October 3rd, 2006

running, bomb tech

Little things that win, and little things that lose.

Little unexpected honesties get surprised out of me. Who would have thought that a defensive and closed-off man would teach me that I was being a prejudiced prick, and instruct me by example in opening my mind and my heart?

The moment when someone realizes that they've got to do what they're about to do because they've already done it makes all the hairs on my body stand on end. I'm re-reading Draco Sinister, and it doesn't make me cry like the similar scene in the Pern books, but hair very much on end.

It always surprises me when people who are known for being stroppy trolls are unusually tactful. I still have the urge to tell them that if they're leaving so much, they should go ahead and, you know, leave. Sometimes it feels like they took any helpful-answering-questions skillz they might have had and turned them to the service of stirring up malcontent.

Today had a number of different elements. I eventually did get to work (I practice the work-limited-hours-on-my-days-off thing for great justice on days when I feel like it) and uploaded some things and got other things ready to upload. Then I went and gave plasma, after which I went and played at Bookmans. They wanted three of the used books I had. Glee! They have a cool trade-in system: you can trade in your stuff for "A Trade" credits, "B Trade" credits, or cash. Cash you get the least dollar amount for. "A Trade" you get more, and you can trade in your credit for things like videos. "B Trade" you get the most, and that's good on books and a number of other things. I, being a bibliophile, chose option B. Their standard trade-in option for B Trade is half the dollar amount they plan to sell the book for. (Gullivers only does a quarter.)

I found myself a fun-looking book while I was waiting for the trade. The trade amount was $3 -- not at all bad for three books! The book I was considering was $3.50. I got to the cash registers in time to overhear a rousing conversation about how one is supposed to find one's true calling in life. The register dude looked at my credit slip and looked at the book price and told me to not worry about the $0.50 -- he had it.

And then the register said something very funny as he went to finalize the transaction. I did not know this, but evidently Bookmans has a bit of a shopping lottery. I don't know whether it's random or whether it's every X number of purchases, but every now and then someone gets their entire transaction completely free. It would have been more of an "OMFG JACKPOT!!" moment if it had been more than the one book, but as it was, it was enough to get me giddily excited and want to switch all my first-resort book shopping to there, in case it happens to me again. (This is how a gambling addiction gets started, except at least this is books.)

I went to Sprouts after that, got a little more random fruit and some sunflower seeds, then spent a happy 40 minutes in the parking lot reading the latest trashy novel in the "I read, then I dump" queue. It's a spy novel, The Talbot Odyessy. I realize after poking through all the intrigue that I just do not have a head for being a proper secret, double, and triple agent. I have neither the paranoia, the memory, nor the acting ability.

I demonstrated my "I just want to kill people" face last night for trystan_laryssa, and she was able to spot it as a ringer right away. To someone who doesn't know me or my face, it might pass. My face is almost perfectly blank, with what she reported as a little bit of tension around the mouth. But to someone who is familiar with what I look like, it won't do at all. My face is too animated otherwise, and that is far too still. It can't pass for exhaustion, either, because there's still that palpable tension to it.

...and omg, why is my disk access light on so much right now? I'm going to reboot sometime this week as per the usual, and I am hoping like a whole lot of things that this does not indicate another dead hard drive. Because that would be so lousy. It is probably just that I have been using the Comment Unfolder and Acrobat a whole lot with large amounts of stuff lately, and I don't trust either of those to be non-memory-hog. Is there anything that will cause firefox to lose focus at random? Because I have been getting that all day long.
LJHS computer

More LJ meta-commentary, with 6A vs. LJ examined. Now with more "LJ as b0rked poly" metaphor!

The sponsored community icon is , versus the usual . Further discussion here.

My ethos:
I have a whole lot of random floating around in my head about a rather lot of this. It's building off my previous post of users as stockholders, and why LJ gets these kinds of wanktastic feedback/complaint-fests when similar and larger sites do not. My viewpoint on this comes from somewhere in between userbase-at-large and heavily involved with LJ. Collapse )

6A vs. LJ
6A core and LJ core have really merged and they're no longer seeing a difference in "us" and "them". Collapse )

The best way for the userbase to alienate LJ staff:
And I know I'm preaching to the choir, but incessantly yelling and screaming at LJ staff who are trying to do cool stuff is going to make them hostile and not want to listen. Dear Userbase-at-large, you stand the very real risk of alienating LJ staff and having them start wanting all *you* to go away. There are enough problems with disenchantment-with-the-userbase with the people who have to deal with annoyed and angry users a lot. It's that whole tech support thing. If you feel you must go away from LJ, by all means, go.

If you mostly remove your blogging to another site, but stay around and knowingly beat a dead horse to death in the comments of all official posts with public dissatisfaction that you can find, you are being a troll. The admins may not be responding to you, but you would have to work very hard if you wanted to find a way to discredit the position you are supporting even more than you already have. If you have posted a valid concern, gotten a response from a staffer that your concern will be addressed, and then post the same concern again without giving them a chance to address your concern, you are being an asshat. Admins are currently deleting comments from people who are being asshats like that. It would not surprise me if people who are doing this (re-posting concerns that have already been responded to with a "your concern will be addressed: please wait") are also the people who are complaining that LJ staff needs to really start thinking before they speak. That's just internally inconsistent enough to be really fucking obnoxious.

