Okay, here’s the situation. Right now, there’s 29 of you reading my stuff (or at least skimming it occasionally) through the LJ syndication account woody_eclectic, which I think is great. There’s just one little issue, though…and it’s one that I can’t (easily) fix on my own. Update: Never mind…looks like there’s no simple fix after all. More info below…

The big issue is that comments are turned on for each of the syndicated posts. Since I wasn’t the one to set up the account, though, I don’t get notification when someone leaves a comment though LiveJournal. So, if someone comments on one of my posts — as has happened here, here, here, and probably other posts in the past — I’m generally not likely to see it. Additionally, LiveJournal only stores the last twenty or so entries, so once they disappear, any comments associated with them disappear as well.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do about this. I asked in a syndication-specific LJ community today, and it appears that while there is an option to turn comments on or off for syndicated posts, only the person who originally set up the syndication account can do that according to this comment, comments are on no matter what, and there’s no way to change that.

So…could whoever set up the syndication feed (assuming you’re still subscribed to it) do me a big favor and turn off the “allow comments” setting? Everyone reading my feed will still be able to click through to the original post on my weblog to comment there along with all my non-LiveJournal readers, so this won’t be entirely removing the ability to comment — it’ll just consolidate all the comments into one place, where they won’t disappear, and where I’ll actually see them.

I’ll give a few days or a week or so to see if this works (it may not, as it’s entirely possible that whoever originally set up the feed got bored with me and unsubscribed, leaving it orphaned and without anyone to change the settings). If it doesn’t, I’ve got a backup plan…it’s just one I’m not looking forward to implementing…but it looks like I’m going to have to go forward with a variation of this:

Backup plan that I won’t be using:

  1. Pony up for a paid LJ account. Seems a little silly, as I’d never really use most of the paid features, but you have to have a paid account for the next step in the plan. Besides, it’s only $5 for a two-month account, so that’s not terribly bad.

  2. Create a new syndication account that I have control over, and that has comments disabled.

  • If I did this, I’d probably end up creating a special XML feed specifically for LiveJournal to syndicate that added a ‘Comment here…’ link at the end of every post pointing to the corresponding post on my weblog.
  1. Remove the redirect that currently sends all requests for /eclecticism/index.rdf over to Feedburner’s enhanced version of my feed (http://feeds.feedburner.com/Eclecticism).

  2. Hand-edit the index.rdf file down to a single entry explaining that that feed is deprecated, that LiveJournal readers should subscribe to the newly-created syndication account, and any other readers that are requesting the index.rdf file rather than the Feedburner address should switch to the Feedburner address.

  3. Cross my fingers and hope that I don’t lose too many readers in the transition.

Obviously, this isn’t what I’d prefer to do…but it’d work if need be.

New backup plan that I’ll be going ahead with:

  1. Create a new LiveJournal-specific XML feed that will publish to /eclecticism/index.rdf. Since Feedburner doesn’t actually read from this address, putting a specialized feed there won’t muck up my normal feed.
  • Structure the template so that there is a small disclaimer included in every post that LJ syndicates indicating that comments will only be seen and responded to if they’re left at the main website address. I’ll probably include a pointer to the Feedburner RSS feed for people who still have their RSS readers pointing to the old index.rdf file and have been getting redirected to the Feedburner feed.
  1. Remove the redirect that sends all requests for index.rdf to my Feedburner feed.

  2. Cross my fingers and hope that I don’t lose too many readers in the transition.

iTunesSpoonman” by Underworld from the album Dubnobasswithmyheadman (1994, 7:41).