in perpetuity. In addition, with the community's agreement, we'd like to import all of the existing posts on InsaneJournal across to Dreamwidth. Unfortunately, because of the way that Dreamwidth's importer works and the copyright issues involved, it's not possible to simply use their importer. However, a work-around is possible which will import all entries, adding an "Originally posted by... to the top of the entry. Unfortunately comments won't be imported, but they will still be readable here.
Obviously, we wish to advise our members of our intention before simply importing entries. If a majority are in favor of importing the entries, we will do so; any original posters who are unhappy with a post being reproduced, can request we remove it from the archive.
The InsaneJournal version of Scans_Daily will be closed for new entries after the move.
Why can't we just stay here? I don't want to move.
Well, we could. But ultimately, the mod team feels our position at IJ is almost as precarious, if not equally precarious, as it ever was at LJ, and we certainly haven't lost any visibility to the wider comics community. Given the choice between waiting to get booted in some amorphous future, or taking the initiative to move to a better place now before we're entrenched at IJ with years of archives, we'd rather move now.
Scans Daily on Dreamwidth is here. If you already have an account, or access to an invite code, please go ahead and join. The comm is currently locked down, and won't be open until the move is complete.
The invite code distribution community is here. Membership will be limited to mods, but when we've got things set up, we'd appreciate you coming over and sharing your codes for the cause!
Comments, questions? Let 'em loose. And if you haven't already, be sure to take the invite code poll over at noscans_daily so we know how many are needed.
ETA: We've already had some very awesome folks offer their dreamwidth codes to donate to other members in need. If you're interested in doing so, please head to this post and comment with your codes. All comments are screened by default. We might not be able to reply to you immediately, but we will definitely keep you posted.