LiveJournal and comments

By | October 12, 2005

OK, so one of my friends syndicated my blog to as “jik_blog” shortly after I started the blog. Thanks, Elka Tovah!

Alas, shortly after she did this, I discovered that LiveJournal has a rather annoying deficiency in its syndication mechanism…. Comments on syndicated feeds go into LiveJournal, not into the original feed. This is somewhat annoying. I want comments on my articles to go into my blog, not into LiveJournal. Also, I’d rather see comments stick around for a while, and LiveJournal expires syndicated feed articles after a couple of weeks.

What’s odd about this is that my RSS feed specifies with each article the correct comments link. There’s no reason why LiveJournal couldn’t post that comments link for each article, instead of or at least in addition to its own, but it doesn’t.

I’m not the first person to stumble over and be annoyed by this problem. Fortunately, at least one of the other people who encountered it came up with a solution I could easily implement for myself. In this article, Michael Hanscom described modifying the RSS template for his blog to add a paragraph to all content syndicated to LiveJournal asking people to comment on his original blog rather than on the syndicated copy of it. Thanks, Michael!

I implemented his most excellent suggestion and went one step further. The paragraph I’m now adding to my blog articles when they are syndicated into LiveJournal is customized to give the correct comments link for each article.

Perhaps eventually the LiveJournal folks will handle this better, but in the meantime, I’ve got a reasonable workaround.

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5 thoughts on “LiveJournal and comments

  1. jik Post author

    I could understand that answer for RSS feeds that don’t support comments. But the RSS protocol supports indicating where comments should be posted, so I’d argue that when a feed sends that information, LJ should use it.

  2. jik Post author

    WordPress’s RSS feed sends times in GMT and includes the time zone to indicate this. If LJ isn’t smart enough to convert the times into the user’s local time zone, that’s LJ’s problem :-).

  3. Angwantibo

    Do you use GMT? Your timestamp on live journal is 4 hours later than on your site. Somethings screwed up.

  4. Michael A. Burstein

    This is indeed one of the more annoying things about LiveJournal syndication. You can’t turn off the ability to reply to syndicated posts, so people often reply to them on LJ even though the originator may not even be aware of the syndication.

    The odd thing is that when I post something to LJ, I always have the option to turn commenting off. You’d think LJ would make that automatic for syndicated feeds.


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