a rickety bridge of impossible crossing

blog hibernation / year of the journal

It's 2024, and it's time to move on from Bearblog for the moment. It's a great place to write, and Herman has been a very gracious host, but recently I've found myself wanting something different. Dreamwidth was on my shortlist of places to start a blog when I signed up here, and I think the reason I went with Bear instead is that I didn't think Dreamwidth had a mobile interface, and I could use markdown instead of HTML.

Well, I recently learned that Dreamwidth does have a very good mobile interface: as stripped-down and reliable and purely functional as it gets. Although, I ended up mostly using a separate notes app on my phone anyway, since an unreliable mobile connection has led to data loss more than once.

As for HTML, well, I've been using it for >20 years, and the number of things I need to do with it in a journal context is small enough that I can keep it all in my head, whereas I still occasionally need to look up how to do certain things in markdown. It does make some formatting faster, but not that much, and the occasional friction it generates makes it a wash.

So why the switch? The main reason is that I've been missing a feature I used a lot in the decade I wrote on livejournal: restricted audience levels. I can keep writing public entries for the world to enjoy, much like the one you're reading now, while also being able to post more personal, candid, venting or just plain unpolished entries to a limited audience of trusted friends and confidantes. I can do this in a limited way on the fediverse, but only 500 characters at a time, and in a way that's less secure, because those locked posts are visible to anyone who follows me, not just people I've explicitly granted access. Unlike livejournal, the concepts of "subscription" and "access" are separated, so even if you're not on the access list (and don't worry if you're not, there won't be too many of these locked-down entries and it'll mostly be complaining) you can still subscribe if you have a dreamwidth account (which you can login to with openID if you don't want to sign up for yet another account.)

Lack of traditional syndication would be a dealbreaker, so of course you can also subscribe to the new journal via RSS or atom (I still don't know what the difference is) and get the full text of every public entry in your reader of choice. If you're a current feed reader, you'll just need to replace the bearblog feed with the new URL and basically nothing should change for you. All the links will be at the bottom of this post.

The second reason for the switch is that I thought it'd be nice to have a journal on a platform that allows comments. When I signed up for Bear, I saw the lack of comments as a feature-not-a-bug, because moderation and such was a hassle that I didn't want to deal with (most things on the internet shouldn't have comments, let's be real most comment sections are just an endless bathroom wall for ass gremlins to smear shit.) But I've gotten some very nice emails and messages from readers, so maybe there are some nice people out there after all and I should lower the barrier to entry for people who want to contribute. If it ends up being a mistake, I can always turn on comment screening or disable comments entirely later on.

The new journal is entitled Steal Compass/Drive North/Disappear. You can subscribe if you have a dreamwidth account or login with openID.

This is the link for the RSS feed and this is the link for atom, so if that's your preference, syndicate away.

If we know each other and you want to be on the access list, drop me an e-mail or private message or comment in the pinned post, or just grant me access and I'll reciprocate (but let me know if the name you use on dreamwidth is different than the one you use elsewhere.)

Thanks again for all the memories. This blog is where I found my writing legs again, won the #100DaysToOffload challenge, made the front page of hacker news twice (for reasons still unclear to me), committed some major CSS crimes, technically made my first contribution on Github, made some cool friends, and grew as a writer and a person. I hope this trend continues. Well, maybe not hacker news.

Happy hibernation, Bear. I'll see you in the land of dreams 🦝

#goodbye #meta