let's get the seven lines.
Hi! I'm Aja; I write for The Daily Dot about my corner of the web, namely, fandom and fandom culture. If you'd like to contact me about a media or press event, please email aja at thedailydot.com. Thank you!

Other places you can find me:
The DotDreamwidthpinboardtumblr@mmmarthur@ajaromanoThe Mary SueFanbatte!

This journal's been through lots of changes over the years, but I hope you guys will always feel welcome here! Feel free to say hi, friend/defriend, just lurk, or drop by to hang out at any time! :)
let's get the seven lines.

Exclusive: LiveJournal all but abandons U.S. presence 
Staff Writer

 LiveJournal U.S. has quietly downsized over the past few months, leaving the Internet’s oldest blogging platform almost entirely under Russian management.

When the Daily Dot visited LiveJournal’s San Francisco headquarters in February 2012, the company had about 10 U.S. employees.

Since then, five employees—including U.S. General Manager Anjelika Petrochenko—have left the company. LiveJournal has not announced Petrochenko’s departure in any statement or release, but Petrochenko confirmed her own departure to the Daily Dot.

Ekaterina Pahomchik, a LiveJournal spokesperson based in Moscow, told the Daily Dot Petrochenko and the other departed employees will not be replaced.

“All of LiveJournal’s business operations nowadays are handled out of the SUP Media offices in Moscow centrally,” she said.

“Our representatives from Russia will be responsible for all product, marketing, business development etc. projects for the U.S. segment.”

SUP Media is LiveJournal’s Russian parent company, whichbought the blogging platform from Six Apart in 2007. SUP is the third company to take ownership of LiveJournal, after Six Apart and Danga Interactive, the company LiveJournal inventor Brad Fitzpatrick managed.

However, Pahomchik said that U.S. LiveJournal users should not notice a difference. The Russian office will continue the projects, like LJ Media, the U.S. office worked on.

“LiveJournal and SUP Media are keen on continuing the LJ Media initiative to keep up with the results which have been achieved so far, and this is the new strategy of LiveJournal global development,” she said.

Aside from day to day maintenance, the U.S. office was also responsible for LJ Media, a redesign and promotion initiative for LiveJournal’s most popular communities like Oh No They Didn’t!,VaginaPagina, and CraftGrrl.

Brenden Delzer, the moderator of Oh No They Didn’t! and a LiveJournal employee who continues to work in the San Francisco office, told the Daily Dot that LJ Media moderators have already been informed about the change in overhead.

“Leadership of the LJ Media program has been transferred to our main office in Russia & every LJ Media community leader received an email from Anjelika with these details,” he said.

Though the staff website lists employees like Anjelika Petrochenko as current staff members, Delzer confirmed that they were no longer with the company.

The Daily Dot has confirmed that LiveJournal employees Tom Byron, Jen Kim, Sasha Rojas, and Michael Rutledge have also left this year. Though SUP Media does not plan to replace them, it has not announced their departures either, leaving us to wonder who else listed on the website has already left.

Aja Romano contributed to this report.

The Daily Dot

let's get the seven lines.
Hi, LJ / DW!

I am so very remiss in letting you guys know where I've been and what I've been writing, but I do have a couple of quick updates for you:

  • AfterElton has asked me to be one of their 5 new "slash experts" for their brand-new column on slash fandom, The Shipping News! I'm so excited, omg! And I have to thank the Daily Dot for letting me be a part of this. Our first column is up right this way, and if you're in the mood for a discussion about RPF, there's a heated one going on in comments, so grab popcorn and dive in! :D

  • This is not a journalism update but omg Fandomspotting!! We've done 3 eps so far and it's so much fun! Last week we spotlighted YULETIDE and it was awesome. This week we're hosting our first fandom-specific ep, and it's all about DOCTOR WHO! So join us for this weekend's livecast if you can, or check out the podcast if you can't! :)

  • I keep being asked to provide links to my fandom coverage at the Dot, and I've been failing, but so far you can read everything I've posted either at my Daily Dot byline or over at my Tumblr tag!

