Azure Jane Lunatic (azurelunatic) wrote,
Azure Jane Lunatic
azurelunatic

Position Paper: the current stuff

Core beliefs that I hold about the current wankosity:

I believe that there are bugs.
I do not believe that they are malicious bugs.

I believe that LJ wants more money. (Most companies
do.)
If it were a choice between more features or less features, LJ would prefer more features.
If there were enough money from subscriptions to support more features, LJ would have no ads.
If it were a choice between ads and no ads, LJ would prefer no ads.
I believe that LJ would rather get the excess in money from other companies by letting the companies have access to selected features of the userbase (adspace) than drumming up the difference NPR-style from end-users.
More features beats no ads.

I believe LJ is still watching out for the userbase vs. advertisers.
I believe that spamming rules will apply to advertisers too.
I believe (hope!!) there will be rules like that if an advertiser spams up the place, that they will no longer be advertising on LJ, and they will be banned. For at least a year, if not forever.
I believe that LJ would not let an advertiser dictate policy on the site at large. That is to say, the advertiser will be able to keep their individual community in any way they pleased, just as any maintainer is. However, outside of that community, their word is not and never will be law.
I believe that if potential advertisers were to crack down on content that is public on LJ, they would be doing so already. There are enough people who like fic and stuff that they'd not make that kind of tradeoff. Also, I don't see LJ doing The LJ Police and going looking for any suspicious content. Like with the Great Boobie Fiasco, the only userpics that got cracked down on were the ones that got *reported* or noticed. I could name right now one community that is not only probably not OK under the ToS, but in fact is blatantly *against* the TOS, if not even the law as well. It exists because the members of the community are working in concert to keep it under the radar of anyone who would be negatively interested in same. (However, it is well-enough publicized that if someone were looking to bust it, it would not exist.)
I do not believe that LJ would do business with a company that insisted "you will make your userbase as a whole conform to my standards". That would make for an actively hostile blogging environment.
I believe that the only sort of information that LJ would release about the userbase is aggregate data, never individual records. (I work in a damned survey research call center, so I know how aggregate data works.)

I respect the fact that LJ makes its internal processes so transparent to the end-users. I am comparing this against things like Yahoo and Google, not against how LJ was in the past when it was essentially just Brad.
I think that the business experts in the company do not like sharing so much information about the company when things are in the planning phases like Brad used to.
I think the LJ community in general is used to being treated like stockholders of a company, with that level of consideration and veto power.
I think the business management portion of the 6A community is not used to treating end-users as stockholders, not even end-users who pay. They're figuring people will vote with their money, and not used to the idea of letting the end-users vote down unpopular ideas. They may be used to giving the thoughts of the end-users some consideration, because they want it to be pleasant for the users, but they don't treat the users like equal partners and don't include the users in on planning. They present things as fait accompli and see what little tweaks can be made. Unfortunately, when Brad and LJ old hands present stuff, it's in a style that hearkens back to the old "users are shareholders" days, in an environment where we just aren't.

So far as I'm concerned, if LJ does switch over to a users-like-stockholders model, only paid and past paid users should be given a *vote*. Others should be listened to in the aggregate, but follow the money.
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