relle: (Minako cling!)
Relle ([personal profile] relle) wrote2011-12-16 06:31 pm

Guide to RP-specific features on LJ vs DW

So, what with the new comments system in beta on LJ (and really, half the other updates they make) causing hoards of RP people to at least consider moving over to DW, I thought it might be helpful to have a sort of guide to the differences between the two sites. There is already a page in the DW FAQ called A guide to Dreamwidth for LiveJournal users, which explains the differences in markup and terminology, so I'm not going to go into the basics of that. This is more specifically for things that would be of interest to RPers.

last updated Dec 30 (community imports, paypal proxies, more info/links on making HTML work, a few more things DW doesn't have, links, misc fixes)

LJLogin / LJ Juggler

Yes, LJLogin does work with DW. You can add the site by going into Preferences and clicking the Dreamwidth checkbox, and after that it works exactly the same as LJLogin on LJ.

screencap of how to add Dreamwidth to LJLogin

LJ Juggler works as well, though I'm not including an image for that one because it's fairly self-explanatory. Just select "Dreamwidth" from the Site dropdown when you add the account.

[Note: LJLogin can sometimes cause problems with your ability to stay logged in. If you're having trouble with this, that link also has a couple solutions for it.]

paid accounts

For a full list of prices and features for DW paid accounts, see What are the extra services available? in the DW FAQs. In summary, mostly just covering icons since that's the main thing most people care about:

  • Unlike LJ, DW doesn't have add-ons like extra icons; instead it has two levels of paid account, Paid and Premium accounts. (There's also Seed accounts, which are DW's equivalent of permanent accounts on LJ, but they have same base features as a Premium account.)

  • Paid accounts, by default, come with 100 icons. Premium accounts come with 250. Free accounts have 15. Those are your only options for total icon slots; there are no other icon packages, a la carte icons, or loyalty icons available. Also no paid trial bug.

  • A paid account on DW costs $3 USD for 1 month, $6 for 2 months, $17.50 for 6 months, or $35 for 12 months. Comparatively, LJ's prices for a paid account + 70 extra icons add-on are $4 for 1 month, $7 for 2 months, $21 for 6 months, or $29.95 for 12 months (assuming you use automatic payments).

    So, if you want 100 icons, DW is generally a bit cheaper. If you're okay with just 30, LJ is a bit cheaper, since you don't have to buy the extra icons.

  • A premium account on DW, meanwhile, costs $25 for 6 months or $50 for 12 months. That gets you 250 icons, as mentioned. On LJ, the maximum number of icon slots you can get (discounting loyalty icons) is 240. LJ's prices for a paid account with that many icon packages are $6 for 1 month, $11 for 2 months, $33 for 6 months, or $49.95 for 12 months (assuming automatic payments again).

    So, for a 6-month period, DW is cheaper; for a 12-month period, they're the same.

things DW has and LJ doesn't

  • No ads on any account level.

  • Longer usernames: Usernames can be up to 25 characters long, versus 15 on LJ. More username options!

  • Ability to rename your icon keywords without making all uses of the previous keywords revert to the default icon. No more changing your keywords around and seeing all your old threads break.

  • Ability to upload more than one icon at once. Useful when you're uploading a whole bunch of them.

  • Longer comments: Comments can have up to 16,000 characters, versus 4300 on LJ. This is a big difference, obviously, and drastically reduces the number of comments needed to, say, post an app.

  • Longer posts: Posts on DW can have up to 300,000 characters, versus ~65,000 on LJ. Again, this is a very big difference, and allows things like information pages to be much longer before they have to be split into multiple posts.

  • Ability to mark a journal entry as sticky without having to future-date it. You can only do this to one entry at the moment, but the future-dating option still works if you need multiple entries set that way. See How do I make an entry sticky? for details. Useful for people who maintain index pages in their journals.

  • Ability to merge two or more tags into one. Useful for cleaning up typos and other errant tag mistakes.

