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lj_biz: Our next big challenge...

Insomnia (insomnia) wrote in lj_biz,
@ 2001-01-12 02:46:00
Our next big challenge...
Note - Here's the post, for what it's worth... read it, indicate your desire to volunteer by posting your skills in the Talent Pool, but please don't reply anymore. My mailbox overfloweth! Thanks for all the great feedback!

- M.


So, how are all of you doing out there? Rested and relaxed after the holidays? Ready to get down to business?

I'd like to say we could relax for a bit, but we can't afford to. Sure, we have the fast servers and a fast network connection, but I checked out some sites and read some articles today that really concerned me.

It started when I went to the Blogger website. Blogger is a commercially funded pre-IPO dotcom. They are getting all sorts of press from major media sources lately... why? Well, they solicited about $11,000 from their users for new servers... Big fat hairy deal. We have half as many users as Blogger, and we've received nearly $20,000 in donations since we first requested help. Does that mean that LiveJournal users care four times more about our site than Blogger users care about theirs? I hope so...

Somehow, this was supposed to be a sign of success for them, because a lot of big names reported on it.

In the last few months, they have gotten press from:
-The New York Times
-U.S. News & World Report
-Access Magazine
-O'Reilly Network

All this media has really increased their site's growth rate... some are calling Blogger "The next Napster". Regardless, the powers-that-be view Blogger as the biggest and best web logger out there. Well, they may be the biggest, but they certainly aren't the best. They will probably become the pre-eminent name in weblogging however, unless things change quick.

This should concern you. Why? Well, if they keep getting all the attention, they will be the website that everyone thinks of when it comes to online journaling. They will get all the support, all the attention, and all of the money. They might very well be purchased by a big dotcom for millions of dollars, at which point, we're in serious trouble. Sure, we can exist as we do right now with slow growth and no real recognition, but if we do that, we will be outdone by a bunch of dotcom professionals who will use their growth and their money to expand, develop, and make us either irrelevant or obsolete... they may even try to sue us out of business. (It wouldn't be hard...) Being the biggest doesn't make you the best, but that's a moot point if you're the last man standing.

When I first volunteered for this job, I had one real goal... to make this place successful, which I defined as self-sufficient and able to support Brad so he could dedicate all his time and energy for LiveJournal. He offered to pay me a salary. I turned him down. While I don't think any of us are in this for the money, we have an obligation to LiveJournal users to be the best journal site we can be... that means being around for the long haul. How would any of you feel if Brad told you one day that we had to shut down the site because we were being sued for some kind of intellectual patent violation lawsuit... or, even worse, if the site just kind of rotted on the vine due to being obsolete? Brad would be crushed, I'm sure, and I would feel like I failed all of you and failed to protect what we have here.

I'm telling you now that this could happen someday. I need your help to make sure that it never does. We must not just survive... we must thrive.

We also have an obligation to society. We've created a site that is now volunteer run and member supported. That's pretty unique for the Internet. We are the alternative to all those dotcoms out there. Theoretically, we should be more stable than them because you are what supports us, not a bunch of fickle investors. We can be a model to other web sites... an example that the web can be human and doesn't have to be turned into one big advertisement. But in order to be an example to others, we must succeed.

I don't mind competing against Blogger on an even basis. I look forward to LiveJournal being the Linux to their Windows... the non-commercial alternative. Unlike Windows, however, I'm unwilling to let Blogger get over 90% of the marketplace. Still, they have money stashed away to pay salaried employees for quite awhile, and they have a budget to afford professional marketing expertise. Even if they fail as a business, they would probably be bought out by a bigger company with money to burn. How are we going to compete against that?

We'll do it with your help. You and the rest of LiveJournal.

It's all about LiveJournal, ultimately. We're a part of it, but it is bigger than the sum of its parts. We are the ones who support LiveJournal, so it is entirely appropriate that we offer our time and energy to make LiveJournal succeed... not merely as a financial institution, but ultimately as a rock-solid, stable web site that isn't going anywhere and that makes all of our lives better.

How are we going to achieve these goals? Right now, we need to concentrate on two essential priorities:
1> Finding new volunteers.
2> Finding new users.

Notice that money really doesn't have anything to do about this. We are over the hump, and the donations we get should take care of our expenses for the time being. Our new goals are all about spreading the word. I need all of you to become LiveJournal evangelists... to recruit people you know to help out lj_biz, to let people know about LiveJournal, to get the word out to the media and Internet magazines, to let other web sites and relevant forums across the web know about our communities, to get your friends to join LiveJournal, to come up with ideas that will increase the number of users, to start distributing the LiveJournal client software through sites like download.com and Tucows, to get us listed on every major search engine worldwide, to make it easier for new users to use the site... and above all, to take the initiative and step up to do what must be done if we are to grow this website.

