Dreamwidth.org: FAQ

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This is a very early Dreamwidth FAQ from the Closed Beta days. Most of its contents have been updated in other places, but never merged back into this document. It is being kept here mostly for historical reference.

The production site FAQ Section has updated versions of most of this FAQ.

See also: Business FAQs - also check out Dreamwidth.org: Business FAQs if you're interested in old revisions of this document.


Who is running Dreamwidth?

You can see who is behind Dreamwidth on the staff page.

Initial Stages of Dreamwidth

What must be finished prior to open beta launch?

Tasks that must be completed prior to open beta launch can be viewed here, as well as their status. A list of tasks that must be completed before the move from open beta to the full site launch can be seen here. A detailed explanation of how the site will be hosted throughout the stages can be found here.

How will beta stages work?

Closed beta has started! Every day more people are invited to join closed beta. To be entered into the pool for invite codes, set up an Open ID account and validate it. Invite codes are given out daily to randomly chosen Open ID accounts.

On April 30, 2009, open beta will begin. To create an account in open beta, you can either buy a paid account or obtain an invite code. Invite codes will initially be given to those who took part in closed beta, as well as those who were active in development and discussion in the pre-launch stage. Every Open ID account that is validated when open beta begins will receive an invite code, given out over a few days. Open beta will also correspond with the one-time sale of 400 seed accounts. More information about the beta process and the expected timeline can be found here.

Importing Other Journals

See How do I import my journal from another site? for current information.

What will be imported?

Everything that possibly can be. Friends, icons, icon keywords, tags, friendsgroups, bio, entries, security levels, and comments. More discussion on how the importing process works can be found here. The copyright issues of comments and how we are honoring the fact that whoever commented owns their comment are addressed here.

Will security levels change on entries I import?

No. Your private or friends-only posts will not become viewable to everyone when they’re imported from another site. We will not remove security settings that you have become used to on other sites. It is important to us that you can control who views your material and we have no intention of weakening the sense of safety you have in any way.

What if I have more icons on my LiveJournal/other account than I have available slots on my Dreamwidth account?

If you import your journal from another site and have more icons than available slots then when the import is complete, the “hi, we’re done” email will include a link to a page where you can choose which icons you want to keep.

Will I be able to import more than one journal from one or more sources into one journal on Dreamwidth?

Yes. This functionality is not available yet, but will be for open beta.

Will communities be importable?

At the moment, no. Because Open ID accounts can’t post to communities, this would be going against the principle that the original author must be able to edit or delete the contents of their posts. This may be changed in the future with a different method, but at the current time, community importing is not available.

Can I use the importer multiple times?

Yes. If you change your other journal, you can use the importer to make your Dreamwidth journal reflect the changes.

Invite Codes

How will invite codes work and how will they be distributed?

Invite codes will always be in place at Dreamwidth. They are a way to control growth of free accounts in the early days and a way to foster community as time goes on. Paid accounts will always be available if you want to avoid the hassle of finding an invite code. Price points and account levels can be found here.

Invite codes will be distributed throughout the community on a monthly basis, based on what the site can support. Further discussion of how invite codes will be distributed can be found here. If you want to know more about Dreamwidth before purchasing a paid account, a site tour will be available, as will as guides on how to use Dreamwidth and how to switch from LiveJournal or another LiveJournal-based site.

How do I get an invite code now, before open beta?

To be entered into the pool for invite codes, set up an Open ID account and validate it. You can also join the dw-discuss list, the dw-progress list, or the dw-launch list. Invite codes are given out daily to randomly chosen Open ID users as well as to subscribers of the three lists.

You can also ask friends who already have Dreamwidth accounts if they have an extra invite codes to give you.

Will I need an invite code to create a community?

No. We believe in encouraging community and things that allow people to interact. Any Dreamwidth user will be able to create a community.


How does Subscribe/Access work?

The idea of a friends list from LiveJournal has been broken into 2 groups, Subscribe and Access. Your subscription list consists of people whose content you wish to view on your Reading Page. Your access list is people who you allow to view your protected content.

You can allow access to someone but not subscribe to them, subscribe to them but not allow them access, or subscribe to them and allow them access. Who shows up on your Reading Page is based solely on your subscription list, while the users who can see your protected entries are based solely on your access list. A more detailed explanation with examples can be seen here.

Will my access list be visible to everyone?

Yes. It will be visible so anyone commenting on an entry knows who is possibly listening. Access filters are not made public, so anyone reading the entry will not know exactly who is listening, but they will know who might be. More discussion can be found here and here.

Open ID Accounts

Will I be able to link my Open ID account to my Dreamwidth account?

