As reported earlier this morning by Gearjock, the Russian owners of LiveJournal, Sup, have laid off 20 of LJ's 28 employees, leaving only accountants and operations personnel. Product managers and engineers are all gone.
In the event that the worst happens, I HIGHLY recommend you backup your entire blog. You can use LJ's export service, here: http://www.livejournal.com/export.bml, but you have to do each month individually which is a pain in the ass and can take a long time if you've been blogging for years, like I have.
What I strongly recommend is a small program called LJArchive. It's Windows-only and requires .NET (which most of you probably have but is easily downloaded from Microsoft), but it very quickly and easily saves every LJ entry, comment, and user pic, and lets you view them offline as well as export them to several different journal viewers.
Now, none of this means that Sup will actually shut the thing down, but I don't trust them not to. I had serious misgivings when Six Apart sold the thing to Sup in the first place, and it seems they were on the mark.
It lacks some features I really like about LJ, like per-post user pics and mood settings, but in other ways it's much more customizable and media-intensive. If LJ goes down the drain maybe a mass migration over there is in order.
1. My username is ____ because ____.
2. My journal is titled ____ because ____.
3. My subtitle is ____ because ____.
4. My friends page is called ____ because ____.
5. My default userpic is ____ because ____.
1. Nerdimus Prime because my friend Jim liked to call his friends by silly nicknames taken from the 80s cartoon shows we used to watch, and twisted a bit. It wasn’t anything deliberate, just one of those inside jokes that develop between friends. Besides, I like this better than the other one he used to call me: Ryan-O (as in Lion-O from the Thundercats).
2. I called my journal Vita Absque Deus (“Life Without Gods”) because, at the time I created the LJ, I was in the throes of my newfound atheism and utter rejection of all things religious. I’m not as in-your-face about it as I used to be, but I still despise the negative influences religion has over culture and, especially, politics. I still have a soft spot for Wicca (having been a Wiccan), despite not believing in gods, because it’s one of the most tolerant belief systems I’ve ever encountered. Buddhism as well.
3. I never came up with a subtitle I liked, so never bothered.
4. see #3
5. My default pic is one that Aaron took of me on our sailboat dinner cruise in Toronto a couple years ago. I’m not very ugly, but I don’t photograph well, and this was a rare pic of me that I was happy with.
There is an extension for Firefox called the El Jay Icon Maker, found here. It lets you right click on any picture in your browser and create an LJ icon from it, then upload it to your LJ account (make sure you’re logged in first). You can do a quick create, which just makes a 100×100 pixel icon of the whole picture, or you can choose options, which lets you rotate, crop, etc. I created the icon for this post with just two or three clicks. Check it out!