LJ Content Strike?

I keep hearing murmurings of a LiveJournal content strike. I understand the reasons behind it (dropping the “Basic” accounts without really telling anyone), but have yet to see what the exact rules of the strike are. Can someone point me to the terms of the strike?

Is it “don’t post on the 21st?” If so, I see it working exactly the same as the gas station strikes you keep getting email about. There will just be double the emo on the 22nd, including overly dramatic complaints of how difficult it was to spend 24 hours away from the precious JiveUrinal.

Or is it more like the writers’ strike where people continue to not post until they get their $0.04 per DVD (or Basic accounts get reinstated or whatever.)

’cause, if it’s the former, then I laugh in your general direction. And if it’s the latter, it’ll be far more interesting. It’ll be nice to have less whining and less emo crying as immediate results. As people lose their self control and start posting to LJ anyway, it’ll be fun to see the drama arise in comments like “OMG, you posted and broke the strike!” and “OMG, you commented on a post–that’s like generating content, like making a new post, so YOU broke the strike, too!” Hilarity ensues. We all laugh. End scene.

Me? I don’t give a rat’s arse. They had two free account levels, the one without ads was losing them money (WTF, REALLY?!), which wasn’t being subsidized by the other account levels, so they dropped it. They’re a business. They are here primarily to make money, with the community as a secondary goal. If you want to blog for free, you can go to MySpace, wait no, that has ads… WordPress?, um, no…. Blogger?… not really… FaceBook? … nuh, uhu… Well, then, I guess you can scribble in your paper journal and pass it around detention hall, because that’s about the only place you can blog for free without ads. Sheesh. You’d think people hadn’t ever heard of ad blockers or something.

At any rate, can someone please link me to the terms of the strike? I’d like to know more.

Posted in: Dear Diary Questions

4 thoughts on “LJ Content Strike?”

  1. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Reflecting on what I have read, a couple of things pop into mind:

    1) They bought, they own it, they can change it if they want to do so. But as is the case in any business that depends on its customers for its continuing success, not consulting with your customers before making significant changes to the services you provide to them may be hazardous to your bottom line.

    2) So far, they have eliminated the Basic account as an option for people establishing new accounts. If/when they unilaterally convert all existing Basic accounts to Plus (advertising supported) accounts, that’ll be a different ballgame (and my bet is that they will do this at some point).

    3) They must think it is in their business interest to eliminate Basic accounts. That may or may not be true. If the effect is to eliminate a significant proportion of content producers and consumers that use LJ, they are not going to come out ahead. There is something to be said for the argument that Basic accounts add value to the system as a whole.

    4) I think what this really comes down to (from the business point of view) is a calculation of what proportion of Basic account holders would balk at using LJ at all if they only had the Plus option to use. The total number of Basic vs. Plus accounts in existence would tell that story as well as anything … I wonder what the numbers are.

  2. For what it’s worth, I am participating in the strike, but I really have no problem with them taking Basic accounts away. I see that as a smart business decision, although I agree that they should have at least warned people with some sort of “This is your last chance to get a Basic Account” announcement in their Biz community.

    But what I found more worrisome, and strike-worthy, was the fact that they were back to editing the list of user interests to interests they approved of. They eliminated interests like “bisexuality,” “sex” and “fanfiction” off the list of most popular interests. Once a blog company starts fiddling with user-created content like that, I get nervous.

    I don’t believe the strike will have any economic impact; I don’t think that’s the point. I think of it more as a showing that, yes, your customers *can* get pissed at you. And if they do, they will leave.

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