Oct 1, 2006

More on The LiveJournal Changes

Anil Dash, Vice President of Six Apart, Ltd. took the time to write a really smart comment pointing out a couple of key things with regard to my LiveJournal Sells Out blog entry. Firstly and most importantly, paid LJ users will not see ads even though I suggested they will. Brad made that update after I closed my laptop and went hiking in Muir Woods with Livy (which was fun!).

Secondly, Anil thinks I was a little too mean in my overview of the situation especially by pointing out remarks made by the representative I referred to as rahaeli to the point where it seemed like I don't like LiveJournal or the folks who work there--especially since I have been and will again be on the receiving end of posts just like this at some point. Anil is chivalrous and of course he's right about the difficulty of communicating these kind of top-down decisions to millions of passionate users.

When I decide to publish a real post about something big my thinking is that it should be bold and pick a side of the fence. People don't need to read that something wasn't done well but was also sort of done pretty well too if you look at it sideways. How the hell was is done? What are you trying to tell me? Anil says I missed a chance to educate but he's wrong: I just nailed it Colbert style.
Communicating big decisions to people who use your software in a way that transcends computing and becomes a basic function like eating, sleeping, or talking is difficult so pay attention and learn from mistakes.
When you have developed software as integral to people's lives as LiveJournal has become you need to approach change like a naturalist dealing with an ecosystem, not like George Bush, "The Decider." That's why I mentioned the amazing work that Dogster is doing with regard to constant community communication. My post was academic, not intentionally antagonistic and will serve as a reminder to myself. Nevertheless, I'm glad Anil was fired up enough to comment. Blogging is awesome.

1 comment:

Jim Bursch said...

Advertising is headed for a reckoning:

My Mindshare 10-Point Declaration

1. My mindshare is mine.

2. My mindshare has real monetary value.

3. I have a right sell, trade, or keep my mindshare as I choose.

4. Nobody is entitled to take my mindshare without my permission.

5. Unsolicited and intrusive advertising amounts to mindshare theft.

6. Mindshare theft is wrong.

7. I have a right to resist mindshare theft.

8. I demand media that does not deal in stolen mindshare.

9. I support media that respects my mindshare.

10. The world is better when individuals control their mindshare and their media.