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Community Discussion: Moving Offsite


We wanted to have a community wide discussion as we are in the very early stages of talks about moving the community to our own website.

For a long time this hasn't been on our mind simply because livejournal offers everything that is necessary to operate and maintain the community to a level of standards that we are comfortable with. However, as time has gone on the number of individuals who don't know how to utilize the website or who require assistance to utilize the website has gone up.

So we ask the question: Do you, the users, want to see Artists_Beware move onward to our own website?

Moving to a new website would require us to find a system that can:

- Allow for submissions that we can review. (This may mean setting up an offsite submission system like a google doc, or a built in submission system.)
- Allow for users to comment on posts. (This may require registration to the site.)
- Comment moderation. We want to maintain quality within in the comments just as it is now.
- A system that allows for tagging like we have now.

So far we are looking into word press, but are open to any suggestions.

Right now we also have a Twitter and a Facebook, but there are zero plans to utilize these platforms beyond announcing new posts to the main comm.

I'll be adding a poll. If you feel strongly one way or the other we would like to hear from you. In addition, if you feel like there's more Artists_Beware can do to make itself more openly accessible please do speak up!

Poll #2085617 Should Artists_Beware Move Off of LJ?

Should Artists_Beware Move Off of LJ?

Yes, I would like to see A_B move off of LJ.
No, I would not like to see A_B move.
Other, I will comment below.

Community Tags:

Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 39 comments — Leave a comment )
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(Deleted comment)
Oct. 1st, 2018 09:25 pm (UTC)
There is one feature that would make or break my use of a new site: e-mail notices. A_B doesn't generate the traffic to be visited several times a day. Without that and without a notice showing up in my e-mail I'm going to forget it exists.

I'm seriously not keen on the idea of learning how to use a new site just for this comm.

Beyond those two items it doesn't make much difference to me. It's not like LJ has the activity that makes it more convenient than a stand alone site.
Oct. 1st, 2018 09:30 pm (UTC)
From what we're looking at a standalone site wouldn't be any more complicated than browsing LJ. It would more than likely be the same format of posts in the middle, and a tag list on either side of the entry. A basic blog format.

But being sure to have a way to email people of new entries is something we haven't considered, and I agree with you. I'll put that on the list of "musts" that would have to be met.
(no subject) - gatekat - Oct. 1st, 2018 10:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 1st, 2018 09:29 pm (UTC)
For those who voted "no" I am honestly curious why you want to stay?

Nostalgia? Don't feel like following another blog? I'm really very curious and not trying to be judgmental.

I personally think we have to think long term and LJ frankly is not that. We have to abide their policies and since this site has a track record of being bounced around sales wise; we never know where the 'wind' blows.

Also considering some are really... not fans of some of the things the current Russian owners have done, the safety of everyone's data is one to keep in mind.

The only downside to moving aside from the obvious starting over is... cost. AB staff will have to look for hosting, a domain, etc..
Oct. 1st, 2018 10:24 pm (UTC)
It's a headache to learn a new system for me and most 'blogs' and 'forums' I've come across don't have a notification system or have a terrible one.
(no subject) - forsaken_malice - Oct. 4th, 2018 10:22 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - duck113 - Oct. 7th, 2018 01:02 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 1st, 2018 09:43 pm (UTC)
I'd like to see A_B move off LJ, mostly because I find navigating LJ extremely tedious. It's hard (for me, I dunno about normally) to quickly see if an artist has a beware, it's difficult to find certain past entries (search feature isn't too great), and the "front page" of the A_B group is confusing.
Having its own site would also be "more official" if that makes sense.

I run FursuitReview, and that site runs off WordPress. Wordpress is extremely versatile and has all the options you're after. It can even email people when new posts are posted (you need to sign up as a "subscriber", but it's an option).

The only problem with Wordpress is you HAVE TO BE 200% SURE you're organizing stuff correctly. Because if you don't do it correctly at the very beginning, changing it later is extremely difficult.

For me, it's been a lot of guess and check, by setting some things up and then making 10 - 20 mock reviews, then seeing if everything is still making sense and easy to use.

