In my day job, we work a lot with cloned images. We create an image for a given model of computer, for example, and use it to quickly put our standard software build onto that model. In the summer, we spend an inordinate amount of time cloning computers -- wiping them clean of their grum, and making them identical.
The thing is, that 'identical' nature of our clones never lasts. From the first day our users have their cloned machines, they deviate from their original basis. Sometimes dramatically. And when we do repairs, we can't just blithely assume nothing has changed on the computer, even on the applications or systems level. Though the machines started as clones, they become individual almost immediately. They shape themselves to their users and their environment.
Which is the point we're at with Dreamwidth versus Livejournal.
In one sense, I've created a clone of my Livejournal account. My interests are up on Dreamwidth, now. My posts are on Dreamwidth. Even the comments I've received have been magically replicated. Locked posts on Livejournal are now locked posts on Dreamwidth. And so on, and so it goes. The two accounts are now clones of one another.
Or they were. But such things don't last. They never can.
My account on Dreamwidth is demiurgent
. My account on Livejournal is also demiurgent
. When I post, it goes to both accounts, locking them both if I protect the entry. But when folks comment on my entries, from the point of synchronization forward, those comments will be on one side of the divide or the other.
Right now, Dreamwidth is tiny. It remains to be seen if it will develop the critical mass to survive. Livejournal, for all its issues, is huge. It has that critical mass. Maybe that will change, between Dreamwidth or the other various code forks. We have seen the beginnings of diaspora, and that way leads to decline. It always does. By crossposting between accounts, I hedge against fragmentation -- but that doesn't mean I'm having a conversation that includes Dreamwidth friends and Livejournal friends. That means I'm having two separate conversations
I pulled all my old entries into Dreamwidth against the unlikely possibility that Livejournal will implode and take all the stuff we've done with it. Right now, if one of the two services was to fail, it's more likely to be Dreamwidth -- so my crossposting will have the effect of saving my stuff to Livejournal as well. Either way, I'm proof against loss. That's all to the good.
But the hard thing to remember, for me at least, is that these really are two separate things
, not one big one. A minor thing? Maybe. But a real one.