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Green Room - Week 3 - Day 11

Apparently, the US electoral college will be changing their votes today to make *ME* the new President-Elect of the United States!

It's extremely flattering, and, I must say, well-deserved.

I promise to unleash my minions upon the Earth to feast upon mortal flesh and, in general, rule with an iron fist.

Part of this rule will be to make sure that all contestants vote in the Contestant Only poll: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/960470.html

It's one of the cruel things you can look forward to during my reign of terror!

That, and extra long weeks!


People have been asking what the schedule will be like for the next couple of weeks - so they can plan around Idol. Of course I'm not going to tell you.

But I *will* say that (1) Topic posts will be going up following this elimination on Tuesday and (2) you're going to want to make sure you're paying attention to the schedule/what's going on.


( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 19th, 2016 02:37 pm (UTC)
Allow me to be the first today to wish you Merry Christmas (and Happy Winter)
Dec. 19th, 2016 04:47 pm (UTC)
I shall be the 2nd via the GR...However, perhaps I am the 1st since I mailed you a RL actual card.
Dec. 19th, 2016 06:26 pm (UTC)
I was added to a Facebook group for LJ Users over the weekend.

This is probably the third, or fourth, group like this I've come across - with different folks involved.

If everyone who wishes LJ were still active would actually come back and post, it *would* be active again.

It feels like folks just want someone else to do it.
Dec. 20th, 2016 05:21 am (UTC)
You're welcome! I was the one who added you and you did exactly what I had hoped: promoted LJ Idol!

But speaking to the point you raised, I've been examining for a couple of years if LiveJournal could become active again and looking at reasons why it fell out of favor.

My main analysis focused on three major things:

1. The fact that once SixApart purchased LJ from Brad, they really frightened a lot of people.

2. Once the economy collapsed in 2008, people were less interested in talking about their lives, either because they went into the toilet or they were fine and maybe didn't feel comfortable talking about that.

3. Facebook and Twitter came along and offered the opportunity to interact with well known celebrities.

The third reason is why LJ is still extremely popular in Russia, as all of their stars have LJ accounts.

Never mind that LJ could be used exactly like twitter if that's what you chose to do!

But then again, one of the main reasons why celebs aren't flocking to the old El Jay is one of the reasons why it's active: ohnotheydidnt.

There's also one more factor: those old "ratings communities," where people (mostly high school girls) would rank each other and call out other people, cyber bully style. Between the abuse of this and people just seeing LJ as part of a childhood they might want to bury, it can't be underestimated as far as how that might make a large segment of people want to stay away.

Analysis? It would take a campaign of some measure to get LJ back to active in THAT way. I'd be willing to try, but I'm not on the LJ Board of Advisers, nor do I know if one exists.
Dec. 20th, 2016 06:27 am (UTC)
I think a slightly more general paranoia than your #2 is definitely a factor. I also think lj's move to "pay or have annoying ads" that happened around the same time didn't help. And now inertia favors FB too.
Dec. 20th, 2016 07:02 am (UTC)
The ads actually fell under 1, as SixApart were all about trying to figure out a way to break Brad's promise of "no ads, ever" in every way they could, from creating a "mirror" blogging site called VOX which was designed to siphon LJ users away from here to a platform that had no such ad restrictions, to placing ads wherever they wanted, including logging people out of their accounts so they would see at least one ad when they logged back in.

But yes, people were scrambling to "save their journals" and looking for other places to cut and paste their entries. Dreamwidth and InsaneJournal were temporary benefactors there. Strikethrough and Nipplegate both were simply stupid PR moves trying to make LJ safe for advertisers and not considering the userbase.

I really don't even know if the US side of LJ is all that attentive. It feels like we're kinda on our own now, which makes promoting LJ an especially daunting challenge.
Dec. 20th, 2016 02:22 pm (UTC)
Re #2 -- IMO that period was probably the last of LJ's heyday because it seemed EVERYBODY was here because they were either unemployed or something-or-other. My husband had been laid off during that time, and although he's never been on LJ, his posting rose hundredfold with all the new "free time" he had. I suspect the same thing happened with others.