I have discussed the matter with Brad; he is 100% behind it and is feverishly creating with these goals in mind. (Like the new LiveJournal look, btw? It was one of the priorities, since it makes it easier for new users to use the web site. ) Ordinarily, as many of you know, I like to delegate... in this case, however, I'm going to be personally involved in managing a team to achieve these goals.

Here is the big goal. I want a total of 85,000 users by the end of March, effectively doubling our size.This will still leave us behind Blogger, but it is a start and is what we will need to do in order to stay competitive and provide a real alternative to future journalers.

This is a tall order, but it is possible. It means a lot of work, however. I need volunteers who can help me with any of the ideas mentioned above, and who have ideas of their own on how to attract more people to the LiveJournal website. I am especially interested in finding new volunteers to help out with this project. There are tons of openings available for people of all skill levels... I am even willing to help out new people with their future careers. Would you like a letter of recommendation sent to you on LiveJournal letterhead for interning with us? You've got it... want to put LiveJournal on your resume and use me as a personal reference? Sure... but you have to help out! Hit "comment on this" right now to show your interest in volunteering. I will do whatever it takes to earn your loyalty and your dedication. Also, take the time to visit the Talent Pool and add your skills to the list.

As for all of you experienced LJ volunteers, what I need from you more than anything is your evangelism. I know you are probably busy, but take the time to find me more volunteers, just like I found several of you. I want to see 20 replies to this post from new volunteers, and a slew of ideas on how we are going to grow this site... I can't do it by myself. I need your help. If you don't see those replies under this post, take a look at the priorities again and think about what you can do to make sure we get those volunteers. No matter what you do with LiveJournal, that should be your first priority, period. If you have any spare time for LJ after we have our volunteers, by all means, drop me a line...

Once again, my thanks, especially to those of you who give so much of their time and energy. I ask a lot of you... more than I have any right to ask, and I'm very proud of you and glad to call you my friends. You are the guardians of this site. You nourish it, protect it, and keep it healthy. A rose, always in bloom, and always a thing of beauty.

(368 comments) - (Post a new comment)

2001-01-12 03:13 am UTC (link)
Good speech, Mark.
You've got me both pumped up and afraid.

I'd like to ask that everybody link to this journal entry from their own journals.

We need everybody to see this and be aware of what's happening.

(Reply) (Thread) (Expand)

Re: Nice!
2001-01-12 03:43 am UTC (link)
Link in journal? Done. Talk amongst mine? Will. Speech Good? Yeah.

Fear? 85,000 USers!! Faugh!! I could hit random and hit a page often enough to find somebody interesting and keep a track of their life over a period of weeks or months.. With that many people.. and even MORE wanted.. you have to "narrow" your parameters. You have to know whom you want to be associated with.. Will we miss the gems and the something which sparkles within those we honor with our time by clinging to their thoughts, ideas?? :/

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)

Re: Nice! - insomnia, 2001-01-12 04:02 am UTC (Expand)
Re: Nice! - aristophren, 2001-01-12 06:28 am UTC (Expand)
Re: Nice! - sweet_evil, 2001-01-12 06:55 am UTC (Expand)
Re: Nice! - kristylicious, 2001-01-12 09:28 am UTC (Expand)
Re: Nice! - (Anonymous), 2001-01-12 10:00 am UTC (Expand)
Re: Nice! - sjcarpediem, 2001-01-12 12:42 pm UTC (Expand)
Re: Nice! - (Anonymous), 2001-01-12 01:42 pm UTC (Expand)
Re: Nice! - sjcarpediem, 2001-01-13 01:34 am UTC (Expand)
Re: Nice! - (Anonymous), 2001-01-13 09:44 am UTC (Expand)
Re: Nice! - marcyw1, 2001-01-12 09:58 am UTC (Expand)
Re: Nice! - petfish, 2001-01-12 10:17 am UTC (Expand)
Re: Nice! - jaggedpill, 2001-01-12 10:48 am UTC (Expand)
Grassroots community organizing!! - (Anonymous), 2001-01-12 11:03 am UTC (Expand)
Re: Grassroots community organizing!! - (Anonymous), 2001-01-12 10:38 pm UTC (Expand)
Re: Nice! - teddibear, 2001-01-16 05:05 am UTC (Expand)
I'm not paranoid...am I? - thegreyghost, 2001-01-12 09:27 am UTC (Expand)
Re: I'm not paranoid...am I? - bradfitz, 2001-01-12 09:29 am UTC (Expand)
Re: Nice! - justgoto, 2001-01-14 02:53 am UTC (Expand)

2001-01-12 03:41 am UTC (link)
*raises her hand*

I'll help in any way I can..

(Reply) (Thread)

re: I'll help
2001-01-13 03:27 am UTC (link)
Very good of you to offer!