  • Ability to track only top-level responses to a post, rather than all responses. Useful for joint entries, or mods who want to track things like the reserves page that tends to get a lot of extra comments.

  • Ability to link to other sites without fancy coding. For example, you can write <user name=kaerstyne> and get [ profile] kaerstyne -- DW automatically fetches the proper icon for the account. See How do I make a link to an account on other service? for a full list of sites this works with. (Plurk is the other big one for RPers -- it shows up as [ profile] kaerstyne.)

  • Expandable lj-cuts: A little arrow appears next to the cut text, and when you click on it the text below the cut is shown, without having to leave the page you're on. Another arrow appears at the end of the cut, and clicking on that will close it up again. Very useful for going through your f-list without opening a ton of new tabs. If you want to see it in action, take a look at my journal here ([personal profile] relle), or [site community profile] dw_news, or pretty much any journal really.

  • Ability to include a reason for the edit when editing comments; it shows up as part of the message saying the comment's been edited. So explanations can go there instead of the subject line.

  • Ability to reply to screened comments without unscreening them.

  • Tag hierarchies: Any tags in the format "foo: bar" can be displayed in a hierarchy, like so:

    screencap demonstrating a sidebar with multilevel tags

    This option can be turned on or off in the Customize Style page. (Update: It does work on both the tags page itself and the tag list in the sidebar, but those are two separate options in Customize Style, so make sure you change the right one.) A bit YMMV, but some may find it useful for organization purposes -- if you want to look at it further, that cap is from [community profile] kink_bingo, and [site community profile] dw_suggestions also utilizes the format in their tags.

  • Importing: You can import entries from LJ, IJ, or Inksome to your DW account. See How do I import my journal from other site? for details. You do have to give DW your LJ password for this. As of the Dec 30 2011 update, you can also import communities. This is currently limited to paid accounts, and only works for communities with less than 100,000 comments, but DW hopes to lift these restrictions shortly.

  • Crossposting: You can crosspost your entries to any other site that works on LJ code -- so LJ, IJ, etc. all work. For more information on this see How can I crosspost entires? in the FAQ. Not that useful for games, but it may be helpful for memes.

things LJ has and DW doesn't

A list of major features that LJ has and DW just doesn't are listed at What's Missing? in the FAQ; most of them aren't really that relevant to RP, so I've only mentioned the main ones that might be in my list here.

  • No invite codes. DW does require invite codes to make a new journal on the site; you get one by asking someone you know, or by commenting over at [site community profile] dw_codesharing. This is intended to cut down on spam and prevent the site from growing faster than its resources can handle, but it can be irritating for RPers who need a lot of accounts.

    Invite codes are, however, fairly easy to acquire (they get sent to active accounts, and they don't expire, so I know I have a ton sitting around), and for large groups, you can request a "promo code" that lets you invite a number of people at once. (See How can I invite a large group of people to Dreamwidth? for more info there; I don't have any experience with this myself, but I do know RP groups can and have used this option to move a lot of players over at once.) Additionally, DW will occasionally have a period of open account creation, where invite codes aren't required for a week or so. There's actually one going on right now: until the end of 2011, invite codes are not required to make an account.

    Also, if you're paying for the account from the very beginning, you actually don't need an invite code at all. This lets you do things like buy 1 month of paid time right off the bat (this costs $3), and then when that expires you'll still have a free account, without ever needing an invite code. This can be useful if you really don't want to deal with invite codes, or if you know you'll want a lot of icons from the start.

  • More payment options. The only options on DW are to pay by credit card (Visa, Mastercard, or American Express), or by physically mailing in a check/money order. You cannot pay for accounts using Paypal or another similar site. (This is due to those payment sites not liking certain lacks of restrictions in DW's terms of service, not because DW doesn't want to implement them. For details on that see the Jan 15 2010 news update (Paypal), and the Feb 22 2010 news update (Google Checkout).)

