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June 2nd, 2010

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11:48 pm
Still in the process of digging in over at Dreamwidth. It's not fancy, but they're not jerks and it's built on the same code as lj, so I could port everything over easily. I'll delete old entries here when I get around to it. I am still following my friends page. You should be able to get my entries through an rss feed, and you can comment through open id -- which means that if you're logged in via lj, it should confirm you're you when you leave comments and should also let you see any protected entries.

If you similarly want to move over to dreamwidth given the general fuckery that's been going on with lj, there is a pretty good faq on how to do it. The ease of this is one of the main reasons I went with Dreamwidth instead of some other site. Also, I'm utopian early-internet enough to like what they say about open source and creative commons in their ethics statements.

In terms of why I'm leaving lj, basically, I signed on when it was a different site with a different business model. To go way way way back, I started a blog that no longer exists back when you coded everything yourself and had to know basic html and get some web real estate from your university or something. It was a pain in the ass to find other bloggers, because you pretty much had to link to their sites directly then. And then people started forming lists and rings and stuff -- remember all that? (This was before rss feeds.) So lj was pretty familiar when I ran across it, with the difference that I could view everybody else's blog from the same place and impose nice filters without everybody having to remember a seperate password for my stuff. I joined up and have been writing here for almost ten years, sometimes as a paid user and sometimes as a free user.

The way the original business model works is this: users create value. However much time your staff spends coding stuff, the real attraction is the bloggers. What lj has over other blog sites is the friend tools -- the social networking, bbs side of things mashed up with the blogs. That's not interesting unless the site has other people you want to talk to. You have to accumulate a volume of those people, which means letting them in for free. It's like "ladies get in free" at bars, only less sexist. You get to blog for free. In exchange, they get you to blog with them for free. You are the value of the site, and you attract other users, some of whom will pay for things. The blog site incurs certain costs by having you, what with server traffic and some sysadmins, but in the end we collectively put in many many more hours than they do, and we also pay for the site in the sense that we pay to have internet access to get to the site.

There are pretty much three ways for a blog site to recoup their server costs, etc. One way is by offering some kind of premium service. (You can't charge a subscription fee to all bloggers, or you lose the sheer volume of posts which is the reason people sign up -- you lose a lot of your content generators who would attract the paid users.) Another is by soliciting donations or selling logo merchandise, which again will come from only a percentage of your users. The final way is by placing ads on everyone's blog, which is dicey if you plan to use either of the other two strategies, because ads lower the value and "class" of the blog site, much in the way of power lines strung next to a house, or a flashing neon sign on the front of a hotel.

LJ started with a combination of methods one and two -- because let's face it, being a paid user doesn't really get you that much, and you pay orders of magnitude more for it than it costs the site to host you. You're doing it out of goodwill for the site. It is like donating to a public radio station.

Then lj got new owners and the new owners got greedy and started "monetizing" any way they could. They slapped ads on everything. They slapped interrupt ads on everything. They gave you ways to not have ads -- like being a paid user -- but they cheated and put ads on your site anyway; they just don't show them to you when you're logged in. They hijacked links to other sites like Amazon and replaced your tags with theirs. They started letting third parties put script in their ads that could expose your readers' computers to all kinds of malware. They censored all kinds of crap that wasn't advertizer friendly.

In other words, they started acting like we don't have any worth. When I came to lj, I gave up control over things like my layout and whether I placed my own ads. I did this because lj added value. LJ has stopped adding value. It's worse every month. I don't like to point people to my journal anymore. The value that's still here is my friends, whose stuff I like to read. And lj is acting like my friends are worthless, like it's okay to graffiti all over their crap. And LJ is acting like I should be grateful to them to get to spend hours creating content for them because oh, they pay for servers.

Only I can go plenty of places that don't pull that shit. Ergo, it must not be essential to pull that shit. The only monopoly LJ has is of the content that is on LJ, which is not produced by LJ. And they're not going to have mine any more.

If this leaves you in any doubt of how I feel about facebook, know that I'm about to pull all my content there as well, except for basic contact info. Once you make it too obvious that I am the proletariat and you are making me jump through hoops because you control the means of production, you can pretty much draw a straight line to my reaction. This goes well beyond the internet. Shit needs to be pulled down. No more buying up good companies and stripping out the assets for short term gains. No more fees for people who submit to film festivals, music festivals, and magazines. No more musicians working for tips at bars with shitty sound systems who don't bother to advertize. If you're not adding something you don't get to walk off with the money. Not any more.
Current Mood: angryreally deeply angry

(7 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:June 3rd, 2010 12:32 pm (UTC)

Do you know if I buy a paid account, when my subscription runs out, whetherh I am allowed to stay on as a nonpaying user, or do I have to find an account creation code then, too? (I have read most of the FAQ but haven't gotten an answer on this one so far.)

[User Picture]
Date:June 3rd, 2010 05:57 pm (UTC)
It is my understanding that when you generate a journal through a paid account it remains after payment lapses.
[User Picture]
Date:June 6th, 2010 08:51 am (UTC)
Excuse me butting in - I stumbled across your post via a search for "Dreamwidth" as I'm very active over there as a volunteer. I just wanted to confirm that you're right - once you've started a journal by any method (paid 3 months or got a creation code) it can stay forever.

But also, I'm "old school internet" too (since Jan 1993) and my journal started way back in the code-it-yourself days too (January 1997) when there were only a few of us doing it :) It's nice to know that others remember that far back *grin*

Anyway I have a bunch of account creation codes available, so if anybody wants to email me ricky@notdoneliving.net and ask for one I'd be happy to supply. Just tell me that you saw me offer here so I know. (Please don't PM me on LiveJournal - I hate the messaging system. Send real emails :)).

[User Picture]
Date:June 6th, 2010 12:31 pm (UTC)
Wandering by via Ricky down there -- absolutely yes. You pay for an account once, the account is created, you have your account as long as you care to keep it, just with or without extra bells and whistles.

Basically, you pay and you get issued an invite code (and that invite code will create an account that's got paid time), rather than having to scrounge one up from somewhere initially (and even that isn't always too hard; I try to keep on top of keeping the "codes available" tag current).

If you happen to have some of the places in the FAQ you looked expecting to find the answer handy, feel free to ping DW Support and say where -- documentation is always a work in progress, but just from my poking around it looks like that question is more answered by implication in the FAQ, and it's one of the "well, of course" things looking at it from the volunteer level. I've pinged the documentation team, and if you feel like dropping by, there is a reasonable place to say where you were expecting to find it as well as Support. (Your LJ URL works as an OpenID, for the purposes of commenting and such.)
[User Picture]
Date:June 8th, 2010 12:46 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!
Date:April 13th, 2011 07:42 am (UTC)
It’s really a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

Date:April 16th, 2011 01:22 am (UTC)
I’ve been into blogging for quite some time and this is definitely a great post.Cheers!

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