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Why are we holding the Content Strike?

Content Strike Friday March 21, from midnight to midnight GMT

We are holding the Content Strike because we want to demonstrate that LiveJournal is content-driven.

We are holding the Content Strike because we want the new owners of LiveJournal to better understand the power and resolve of the LJ Community of Users.

We are holding the Content Strike because all of us, Paid, Permanent and Plus users as well as Basic, want to demonstrate our solidarity as a Community of Users. We do not consider Basic users to be freeloaders, we consider them to be valuable content-providers and Friends.

We are holding the Content Strike because we ache to do something to show our displeasure, and commenting on the news post -- even with cat macros -- just isn't powerful enough!

I will be emailing and snail-mailing SUP that the strike has four terms:

  1. Restore basic accounts for new account creation.

  2. Inform users before any change to the site that affects how we use the site or demands on our resources.

  3. Run change proposals by the Advisory Board and take their advice into account before implementation of any change.

  4. Homophobia, misogyny, and racism must not be a part of the decision making processes about appropriate content of the site, including what user interests are deemed appropriate.

NOTE: I'm aware that there may be good business decisions for eliminating Basic accounts. If Basic accounts are to be eliminated, though, that action should be taken only after approval of the Advisory Board and consultation with the LJ Community of Users.

ETA: Credit and thanks due to lavendertook for the wording of the terms, with which I am in full agreement.


Mar. 17th, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC)
*winces* Okay...

I am positively livid about the censoring, especially censoring 'bisexuality.'

I'm annoyed that they didn't tell us about basic account removal. I'm ticked that they didn't talk to the advisory board first.

However, I can, on a very basic level, understand WHY they removed basic accounts. Their account sign-ups have significantly dropped since 2005. (From upwards of 14,000 per day down to about 7,000 per day.) Added with the fact that several people stopped paying for their accounts due to what 6A did before SUP bought LJ. Most of that is roll-over of bad business from 6A's actions, but the point is that they likely are making significantly less money.

Yes, we didn't like their decision on basic accounts, and it was a terrible way to go about it - but the basic account problem is, at the core, a customer service issue, and nothing more.

I AM in full support of of bringing back invitations - giving paid and permanent users to create basic accounts.

But I'm not sure I can take part in the strike that demands they bring back basic as it was before. And the fact that it's listed first kind of puts me off from it.

On the basis of the censorship issue (which is far more morally important to me - SUP is essentially telling us - or not telling us - that they're homophobic), I still want to send a statement to them.

I just can't do it with this strike because there are too many clauses attached to it. :(
Mar. 17th, 2008 08:12 pm (UTC)
This issue of interests has been resolved:

Mar. 17th, 2008 08:14 pm (UTC)
You beat me to it! (pout)
Mar. 17th, 2008 08:15 pm (UTC)
I'm a paying member, pay for the LJs of others, and buy things from the Gift Shop, because I'm proud to support a free, adfree, service.

I personally could live with no more Basic accounts, since SUP does need to make money to keep LJ going. I wouldn't like it. But I could have accepted it as a business decision... if it had been made with the approval of the Advisory Board, and with notice given to the Community of Users.

At this point LJ is bleeding users. They are taking their content away and going to other sites. They are leaving because they feel unwanted, insulted, and overlooked.

Without that user-supplied content, and without the social service of basic adfree accounts, LJ won't be worth supporting anymore.

I want to save LJ as we know it. At this point, I'm afraid the only way to do that is for the new owners to roll back this decision at this time.
Mar. 18th, 2008 09:39 pm (UTC)
I was actually sent to your posts from a friend...

i too am a bit confused but from what i can see, i'm not happy about changes they have been making.

it didn't realize that all of this was going on. i knew something had to be up when lj sent me a message stating they were going to automatically charge my credit card for renewal. umm no. i don't mind paying for my account but no where did i agree to have you automatically renew my shit.

and if i'm paying (and even if i'm not), i really don't want to see ads and pop-ups everywhere...if i wanted that, i would blog on *gag* myspace.

is there anything else to do other than not posting/commenting on the 21st?
Mar. 18th, 2008 10:40 pm (UTC)
If you can stand it, don't log in at all on the 21st.

Post about this in your own LJ, and ask your friends to spread the word.

(Feel free to friend me for updates, if you'd like, and don't hesitate to defriend once the Content Strike is over.)

You could send an emailed Feedback to LiveJournal. It appears that the lower-level staffers and volunteers who handle the feedback are basically against all the latest changes anyway -- so please be polite!

I hope you don't leave LJ, or stop paying for your account. I love LJ and I want it to succeed. Besides, you post good stuff! :)
Mar. 19th, 2008 03:01 pm (UTC)
Added with the fact that several people stopped paying for their accounts due to what 6A did before SUP bought LJ. Most of that is roll-over of bad business from 6A's actions, but the point is that they likely are making significantly less money.

So they made significantly less money because of very bad business decisions, and this justifies several NEW bad business decisions?

Not quite seeing your point, there.
Mar. 19th, 2008 03:45 pm (UTC)
6A's actions resulted in less revenue. SUP made a decision to attempt to bring revenue back in.

No more basic? It sucks. I know it does. But I can't say I really blame them. I can't really blame any of us for being pissed about it, either - but I understand why SUP made the decision.

From our point of view, it's bad because it doesn't benefit us in any way. From their point of view, they're making an effort to grow business. SUP is a business. Period. I miss the good old days when LJ was owned by someone not particularly interested in making a profit. But I've also accepted the fact that we're not ever going to go back to a not-for-profit website.

To put it bluntly, people seem to be pissed because we're not getting something for free.

Personally, I'm pissed because they ARE a business, and their first priority should be customer service.

I think a fine solution to the basic account problem is to bring back the invitation process: give paid and permanent accounts the ability to create basic accounts in a similar way to creating communities. I've sent this suggestion to the advisory board and SUP themselves.

I am not a fan of how they went about getting rid of basic accounts - trying to hide it, and then having their VP of Product Development essentially calling us all morons by saying it was to 'simplify' things.

I'm also not a fan of of Anton Nosik. You've probably seen this, but it more than ticks me off, and is my official 'strike three' with SUP - meaning my paid account will not be renewed.

But my personal point is this: if the strike did not have the demand of reinstating basic accounts, I would support it. If it was a general statement - pointing out that we are their customers and their content, they need to listen to us, communicate with us and their advisory board, and provide us with good customer service - I would support it.

Hope this makes sense. I actually support the people taking part in the strike - I'm all about standing up for your beliefs, and I'm not mad at any of you for doing it. More power to you! I just don't agree with the message being sent with the strike itself.
Mar. 19th, 2008 05:32 pm (UTC)
SUP must demonstrate, in a significant way, that they understand the symbiotic relationship between content providers (the users) and the hosting provider (LJ).

At this point, with this level of outrage, will anything less demonstrate this than restoring the ability to open Basic accounts?

Rolling back this bad decision and starting over again, in communication with the Advisory Board and the Community of Users, is the ideal response. It is the high-quality customer service response.

(Personally, I'm with you about the invite codes. But if they are reinstated, it should be only after consultation with the Advisory Board, and an advance explanation to the LJ Community of Users.)
Mar. 20th, 2008 05:25 pm (UTC)
A one day strike with demands is not a strike. If you are sending demands and you want SUP to respond to those demands, by striking one day and then going back you are giving them no reason to reply to your demands. If you want them to reply, you have to give them a reason to--by striking until the demands are met.

That's how a strike with demands work. What you are doing is not a strike, it is a one-day protest, like rallying out in front of the white house. They make a lot of noise, but nothing really happens because they are out there shouting at the wind.

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