purplejuli (purplejuli) wrote,

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Follow-up about the LJ strike

Since I didn't know what the issue really was with the strike, I did a little digging and here it is in bullets, simply put:

* It's about free and ad-free LiveJournal accounts being abolished for new members, ignoring the advice from the newly-formed Advisory Board.

* It's about LJ staff trying to sneak this decision in under the radar, and when people found out, telling the users it was done 'to make the signup process less confusing'.

* It's about LJ staff failing to apologize for trying to hide the facts from view and for lying about the actual reasons for their actions.

* And finally, it's about the latest decision to hide certain user interests from the list of Most Popular Interests, some of them being fanfiction, bisexuality, sex and depression. This decision was not announced or explained in any way. Users found out for themselves.

There's more info under here, crossposted from the person behind the idea, beckyzoole  :

"LJ has recently removed the ability to create new Basic journals -- ad free spaces with minimal goodies. This affects the many users who like to create new journals and communities for alternate uses. (Seriously, I was just about to create a new Basic journal for my extended family to use to keep in touch with one another -- now I can either pay for features we won't use, or get a Plus journal with ads... and my 70-year-old mother has a hard enough time figuring out the internet without ads cluttering up the page.)

Removing the Basic option was a faulty business decision. The new owners of LJ want money, and Basic users didn't contribute to the ad-viewing rates. Therefore, they thought, Basic users contributed nothing.

But what I am really protesting is the way in which this change was announced.... It wasn't announced. Users had to ask about it in the comments to a </a></b></a>news post.

And then the new VP of Product Development -- a man who ought to know the Product, right? -- made a comment full of marketing spin and bullshit, about how having THREE options was just too hard for users to understand.

You know, if they'd come right out and announced it in </a></b></a>news openly as a business decision, there would have been some protest but at least it would not have insulted their customers.

LJ is nothing without content."

Then </a></b></a>jcalanthe wrote:
The point is that on lj (as with many web 2.0 sites), they're not giving away something for nothing. Almost all users at lj provide content, whether it being journal entries or commments or both. Why are we here on lj? Most of us are here to read each other's content & to discuss/be part of a community. Even the folks with a Basic account are providing content, which draws other people in, people who over time pay for things (gifts for friends - even Basic users pay for these, paid ljs, permanent ljs, extra userpics, merchandise (which again, Basic users sometimes pay for). Folks coming from a more traditional marketing background miss this point at their peril, and I think we as a field are still trying to figure out what it means to have user-provided content be a big draw to new customers/customer retention & how marketing & sales needs to shift to reflect this.

& Basic users are not providing *nothing* - they're also providing demographic information, which, as I'm sure you know, is hugely valuable to marketing. They also don't get the same level of service as paying users.
Tags: ventiness
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