Brad Fitzpatrick the founder of LiveJournal has announced they have crossed over to the dark side. Ok not really. Here’s a few questions he asked himself. I think a lot of LiveJournal users talk to themselves.
If I’m a free user, will I see ads on my Friends Page? (sorry, the link is for the non-LJers who might be confused…)
If I’m a free user, will I see ads on my friend’s entry pages once I click off to their journal from my Friends Page?
Yes, if your friend has turned on ads. The way we see it: your Friends Page is just your aggregator of all your journals/blogs/news you read, and people on LiveJournal already read lots of ad-supported websites. So if a new user comes to LiveJournal and enables ads, and you find them interesting and want to read them, how are ads on LiveJournal any less offensive than ads on a remote site?
What about your Guiding Principle to avoid banner advertisements? What about things you’ve said in the past? Why should I continue to trust LiveJournal?
Well, we’re not forcing it on users. It’s purely a new option that users can enable if they want, so we don’t feel it’s that evil.
I am morally against ads. Why should I keep supporting/promoting LiveJournal? If you’re going to bring in so much money now, why should I keep volunteering for you?
That’s a question you’ll have to ask yourself. We’re not going to try and convince you to like ads or what we’re doing, if you’re morally opposed to it. Hopefully you respect at least how we’re going about this.
What if I see an ad that is inappropriate?
We won’t be accepting inappropriate ads, but the definition of “inappropriate” is very subjective, so we want to eventually let users control their ad options (if they want) and have very easy ways to complain about ads they don’t like. We won’t launch with this level of control right away, but we will work on developing it over time. Of course, you could also just turn them all off too by switching to another level.
Will free users ever get any new features or just ad and paid users?
Free users will continue to get new features. Our model’s always been to give out a little to get you addicted, then hope you pay if you’re happy with the service and want more.
And what about communities?
Currently communities can choose either the free or paid level. Eventually community admins will be able to opt-in to the new level with ads if they choose. We’re working on what we will offer communities in the new level. We’ll talk more about this later and solicit your suggestions.
Will any of my “personally identifiable information” be sent to advertisers? Will my email address be sold?
Are ads going to slow down the performance of the site?
Not any more than any other site with ads. Your browser will have more stuff to download!, but LiveJournal’s performance will be exactly the same. The ads will be served from different machines, unrelated to the LiveJournal servers. If you have a fast computer and fast Internet connection, you won’t notice.
Why is this being posted to [info]lj_biz and not [info]news?
[info]lj_biz is where we’ve historically discussed stuff like this, although we regret we haven’t been using it as much as we used to. It’s also a smaller audience for us to get initial feedback/questions/fears/etc, so when we do our [info]news post it’ll be more comprehensive. Also, we like to reserve news for stuff that’s available immediately, not plans for the future. Plans for the future are better in [info]lj_biz and [info]lj_dev. Please share this post with your friends and others that might be interested if you don’t think they read this community.
When are you launching the new level?
Not for another month or so. We’re trying to do it very carefully, taking our time, trying to get everybody’s feedback incorporated. I’m sure it won’t be perfect at launch, but we’ll continue to improve it over time, as we have with all the other levels and features. Check back here and in news for more information, and in the meantime leave your feedback in the comments below.
How can I trust any of this information?
I guess you can’t. I’m just the old fogey poking my head in again with my ideals. It’s easy for me to make statements, but like I said earlier, actions speak louder than words. Don’t just blindly trust me … wait and see. We’re working hard to do this in a way that won’t suck, and we’re going to listen to you and do what we can to make sure we make as many people happy as possible, even if we can’t please everyone. Check back in later to make sure we’re being nice.