charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
[personal profile] charmian
In the most recent DW news post, DW announced that unfortunately, they will not be able to implement the planned cross site reading list feature.

There is some speculation in the comments about how this happened because LJ has it in for DW, but personally, I feel the real reason is much more mundane and doesn't really have to do with DW in particular or DW's particular usage, but just because the bot DW would be using would be using up more of LJ's resources than is permitted by LJ's rules involving bots. Already LJ has a lot of problems with spam-bots, so perhaps their scrutiny of bots has even increased.


On the plus side, in the same entry DW announces that they have mostly finished the new posting page, and are moving to work on drafts/queued posts and image hosting. The latter will probably be a key feature, as this is a major feature on LJ, and a reason that I've heard people say they're not using DW (because it doesn't offer image hosting).

In general, I think the biggest threats to DW are 1) the decline of English-language LJ, and 2) the possibility that another site might solve the 'problems' that LJ (and by extension DW) solves, or that changes in how people use the internet might do away with these problems.

As for LJ, based on how they are only talking to the Russian-speaking userbase about development, I forecast that they'll ignore the English speaking side and focus on Cyrillic-services features. Depending on what features they choose to, or can't avoid, bringing over to the entire site, they might avoid another PR disaster. The English-speaking userbase will probably continue to decline, or continue to be more and more centered around comms, and personal journalers will migrate either to FB, Twitter, Wordpress, or Tumblr, depending on their personal styles.

Date: 2011-01-07 12:19 am (UTC)
princessofgeeks: (Default)
From: [personal profile] princessofgeeks
why would lj'ers neglected by lj's russian focus not gravitate to dreamwidth, since it's a user interface with features so similar to LJ? i didn't follow your leap there.

thanks for these updates; they are always fascinating.

Date: 2011-01-07 02:55 am (UTC)
princessofgeeks: (Default)
From: [personal profile] princessofgeeks
this and your other comment clarifies; thanks.

why is the english language side of lj declining, do you think?

Date: 2011-01-07 12:41 am (UTC)
quivo: Watercolor of a daisy (Daisy)
From: [personal profile] quivo
Because I'm curious: why do you think the decline of English-language LJ is a threat to DW? I'm not sure what your reasoning is when you say that, especially when the second threat you mention is what seems far more threatening to me. Someone matching or surpassing the kind of social glue in LJ-style websites, I can see that as a threat, but the decline of Enlish-Language LJ doesn't quite fit in with that for me.

If your concern is that DW isn't really known or being adopted by people who don't have some sort of LJ connection or familiarity already, it could or could not be a problem depending on whether the site needs more paying members to stay afloat. If DW will have problems staying afloat on their current business model, where it's new paying members switch from will be less important than the fact that not enough of them are buying in.

Date: 2011-01-07 04:39 am (UTC)
quivo: A lowercase q on a pink-and-brown backround. (Default)
From: [personal profile] quivo
Gotcha. And now you've got me thinking about the other side of the equation-- losing users, and all that. That's likely not happening at DW just yet, and probably won't for a while, but in the future, yeah, I could see it happening if things get better at other sites faster than DW can improve. I guess now is the time to feel very glad that DW staff have already been improving the site code, and still have big things in the pipeline even though they've shelved the cross-site reading list feature.

That said, I wonder what kind of audience DW will end up catering to, if english LJ really winds down. I know Denise said stuff about it bring for creative people/people who make stuff, but it's all very well saying that when sites like Tumblr seem to just be *being* such a place very very loudly. The attraction of WP and Tumblr isn't all UI, it's that and the interesting strangers you tend to stumble upon there (well, moreso for Tumblr), and as much as I hate the ongoing "too much fandom" vs "too little fandom" debate re communities here, the concern over what draws people here has a point. All the feature parity in the world will not save this site, if the community here doesn't feel like enough of a draw to steadily attract paid members to replace the ones that inevitably leave or drop off.

Date: 2011-01-07 08:55 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] feathertail
Is there any word on whether or not they'll be able to implement cross-site reading lists between Dreamwidth-based sites? (And/or OpenID posting in comms yet ... )

Date: 2011-01-07 08:58 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] feathertail
Meh. >.> I guess I will next time it's up maybe. Thanks anyway.

Date: 2011-02-05 06:23 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] feathertail
Depending on what features they choose to, or can't avoid, bringing over to the entire site, they might avoid another PR disaster.

This seems kinda prescient in light of the whole games thing.

I also had the idea that maybe we could implement cross-site reading lists through a separate app, the way Thunderbird already can if you set it to do authenticated RSS ... what if iDreamwidth and/or the DW Android app could do that? For instance. And maybe a desktop client.

Date: 2011-02-05 06:31 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] feathertail
I don't know of any way to do this easily, though. The only way I've ever seen was a lengthy tutorial on how to use Thunderbird for it, on [personal profile] dee's site, and I don't even use Thunderbird.

Plus Dreamwidth already has an iPhone app.

Date: 2011-02-05 06:51 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] feathertail
Yeah, I'm not saying it's impossible, or even necessarily hard. But it's unfamiliar (how many people know what "export an OPML file" means?), and it requires people to use unfamiliar tools. Unless they've already got some kind of RSS reader, in which case they probably don't use the reading lists to begin with.

I was just thinking that taking a distributed approach to cross-site reading lists might be the best way to do it. A native app would also improve UX, since the friends lists / reading lists aren't all that convenient to start with.

Date: 2011-02-05 07:09 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] feathertail
Give it time. >.>b

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