#3 -- I don't know about the celebrity angle of this. Twitter, certainly, but Facebook? You can't interact with a fan page the same was as Twitter. Plus I didn't think celebs would pay attention to something like ONTD.

I belong to a few Russian-centric graphic communities. Only 1-2 of them post anything regularly now. If my Google translate was correct the government tends to randomly shut down criticizing bloggers, and those bloggers are all on LJ. As a result, they've either gone underground or no longer post, and it's been enough to scare the graphic artists who otherwise have nothing to do with criticizing their government.
Dec. 20th, 2016 04:18 pm (UTC)
That's an interesting way of viewing it...

So, really, what might have been the case is that as people started to find work they stopped having time to craft posts?

The other way of viewing it, related to the popularity is that as the "fad" level of LJ wore out, and the ease of twitter was revealed (again, not that anyone could have used a LiveJournal post as a 140 character entry if you wanted), people just stopped using this as a platform for interaction.

When facebook opened to everyone, not just people who had a college or university ID, there were more celebs popping up over there, prior to the "pages" that happened a bit later.

While critics are clearly being squelched, celebrities are usually not governmental commentators in Mother Russia. After all, they're probably doing okay for themselves. But you're right! EVERYBODY is on LJ there, so there's more of a chance for interaction with famous people than in any other place online...

Ultimately, twitter was the biggest culprit though. The fact that you couldn't write long posts meant it was the place for bloggers who don't actually like to blog! Toss in all those celebs, most especially Ashton Kutcher early on, and people were all over the tweets and the fail whale.
Dec. 20th, 2016 04:35 pm (UTC)
So, really, what might have been the case is that as people started to find work they stopped having time to craft posts?

IMO that's what it seemed in my neck of the woods. I had very prolific LJ friends who all but disappeared once they found FT employment. My husband stopped his blogging once he found the same.

Add the advent of Twitter and FB to that, plus the sale to the Russians, and voila, mass exodus.

Plus there's also the rise of the smartphone, which isn't LJ friendly but very Twitter/FB friendly. As it is, I don't do LJ on my phone for this very reason.

I know there are celebs on FB. I follow a couple of TV shows and a musician or two, but none of them post anything unless there's a new season/album/other coming up, or if they're in the news for something-or-other. I'd think they'd have more traction on Twitter than either there or here...?

Dec. 20th, 2016 04:56 pm (UTC)
Your smartphone note is a crucial one. I have the LJ mobile app and I still would rather go to the web version on my phone (if I ever use it there) because it's a bit less clunky than the app!

Meanwhile twitter and even fb are about the easiest to use on a phone.

The fact that LiveJournal is so unwieldy to use on a phone definitely makes it a whole lot less attractive to use than any of the other social media platforms.
Dec. 19th, 2016 06:34 pm (UTC)
Boy, there are so many LJ users who hate Facebook, too! Like me. ;)

And yes-- I've lost friends to Facebook, Dreamwidth (not many), and Tumblr, and most of them wish LJ were more active... and yet continue to try to start congregating outside of LJ.

Logic, what AM it? ;O
Dec. 20th, 2016 05:05 pm (UTC)
Dreamwidth is the preferred right now mainly because they're a helluva lot more open in their diversity than LJ seems (Note: I said seems) to be, and a helluva lot easier to use in terms of accessibility to adaptive tech needs.

(PM me for more explanation; thre are other reasons why DW is much more attractive at this point.)

Like you, I don't much like FB (Partially because accessibility) but I feel like I have to be there because family and stuff, and a lot of friends who don't blog much. It's kind of annoying, actually. Granted FB's gotten a little better in accessibility, but the app is still better than the PC version. *sighs*

Dec. 20th, 2016 05:11 pm (UTC)
The design of LJ really makes it the best for interaction... and privacy!