    If Paypal is your only option for making purchases, you do have the option of using a "Paypal proxy", which is where you use Paypal to send the money to another user who has a credit card, and they buy the paid time for you. You can ask someone you know for this or visit [personal profile] paidaccountfairy, and you can often find people in [site community profile] dw_news posts willing to help out with this as well.

  • S1 journal style system. This flat-out does not exist on DW, and never will; S2 is the only option for layouts. Problematic for people used to using S1.

  • More layout options. DW is newer and has a much smaller community still, so there aren't as many built-in styles or user-made styles available yet. Some custom LJ layouts will work on DW, but some won't or will require modification in order to do so. [community profile] starlit has written up a guide to making LJ layouts work with DW that may help you out there. [community profile] dreamcodes is also a good comm for finding code for things like muselists and CR charts.

  • Slightly different HTML code implementation. DW actually conforms to a more recent HTML standard than LJ, which is good, but has the side effect of making some code that would work perfectly on LJ come out wonky when you try to use it on DW. The main type of code affected by this is tables; [personal profile] esper has written an excellent guide for making tables work on DW that you should check out if you're having trouble there.

  • Comment notifications in your site inbox. Responses to posts in your own journal will show up in your DW inbox, but responses to your comments or posts elsewhere will not. You can get these notifications in your email, but it's still a bit annoying for people used to working out of their LJ inbox.

  • User's name on hover. When you hover over someone's icon on DW, the text you get is in the form "username: keywords", not "displayname: keywords" like you get on LJ. (On old comment pages, at least; the new comment pages don't have hovertext at all.) This can be problematic for RPers especially if you're used to using the hover method to find out the name of the character you're tagging with. A suggestion to change this has been submitted, so this may change in the future.

  • LJNotes. These just don't exist on DW yet, though they are in development. A Greasemonkey script called Dreamwidth ljwho can be used to get the basic functionality of LJNotes, but it's pretty clunky. (I have a guide to making it look less awful if you do want to use it.)

  • Scrapbook. There's no way to upload images to DW directly.

  • Ability to change the title of a username link. On LJ, you can type <lj user=kaerstyne title=Relle>, and it'll show up as a journal link, but say "Relle" instead of just "kaerstyne". You can't do this on DW. There is a workaround for this, but it's pretty messy coding-wise, so it's not something you'd want to use often.

things that just work differently

  • Friends lists. For a full explanation of this, see Subscribe/Access, but to summarize, where on LJ anyone you're friends with can view your locked entries, on DW, those two things are completely separate. You can follow someone's journal without giving them access your own entries, essentially. Your friends list (it's called the "reading page" on DW) shows the journals/communities that you've subscribed to, so it works pretty much the same way.

  • Adult content filters: While these work more or less the same on both sites, on DW there's a space to provide a reason for why an entry or journal has been flagged as having adult content. (So, you can specify "nudity" or "violence" or whatever the reason is.) Additionally, no communities are required to use these flags or otherwise restrict their members. (See What are my responsibilities as a maintainer of an adult-oriented community? in LJ's FAQ for their policy, in comparison.)

policy/ideological differences

I'm not going to get into this here, since it's very much YMMV territory and I really don't like dealing with the arguments that spawn from it. However, if you're curious about how DW handles things differently from LJ, I suggest reading their Guiding Principles and Diversity Statement to start, as well as going through [site community profile] dw_news and [site community profile] dw_suggestions to get a feel for things.

currently active DW RPs

[personal profile] zaluzianskya is maintaining a list of currently active RP communities on DW, and [personal profile] dwroleplay also has a second list, so be sure to check those if you're interested in that!

general dreamwidth guides

If you need more general Dreamwidth help, the following guides have a lot of useful information:
[personal profile] stepps: A list of Dreamwidth tutorials
[personal profile] sky: Dreamwidth resources
[personal profile] murdering: LJ to DW FAQ
[personal profile] kazzisato: Some help to settle in at DW

anything else

I pretty much wrote all of this from remembering what features I'd noticed, and glancing through the FAQs. I have probably forgotten something, and I'm sure there are features I didn't think were important and thus didn't include, which are actually very important to someone else. I'm happy to try to answer any questions, though I am by no means an expert on DW or RPing on DW, so I won't know the answer to everything. If anyone more familiar with an area of DW than I am has anything to add, definitely let me know and I'll add it in. (And please tell me if I've gotten anything wrong; I tried to double-check everything with either the FAQs or testing it myself, but it's entirely possible I missed something.)
cypher: (scribo ergo--)