I think WordPress will work well for A_B if you set it up correctly.
Unfortunately for FursuitReview, we've grown out of it completely and are trying to move to a homebrew solution.
Oct. 1st, 2018 09:54 pm (UTC)
In the interest of more options, though, these might also work for you:
Pico CMS
Telerik SiteFinity (paid)

These are all content management systems (CMS) which is likely the route you want to go, unless you happen to have a web developer on your team.
(no subject) - snippetchick - Oct. 11th, 2018 10:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Oct. 2nd, 2018 08:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bornesb - Oct. 2nd, 2018 09:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bornesb - Oct. 2nd, 2018 09:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 1st, 2018 10:39 pm (UTC)
I'd honestly be okay with a presence in both ways.
Oct. 2nd, 2018 01:41 am (UTC)
I want to vote no simply because change makes me anxious. AB has been here so long, it's one of the pages I check daily.

However, if it's beneficial for AB to move, then it should. It would probably give you more leeway in how things are run without the threat of being shut down.
Oct. 2nd, 2018 06:10 pm (UTC)
I voted no but share the same mindset when considering the subject as a whole.
Oct. 2nd, 2018 02:39 am (UTC)
LJ is the only place I visit where I don't regularly miss posts, so I'd rather not see A_B move off (unless there was an RSS feed that I could follow set up).
Oct. 2nd, 2018 02:57 am (UTC)
I would be fine with either option, though I would prefer to stay on LJ because... well, I just don't really feel like there is a big /need/ to move. I only ever joined LJ for the sake of A_B (and FD2 when it was around) but I feel like I would just... forget to check a new site?

Additionally, if there was a new site, what would happen to the old posts? Would they be reuploaded? I could see that working if the mods screencapped the entire page (comments included); I find the comments on a post to be equally important at looking over posts so I would not be keen to kinda loosing all of the information here.
Oct. 2nd, 2018 05:25 am (UTC)
I voted no for multiple reasons. One, even though I really dislike the way LJ works, I really dont want to have to make an entire new log in.
AB is also known enough that everyone knows its on LJ.

Plus, google forms do not always work, and that would deter me from trying to submit ABs. I did a google form test as I wanted to use it for commissions and I filled it out 10 times and only received 8 of the submissions. I also had friends test it as well and a small amount of submitted forms were missing. So if that is used for submissions it may end up with peoples bewares not posted.

I also dont really see a NEED to move unless there's reasons that arent being disclosed.

There's also the point of what would happen to the old bewares?
Oct. 2nd, 2018 01:51 pm (UTC)

There's a few reasons this has come up. Mainly due to feedback from our ever growing community outside of LJ (mainly Twitter which is sitting at almost 2k). More people want to use us, but also are intimidated by LJ's old design, so they move onto other communities.

In additon we had a loss of a few regulars when LJ changed hands entirely to Russia, and a noticable decrease in submissions.

Any move will not be sudden. I want to ensure whatever we come up with would allow us to archive most of the community. We haven't discussed how far back we want to go, as a lot of the very old posts do not follow our format.
Oct. 2nd, 2018 04:41 pm (UTC)
I find it amazing the difference between our LJ poll and Twitter poll is so vast.
Oct. 2nd, 2018 05:01 pm (UTC)
Oct. 2nd, 2018 05:24 pm (UTC)
As much as I have adored LJ since I set up my first account in 2001 (my primary LJ is even a Permanent account)...this is no longer the LJ I loved, and I am 100% in favor of moving. The code has been outdated for years, LJ staff isn't doing much of anything to maintain the site anymore, and there are security breaches left and right that staff also doesn't give a crap about repairing (see next paragraph).

I have had to report over a dozen friends' accounts on my personal LJ just this year, for being hacked and posting Cyrillic spam and virus links. Some of those friends actually still used LJ when their accounts got hacked; the accounts weren't all abandoned. We can barely get a response out of LJ staff, much less get the hackers booted off their stolen accounts, and the times I DID get a hacker booted, LJ staff left up the hacker spam posts even after I reported the virus links. I've honestly taken to leaving comments or PM'ing the rest of the accounts on my F-list so they know what's going on. As a result, a large chunk of my F-list on my personal account just up and deleted their accounts. Because LJ isn't safe anymore. And staff can't be trusted to do staff stuff anymore.

