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.”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.
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.
- The demise of a social media platform: Tracking LiveJournal's decline
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.)