[personal profile] cypher 2011-12-17 05:32 am (UTC)(link)
Saw this linked on plurk, and I do happen to know the DW post-length limit off the top of my head from doing fic challenges: 300,000 characters, which is roughly 50,000 words.

(Also, to clarify on the invite codes issue -- if you intend to pay for your account anyway, you never need an invite code for DW; you can always make a new account as a paid account, even just spending the minimum $3 for it, without needing to get an invite also. So that is useful to know if you are the kind of RPer who prefers a big icon set from the start!)
flyingmechanical: (Default)

[personal profile] flyingmechanical 2011-12-17 11:50 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm someone who has done the "invite codes for a large group" when I opened a game here-- you open a support request, and they got back to me on the same day! They just give you a promotion link, so you don't need to worry about having a lot of codes to hand out, just click and follow. They set an arbitrary limit like 50 or 100, but if you know how many you need, it makes things that much quicker, and they're willing to give you more if you need them. So it's definitely an option for moving large groups, and it's not scary at all, they're very nice about it!
vivi: ([Zelda] i can't even words)

[personal profile] vivi 2011-12-25 03:37 am (UTC)(link)
Just +1ing this to say that I did this and they got back to me very quickly! I asked, and [staff profile] denise said that the best way to go about this is to open a support request under Account Payment, just like you said.

So thanks for the tip, it worked great. :)
sleuthdiplomacy: (drinking problems)

[personal profile] sleuthdiplomacy 2011-12-18 06:20 am (UTC)(link)
Out of curiosity, did Dreamwidth ever fix the thing where long comment threads run off the side of the page unavoidably? I remember that being incredibly annoying for the brief period I RPed on dreamwidth, and that would definitely affect any movement decisions on my part.
sleuthdiplomacy: (happy dance)

[personal profile] sleuthdiplomacy 2011-12-20 05:18 am (UTC)(link)
Looked up an old thread and it does appear to be fixed! It used to be that the browser screen was basically locked at the default width and horizontal position, so that if a thread got long enough to collapse and run off the screen the only way to get at comments towards the bottom of it was to open the thread up and follow it down that way, clicking on the last comment visible until you get to what you're looking for.
lash: (Ha ha!)

[personal profile] lash 2011-12-21 09:35 am (UTC)(link)
Hello! Would you mind if I linked this to the article I made? (With just a link to it and a due credit of course)
dancing_serpent: (Default)

[personal profile] dancing_serpent 2011-12-21 10:19 am (UTC)(link)
Hello, I followed a link from the Latest Things page and ended up here. I have a few additions to this and hope you don't mind.

The tag hierarchy does work on the tags page as well, you just have to select it separately in the Presentation section under: Type of tags display on the tags page. For the tag module, see the Modules section.

Also, [redirect profile] transfinite has started compiling a list of currently running RPs on Dreamwidth. Maybe that's helpful to some people, too.
ofthursday: Feel free to take whatever you like! (Default)

[personal profile] ofthursday 2011-12-21 08:43 pm (UTC)(link)
Found this from plurk, and thanks a ton for this guide! I didn't know 95% of this stuff and the ability to change keywords without breaking icons in a thread is almost enough reason to come over here just by itself, let alone all the other reasons.
wafflehearts: (like a family)

[personal profile] wafflehearts 2011-12-21 10:38 pm (UTC)(link)
Relle you are brilliant!

