May 21st, 2008


Why I should be your LiveJournal Advisory Board representative

I'm one of a bunch of folks running for the LiveJournal Advisory Board. I think I'd be a good user representative to LJ because I understand that, first and foremost, this is a community of folks who put their hearts and souls into their journals and the communities that form around them.

The folks who got appointed to the board have suggested that the candidates answer the following questions:

1) What do you think is the value of LJ?

This is going to sound corny as hell, but I'll say it anyway: LJ brings people together. It lets them share their thoughts, and lets others comment and discuss and bond. There are folks I've gotten to know a lot better through LJ. I hope folks have gotten to know me better the same way. Communities with common interests can share those interests. Individual people can find others with the same interests. We come to understand each other a little better.

2) What changes would you like to see LJ make in the next year?

The biggest change I think needs to happen is that LJ needs to put its users first. This was sadly lacking all through the Six Apart era; I watched people leave because they got tired of Six Apart treating them with contempt. The emphasis has been on advertisers and on avoiding being the center of attention from pressure groups. LJ management needs to understand that if the users all get unhappy and leave, the advertisers will too. The pressure group problem, on the other hand, goes with the territory, and the only appropriate response is to deal with the real problems and ignore the groups otherwise.

3) Why do you want to be the elected representative?

I want to make LJ a place where the users feel that they're the focus. I'm tired of watching my friends give up and depart for other similar sites; this defeats both the inter-journal linking and the larger sense of community. I've been around communities of people for my entire adult life, and understand how they work. I think I can help LJ understand how boneheaded moves like the strikethrough will affect the LJ user community. I'm also experienced enough, and mature enough, to explain things and persuade corporate managers that they should do things the right way.

I've got experience in being a member of, and an advocate for, and even a manager of different communities of different sizes. I understand how they work. I know what people want from them. I know how to make them better, and what makes them dry up and blow away.

4) What do you think are the community's greatest concerns?

The biggest concern that I see is that the community thinks LJ sees them as just hits on a web page and free content providers, not as an active partner in making LJ a great resource for users and owners alike. This has GOT to change. If left unchecked, it's toxic.

The poll opens tomorrow. I'd like your vote.
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