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LJ really is something different

I get to talk a good bit about LiveJournal, since I do a lot of public speaking on behalf of Six Apart, or about blogs in general. And one of the ways that I've been referring to LJ is as "the original online community for original thinkers". Basically, it's my shorthand way of saying "yeah, maybe the stereotype is that people on LJ are weird, but really it's just that they're different. And there's a lot of us that are different."

Although I dress like a suit a lot of the time these days, so maybe all my indie cred is gone. ONOZ.

Anyway, the point was amplified to me by some of the recent analysis I've seen about LJ. Most notably, Discover magazine picked up the story about the great analysis by Matthew Hurst of Microsoft. (Shout out to Matthew for using LJ's Serious Business sister service, TypePad.)

In the graph that Discover used, LJ is the distinct part in the upper right corner. Check out Matthew's first graph to get an idea of how truly distinct LJ is.

That image, to me was reassuring -- LJ is different than the rest of the blogosphere, though obviously it's loosely connected to it. And if LJ shows up as substantial, well-established, and a little bit off to the side of the other millions of blogs out there, I think that's just fine.

Also relevant, of course, is XKCD's map of online communities. Given that LJ shares some open source tech with Facebook and some audience with Xanga, I don't mind that it's between them both on the map. But I think it'd be more appropriate as an island. :)

Interestingly, the relationships between all these different communities were confirmed for me when I wrote my recent post on LOLcats and kitty pidgin; The link to my post spread through different online communities at different times, and the diffusion on LJ was almost totally distinct and unconnected to the other communities. The post hasn't been huge on Digg or MySpace, at least yet. I take that as something of a compliment. ;)


We're totally invading Xanga for complete control of the Bay of Angst.
We'll just hold out razors and let them run into them and cut themselves!
i'm so emo i lj-cut myself
For me, LJ is like the indoors, where my friends and family are, and the rest of the internet is just "outside." I like to play out there, but I come back here for downtime.
[[hugs]] for kfan. you're in a SAFE PLACE.
You don't remember me at all. (the long story is I dated Chason Chaffin forever back in '00-01 and met you BRIEFLY at SXSW)

But anyways, I'm in my safe cozy lj world, and you're on the front page.

Crazy trip running into you again.


wow,ur cool. I just wanna say congrats. hope you enjoy! maybe we can be friends?
by the way, im reffering to u having the thirteen millionth lj!
Thanks. I really liked reading about it. Do you know of any more references made to LJ that are publshed?
I keep misreading your name as AnalDish


you look like a terrorist.
I jumped for joy when I saw the mini-shoutout to you on LJ's welcome page this morning. However, I do feel kind of sad and agree with people that say LJ people are "strange", because all I did with this post was scan...scan..scan...LOLcats! hahahaha...LOLcats!!
You're the thirteen m,illionth, how amazing
Of course for the unfortunate ex-ljers in the fan-fic communities who's journals and communities were deleted without warning or real justification can no longer enjoy being part of the crowd of 'different' people.

nice one.

buncha deets: http://liz-marcs.livejournal.com/
Well, your CEO sure seems to be trying to take away that uniqueness that you supposedly hold so dear. I'm sorry I ever gave money to you right now.

"Sure, you can be weird or different, as long as nobody threatens our ad money"

I have to say, when I first started reading the rumors that some group was stomping around like a bull in a china shop, loudly threatening to go tell LiveJournal's advertisers that LJ-users are a bunch of pedophiles (or however they phrased it), I agreed with the user who was posting: LiveJournal is a better community than that. LiveJournal actually respects its users. LiveJournal would never... except that apparently they would.

Not only that, but apparently LiveJournal would cave in to broad censorship without engaging in analysis of what they were deleting (ie, whether it was actual pedophilia or other illegal activities or, say, discussion of a Nabokov book or a fan community). There was no consideration of the _internal_ community which is celebrated above; there was only pandering to an external group of self-proclaimed moralists.

If you're going to talk about support, and inclusion, and how LiveJournal provides people with a space "a little off to the side"-- someplace where people can be different without feeling marginalized, or condemned... then you should practice what you preach.

hey if you really want to live up to your "protecting the children" bs, then why is the hard core gay porn blog STARRFUCKER
on your top 1000 feeds?

