Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical

Yes, I'll be using LJ tonight/tomorrow.

When I first heard about the LJ Content Strike, it was couched as Basic Users demonstrating that they add a huge amount of content to the site and shouldn't be brushed aside. (Background: Unanounced, LJ did away with the ad-free unpaid Basic accounts it used to offer -- so now your options, if you are creating a new account for whatever reason, are to have ads shown on all your pages in exchange for not paying, or to pay for your account.)

It grew into more of an "Everyone should boycott LJ" thing, though -- in part because LJ continued to do things that pissed off fandom. [eard_stapa has a roundup post]

The two major things after the no-more-Basic-Accounts (aside from all the PR gaffes) are:

(1) The hiding of search terms [links: stewardess on IJ and LJ]

(2) An insulting interview that Anton Nosik (listed in the interview as "the director of the blog division of SUP corporations") gave a Russian magazine.

Both of these, however, are not as straightforward as they sound.

(1) The interests filter soon got removed, and various people pointed out that keeping fandom under the radar might well be a good idea.

(2) The interview was possibly not translated entirely accurately [see liz_marcs' post].
Even in reading the "kinder, gentler" translation, I do think the use of the term "blackmail" is excessive, and I know nothing about Russian culture, so I don't know how much of that is just cultural difference (as furiosity suggests after her translation). [inksheddings also argues that it's a culture thing.]
     Nossik posted a follow-up clarification on his own LJ.


Penknife posted:
Why I don't think the proposed LJ content strike is a particularly useful idea (besides the fact that it's on Good Friday, when a dip in site traffic will be attributed to the fact that it's a holiday weekend):

At this point, I think SUP would be happy if the people who are complaining all went away permanently, and not posting for a day doesn't give them more than a day of peace and quiet. I don't think SUP cares if the fan community goes away. I don't think SUP cares if long-term users who hate ads go away. I think SUP would really like the people posting porn to go away. I think they don't want us here.

They'd rather have shiny new users who will sign up for Plus accounts without complaining, and who won't fight to be allowed to post explicit content. They're a little more invested in keeping Paid Account users, but I think they're trying to move to a business model that's largely supported by advertising, not by payments by individual users. And even Paid Account users can become, from their point of view, more trouble than they're worth.

Do I think that's a short-sighted business model? Damn straight, and I think the way they're running LJ is bad for the community and will be bad for their business in the long run -- long-term users provide the content that makes LJ interesting, and I think if they drive us away, they'll get fewer shiny new users coming in. But I think it's the business model they're using.

And at the point where a company doesn't want your business, threatening to go away isn't much of a threat.
To add on to her brilliant post: We've also given them no reason to take a threat of our leaving seriously even if they did want us all to stick around. As far back as the furor over breastfeeding icons up through the various incarnations of Strikethroughgate, fen made noise but most stuck around -- because we have a lot invested here, and it's difficult to rebuild all that, and we don't have anywhere better to go. (Which is a convenient segue to why InsaneJournal is problematic -- see the_red_shoes and coffeeandink, for example, primarily for critiques of the "insane" terminology.)

azarias commented:
The thing with fandom mass-migrating off LJ together is that we didn't mass-migrate onto LJ together in the first place. There wasn't ever a time where the Fan Council of Elders met in conclave and decreed unto the people that the nexus of our culture would for the foreseeable future rest on the servers of the Chosen One, Brad Fitzpatrick. (Though, okay, the Fan Council of Elders meetings would be awesome, you know. Think of the cookies!)

I think a lot of people are just wanting to port the community we've built up on LJ to somewhere else, and that's not happening.

Sängerin linked to a bunch of posts critting the strike: lizbee, slammerkinbabe, jennyo, viciouswishes

[Edited to add another post (chipotle) about the strike, business practices, etc.; and fiareynne reminds us that the TOS say that any and all terms of service are subject to change at the discretion of LiveJournal -- not that I'm saying people shouldn't complain about significant policy changes, especially un-/poorly-announced ones.]

It's kinda funny that I'm usually all about, "Yes I know that looks mean, but it makes sense from a business perspective," but with LJ I'm all like, "But I love this place a lot. Why does it have to make me sad?"

Earlier, Penknife had posted:
So, artaxastra and I were talking about LJ management's latest round of fail, and we decided that what we really need is for some nice geeky Silicon Valley millionaire to come along and buy LJ, and go back to running it as a service marketed to users rather than as a way of marketing "desirable" users to advertisers.

I think any prospective new geeky overlord should be required to pull a LOLcat out of a stone, or possibly just quote at least one line from Star Wars other than "May the Force be with you." (This theory may need a little work.)

Neil Gaiman recently posted a link to an Onion article: Novelists Strike Fails To Affect Nation Whatsoever

isiscolo writes:
I agree with what ignazwisdom says here: It is entirely possible to be deeply invested in something and to still get annoyed by the way it's being managed. Someone on friendsfriends (ETA: therealjae) made a comparison between LJ and Air Canada: both of them piss her off on occasion, but both are still the best method for her, personally, to accomplish what she wants to do, whether it's connect with other fans or fly to London. (My paraphrase.) I've been on LJ for over five years; I have a permanent account, a paid account and several basic accounts for various purposes, fannish and non. I moderate a bunch of communities. LJ works for me, and I'm not moving anywhere unless it stops working for me. Even if the people behind it are boneheads - in which case I will tell them that they are being boneheaded.

synecdochic, who would know, says that one day of stats don't mean a thing, and that postcards are the way to go. That, I can do. Heck, if fandom could swamp David Hewlett with postcards asking why he is so awesome, we can certainly swamp LJ with postcards asking why they aren't. :-)
[Sidebar: therealjae uses the term "satisficing," and I was like, "Dude! I learned that word earlier this semester."]


[Sidebar: Anti-Semitism, what?]
Tags: lj, lj: failgate

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