If you are interested in helping, please go to lj_biz and select the link for the Talent Pool. Add a bit of information there on what you are capable of doing or what you are interested in. There are all sorts of things that can be done for both experienced and inexperienced people, so don't sweat it too much if you don't have a list of professional skills a mile long. Have to start somewhere, after all...


(Reply) (Parent)

(Deleted post)
Re: 'Allo Again --
2001-01-12 04:14 am UTC (link)
Like I mentioned.
I want volunteers to:
-recruit people you know to help out lj_biz
-let people know about LiveJournal
-get the word out to media and Internet magazines
-create press releases
-let other web sites and relevant forums across the web know about our communities
-get your friends to join LiveJournal
-come up with ideas that will increase the number of users
-distributing the LiveJournal client software through sites like download.com and Tucows
-get us listed on every major search engine worldwide
-make it easier for new users to use the site

Now the question is how do you do this. Well, I could provide you with a press release that you could e-mail to newspapers, magazines, and news/ technical websites...

Or you could take a look at the communities we have on LiveJournal and do a search on the web for other similar communities, then let them know we are out here.

You can identify those sites on the internet that distribute downloaded software, and make sure they have all of our client software to download.

All sorts of things, really. If you have any particular interests in helping out with a specific task, just ask.

And no, we aren't listed in all the search engines. I just got us listed in Yahoo! very recently.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)

fliers??? - twelvethirteen, 2001-01-12 05:23 am UTC (Expand)
Re: fliers??? - twelvethirteen, 2001-01-12 05:25 am UTC (Expand)
Re: fliers??? - firelegend, 2001-01-12 08:17 am UTC (Expand)
Re: fliers??? - twelvethirteen, 2001-01-12 10:34 am UTC (Expand)
Re: fliers??? - firelegend, 2001-01-12 10:50 am UTC (Expand)
Re: fliers??? - twelvethirteen, 2001-01-12 10:51 am UTC (Expand)
Re: fliers??? - firelegend, 2001-01-12 10:55 am UTC (Expand)
Re: 'Allo Again -- - womanonfire, 2001-01-12 07:10 am UTC (Expand)
Re: 'Allo Again -- - insomnia, 2001-01-12 10:53 am UTC (Expand)
Re: 'Allo Again -- - (Anonymous), 2001-01-12 01:17 pm UTC (Expand)
Re: 'Allo Again -- - odissa, 2001-01-12 02:59 pm UTC (Expand)
Re: 'Allo Again -- - (Anonymous), 2001-01-12 11:35 pm UTC (Expand)
searchability - bitteroptimist, 2001-01-12 08:17 am UTC (Expand)
Re: searchability - insomnia, 2001-01-12 08:39 am UTC (Expand)
no problem - bitteroptimist, 2001-01-12 08:42 am UTC (Expand)
Re: searchability - whitaker, 2001-01-12 02:04 pm UTC (Expand)
Re: searchability - itchi, 2001-01-14 02:12 am UTC (Expand)
Re: 'Allo Again -- - davedowns, 2001-01-12 09:48 am UTC (Expand)
Re: 'Allo Again -- - odissa, 2001-01-12 02:53 pm UTC (Expand)
Re: 'Allo Again -- - ayun, 2001-01-13 01:05 pm UTC (Expand)
Re: 'Allo Again -- - odissa, 2001-01-13 07:09 pm UTC (Expand)
Re: 'Allo Again -- - stompmgood, 2001-01-12 02:56 pm UTC (Expand)
Re: 'Allo Again -- - insomnia, 2001-01-13 03:30 am UTC (Expand)
Re: 'Allo Again -- - jonas77, 2001-01-12 04:31 pm UTC (Expand)
Re: 'Allo Again -- - insomnia, 2001-01-13 03:36 am UTC (Expand)
Re: 'Allo Again -- - (Anonymous), 2001-01-12 07:52 pm UTC (Expand)
Murdock Wants To Help...
2001-01-12 03:52 am UTC (link)
I would love to volunteer, though I do not know what help I might be...
If there is anything you think I might be able to do contact me (rabidloon @ yahoo . com)...
I've already added the banner to my page and I know a few widely used sites that I could add this place to the datebase of...
Again, I would love to help out, I love this place (tried many others and well... you guys have Frank, no one beats that:^))

Blessed be,
the Sane One


good speech
2001-01-12 03:59 am UTC (link)
i can draw (original) cartoons if you have any use for them.
Keep up the good work.


