The Blogger Experiment

I spent much of the afternoon manually importing my posts from Live Journal to Blogger. I have all the posts in LJs XML export format, but efforts to convert that into something workable have proven, shall we say to great a lossage to put forward.

LiveJournal2Blogger was only able to download a portion of my posts, importing about ~63 od them to Blogger :-(. Thus, I deleted all of those and started doing it the Old Fashioned Way. At first I figured I would just do something like this:

$ cat *.xml | vim -

but that quickly proved in efficient, due to the nature of LiveJournals XML export format: it rather wreaks havoc on any HTML entities used in posts. Simply put, I have used a heck of a lot of pre and blockquote tags, between code/command snippits, song lyrics, and quotations. Fairly regular use of strong/em and more anchors then you can shake twenty sticks at, this is not a good thing. I also tend to use angle brackets as part of my asciibody language >_>, so it is rather important to avoid the pain & anguish, if you get my meaning.

All across the web, I’ve seen shotty looking snippits in blogs, and well, for as much as I hate those, I am not interested in having them in anything I call *mine* so no content mutilation will be tolerated.

LiveJournal has an excellent system for browsing archived posts, at least until you want to actually /search/ for something. So I merely started at my first journal entry and began working forwards through the archive. Whenever you edit a post on LJ, at least when you composed it in raw HTML mode, as I always do 😉 you get back just what you put into the editor way back when.

So copy/pasting that into Blogger’s snazzy editor, in “Edit HTML” mode, works like a charm :-D.

Most of 2006 is transferred, and the word verification limit wasn’t even reached until entries from late November or early December were processed. Later tonight I’ll finish up on that. The operation has however been lossy by nature: things encoded into LJ posts have been omitted for speed. So they no longer carry information such as my location, mood, or music. I have tried to keep the date/time accurate with respect to the numbers on LiveJournal, which is the slowest part. One good thing though, it lets me walk through my journal, “Label” entries accordingly for recollection, and it really does help put things in perspective. I’m good with faces and objects, bad with names and times, lol.

In some cases, such as my Vi User How To, I have elected to copy the comments along with the entries, by adding them in a singular comment of my own. But for the most part, I’ve left the comments behind as part of the lossy translation from LJ to Blogger. To be honest, I rarely get comments on my entries, so it is not to big an issue with me. I think between 2006-09-09 and 2009-11-13, I’ve only received about 150 comments or so.

Later tonight I’ll experiment with the look/feel and informational aspects of this blog. When the experiment is complete, I’ll set up a self referential link between the relevant Blogger and LiveJournal entries: it should appear seemless. Well, the comments and misc meta info aside.

Right now, I am off to SWAT 4 for a few good games :-).