Meta: link blogging and ads

Link blog?

I keep a sort of mini blog over at Delicious. It’s a collection of links I want to save, plus a short description. On LiveJournal, there’s a feed of it at pw201_links, but there’s no point posting comments there, as I won’t see them. andrewducker regularly posts batches of his links to his LJ, and they often create some interesting discussion. I wondered whether I should do the same, or whether that would mean death was too good for me, as it is for those people who use Loudtwitter to post their “tweets” to LJ. I’d probably post links once a week or in batches of 10, whichever happened sooner. What do you think?

[ LJ Poll 1462193 ]



LJ links up with Google ads

As you might have seen over on news, LJ have formed a partnership with Google, allowing users who pay for their journals to place Google ads on them and earn a bit of money (LJ itself probably makes money off people who sign up, they’re not taking a cut of the money for people viewing the ads).

I won’t be doing this, as the small amount of money I might make from ads isn’t worth the annoyance to my readers. As someone whose comment I can’t find said, it looks like LJ have done this to keep up with other services like WordPress, who offer ads as an option. SUP bought out LJ because LJ apparently is blogging in Russia, so perhaps this is part of a trend. I hope they might do more “serious blogging” stuff as opposed to social networking stuff: I’d like to see LJ on my own domain working properly, comment feeds (so I don’t have to do it myself with Python scripts and gaffer tape), Google Analytics, and a pony.

Of course, the best thing about news postings is the hordes of whining commenters and the responses mocking them for whining. Pages 6 and 7 are particular rich in put-downs and image macros. It’s interesting to see that the “bugger off to Dreamwidth” response is getting popular: DW has made a name for itself as the place where you flounce to because The Man is keeping you down, Man. Fandom folk are pretty self-aware, so they mock this stereotype themselves. All good fun.

LJ: not dead yet

LiveJournal/our Russian overlords have laid off 13 of 30 staff in the USA.

Valleywag has an “LJ is doomed” story with inaccurate numbers. It looks like no_lj_ads is collating links to other information.

synecdochic (who is involved in the Dreamwidth project, designed as an LJ replacement) reckons nothing dramatic will happen overnight, but engineering staff have apparently been cut, so we might expect maintenance and new features to be neglected. Edited to add: LJ themselves are saying they’re just moving their development team to Russia, which would make sense if your aim is to cut costs: Russians are presumably cheaper than Americans.

The preferred LJ backup tool for Windows is apparently ljarchive. Those of you who use operating systems can sort yourselves out.

LiveJournal advisory board election

As readers of news will know, LiveJournal is in the process of electing representatives from among its users, to sit on the LiveJournal advisory board, alongside various e-luminaries.

<lj-cut text=”Who I think you should vote for”>Originally, I was going to vote for jameth purely because it’d annoy a certain sort of person I find irksome on LiveJournal (“jameth, as hated by ginmar“: what higher endorsement could there be?). jameth is an LJ personality who’s known for, shall we say, a certain unique sense of humour. I didn’t regard him as a serious candidate, so he wasn’t my first choice.

As time has gone on, however, I’ve become impressed with the open discussion of his candidacy which jameth has allowed on his journal: his policy is that he will allow any comment which does not violate LJ’s Terms of Service (he’s screening anonymous comments to help with this). This contrasts favourably with some of the other front-running candidates, notably legomymalfoy, who has been less forthcoming, and who has been deleting/locking posts.

legomymalfoy is on the LJ Abuse Team and does not intend to resign this position if she is elected, which seems a bit like having the fox guarding the hen-house. The post of hers where she confirmed this is now locked (this thread contains two screen captures of the relevant posting). I don’t believe she is a serious candidate. This is a shame, as she’s currently in the lead.

I’ve seen allegations that large numbers of role-playing journals (where one person keeps lots of journals for each character they play) have been used as sock puppets to block vote. LJ can’t use the obvious defence against this as it does not want to prevent people sharing the same HTTP proxy from voting. I don’t know whether these allegations are true, but this is hilarious.

More seriously, some candidates have recently reported that LJ’s staff has received what they seem to regard as credible death threats against some front-running candidates. It’s possible this is a huge hoax, but it’s currently looking like it’s real. cambler (note: style contains photos of semi-naked ladies: NSFW) has withdrawn from the election as he doesn’t see it as worth risking his personal safety for. He made this post (link will force the style to one without semi-naked ladies, so should be SFW) giving details of what’s occurred. This thread is particularly relevant. randomposting has likewise withdrawn and endorsed jameth.

As these were my other two choices, I’m endorsing jameth, for his platform commitment to free speech, for the way he’s conducted himself as this business has unfolded, and because he’s the only person who can now beat legomymalfoy. Any suggestions for worthwhile second and third choices gratefully received 🙂

Regardless of whether you agree with me, if you’ve moaned about what 6Apart and SUP have done over the last few years, please read the candidates’ manifestos and vote, and encourage others to do the same. If you have already voted, note that it is possible to change your vote until the election closes, on 29th May.

LiveJournal strikes

DEEP THOUGHT:
If I might make an observation…

MAJIKTHISE:
We’ll go on strike!

VROOMFONDEL:
That’s right. You’ll have a national philosopher’s strike on your hands.

DEEP THOUGHT:
Who will that inconvenience?

MAJIKTHISE:
Never you mind who it’ll inconvenience you box of black legging binary bits! It’ll hurt, buster! It’ll hurt!

I, for one, welcome our new Russian overlords

I’d like to remind them that as a trusted radio personality, I can be helpful in rounding up fanficcers to toil in their underground salt mines.

Yes, the Russians bought LiveJournal. Either it’s a plot, which has been planned for over a year by the oligarchs, to destroy the free speech of the large number of Russian LJ users; or perhaps it’s just that Six Apart got fed up of all the complaints.

Theories abound: some people blame the sale plans for recent attempts to clean-up LJ, like the Strikethrough debacle and the recent introduction of the “denounce” button on everyone’s journal. (hairyears has a good posting on the latter, by the way, arguing that it’s an entirely sensible move on LJ’s part to prevent them from being sued by right-wing nutjobs).

Other good sources: Metafilter has some discussion, Encyclopedia Dramatica has some links to the stupidest responses so far, and vladmuthafucka records the thoughts of Putin himself.

I’ll stick around and see what happens, at least. ljdump runs every night here, just in case, but it’s far more likely that I’d use it to recover from some technical failure at LJ than to recover from a censored journal.