(Deleted post)
(Deleted post)
Re: To the most shocking degree. - insomnia, 2001-01-12 04:17 am UTC (Expand)
(Deleted post)
Re: To the most shocking degree. - insomnia, 2001-01-12 04:34 am UTC (Expand)
(Deleted post)
Re: Decisions. - bradfitz, 2001-01-12 09:59 am UTC (Expand)
Re: Decisions. - gringo_in_tj, 2001-01-12 03:39 pm UTC (Expand)
(Deleted post)
Re: Pointless to argue. - bradfitz, 2001-01-12 05:36 pm UTC (Expand)
Subject to Change - quent, 2001-01-12 07:08 pm UTC (Expand)
Re: Subject to Change - bradfitz, 2001-01-12 07:25 pm UTC (Expand)
(Deleted post)
Re: Mind flurry. - dlbags, 2001-01-15 08:16 pm UTC (Expand)
(Deleted post)
LLC - colin, 2001-01-18 11:48 am UTC (Expand)
Re: LLC - bradfitz, 2001-01-18 11:50 am UTC (Expand)
Re: LLC - insomnia, 2001-01-18 12:31 pm UTC (Expand)
Re: To the most shocking degree. - insomnia, 2001-01-12 04:24 am UTC (Expand)
Re: To the most shocking degree. - insomnia, 2001-01-13 05:25 am UTC (Expand)
Re: To the most shocking degree. - dlbags, 2001-01-15 08:23 pm UTC (Expand)
May I please say something? - teddibear, 2001-01-16 06:14 am UTC (Expand)
I guess growing into the size you mention
2001-01-12 04:06 am UTC (link)
worries me quite a bit.

Largeness does not equate with intimacy, closeness nor necessarily smooth running. Personally i don't care that Blogger gets 90% of the market ... i still post, read and comment as i'm moved to - which, for me, is the whole point of LJ.

The people i've meet and communicate with don't seem to feel threatened by other journals' growth so, while you are very articulate about what could happen ... is that possibility anymore then some effort to keep LJ in a particular size and style.

I've always thought that someday Brad would move on ... gee, i'm not very comfortable with the idea that he's created something that he has to spend the rest of his life doing. Maybe others will take it on ( it does seem like that is some of your effort...to have others take on more of LJ so Brad can get on with other stuff) and maybe not. While i'd be very sad to lose the friends i've made though this medium...i certainly haven't thought it would continue forever.

Still, i encourage you to do what you feel is necessary to keep the LJ in a well oiled condition and useable for people like me that enjoy communicating though cyber-space but don't expect it to continue forever...

With much thanks for you and the LJ staff efforts...Taiyo

(Reply) (Thread)

Re: I guess growing into the size you mention
2001-01-12 04:30 am UTC (link)
It concerns me too, frankly... but we have to design for intimacy, to some degree. We already do, really... that's why I came up with the idea of communities.

We also need to be big enough to be viable and sustainable, which means that we need to have more people. That way, we can't be squashed/absorbed/made obsolete. No way around it, under the circumstances, but I don't think things will change that much. I mean, we went from 20K to 40K pretty quickly, with no real hitches. If anything, LJ just keeps getting better.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)

Would you say something about - taiyosan, 2001-01-12 08:44 am UTC (Expand)
2001-01-12 04:15 am UTC (link)
Doesn't LJ have someone who is nominally in charge of Marketing?

(Reply) (Thread)

Re: say...
2001-01-12 04:32 am UTC (link)
that would be me, sorta. Why, are you good at it? We can definitely use someone who knows marketing...

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)

Re: say... - corachaos, 2001-01-12 06:49 am UTC (Expand)
Re: say... - insomnia, 2001-01-13 03:42 am UTC (Expand)
Re: say... - dweezil, 2001-01-12 08:43 am UTC (Expand)
Re: say... - darksoul, 2001-01-12 01:29 pm UTC (Expand)
Re: say... - insomnia, 2001-01-13 03:44 am UTC (Expand)
Re: say... - jaggedpill, 2001-01-12 10:57 am UTC (Expand)
Re: say... - insomnia, 2001-01-13 03:40 am UTC (Expand)
Re: say... - geekgrrl, 2001-01-12 06:20 pm UTC (Expand)
Re: say... - insomnia, 2001-01-13 01:43 am UTC (Expand)
On a related (marketing) note... - kalei, 2001-01-13 02:09 am UTC (Expand)
something i've already done:
2001-01-12 04:38 am UTC (link)
well, i was readhing my yahoo! mag..which i have a subscription to (thanks to "winning" 60$'s worth of free magazines on that hit the monkey site thing).. & there was a mention of some online diary site.. i glanced by the site (it wasn't blogger..i forget what it was, & the magazine is at home now) & it was nothing compared to livejournal. so being the silly girl that i am, wrote yahoo & mentioned livejournal & asked them how they could have possibly passed it by w/out so much as a mention! i am sure it will most likely not get in the 'letters to the editor' area.. but perhaps they took the time to see what i was mentioning? perhaps not, but it was a mention. who the hell knows how many letters they must read everyday!

i am willing to do anything possible :) i have tons of free time on my hands & if needbe, i can write a few letters to a few 'internet' sites.. perhaps zdnet could mention us on their internet show? & yes, i can use capital letters when the time calls for it :)

so if you need any assistance by me, i'm willing to help as well.


