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Why am I not striking? - The online computery journal thingy of a turtle

Mar. 21st, 2008

01:45 pm - Why am I not striking?

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Five reasons:

1. I have a permanent account, so what good would it do? My account fully paid for itself a few years ago, and I have no ads.

2. A strike is when you walk out on your job en masse. Unless you're lucky enough to be paid to blog, LJ is not your job. It's not even a boycott; a boycott is when you stop paying for something. Spending one day refusing to use a service you're continuing to pay for is not a boycott. It's a symbolic protest at best.

3. It's not even a good protest. What message is it sending to the LJ staff? "We hate the way you've handled things, so we're going to slightly lighten the load on your servers today." Gee, thanks, guys!

4. What exactly is the problem anyway? LJ's not going to be changing any existing accounts, and they still offer free accounts, just now the option of no ads on them is gone. Some of the people doing this "strike" thing are friends of mine, and I'm sure they have good intentions, so I refuse to be snide to them... but I am tempted to say "boo effing hoo". :(

5. The real issue, of course, is LJ not being honest with its userbase. Even so, there are much more effective ways to get your message out.

Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: Why is this "thoughtful" dragon guy grinning like a maniac?

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:doodlesthegreat
Date:March 21st, 2008 07:33 pm (UTC)
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The most effective way to protest is to get Firefox, Adblock and NoScript. And to show the Russians how to use the same things.
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From:chocorisu
Date:March 21st, 2008 09:28 pm (UTC)
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Ultimately LJ are their own worst enemies. Free accounts are more likely to spend small amounts of cash on extra icons, extra features, etc. If the only free accounts they offer are ad-supported then people will just switch to free blogging services that DON'T have ads and spend their upgrade money there instead.

But yes, the "strike" is stupid and ineffective.
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From:codeman38
Date:March 21st, 2008 11:59 pm (UTC)
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I still think a far more effective strike would be for Plus users-- yes, even those who chose a Plus account-- to give up their Plus features just to make the point that there's still a demand for Basic accounts. The more people who switch, the better.

I've already e-mailed one Plus user I know, even showing a screenshot from her own journal of how ads can undermine the message of a post by advertising things that run completely counter to it.
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[User Picture]
From:chocorisu
Date:March 22nd, 2008 12:14 am (UTC)
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I don't understand how that would prove anything. In fact I'm having a hard time understanding what you're even proposing.

Anyway, what obligation does LJ have to provide free accounts to all? If you're worried about advertising undermining your message, you're welcome to pay for a full account or move to a different provider.

Now if there is an outcry from paying customers that's different. If paying customers said, look, part of why I pay you guys is to offer advertising-free blog hosting to everyone, that might carry some weight. But I don't see anyone saying that.
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[User Picture]
From:kinkyturtle
Date:March 22nd, 2008 12:40 am (UTC)
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As for advertising undermining a message, [a] whaddya think this is, the Utne Reader or Mother Jones? [b] You possibly underestimate the intelligence of your readers. Over on the Comics Curmudgeon blog, users have been seeing recent posts accompanied by a prominent ad for some Christian Singles dating site. Their reaction so far has been to make fun of it. :}
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[User Picture]
From:orv
Date:March 22nd, 2008 06:40 am (UTC)
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Everyone wants to have the cool, pure, starving artist thing going...as long as it's the service provider doing the starving. ;)
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From:orv
Date:March 22nd, 2008 06:37 am (UTC)
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Free services with no ads don't tend to stick around long. One of the lessons the tech bubble taught is that giving away your product for free and having no revenue tends to be a lousy business model. Frankly, I'd rather have an LJ that has ads than an LJ that shuts down for lack of funds.
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From:ex_sonjaaa
Date:March 21st, 2008 09:35 pm (UTC)
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They also censored bisexuality, which many saw as being homophobic.
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From:deckardcanine
Date:March 22nd, 2008 07:30 pm (UTC)
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What exactly do you mean, they censored bisexuality? Did they strike a word or picture from an entry or an ad?

Anyway, I rather doubt they'd censor bisexuality without also censoring homosexuality, unless their real aim was censoring group sex.
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From:delphinios
Date:March 22nd, 2008 01:01 am (UTC)
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We, the users of Livejournal, are the reason Livejournal even *has* a business model. It's us, spending our time and energy to write up what amounts to an editorial on the parts of our lives that are meaningful, then give those words them to Livejournal to host. That's known as "content". Content is what built a community that is the very core of Livejournal's very existence. We effectively give away our work to livejournal in exchange for a place to post that work for the community that *we built and are a part of* to read.

When Livejournal forgets that it is us, content producers, that give the paid members a *reason* to stay, that gives 'sponsored' members a hook to keep them coming here and viewing ads, then it is our responsibility to remind them that we matter. We're not simply a revenue stream that they can monetize at their whim. If they figure ways to make more money off of us, I have no problem with that... provided they respect us as the important part of Livejournal that we are!

The biggest issue I've had hasn't been the ads, the elimination of 'free' accounts or what have you... while I may disagree with those choices, they aren't the big issue. It's that they pay us lip service, claiming to want a 'dialogue with the community' and stress the importance of communication in their business decisions, while sneaking pretty major changes in behind our backs and then pretending that it is we who are wrong when we try to *communicate* our displeasure*.
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[User Picture]
From:kinkyturtle
Date:March 22nd, 2008 01:36 am (UTC)
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Apparently, the most important community to LJ right now is the Russian community, according to this: http://chipotle.livejournal.com/183056.html
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From:delphinios
Date:March 22nd, 2008 02:03 am (UTC)
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I can't disagree with that. But we're not a minority, even if we're not the majority here.
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From:orv
Date:March 22nd, 2008 06:38 am (UTC)
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This comes up on eBay and Second Life from time to time, too. People forget that when they're playing on someone else's servers, that entity gets to set the rules. A corporation is not a democracy.
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From:deckardcanine
Date:March 22nd, 2008 07:33 pm (UTC)
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Kinda reminds me of a line from Sleeper: "For 24 hours, I refused to eat grapes." That put a then-recent (for the movie) protest into perspective. But this is far dumber.
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