There were a whole lot of things that went right for LJ when it began. The first were the "invite codes." In order to join LJ when it started, you needed to be invited by someone who was already using the service, so that meant that everyone added to the system was vouched for by someone else - it really was a community at first.

The threaded comments feature meant that people could not just comment to your post, but could comment to each other, allowing conversations between users that didn't know each other to occur, and that made potential friendships much easier to happen.

And then the security function, where you could post something just for yourself, for a particular filtered group of your readers, your entire friendslist or publicly, allowed you to decide what you wanted to share or protect.

I still view LJ as the best platform for this kind of interaction, but I feel it may have been stigmatized for some who perhaps spent their formative years here, as opposed to coming here after their scholastic achievements...
Dec. 21st, 2016 04:39 am (UTC)
Dreamwidth had all that, too, including being able to "subscribe" which means you can read someone before you decide to give them access. But the filters-the community, all that is still there. The invite codes have gone away, but even now that really hasn't hurt it much. Probably because there's that slight chance that they could come back.

But yeah, I like the filtering system over here-if I could just learn to use it with adaptive tech. I'm a JAWAS user, and I sometimes have a hard time adding people. Granted, I haven't done it in a min, so accessibility there could've changed, but with the way the posting is set up, I'm a little scared of it.

Not to mention, I have to know the name of the community I'm posting to in order to post to it, because the list of coms you're in isn't anywhere to be found with the reader, which is kind of (OK really) annoying.


PS: this is the most accessible of the process, this commenting thing.
Dec. 19th, 2016 07:22 pm (UTC)
Looking for inspiration?
The LJ Idol Pinterest account can help! https://www.pinterest.com/ljidol/

Dec. 19th, 2016 09:35 pm (UTC)
I see you're running on the "why vote for a lesser evil" platform? ;)
Dec. 20th, 2016 04:53 pm (UTC)
Also, the accessibility for those of us with disabilities drove people away too. The openness of dreamwidh (Which still has no ads anywhere) is a huge thing for me-I feel a helluva lot more comfortable posting parts of my life there that I almost never would here unless it's under very tight filter.

It's a shame; I'd bought a permanent account a long time ago before this place was bought out and turned into an advertiser's dream. I miss the interaction, but I dunno if I can justify posting here when the accessibility is so scrappy compared with dreamwidth.

As for celebs on twitter, I have had several interactions with a few smaller time ones, including one Canadian musician who sent me a copy of her project for promoting her. I about cried; I didn't expect that of her.

Dec. 20th, 2016 05:33 pm (UTC)
Celebrity interaction can't be underestimated as the reason why twitter is so wildly popular and successful. Even if no celebrities follow you, there is always the chance that they will see/react to a tweet you made, or retweet it to their audience, meaning it could be suddenly seen by millions.

LJ has nothing that can compare to that.

The big name celebs that have LJs are grrm and therealstanlee (Stan is a stretch because he hasn't posted in 18 months). Does anyone know about any other (non Russian) celebs that are here?
Dec. 20th, 2016 06:25 pm (UTC)
That Gary guy. He's famous.


*kicks you*

Dec. 20th, 2016 06:33 pm (UTC)

So Gary is famous, but doesn't have a collection of celebrity friends to post to/with. And before you suggest that neither do Stan Lee or George R.R. Martin, I would remind you that they created a whole bunch of famous characters that people love to follow.

I guess this means my "hippie" status is assured.
Dec. 20th, 2016 07:06 pm (UTC)
I've created a bunch of interesting fictional characters too!

This one creation is a guy named "penpusher". There are nearly a thousand other fictional characters in this universe I've created, that I move around the ongoing story.
Dec. 20th, 2016 09:54 pm (UTC)
Penpusher? You think THAT'S a good character?? *headdesk*
Dec. 21st, 2016 04:43 am (UTC)
He doesn't post much, so he's a stretch too, but there is ruaja (Alexander James Adams) and I can name you some Yoweh (SP? It's a form of erotic fiction) writers on here-one of which I followed for a while, but I think he, too, defected to DW, for which I kind of don't blame him.