(Reply) (Thread) (Expand)

(Deleted post)
Re: something i've already done: - insomnia, 2001-01-13 01:47 am UTC (Expand)
2001-01-12 04:38 am UTC (link)
Okay, I'm advertising.

(Reply) (Thread)

Re: Okay
2001-01-13 03:46 am UTC (link)
A well-placed LJ banner is always welcome!

(Reply) (Parent)

(Deleted post)
Re: Livejournal forever!
2001-01-12 05:30 am UTC (link)
Where did you see LJ on TV?


(Reply) (Parent)

Re: Livejournal forever! - ex_cupid944, 2001-01-12 07:59 pm UTC (Expand)
I'd like to help in some way
2001-01-12 04:46 am UTC (link)
...but I'm not really sure how I can help. I'm not real big on marketing or anything like that. I'm more of a developer

(Reply) (Thread)

Re: I'd like to help in some way
2001-01-13 01:49 am UTC (link)
A developer? In what sense? Programming or...?

We can use programmers. Go to the Talent Pool link on lj_biz and post what you can do... if we have a need for your skills anytime soon, we'll be in touch. :)


(Reply) (Parent)

2001-01-12 05:07 am UTC (link)
I'll offer some of my services. I could probably donat an hour a day if needed.

*Sybase Transact SQL Development and Reporting
*Full MS Office Product line (access, excel, word, power point, project).
*Windows Operating Systems – 3.11 for workgroups, Win95, Win98, WinME, WinNT.
*HTML (minimal)
*Word Perfect Document Processor

*Strategic planning, process improvement, and pre-implementation assessment within information systems.
*Interface preparation and integration, particularly HL7.
*Implementation and development workplans.
*Quality assurance compliance audits and reports.
*End-user and/or core application training. This includes preparation of training material.
*Assessing technical requirements of customers, developing a plan of action, implementing objectives and evaluating the results

Installation, support and configuration of the following peripheral hardware devices:
1) 9100 BarCode Readers
2) Full line of HP & Lexmark LaserJet printers
3) PC based BarCode Readers
4) VAX to FAX (including FAX Boxes)
5) Port Concentrators
6) PC’s
7) DEC ALPHA 4100,2100
8) IBM Risc 6000
9) DEC Net

(Reply) (Thread)

very cool...
2001-01-13 01:51 am UTC (link)
Sounds great! Can you go to the lj_biz community and enter your skills in the Talent Pool? If we have an idea on how you could help us, we will definitely be in touch!


(Reply) (Parent)

2001-01-12 05:14 am UTC (link)
I'm not a developer, but I can definitely help out with PR...I'll volunteer!

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Re: Well...
2001-01-13 01:52 am UTC (link)
Very cool... Please make sure you go to lj_biz and click on the link for the talent pool and enter your skills and the kind of stuff you'd like to work on in there! We need PR people!


(Reply) (Parent)

2001-01-12 05:16 am UTC (link)
I don't even know where to begin my thoughts on this. This site for my journal alone means so much to me. I do not want to lose it. It's been a way of looking back through my own life and sharing that life with those that have stumbled upon it or ones that I've actually sent the link out to view it at their leisure.
I love the site so much that when I found the banners, I proudly put up one of them on my site. It's the least that I could do. Whatever traffic that my site gets would direct people to the sites that I enjoy out on the 'net. Mostly it's a call about quality and fun. If I don't like a site, it'll never make any mention on my domain pages. After all, I'm paying for the content to be out there on the 'net.
I've tried to "sucker" everyone that I can to the site. I have gotten several of my friends online and paid for their accounts just to get them spreading the word about the site as well. You guys have created something wonderful, something that is truely special and rare on the 'net. It's one of the few sites that I make it out to several times a day, even from work where I'm not supposed to. The concept and the delivery is the main reason that I came to the site to post my thoughts, words, happenings, and feelings of my life. There's not many sites out there that I can trust to do that with. However, I feel comfortable and secure with this site!
If there's anything that can be done, please let me know. My gifts are writing business English, answering techinal questions, creating documentation for resolving end user problems, technical troubleshooting, interpersonal communication, communication between a diverse group of vendors and making them follow through with their service contracts, and finding out what the "real" problem is. I've often made my way to the support area to see if there's anything that I can help with. However, most of the questions have long ago been answered.
Well, I've said my peace. I really hope that you can keep the site banner free. I totally hate sites that use them because it always slows down the page from loading. I'm off to the Talent Pool link.
Love, Light and Success,

(Reply) (Thread)

Re: Wow!
2001-01-13 03:56 am UTC (link)
Thanks for the offer to help out! We can always use people who know how to write and can organize information and ideas. Sometimes, it's as simple as seeing something that we already have out there on LJ (or identifying something that isn't there) and either cleaning up the text or creating some new text.

