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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Live Journal Strike

I was just commenting on Dawn's blog, but actually I think this begs a broader discussion. On the strike, the thing is I think they are really blowing it by taking away the free accounts. I don't use my account to post a blog, but I do use it to read other's blogs and to be able to comment. That interoperability of LJ friends-locking posts and allowing only logged in users to comment will be destroyed if there is no basic account. And no one charges for other similar types of accounts on MySpace, Tribe, Friendster, Facebook, or Blogger. There are other places to go for free if LJ becomes inhospitable. And it will take a year or two for enough of an issue to develop where people move their journals to other providers because they can't properly control permissions via LJ anymore without their friends being paid members.

Suffice to say, I think it's a absurdly stupid move on LJ's part, but I also think that the boycott for a day will have no particular effect. What would be more effective is a communication campaign to the business owners explaining the valid business reasons for keeping free accounts. And "because all of your competitors offer them" is an extremely compelling reason.

So if we all migrate to another platform, what would it be? What offers the easy functionality of posting photos and text and allowing filtering of posts by your affinity lists and allows limiting of comments to registered users? Additionally, what else allows an aggregated page like the LJ Friends page for consumption of the compositions of your selected affinity group? I can honestly say that Blogger is insufficient to the task. I've wished for some time that I could selectively block certain users, but Blogger doesn't have that function. If the owners of Live Journal are intent on alienating potential new users, what is the recourse of the consumer? Where do we go from here?

I'm also really hoping the answer isn't MySpace. I have never encountered so many unnecessarily loud pages as I have when I've clicked on links to MySpace. It seems like everyone has some awful music that instantly blares at the reader without permission or warning whenever you open a MySpace page. It is not a place for grown-ups.

EDIT: Yeah, honestly I didn't realize it was that they were just making free accounts ad based. Ads are fine. The service has to be paid for somehow. People need to get a grip.


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