rm (rm) wrote in ljunited,

Asking for your support

Hey folks. insomnia directed me over here because I'm running for the English-speaking LJ Advisory Board position (I got the required 100 comments of support earlier today) and I've been active in the battle to get LJ to honor its committments to its users for a while.

I'll be frank and say I orginally got involved in all of this because of Strikethrough and Boldthrough. Those were events that affected a community that's been deeply important to me, but they also made me concerned about LJ and its policies on a broader level. I thought LJ's actions in that debacle were, even presuming the best of intentions as their basis, heavy-handed and indicative of an unwillingness to understand the cultures that create the content that brings the users that in turn generate revenue around here. What seemed like LJs quick capitulation to an extremist religious group and an apparent double standard as regards queer content and female sexuality were also distressing.

Of course, if you've been on LJ any length of time, you know that's not the only problem we're facing. LJ hasn't kept promises to its users. Among other things, tt has at various points violated its own ToS and has an abuse reoprting/redress system that is frequently a nightmare both for users in need and well-meaning volunteers. The recent uproar over the elimination of free accounts made the situation even more us vs. them and threatened to change the character of LJ in a way that would have, at best, been disappointing.

I think I'm in a pretty unique position as far as people running for the LJ Advisory Board. For one thing, I have experience being in the sticky position of being part of a community and also part of (or perceived as) the powers that be. I know all the ways in which it can be not fun, and I'm okay with that. LJ and what it's meant to me and everything I know is worth that.

And, while I'm active in fandom (Harry Potter, Torchwood/Doctor Who, World of Riverside, for those who care), I'm also a professional writer with a publisher who advertises my book on this site. I can represent some very sticky user concerns while also conveying a lot of legitimacy in terms of a corporate perspective.

These days I work as an actor and writer, but my professional background is in journalism, marketing and public relations, which are certainly skill sets that will help speak to the business and hopefully help educate the business on how to communicate with us, the users.

Finally, I'm in support of this community's positions the issues I've seen insomnia identify in its founding. The privacy of user information should be non-negotiable. No user should ever have to see ads if they don't want to (and yes, I have a hard time imagining who would); this includes receipt of unsolicited emails from LJ. I also believe the broadest definitions of freedom of speech aren't only the best ones for the LJ community as a whole, but actually the most workable ones from a corporate perspective.

I am not a particularly kind and gentle person, but I do try to avoid gratuitous nastiness; I mean what I say and I say what I mean, even if people don't like it. The willingness to call it as I see it combined with my odd niche in various LJ communities and my professional background, gives me hope that I can actually make some positive changes around LJ.

So, I'd love for you guys to consider supporting me in this, individually and collectively. And, regardless of what you decide, I'd love feedback on all your LJ concerns, most especially those related to usability and uptime: I haven't encountered the problems I know large swathes of the userbase has on this front, and I need to get fully educated on these points.

Thank you for reading what has become, I realize, a very long post.
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