  • I've received a lot of feedback saying that I misrepresented podfic fandom in my recent article on podfic for the Daily Dot. Ordinarily I prefer to let my journalism speak for itself, or make a correction when I make a mistake--but in this case things aren't that simple. I don't want anyone's trust in me as a journalist to suffer because of this, so if I may, I want to say a few things--primarily that I did not take my interpretation of what happened from FFA. I am a professional journalist with 11 years of experience. I do not take the word of an anon meme as a source.

    My research and word choice + editorial weigh-in, for anyone who caresCollapse )

    You guys are always welcome to call me out on anything you're unhappy with, at any time. The comments to my articles are always open, and we recently updated our commenting system so now (thank god) you don't have to log in through Facebook!
    let's get the seven lines.
    13 September 2012 @ 12:06 pm
    so I did an interview with the moderator of Fail Fandom Anon!

    It's a good interview. sunnycamehome2u was very cooperative and articulate, and it's worth a read even if you think anon memes are the scourge of fandom. :)
    let's get the seven lines.


    So, in case you missed it:

    Part 1: The Demise of a Social Media Platform: Timeline of LiveJournal’s Decline;

    Part 2: Keeping Track of a Fandom Diaspora; aaaaaaaand

    Part 3: why we hate tumblr so much but keep using it anyway:

    The pros and cons of fandom on Tumblr

    For months, arguments about Tumblr have been circulating fandom like a looping GIF. Fandom is using Tumblr more than ever, but many fans hate what Tumblr is doing to fandom.

    The argument boils down to two issues: communication and kinds of fanworks. Tumblr is an image-friendly site whose design doesn’t lend itself to text-based blogging and interaction. The emergence of a fan culture that accordingly pays less attention to textual engagement and one-on-one communication has many fans worried.

    To help make sense of the debate, here’s a handy pros and cons list the Daily Dot compiled from fans and Tumblr users.

    Read more at the Daily Dot, where we will continue to format all our posts in Semagic no matter how the posting interfaces of the internet get *cough* tumblr *cough* *fist of defiance*

    let's get the seven lines.
    06 September 2012 @ 09:13 am
    Hi, LJ/DW!

    At long last our exploration of Livejournal's post-Brad timeline has been published. It spans 5 years and includes interviews with Livejournal's US General Manager, Anjelika Petrochenko, and the head of Russian LJ, Ilya Dronov.

    I encourage you, even if you've already severed ties with LJ, as I know many of you have, to check out the timeline in the article, if nothing else, because a) it's cool and timeline-y, and b) it's exhaustively researched and puts a lot of things together in a way that I think is really interesting and compelling. No matter which side of fandom you're currently in, we've all been affected by some of the things explored in this article.

    In a 2010 New York Review of Books essay on the Facebook generation, Zadie Smith wrote, “At my screening [of The Social Network], when a character in the film mentioned the early blog platform LiveJournal (still popular in Russia), the audience laughed.” She went on to dub the site “comically obsolete.”

    Once universally praised for founder Brad Fitzpatrick’s open-source platform and commitment to a free userbase—he once vowed that LiveJournal would always have basic (non-paying or ad-supported) accounts—LiveJournal is known these days mostly for being popular in Russia (the Russian name for blogging is “LJ.”) and Singapore, and for housing gossip blog Oh No They Didn’t.

    What happened?

    - The demise of a social media platform: Tracking LiveJournal's decline
    The Daily Dot has a great relationship with Livejournal, and I want to be emphatically clear that the LJ staff were all extremely helpful and generous with their time and info when I told them I was writing this article. They are very kind and I enjoyed talking to them, and I do believe they want good things for LJ.

    But I also felt that it was very important to document the other side of that story--the perspective of the userbase, which I think most people I know feel has dwindled over the last 5 years. I encourage you to think critically and be objective, but most of all just to read the article, because it documents issues that have impacted a lot of people.

    It's obviously impossible to achieve total objectivity regarding a subject that I am incredibly close to, as I undeniably am in this instance; but I think the DD staff pulled me in the right direction and the L J staff was fantastic, and I think this is a well-balanced article that gives you a sense of where LJ has come, and what's in store for all of us as users.

    tl;dr please read! thank you! :D

    (In b4 every shirt-burning joke ever.)