Yes. You will be able indicate that multiple accounts from other services are controlled by same person as your Dreamwidth account. This feature will be available by the full site launch.

Will Open ID users ever have their own journals?

Open ID users are unlikely to ever have their own journals, as that would bypass the invite code system, which is being used to control the growth of free accounts on Dreamwidth. More discussion on this topic can be found here.

Things to Keep the Site Running

Will there be advertisements or sponsored pages on Dreamwidth?

There will never be any corporate advertising on Dreamwidth.

Will inactive accounts be deleted after a certain amount of time to free up the usernames?

No. If you trust us to host your information, it will not be deleted, even if you are away from Dreamwidth for a year or more. However, we understand the problem of an ever-increasingly claimed namespace, so to balance that we will make sure the journals that are marked as deleted by the user actually get deleted. As well, the invite codes will help to prevent people from creating hundreds of accounts without intending to use any of them. This topic is something that we will monitor and revisit after 18-24 months to see if any changes are necessary.

Why can’t I host my icons offsite?

Icons are hosted onsite to help control trolling. If they could be hosted offsite it would be easy to upload a 100x100px icon and then change it to a 2000x2000px to break the display of any page that called for it. Also, although icons can only be 40kb, they're called often enough that it would burn through the amount of monthly transfer that most hosts offer pretty quickly. If the monthly transfer is exceeded or the external site goes down it would lead to broken image links, which look unprofessional and would be directly associated with Dreamwidth.

Can I view more than 1000 entries/more than 14 days on my Reading Page?

No. Viewing the Reading Page is the single hardest thing the servers will do. Increasing this limit would result in a huge server drain, which could cause the site to collapse.

Other Questions

What browsers will Dreamwidth operate on?

Dreamwidth will fully support Firefox 3+, Internet Explorer 7+, and the latest version of Safari. While we will make efforts to ensure backwards compatibility, we can’t guarantee that the default site will be usable in older browsers. One of our goals is to have a “Dreamwidth-light” that can be hosted on computers that are too old to use modern browsers and on mobile devices.

What differences will exist between each account type?

The differences between each account type and their price points can be seen here.

What changes has Dreamwidth made from LiveJournal?

A list of the changes or additions Dreamwidth has made from LiveJournal can be seen here.

Can I change the colors of Dreamwidth to something I like more?

Yes. Multiple color schemes will be available by open beta and you can choose one that you like.

Will all styles available on LiveJournal be available on Dreamwidth?

No. Some of the styles on LiveJournal are not available under GPL and cannot be used by other sites. However, we are creating new styles that will hopefully be more customizable and user-friendly. More detail on this can be found at the Styles FAQ. The official styles community on Dreamwidth can be found here.

Have the post limit and comment limit been increased?

Yes. The post limit has been increased to 300,000 characters (including spaces) and the comment limit has been increased to 16,000 characters (including spaces).

What is the maximum length of usernames?

Usernames have a maximum length of 25 characters.

What is the minimum length of usernames?

The minimum length of usernames is 2 characters.

Will the profile page and settings page be fundamentally different from the current LiveJournal pages?

Initially, no. There will be a few tweaks, but they will be recognizable as the ones used on LiveJournal. Over time they will change based on user feedback.

Can I use a client to post to Dreamwidth?

Yes. A list of compatible clients can be found here.

Does a crossposter exist that allows me to post to both Dreamwidth and another journaling service?


On the profile page, under “Other Services”, there are several sites listed (Twitter, delicious, and others). Can I add another site?

At the moment, no. This section will be completely reworked following open beta and will allow you to choose which other sites they wish to display on their profile, as suggested by a poll of Dreamwidth users.

Who takes precedence, the logged-in user or the owner of the journal they are viewing?

When you are logged in, we will display the site the way you have chosen to view it. For example, you can choose to disable all customized comment pages if you wish. More information on this design philosophy can be found here.

Will there be a subscriptionsubscription page (equivalent to LiveJournal’s friendsfriends page)?

Yes. Due to the extensive changes from friending to subscribe/access, the network page will not be available for open beta, but it will be fixed before the full site launch.

Is it easy to clearly identify the difference between staff posts and personal posts?

Yes. A separate account type has been created for staff. A different userinfo icon will make it clear when someone who works at Dreamwidth is speaking in an official capacity.

Will Dreamwidth provide photo hosting, similar to Scrapbook?

Photo hosting will be offered at some point in the future, after site launch. It will be designed via feedback from the community as to what features should be included.

Things That Will Be Added After Launch

We will continue to add features to Dreamwidth on a continuous basis. Discussion on how priority is given to additions can be found here. Many of the major changes planned for Dreamwidth’s first year can be seen here.