Also communities can probably be imported soon, since their twitter states they're working towards getting it up today o/ So that option might be available anyway.
lassarina: I'm not coming out until the stupid people have gone away.  ....I can wait all day. (Default)

[personal profile] lassarina 2011-12-22 12:03 am (UTC)(link)
Linked here via plurk, and if you do not mind, I have a small addendum! The foo: bar thing *can* work on your tags page depending on the style you have implemented. For example:
demimonde: (Default)

[personal profile] demimonde 2011-12-22 07:52 am (UTC)(link)
Hi! I'm running the wiki for a roleplay game that's relocating from livejournal to dreamwidth; do you mind if I borrow the graphic you've made for LJLogin for our Introduction To Dreamwidth page?

PS this post is rad and you should feel rad.
demimonde: (Default)

[personal profile] demimonde 2011-12-22 08:51 am (UTC)(link)

We linked this post itself on the page as well, here.
laenavesse: (❧ glomp)

[personal profile] laenavesse 2011-12-22 09:05 am (UTC)(link)
laenavesse: (❧ glomp)

[personal profile] laenavesse 2011-12-22 09:11 am (UTC)(link)


lol same here. i only uploaded this one and a default for now cos it's a hassle.
laenavesse: (❧ glomp)

[personal profile] laenavesse 2011-12-22 09:22 am (UTC)(link)

lol I'll probably end up doing that later. ...though it'll probably be all Tamaki...........
laenavesse: (Default)

[personal profile] laenavesse 2011-12-22 09:24 am (UTC)(link)

idk I might have become less Tamaki over the years.
laenavesse: (❧ glomp)

[personal profile] laenavesse 2011-12-22 09:27 am (UTC)(link)

laenavesse: (❧ glomp)

[personal profile] laenavesse 2011-12-22 09:29 am (UTC)(link)
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)

[personal profile] cesy 2011-12-30 11:27 am (UTC)(link)
You can import icons from LJ, too, provided you have enough space for them. I did that to start with and then tidied them up over here.
foxfirefey: A guy looking ridiculous by doing a fashionable posing with a mouse, slinging the cord over his shoulders. (geek)

[personal profile] foxfirefey 2011-12-28 10:24 am (UTC)(link)
Note: importing from JournalFen doesn't work, because their code is too old. I know somebody submitted a patch to them to make it work, but they never got back to her on it.
aeon: tramonto_icons (pic#1265552)

[personal profile] aeon 2011-12-30 09:06 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks for the list of DW features. I didn't know it was that intuitive or feature-packed! I'm excited to tinker. :)
splashpuppy: (Default)

[personal profile] splashpuppy 2012-01-10 09:59 pm (UTC)(link)
One thing that's missing from the list of things LJ has that DW doesn't: The ability to reply from email without having to be signed in as the relevant journal. It's not mentioned in any of the comparisons for some reason so I didn't realize it until I started trying to respond to tags.
highlander_ii: Chris Pine kneeling on the floor holding a camera to his face (Default)

[personal profile] highlander_ii 2012-04-29 06:27 pm (UTC)(link)
I was passing through and saw this comment, so wanted to add the reason for why this is the case:

It's a security measure. Someone discovered that if you can reply directly via e-mail, if you happen to send that e-mail to someone else, they can reply using the form in the e-mail and it would appear to come from you, even though it wasn't you at all.

So, to prevent a flurry of asshats doing asshattery, DW patched it. I *think* they also submitted the patch to LJ, but not sure if it was implemented there or not.

Slightly inconvenient, but much more secure.
splashpuppy: (Default)

[personal profile] splashpuppy 2012-04-29 06:35 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, I eventually found it in the FAQ, it just seems like something that should be mentioned in the LJ--> DW transition guides because I used to really rely on the feature and was confused as hell why suddenly my replies weren't working since it wasn't mentioned anywhere really visible. I still miss it dearly because it was so much faster than switching journals as I worked my way through my inbox. Personally, I can't think of a reason I would ever send my comment alerts to anyone else.

[personal profile] inkedfeathers 2012-01-22 05:51 am (UTC)(link)
Ooh, thanks so much, this is a very helpful post!