We need to make sure that new, inexperienced users can find the answers they are looking for. LJ has a lot of weak spots... places where we can be a lot clearer, a lot more organized.

I'll be in touch, I'm sure.

Thanks again,

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)

Re: Wow! - andragon, 2001-01-13 10:34 am UTC (Expand)

2001-01-12 05:26 am UTC (link)
A thought just came to mind. I have a friend who is a reporter for USA Today. I'll drop her an email.

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re: USA Today
2001-01-13 01:53 am UTC (link)
Cool! Go for it! - M.

(Reply) (Parent)

2001-01-12 05:27 am UTC (link)
How about contacting Newspapers and Magazines via Email and suggesting they do an article on LJ? I could work on this if I had a little bit of direction.

(Reply) (Thread) (Expand)

contacting reporters....
2001-01-12 11:37 pm UTC (link)
I would be happy to contact the reporters in my city, but I am horrible at devising a letter or email worth reading to capture the reporters' attention...
I would be glad to if someone helped me write a draft....

(Reply) (Parent)

excellent idea - insomnia, 2001-01-13 01:54 am UTC (Expand)
Offering up my help
2001-01-12 05:29 am UTC (link)

I'm a relatively new LJ convert, but I'm already in love with the site. I have several years of marketing experience I'd be willing to throw behind getting LJ "exposed" to the media. I'm willing to do this in a "directed" or "undirected" manner, however, there may be advantages to having access to the "powers that be" at LJ in order to give quotes, quips, etc., to media journalists... or arranging for you guys to do interviews, etc. Let me know what direction you'd like for me to head in.

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Re: Offering up my help
2001-01-12 05:40 am UTC (link)
I love LJ and I will do anything I can to help, however, my age will limit me from things, for example: Getting a Paid Account
I just can't get one, but I have already started telling my friends about livejournal.com and my tech teacher has brought up the idea to the school, and already about 200 people in my school are getting journals. I will do anything for lj so just ask. :-)
(I put a banner up on my site and in my signature on the MM3 BBs, if that helps at all.)

(Reply) (Parent)

Re: Offering up my help - insomnia, 2001-01-13 02:00 am UTC (Expand)

2001-01-12 05:36 am UTC (link)
Of course.. as always, LiveJournal has my support and assistance. I am more than willing to throw my hand in where ever I can. Being an experienced web application developer (it's my day job)... I am sure that makes me a valuable asset to LiveJournal. Brad and you (Mark) both know this.

And I have always, and will continue to, recruit as many members as I can.

However... while we are on the topic, I would like to submit what I feel are the main reasons Blogger gets more media attention than LiveJournal:

First of all, LiveJournal caters to making updating a weblog the easiest damn thing in the world. This is good... in fact, this is better than good. LiveJournal has been created in such a way that several of my NON-computer literate, NON-HTML capable friends have been able to get started with little to no training. Unfortunately... this type of user does not receive media attention, which in turn means LiveJournal does not.

LiveJournal also caters to the VERY experienced user, with its client-server protocol, embedding capabilities, and constant development. Unfortunately, there are not very many VERY experienced users in the world, let alone in LiveJournal land. Take LoserJabber for instance. Although it is an INCREDIBLE application for the UNIX platform, one of the best designed in my opinion, only 368 people have ever used it. This is because, again, LoserJabber, existing on the UNIX platform, caters to the experienced user.

Blogger is successful because they cater to the middle ground. Their service is not SO easy that my mom could figure out how to work it. In fact... if my mom were to keep a weblog... LiveJournal is just about the only one out of all the competition that she could actually figure out on her own. Blogger caters to the middle ground because of two things. First, they FORCE you to use your own webhoster. People like this. They get to use their own domain name to host their weblog... and the server space they already pay for. In addition... this gathers media attention. Because if some website that happens to use Blogger gets media attention, chances are, the weblog is proudly displayed on their site, and proudly marked as being fueled by blogger. LiveJournal, on the other hand... is rarely embedded. If a link is provided to the journal... it hits the livejournal.com domain (which most people don't notice) and then the only see the small "livejournal.com" link in the corner (on most journals). This brings me to point two:

In addition to the Journal being offsite from other websites that will get media attention... the journal looks different than the rest of that persons website. This is because most people cannot figure out the complexities involved in LiveJournal's style system. Although Blogger's "style system" is not easy... it is certainly easier than LJ's. This means that every Dick and Jane that knows HTML can fumble around enough to make it work... and THEY ARE FORCED to make it work because the default Blogger is ugly. Real ugly.