LJ and Six Apart are hypocrites. pure and simple. you only protect your own asses.
Heya, Metafilter user here, dropping by to comment on your post re:Livejournal Strikethrough 2007 on this thread. While, as some people have pointed out already (Oh MeFi), your statement isn't quite airtight and it would've been nice to have LJ discuss this openly on LJ_news instead of the elite few finding your explanation via MeFi, I still really appreciate you sticking your neck out there and defending and at least attempting to clear up the issue. I personally love LJ and the LJ interface, and while I'm not happy with some of the changes that have taken place since Six Apart bought it out, I'm not looking for a new roost anytime soon, so it was definitely good to get even the token reassurance that all is not lost and that Big Brother need not triumph. So again, Thanks. :)

PS: If anything I said seems inflammatory - apologies, I truly don't mean it. It was actually rather uplifting to see your post.
Considering all the trouble that has come from the recent unannounced policy change, I thought the explanation post (on Metafilter? Why there?) could have been handled with a bit more more humility and grace.

As it was, your explanation read like this:

"Well, we're sorry about the trouble, but you guys are so TOTALLY overreacting because (insert list of reasons which are easily shot down within the next few comments)".

The most basic texts on management state that if a customer has a complaint, the wisest thing a good manager can do is give them a hearing, be humble and apologetic, and work to fix the problem as soon as possible. I just don't see how any of that has been accomplished.

Honestly, guys... what the heck were you doing listening to WfI? Seriously? There are some legit anti-pedophilia groups out there we'd have loved to see you work with, and you picked the rabid 'Redneck Mafia' member whose website not only lists no credentials or connections to law enforcement, but looks like it was designed by a ten-year-old.

Let's not even go back to the time when you promised us there'd never be advertising on the website. Most of us forgave you that. This isn't going to blow over so easily.

So many of your users are SO disappointd in your judgement and in your handling of this situation. Honestly, all that's left to you is to get down on your knees and be humble. We don't want to know why you screwed up. We just want to know what you plan to do to make it right. And we'd rather hear it directly from you, on the main page, than from a friend of a friend who saw it on some other website.

Good luck.
I was replying there as myself. Any faults, flaws, or antagonism is mine alone. There's an official reply on news.livejournal.com and I hope it helps you understand that we're sorry and want to do the right thing.
Fair enough. You should be careful, though - I have been cautioned by one company and fired by another for instances of speaking outside my station. Your actions dealt a serious blow to Livejournal's cred, and just at the wrong moment.

If you're 'in' with the higher-ups, maybe you could pass on this idea: I think that any communities and journals that were unjustly deleted should be given more than a reinstatement and an apology. I'd suggest giving them all Permemant Accounts, free of charge.

I stand to gain nothing from that suggestion, by the way: I wasn't personally affected by the deletions and nor were any of my friends. Additionally, I'm an Early Adopter (five digit user number) and already a Permenant Account holder. I'm burrowed in here like a tick in a dog. ;P

I just think you all need to go above and beyond the call of duty to properly make up for what's happened.


I left my opinion as a Dissatisfied Customer on Barak's news post. That's my business opinion. My opinion about you as a human being is: "that poor bastard, this must be the worst job in the world sometimes." :) I lost some respect for LJ, yeah, but I gained some too, because I saw just how many demanding, paranoid, screechy jerks inhabit this place. Best of luck weathering all this crap.
Thank you for talking to me over AIM. I appreciate you being open and candid in our discussion. Good luck. And again, thanks. :)
Word has it that you went to a LJ user's personal journal and accused him of being 'douchey' after he called you a douche for your part in this award-winning screw-up. As a SixApart employee, this behavior is not only unprofessional but rather trollish and creepy. Now that it's travelling through the fandom highway, you can expect to be held to task for it.

Shouldn't you be doing something more productive with your time, like -- oh, I don't know, restoring unfairly suspended journals and trying to rebuild the trust you've destroyed? Just a thought.
You can get more context on that journal itself if you're interested. Feel free to pass that link along if it's useful. For what it's worth, i don't work on the LJ team officially (I just, uh, help out/cause trouble), but I know the LJ team already restored those journals and is working on restoring trust.
Live Journal is a special community for special people

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