Edited at 2016-12-21 04:44 am (UTC)
Dec. 21st, 2016 01:10 pm (UTC)
So, can you share what Dreamwidth is doing that's different from LJ? Isn't it basically the same set up, with DW using the same open source code from LiveJournal? What's going on at DW that makes it better or even slightly different from LJ?
Dec. 22nd, 2016 11:13 am (UTC)
They use some of the same code, yes. But they have better guiding principles, there are no ads (Litterally no ads anywhere, and I'm serious( the filtering system is seriously awesome, you have access list (which is like the friens list here) and subscriptions (Which is the readlist) and you can subscribe to people without giving them access. It's not an automatic mutual add like it is here. And itj's a helluva lot lesss cluttered, and there are headings. You just...headings are so much easier to navigate with a screen reader. You just don't even know.

I can actually navigate their posting pages and change everything from the icons (Which I can't here) to the security )Which, that I can change, it's just the icons that I can't) and everything. I can actually post to a community without needing to know the name because there is a radio button, and when you check it, your list of communities comes up. That doesn't happen here. It might for you sighted folk, but it doesn't for us. There are different print/color contrast options. They have a dw_accessibility community for accessibility concerns, and do their damnedest to meet them within reason (And their reason is pretty much flexible and case by case)

Their diversity statement is...pretty much unmatched.

And like most services, you can crosspost-so if you wanted to mirror your stuff to LJ you still can; I have several who do this. It's also a helluva lot more accepting of people with neurodiversities than LJ seems to be. Some of that might be on the userbase, but they actually talk the acceptance of Neuro-atypicals in their diversity statement which is seriously freaking awesome.
Dec. 22nd, 2016 03:19 pm (UTC)
Ads on LJ are a non-issue for me because when they offered permanent accounts back in 2005, I bit the bullet and paid the 150 (one-hundred and fifty!!) bucks. It was the equivalent of buying six years of LJ time at once! But then, when 2011 rolled around, I suddenly had a free, no ads, LiveJournal account with all of the good stuff for the rest of my life!

I think what we discovered when things get popular (which is what was happening back in the era with millions of active accounts) there is a need for more money to make it work. I don't know how active the DW community is, but certainly if they had a huge surge of people like LJ had about 10-12 years ago, they would likely need help to avoid crashes, server slowdowns and hosting photos, all that stuff. That would mean, if they intended to retain their "no ads" policy, there would be a subscription fee to help offset the cost of operating the site, just as LJ offered at the time.

Of course now, we have gotten used to an internet that rarely has a problem (when was the last time you saw the twitter "Fail Whale?") so this would have to be addressed.

I feel like LJ really dropped the ball on the social issue side of things. But most of that occurred as a part of the SixApart purchase. 6A really wanted nothing to do with the userbase: they didn't understand who we were and they didn't want to learn because to them, we were just a wallet to extract money from in whatever ways possible. Trying to figure out the users wouldn't help with their revenue streams (or if they would have - it would have meant they might not have had as easy a time pulling the tricks they attempted on us). And after the embarrassment of that era, the response from the people who ran the site was to run and hide! They literally created a generic account called theljstaff where they could anonymously respond to (or more likely ignore) concerns, and you would never know who specifically was speaking! It was a huge step backwards.

And then blogging "fad" ended, so there was little incentive for the people of LJ to do anything. That's why the Russian side of the service is taking the lead. Did you notice that LJ was offline for maintenance yesterday from about 5pm ET till around 1am? If you are in Moscow or St. Petersburg, that would have been 1am to 8am. So, we know where LiveJournal matters these days.

DW does sound good, and I actually created an account there when it wasn't clear if LJ was going to survive. I'm pretty sure I'm penpusher over there as well. I admire the diversity elements, of course, but I feel like those are things that could be fixed here with a little effort and reconnection to the userbase... Then again I'm biased because I already invested in LJ, so...
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )


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