The key to getting media attention is to attract users that get media attention. And the two things that could use improvement to get LiveJournal used by those people on the middle ground are 1) A better style system and 2) The ability to tightly integrate LiveJournal with my existing site.

Now... I don't like the concept of Blogger FTPing files to my webserver. I actually found them before I found LiveJournal, and that is why I opted not to use them. Embedding using JavaScript is not too incredibly complex... and I feel pretty safe in saying that most people who are capable of writing HTML could figure out how to do that. If the idea of Embedding were more proudly displayed on LiveJournal's website... people would start to understand that this is entirely possible and easy to do. However... they still wont use it, if they cannot figure out how to make their LJ look like their website.

(continued in next post.....)

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2001-01-12 05:37 am UTC (link)
(continued from last post.....)

Revamp the style system. And if it users you want (more than money) make Style Creation a non-paid feature. Styles are essential to the use of LiveJournal because it has the ability to make people feel like the journal is part of their site, as opposed to some additional feature that they can play with. Some of the more publicity capable LiveJournal users still do their REAL weblog by hand... and use LiveJournal only as a place to chit-chat about the lesser points of their day. We need to show them how EASY it is to make LiveJournal part of their website.

I know of a user (username: astronaut -- no longer a member) who used LiveJournal for a short period of time. She went back to using the downloaded perl script that her friend installed on her webserver for her to manage her weblog because LiveJournal was not easy to integrate into her website. Sure... she would love to have commenting features... and a client to update from... and a spell checker... but... she'll live without it... because using this script lets her make everything look like she wants it to look. A journal is a very personal thing... and people want it to look personal, not like it came out of a cookie cutter.

I feel that style system improvements will draw in more users to LiveJournal than any other feature that could be implemented... so much that I feel it would be worth destroying all the user created styles currently in existance (if there were no way to port them) making all LiveJournal users become forced to recreate their styles (the few that use them) to fit the new style system.

In addition, the default style should display a nicer looking "Powered by LiveJournal" logo in place of the current, very small, "livejournal.com" link. Find a place on the main page to advertise that LiveJournal has logo's to smack on your journal... and people will use them. People love logos, because it looks like content to them (heh).

All of this probably sounds jumbled... I am in a rush to get to work now. I will reread it when I get there and correct myself if needed.

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(no subject) - opiummmm, 2001-01-12 06:18 am UTC (Expand)
html - blonnie, 2001-01-12 08:20 am UTC (Expand)
Re: html - stryder, 2001-01-12 09:28 am UTC (Expand)
Re: html - teddibear, 2001-01-16 06:41 am UTC (Expand)
(no subject) - odissa, 2001-01-12 03:55 pm UTC (Expand)
Re: - opiummmm, 2001-01-12 06:07 pm UTC (Expand)
Style Editor - nighthawk, 2001-01-12 09:27 am UTC (Expand)
(no subject) - justj, 2001-01-12 10:33 am UTC (Expand)
(no subject) - patrick, 2001-01-12 05:31 pm UTC (Expand)
excellent thread - insomnia, 2001-01-13 02:12 am UTC (Expand)
Re: excellent thread - maltor, 2001-01-13 07:08 am UTC (Expand)
Re: excellent thread - teddibear, 2001-01-16 06:47 am UTC (Expand)
big moves..
2001-01-12 05:36 am UTC (link)
I am setting up a posting to all my friends to encourage LiveJournal use to their friends and neighbors and remindin them to try to get the paid accounts. I hope this helps some. I will also be telling my own friends and neighbors as well and the people at the school.

Good luck, guys, hope it all works because I really like it here alot!

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Re: big moves..
2001-01-12 05:50 am UTC (link)
One last thought, I used to work for a newspaper out here and still have friends there, I will be talking to them today or tomorrow about LJ ... Hope I can get you some press, Ok?? ::crosses fingers::

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Re: big moves.. - insomnia, 2001-01-13 02:16 am UTC (Expand)
Re: big moves.. - mauracelt, 2001-01-13 04:30 am UTC (Expand)

2001-01-12 05:39 am UTC (link)
I look forward to LiveJournal being the Linux to their Windows... the non-commercial alternative.

I like that.. it has a nice ring to it..

Anyway, I would like to help in any way that I can.. I am not terribly good techinically minded.. although I would like to be in the future, and I am trying to think of ways I could help..

And I've thought of one.

A friend of mine in the gothy scene, works for THE AGE newspaper, one of the MAJOR newpapers around Australia.. she takes care of the whole internet, geeky type section.. She's the editor..

I am going to speak to her.

I'll see what I can do!

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2001-01-12 08:15 am UTC (link)
woo animejo! you got the connections! :)

yes, i can vouch for the age being a big fat newspaper. the green guide, a section in it every thursday, has heaps of stuff about IT and internet and computers...

