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Short intro - LJ United -- Standing Up For LiveJournal's Future! [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
LJ United -- Standing Up For LiveJournal's Future!

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Short intro [May. 23rd, 2008|02:02 pm]
LJ United -- Standing Up For LiveJournal's Future!


I am a candidate for the election. I am posting here because insomnia commented on my nomination post. Frankly I think I would have appreciated that more if that had been before the day the poll started while there was still time for discussion, but let's gloss over that.

I am here to confirm that I have nothing against the principles stated in the userinfo of this community.

Working with the community, for the community.
Honoring the status of every account.
Maintaining the uptime and performance of the site.
Never sending us unsolicited e-mail.

Well sure, who doesn't support these?

Staying advertisement free.

I would love LiveJournal to be advertisement free, but sadly I don't think that is going to happen. In my nomination post I mentioned that I support bringing back Basic accounts and reducing the volume of ads in the public areas of the site. I also support fewer ads for Basic users. But realistically, I think no ads is not something which is ever going to be achieved.

Supporting the Free Software movement.

As it happens I'm pretty much exclusively a Linux user (so don't send me documents in Microsoft formats as it really irritates me).

– We explicitly support free speech for all LiveJournal users

Of course. (See my previous comments regarding the interest-search censoring and post about Nipplegate). I don't support breaking the law, however.

– We believe the privacy of LiveJournal's users should be safeguarded
– We strongly support the rights of fandom in all its forms

Tick, tick. However, I do think that all LiveJournal users should be respected, regardless of whether they happen to belong to a fandom or not.

– We strongly support our fellow LiveJournal Code sites, and view them as an essential part of the greater LiveJournal community

Well yes. I don't support code changes made in secret (as I mentioned in one of the above linked comments), and see no reason why we shouldn't all get along. However, for what it's worth, I do think that actually electing Squeaky to the LiveJournal Advisory Board would create a conflict of interest.

The only other thing I would say is… try my thread-expanding Greasemonkey script! No need to thank me, just vote for me in the election. :-D

[User Picture]From: insomnia
2008-05-24 09:10 am (UTC)
Thanks for posting, imc. I'm sorry that I didn't get ahold of you beforehand, but I'm recently back from a short vacation and wasn't able to get ahold of people before then.

I think you're right about ads being a likely part of LJ, but I also agree with the original promise and think it was a mistake to violate it, as it broke faith with LJ's members.

I think what LJ needs most, from a business and survival standpoint, is growth, because the number of posts every 30 days is currently shrinking. This isn't a sustainable state of affairs, and this shrinking started right about the time they started putting ads on the site, which suggests to me that a significant amount of potential new LJers decide to choose other sites, services, and blogging software apps without ads. When LJ ran ads briefly in 2000, new accounts decreased by 30%, so there's some evidence to suggest that getting rid of ads, at least as the default from new journals, could encourage growth. There are alternatives to ads, however, that could make LJ potentially more money, and would be seen as far less commercial, such as linking people's "currently playing" songs to another page with info on buying the track on iTunes, buying the album on Amazon, listening to it on Rhapsody, etc. Likewise, people could have relatively non-commercial looking sidebar boxes on their journals that allow them to share their favorite music recently, their favorite books, their wishlist recommendations, etc.

LJ should look into ways it can provide services that actually inform and tell people more about the person whose journal they are reading, the music, books, and games they like, etc., and give the option of visiting commerce websites, getting a share of every referred sale or something to that effect. These kinds of features would be far more acceptable than ads to most people, and shouldn't effect growth. Likewise, efforts by LJ's management to keep their core promises would also effect growth positively.

As for the election, right now, it looks as if legomymalfoy is ahead in the race, with jameth second, rm third, and a whole lot of people trailing. rm is first when it comes to second-place nods, though, so it will be interesting to see how that plays out.

I can understand the conflict of interest argument regarding Squeaky, though I think that argument is even stronger with legomymalfoy, but I think people are supporting them because of fandom issues, without considering their fairly close involvement with LJ.

What do you see as the best, most feasible outcome of the election under the circumstances? I have been hoping that candidates would consider encouraging their supporters to back rm as an alternate choice and as someone who would give their issues a voice, and it would be great to get endorsements for her from some of the candidates as they drop out, but at this point, I just don't know how this will all play out.

I think perhaps that legomymalfoy has the upper hand right now, pending some sort of change.

Edited at 2008-05-24 09:24 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: imc
2008-05-25 12:10 am (UTC)
The shrinkage of LiveJournal probably has several different explanations. I haven't done any actual research, but my feelings are that it's (a) that there are generally more competitor sites out there to choose from (especially given how big Myspace and Facebook have become during the last few years), and (b) LiveJournal's management (in particular, Six Apart, although SUP has not exactly got off on a good footing) has been very good at alienating the existing userbase and then maybe doing a half-hearted and too-late apology after the fact. Ads are only one way in which they have managed this although that's certainly a significant factor.

I've actually no idea what LiveJournal's finances look like since they've been so secretive about it ever since 6A took over, so I can't say whether or not the site would be self-sustaining without them. I do think that the ads in core site areas for not-logged-in viewers will turn people away as well as irritating the paid users who have to go through those pages to log in, although to be honest I think that many potential new users are so used to ads on the web these days that they won't necessarily see much of a problem with it. Perhaps the real problem is that not enough people are finding out about LiveJournal (that is, maybe they need to advertise a bit on other sites).

If it can be done properly then yes linking someone's music selection to a click-through on iTunes or Amazon would be a less offensive way of generating some revenue (though I wonder how easy it would be to make the link point to the right song, and whether anyone would actually click on it).

[To be continued]
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[User Picture]From: imc
2008-05-25 12:38 am (UTC)
I can understand the conflict of interest argument regarding Squeaky, though I think that argument is even stronger with legomymalfoy, but I think people are supporting them because of fandom issues, without considering their fairly close involvement with LJ.

I don't think legomymalfoy has a conflict of interest in quite the same way. You may think that she is too closely involved in the running of LiveJournal, but I think that's preferable to having someone on the board who is in charge of what is effectively a competitor site.

In fact I know of her via LiveJournal Support and think she would be a good board member. Being a member of the Abuse team doesn't necessarily mean she agrees with every LiveJournal policy and especially not with every decision management comes up with. Actually it means she is familiar with a lot of the issues that tend to come up and ought to have some good ideas on how to make them better.

Right now it does look like legomymalfoy is the favourite to win, but with several days of voting left it could still be anyone's game (except mine, obviously). I don't know rm from Adam but her platform looks sound enough (other than misunderstanding the difference between the TOS and LiveJournal's Abuse Team policies) so I won't have any objections if she wins the election.
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