Today, right along with the comments to this AB post that I'm subscribed to, I got notifications for a bunch of pro-Ilumin*ti spam comments on LJ's news accounts that I'm also following (for example, as seen here). Checking the posts, some of those spam comments have been there for weeks or months. On official LJ staff news accounts. And no one cares to remove them even though people are calling them out. That's sadly indicative of how this site is being run. If AB has problems the mods can't fix themselves, we can't count on LJ staff to do their actual jobs anymore. The same thing happened with Yahoo! Groups, when Yahoo! ended support of Groups in 2014. And now there are errors everywhere, people getting locked out of their accounts for no reason, hackers and data thieves are running amok, and you can't get staff to do anything because there ISN'T any staff actively working on Groups anymore.

I know people tend to get stuck in on something and refuse to leave it no matter how bad it gets, just because it's familiar. But sometimes you gotta get out of the haunted house before you get turned into a demon ghost thrall.

I loved LJ. But LJ isn't LJ anymore.
Oct. 2nd, 2018 05:31 pm (UTC)
Oh boy....To add onto the LJ crap sundae...I just logged into my email after leaving the above comment, and got reminded of ANOTHER site issue that I'd forgotten about because I'm just not that active here anymore, thanks to all the problems. I just had a comment from a friend on my main account asking why I'd deleted a bunch of random comments I'd left on her posts over the past eleven years. Except...I haven't deleted anything. That's another weird thing going on with this site. For a while now. Comments and/or posts just...vanish. And you have no way of knowing if someone is deleting their own comments/posts or if it's yet another weird site bug, if you can't get in touch with the account owner to ask.

P.S. Please don't ask me how you know whether or not something has been deleted, because I didn't even know that was a thing you could track on LJ till this trouble started! If you CAN even track that here?? Is it a toggle option or something? All I know is, posts and comments are vanishing, and it's often not being done by the people who posted them.

Edited at 2018-10-02 05:36 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Oct. 2nd, 2018 06:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bunraygma - Oct. 4th, 2018 03:50 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gatekat - Oct. 3rd, 2018 06:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 3rd, 2018 01:30 am (UTC)
I hope there is a move to a new site! I've never used livejournal and I ONLY use livejournal for Artist_Beware. I find it very hard to navigate and use (posting, commenting, searching).

I don't really like the idea that artist_beware is shackled to livejournal (so if anything happened to livejournal something would happen to artist_beware too).

Can you have it both ways? Can you create your own website where comments, submissions, moderation, ect happens on, but then create a script that would cross-post to live-journal? You could disable comments so there would be no need to moderate livejournal. Just an option for those who still use livejournal for updates.


Edited at 2018-10-03 01:31 am (UTC)
Oct. 3rd, 2018 01:50 am (UTC)
I basically haven't used LJ in years, I've been on Dreamwidth for a long time now. Literally the ONLY reason I keep my LJ at all is because of three communities I'm in that haven't jumped ship elsewhere, A_B being one of them. Actually I lied, there's only one other community besides A_B I still follow on LJ, the other one just moved to DW this past month.

Anyway, my point is, I absolutely do not trust LJ in either usability or social policies. And since I'm basically not on this site any more anyway, I would love it if A_B found a new home. I have a folder of bookmarks for sites I visit weekly and could easily add A_B to it. Which honestly is about how often I visit LJ nowadays anyway.

So you have my vote to go wherever the wind blows, though I don't envy you the task of dealing with moving the archive here on LJ!

Edited at 2018-10-03 01:50 am (UTC)
Oct. 3rd, 2018 03:01 am (UTC)
A feature I'd love to see if you do move would be a better way to read good reviews other than opening each monthly post. I'm not sure how without making a parallel setup, one for good and one for bad, but if somebody can think of it it would be great. Even tagging each positive post with something like "Good-artistname" would be an improvement in finding out if an artist we're considering has good reviews or bad.
Oct. 3rd, 2018 07:23 am (UTC)
I second this! This would be awesome!

Edited at 2018-10-03 07:23 am (UTC)
Oct. 3rd, 2018 05:03 am (UTC)
The only reason i log into LJ anymore is for A_B. This isn't the same site i joined in 2001. I would definitely be okay with a move.
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