let's get the seven lines. (bookshop) wrote,
let's get the seven lines.

LJ: The Demise of a Social Media Platform

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.)
Tags: 2012, adventures in journalism, lj, lj to aja: burn.

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