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During LiveJournal outages, the first thing to check is http://status.livejournal.org . That will have the latest official word on what's going on with everything, and, most importantly, is hosted independant of LJ so that even if LJ goes down, the status page will not. (Additionally, when the site is behaving itself, one can add status and lj_maintenance to one's friends page, and follow any announcements there.)

When status has no useful information, the Support IRC channel generally has wide-awake admin-types who know what to do and who to poke in case of serious problems. The IRC channel in question can be found by Googling a few key terms, and the topic of the channel will reflect the current known status of LJ.
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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