Felix Rambles

Another step to taking back control

Dreaming of Dreamwidth

06 December 2018 — Felix Ple┼čoianu

I don't exactly have a quota for this blog, apart from the self-imposed one resulting from average post counts so far. That said, almost one week into December I found nothing new to blog about. Funny how writing fiction tends to claim all my attention in a way programming doesn't.

Except something did happen recently: Tumblr just wrote what amounts to a suicide note, announcing they'll be banning everything that remotely resembles adult content as of 17 December. Never mind the issue of corporate America forcing their Puritanic worldview on the entire rest of the planet. (Ordinary Americans, it should be said, are fed up with that shit, and can't wait for mentalities to change already.) Many other social networks, however, stepped up to the plate, inviting people over. Well, those that weren't already flooded by people jumping ship, like Mastodon.

One of those platforms welcoming new members is Dreamwidth. I was vaguely aware of it as an offshoot from LiveJournal, but didn't know any details. Turns out, it looks like a fairly interesting place.

For one thing, unlike other blogging-focused platforms, Dreamwidth offers public profiles, which among other things can show what you're reading. And what you're reading can include newsfeeds you import from just about anywhere. Which means you can use Dreamwidth as a kind of mini-aggregator. But mostly, you can express yourself as a reader, not just as a writer. In other words, to have a meaningful public presence on the platform without turning into a dancing monkey.

Then there's the attitude: unlike its precursor, Dreamwidth is community-owned, based on open source and open governance, with an official anti-advertising stance. The only financing source is paid accounts. Which also means the only scripts you get on the pages are there to enable extra features. Not many, though! Most of the site works just fine in a text-mode browser. And it's very light by modern standards.

Last but not least, there's a wealth of documentation, which is good because some features appear to be more technical in nature. Also, the various official accounts, on the platform and elsewhere, just came back to life after a year of silence, so you can probably ask questions and reasonably expect them answered. Good sign!

A few more highlights:

  • advanced community features;
  • advanced privacy features;
  • selectable, customizable themes.

Yep, it looks like a good place to be. I also seem to have a ton of friends there, and predominating interests right now seem to revolve around literature. Going to think about it some more. But not too long.

Tags: personal, social-media, website

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