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*hobbles out of lurkedom*

Mar. 20th, 2008 | 10:59 pm

You know what?


Oh, Eljay... 

You are digging, you realise that?

And as for a taste of the future - well, here it is: www.livejournal.ru

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Making It Count: Let's Get Organised

Aug. 11th, 2007 | 04:24 pm


This community has been created in direct response to the unsatisfactory and at times inappropriate ways in which Six Apart/LiveJournal handled first the Strikethrough- and later the Boldout-centred events.

As it is evident from the user comments left to the recent  news and  lj_bizupdates, the actions 6A/LJ has taken – or not taken – to resolve the resulting crisis have fallen short of the good service standards that customers have come to expect of LiveJournal. Being dissatisfied with the current 6A/LJ business practices, a significant number of people have declared their decision to stop the financial support of LiveJournal and terminate their paid accounts.

If you decided not to give any more money to LJ and Six Apart, make it known. 

Let’s make our opinions count.

Created and maintained by yours truly.
(And I promise, this is the last 6A-related post that will appear in my journal without an lj-cut.)

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And they are still taking us for idiots

Aug. 8th, 2007 | 05:30 pm

I’m not even going to point out what is so wrong with the most recent lj_bizupdate. (Ok, I am going to, but I need to perform a dozen or two of the breathing exercises first.)
But it looks like they truly believe that they can post this self-contradictory, unclear, inconsistent mumblings, call them “policy clarifications”, and get away with it. They really really think that they can get away with it.
Not that I’m terribly surprised. The general view of people “in the business” seems to be that we are creepy, socially maladjusted, clueless dorks, who are so far-gone in their disturbing (and morally questionable) escapist fantasies that we can’t even deal with the real world anymore.
Here is a taster for you:
….the fan-fiction community, one of the internet's most bizarre tribes…
… spring from the minds of the internet's freakier fanfic obsessives…
Second Life, a virtual world populated by perverts in the guise of furry avatars, and fad-following marketers…
…The freaks will have to go. But, if they do, what's left?...
“…the end of LiveJournal is near, as it implodes from a combination of spinelessness in the face of conservative hysteria (they are the ones behind the baseless charges of childporn fanfic), rebellion of their own immature, anti-social userbase …” (bolding is mine)
Notice the language employed, eh? Casually employed, I stress. And this is written by the people, who are not even sympathetic to Six Apart! (Care to venture a guess what terms the 6A/LJ teams use to refer to us during their board meetings?)
We are the pervy fringe, you see. Yes, we might bring in some business, but on the other hand we are awkward, embarrassing, suspicious, and generally not very desirable. They sorta want us to reform, or disappear, become invisible (but still continue make regular payments, please), so that we would not soil their nice and shiny image. (*)
The freaks should go. The freaks should be made go. (And as long as it can be done with the thinnest veneer of legality, all methods are good.)
Six Apart seem to believe that the only response we are capable of is whining and moaning in our blogs. And, their reasoning seems to be, even if we moan very loudly, what sane, successful and socially adjusted individual would ever want to side with the icky pervs and paedos?
They forget two crucial things.
Firstly, although teen-friendly, LJ has never been as oriented towards the younger users as, say, MySpace. This statistic shows that the most common age of an LJ-account holder is 19. A significant number of the loyal and long-standing LJ users are well in their twenties now. Many of these people have been involved with various fandoms for years. Pervy fringe? If you say so. But also people with experience, jobs, education, and money. Yes, money. The money that they will be taking to other companies, the ones that care to respect their customers.
Secondly, Livejournal has been built by the word of mouth. In the early stages of its existence, Brad actively courted the fandom communities, inviting them to use this service. The communities responded to the invitation. They came; they settled; they brought over their friends; they spread the word. And the word was good. LJ became an online home to many people. As a result, users came to regard themselves as members of the larger LJ family, the family that included Brad and Frank The Goat. You see, Lj-ers are a fiercely loyal bunch, but if they are being repeatedly treated with contempt by 6A/LJ, they can take their loyalty elsewhere. And spread the word.
So, if the Six Apart execs think that they can easily counterweight the en-masse departure and alienation of the fandomers by recruiting fresh new customers, they should be ready for this plan to blow up in their faces. (They seem to be operating under assumption that the blogging is on the rise, and for every expunged icky slasher, they’ll attract multitudes of ‘normal’ people, but recent statistical data shows a different trend: here and here, for example.)
(*) In a way, Six Apart did find a perfect solution to the problem: dupe people into buying permanent accounts or renewing the paid ones with the promises of fair treatment (not child porn – not illegal, fanfic – ok, remember?), get their money, promptly “clarify” TOS, and then boot the freaks. (And don’t forget to reinforce your “no refunds” policy). Perfect business plan! They should study it at LSE MBA or something.

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29-05-2007, the fallout

Jun. 2nd, 2007 | 12:45 pm

The strikethrough did not affect me directly, but there is no escaping the fallout.
I love LiveJournal; I love features, interface, communities, connections. I love what it stands (stood?) for. I got my first account through an invite code; yes, it’s been that long. It would be a pain for me to leave. But it would pain me more to stand by and watch LJ being reduced to a PG-13-friendly, white, straight and god-fearing Disneynet.
I am but a humble user, I do not matter much in a grand scheme of things. But the very little I can do, I shall. Firstly, I am not going to stay silent and thus condone such abuse of power; secondly, I was planning to get a paid account by the end of this month – not anymore.
The behaviour displayed by the Six Apart team is revolting and unacceptable. You see, it is not just about suspending a bunch of journals without even bothering to examine them first (that would have made them just morons, I can forgive morons); no, the heart of the matter is why it had been done. Forget about saving poor kiddies, Six Apart don’t care shit about them (or they wouldn’t have ignored Perverted Justice for so long); it was the threat of losing the ad money that made Six Apart shit their pants and rush in with an axe. This is the supreme arsehattery in my book.
As if it was not bad enough, their handling of the post-suspension crisis was a complete failure as well. I bet their reasoning went along these lines: well, here we have these 500 suspect accounts, so lets just purge them quietly and without saying a word; nobody should notice: after all, we have over 13 million users, who would miss an account or two, and they are pervs anyway?
The apology posted on the news page, apart from being two days late in coming, failed to address any of the real issues. It also sent out a very clear message to the whole LJ community, showing that Six Apart don’t give a flying fuck about what we think or feel. They are intent on building a community that would conform to their advertisers’ ideas of what is “appropriate”, and keep the ad bucks rolling.
Before we know it, there will be a campaign for moral clarity and more witch hunts. I wonder what they would target next. Here are the interests to choose from: homosexuality, atheism, abortions, communism, Bin Laden, genetic engineering. Make your bets.
Meanwhile, barakb25has the nerve to appoint himself “the maker of LiveJournal”. The maker my ass. He is an owner of LJ because he bought it from Brad. If anything, he has all the chances to go down in history as the unmaker of LJ.
unfilthy and  czircon posted great level-headed entries analysing this whole sad business. They are way more insightful than my emotional outburst, well worth checking out. (Click here and here).
Incidentally, one of the communities that got suspended was dedicated to the literary discussion of Lolita. Honestly, this idiocy belongs in a farcical dream, not in real life. Can I wake up, please?

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