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big fat green paper... - insomnia, 2001-01-13 04:01 am UTC (Expand)
Promoting LJ down under... - insomnia, 2001-01-13 04:00 am UTC (Expand)
(no subject) - catbiscuit, 2001-01-16 06:21 am UTC (Expand)
(no subject) - animejo, 2001-01-17 04:19 am UTC (Expand)
(no subject) - catbiscuit, 2001-01-18 07:01 am UTC (Expand)
2001-01-12 05:42 am UTC (link)
what you have all done with this site is truly incredible. i just love LJ...in the few short weeks I have known about it, I visit it at least 20 times a day. reading everyones thoughts above, i find that i too have misgivings about growing the site. I work for a small start up that eventually was purchased by the largest auction site on the web.

the rule in business is: eliminate the competition, or buy them.

i am pretty sure that growing the user base will only make LJ more attractive to some big, fat corporation to snatch up. fast growth can be really great, but it can also smash apart the original idea and vision the site started with.

Dangle enough dollars in anyone's face and sorry, but they're gonna grab it.

I'm not sure that increasing the user base to what was it 80,000 by March? is a good idea.

please try to convince me of otherwise because I really hate the corporate world but I am an upclose eyewitness of what it does.

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Re: hmmm
2001-01-13 04:50 am UTC (link)
I can understand some of your misgivings regarding LJ growing... the truth of the matter is that LJ is going to grow fast regardless of whether we heavily promote it or not. It seems to double in size about every 5-6 months or so, lately. By that assumption, we would have 160,000 users by years end, regardless of whether we did a thing. We're just helping speeding our growth along a bit in order to stay competitive with the development of other journal sites. This increased short-term boost to growth will likely result in slower growth later actually, but it gives us a boost right now, which helps us to stay competitive. Like you said, the rule of business is to eliminate competition, or buy them... We aren't for sale, and we want to be big enough that we can't easily be eliminated.

I'm telling you now... we may choose to sell some of the software we have developed, but I am adamantly opposed to selling the site. Why? Because that would mean selling *you*. I hate how businesses routinely buy and sell people... Just because I choose to use a website, that doesn't mean I want to be auctioned off like a commodity to the highest bidder.

Why should you trust Brad and I? Because of our actions, not our words. We have routinely turned down the quick buck. I refused a salary when it was offered to me. Why? Because, although there is little I would like more than to be able to help run LJ fulltime, I want LJ to be able to justify the expense of having salaried employees first. If anyone gets a salary around here, I want it to be Brad.

We also decided not to pursue the opportunity to get financial investors, because we didn't want to sell out LJ. Also, Brad, following my advice, decided to remove all banner ads. We even have rules against people using their journals for clickthru banner advertising. When people see a LiveJournal, I don't want them to associate it with obnoxious advertising.

So, yeah... there are good reasons why you should trust us. We bust our butts for this site, not for money, but because we love it, want to protect it, and want to see it be the best it can be. If we happen to make a living off of it at some point in the distant future, great... but we're going to earn it first and not sell out our users in order to do it.

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i am definately in.
2001-01-12 05:46 am UTC (link)
...i to, will do anything it takes to help. i have become addicted to this site completely, i write in my live journal all the time, and post things. something that i love about this site is the creativity flow..alot of the people here are very artisticaly inclined and i love that. it inspires me to do more. so i am all for it...i will do what i can do...count me in.

i will be adding a ling to my site...

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Re: i am definately in.
2001-01-13 05:34 am UTC (link)
Hey there... glad you are interested in helping out with LJ. Especially like how you mentioned that LJ inspires you to do more artistically. Me too. :)

If you would like to help out, take the time to go to the lj_biz community and select the "talent pool" link. Post what your various skills are and what kinds of things you might like to help with. People of all experience levels are more than welcome to help out. Who knows... you just might learn a few things in the process!

Take care,

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2001-01-12 05:49 am UTC (link)
I just made a rant about Blogger in my journal last week or something:

<a href="http://www.livejournal.com/talkread.bml?itemid=1168299>http://www.livejournal.com/talkread.bml?itemid=1168299</a> Blogger, sucks. The way it is implemented sucks. Brad deserves the credit that they are getting as do all the people who help around here. Despite the server probelms--they were nothing more than growing pains--live journal offers so much more than any other journaling site does. We need to show the world that LJ is the one!


You Got It...
2001-01-12 05:51 am UTC (link)
I have linked to this message in my LJ this morning, and have added a link to LJ in my mail signature line. I belong to like 8 different mailing lists - one of which has over 600 members so hopefully that will help draw some attention. I also plan on teliing everyone that I talk to online and off about Live Journal. Might even put the URL on my business cards. Hmmm....

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Re: You Got It...
2001-01-13 05:35 am UTC (link)
Very cool...! Thanks for your support of LJ!

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