LJ cheated on us, that bastard!
Also preaching to the choir: LJ has a lot of good faith to consistently demonstrate before the trust of the userbase is built back. LJ has got to do that, and LJ has got to succeed in doing that, and it will take a long time for the userbase to build up faith that LJ is going to address concerns and fix things and communicate so that problems like this don't happen again.

Put in poly-type terms: LJ said they were going to be in a relationship with us, the userbase, and the advertisers were only going to be secondaries, and the paid users were going to be primaries. And they'd volunteered to not get all affectionate with the secondaries where the primaries could see them, unless of course the primaries deliberately barged in on them. Of course, this followed close on the heels of LJ saying that they were going to get married with 6A but still be primaries with the userbase, and the userbase didn't know 6A and didn't really get a chance to process it before it had already happened.

The "poll # 6666666" post that I linked essentially said "We're going to make wild monkey love to our secondaries right in the middle of the living room floor, whether or not our primaries happen to be watching Lost right then! It was our spouse's idea, and won't that be awesome? Making love rocks so hard!" Rather understandably, the primaries stood up in revolt, and wanted a total veto of the secondaries right then and there. Since the idea of LJ getting secondaries was proposed by the spouse in the first place, the primaries were kind of all "Um... shouldn't you have discussed this with *us* first?"

Of course, the primaries were not actually given veto power over the secondaries to begin with, and while LJ was not *actually* standing there going "La la I'm not listening" with its fingers in its ears while the primaries were screaming, it did come off a bit that way. (However, "la la I'm not listening" is perhaps a more mature choice of communication than the Rant McRantypants response that instinct says some of LJ-staff was dying to implement.) Clearly, the "communication, communication, communication" rule is not being followed...

So what can be done to fix some of this brokenness?

  • 6A people need to have a more visible presence on key parts of LJ, parts with user exposure.

  • LJ people who have the trust of the userbase need to have visibly good interactions with people who are known to be 6A. In public. Which could mean having guest bloggers from 6A core put comments in news posts and announce things that are unlikely to be controversial, and are highly likely to be cool. It could mean having 6A people and LJ people having silly threads on the first page of news posts, after having identified those people as 6A people in the post above. Yes, people will know that the silly thread is probably very carefully orchestrated behind the scenes, but the point is, we don't know these people, and we need to.

  • At least a vague org chart, complete with public usernames, to acquaint the userbase with who does what. (I asked for this in the latest round of lj_feedback questions and answers, though I expect that to take a bit of a while, since Stuff Has Cropped Up, and LJ staff will be busy putting out fires and repairing trust, rather than answering less-relevant questions just yet.)

  • Past issues from the time of 6A up until current actively addressed. The big two I can think of right off the bat are the navbar and the boobies.
  • Collapse )

Random Misconceptions I am seeing:

  • Comment-spam is related to the sponsored communities. No. It is not. I love y'all to death, but no. Not LJ, and not endorsed. Collapse )
running, bomb tech

More LJ, plus random links.

http://community.livejournal.com/lj_biz/237845.html -- burr86: we're listening.
http://community.livejournal.com/lj_biz/238767.html -- bradfitz: hiding sponsored communities from them as who doesn't want to see them
http://community.livejournal.com/lj_biz/238563.html -- burr86: how a sponsored community is different -- essentially, more rules and accountability to LJ. I can run note_to_cat any way I damn well please. Corporate sponsors cannot run their communities any way they please.
http://community.livejournal.com/lj_biz/238303.html -- the icon

Via a random Bujoldian: Wedding cake model of Discworld. Both hcolleen and I would hate to have to be the one to cut that.

Last transmission from the Death Star stormtroopers' private blog. Put down the drinks first.
queer as a three dollar bill

Gay rights, the remix

Yes, it's going around. Yes, I support all humans having basic human rights, and I think that marriage, or at least entering into a legally binding marriage-type contract with other consenting adults, is one of those things. The thing that concerns me in the whole gay marriage morass is the language that's being quietly put into law in the US states that are taking it up to question -- that not only is same-sex marriage not allowed, but legal horsing around to make a contractual equivalent to marriage for same-sex partners is not allowed. That's immensely worrisome.

I'm not going to paste the text blindly, because that's not how I am. elorie, being also not like that, commented: 'I imagine [a world] in which the most important question about a couple who wish to get married is "are they ready for this?", not "is there one of each?" ' I have to agree with that. I also have to agree with amberite: "If you truly believe in gay rights, then say something when our rights are infringed upon. ... If you don't believe in human rights for queer people, and you really, truly want to show it, then just drop all the queer people from your friends list. (That includes me, by the way, and probably a big bunch of others.) "
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    my brain singing "a three dollar bill" instead of "a three hour tour"
running, bomb tech

Happy Virus Appreciation Day!

October Third is Virus Appreciation Day. Take a moment to appreciate your favorite virus on this holiday.

I'm partial to the cupholder virus, myself.
phone, cordless phone

(no subject)

Teaching other people to use my spreadsheets is always entertaining. Homie G is running my job tonight.
multiple user

"Shut UP, Shanna!"

I think Shanna is back. If not by personality, then by secondary function. Reason being: I was looking for a name for a report that I pull involving interviewer stats for a specified job by month. I wanted it to spell something. I then had to firmly veto "Job Interviewer Stats Monthly."

However, "Job Interviewer Monthly Stats" is acceptable.
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