charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
http://techcrunch.com/2011/05/07/soon-aols-aim-wont-require-a-separate-login-to-chat-with-contacts-in-gmail/

This sounds nice. I use the Gtalk client and I hope this will allow me to potentially chat to AIM users within the client. If only Google would update GoogleTalk more. I'd like the potential for group chat there as well. (It's in gmail, but not in the client.)

Google Trends on LJ

Thursday, May 5th, 2011 01:15 am
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
Hmm, this chart. I don't know if Google Trends's numbers are to be trusted (though I've heard some people saying they are fairly accurate in a broad sense), but if they are true, in March 2010 LJ had around 500K daily U.S visitors, and in March 2011, LJ had around 250K, meaning about half. Not sure what caused the drastic Feb 2011 downturn though. Anyway, I wonder what we're going to see come March 2012.

http://trends.google.com/websites?q=livejournal.com&geo=US&date=ytd&sort=0

In other news, congratulations to Dreamwidth on leaving Beta.

Delicious Acquired

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011 12:23 pm
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
Delicious has been acquired by Avos.

http://blog.delicious.com/
http://www.delicious.com/help/transition

It seems moving your data over to the new Delicious will be an opt-in process. That is, if people don't explicitly agree to the AVOS Terms of Service and consent to having their data moved, it's not going to be on the relaunched site.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
http://news.livejournal.com/137089.html?thread=95366785#t95366785

LJ seems to have introduced an anti-spam measure which identifies and holds suspicious comments.

More info (Russian language)

It seems nowadays the best way to get info on what is happening on LJ is to read the journals of the Russian staff. Unfortunately, since I can't read Russian, I have to rely on Google Translate, so I am not confident on the details; however, it seems if you don't want to use this feature, you can turn it off in your settings. If this works, this will be a great advance, as many users are plagued with comment spammers.

Also as part of the new release, they've changed communities from being under their own domain to having URLs like regular journals. Possibly this may lead to better domain aliasing in the future? If this leads to comms being able to have persistent domain names, that would also mark a major advance.

There is also another change with external links in Plus and Basic journals: they will now have a "nofollow" attribute, which will, in the future, be applied according to a whitelist.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] fiddlingfrog sent me this link:

http://community.livejournal.com/changelog/10368879.html

It seems that LJ will allow identity accounts (OpenID, FB, Twitter, Mail.ru, Vkontakte, etc) to post in communities. It's not clear when this change will go live, or how far they are along in working on the feature.

In my opinion, this is a great idea, and is a major step towards making LJ more interoperable. As detailed in my post on LJ's marketing towards advertisers, LJ is really emphasizing communities as perhaps the central part of LJ. Making it possible for people to post on comms without going through the registration process makes sense, because now they don't have to remember another login/pw combo as well.

Anyway, I think this is all part of the "message-board-ization" of LJ. People who complain about LJ becoming like Facebook, I think, have got it wrong, because LJ has essentially renounced any ambitions to competing in the real-world social graph field. Instead they tout their site as being centered around common interests, and connections between people who don't know each other IRL.

IIRC, this is a feature which has been talked about on Dreamwidth, although I'm not sure whether it has been planned for implementation, or if it has, how far it is from being implemented.

Also, not directly related, but total agreement here: http://helens78.dreamwidth.org/1022248.html

I'd like for both LJ and DW to implement this feature. I already find it useful on Tumblr and Twitter.

ddos related links

Friday, April 8th, 2011 12:57 pm
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2063952,00.html

Time article on the attacks on LJ. In the media, LJ is now thoroughly a Russian blogging site.

http://denise.dreamwidth.org/57915.html

[staff profile] denise explains why imports from LJ are slow.

http://synecdochic.dreamwidth.org/459929.html

Post on the LJ DDoS and Russian politics.

I especially found this comment compelling:

Lots of people on the English-language side of LJ accuse SUP of not understanding Thing One about the LJ platform. That's not true. They understand it perfectly. They just understand the Russian-language side, and I'm really not kidding when I say it's two cultures on one service. Part of why we started DW was because we saw the need for a service that took the basic idea of "LJ" in the other direction, because we understood the English-language side just as well.

And it's why I get so fucking annoyed when DW converts bash LJ. Because: okay, it's not meeting your needs anymore; that's totally legit. But that doesn't mean it's wrong; it just means it's catering to a different audience. And the ability to change your strategy so that you're catering to the fastest-growing segment of your market is what ensures a healthy business. I don't agree with a lot of what LJ does lately, because I'm not that target audience. But I respect the fuck out of them for doing it, and I wish more people would understand that.


I think a lot of the vocal English-speaking language critics of LJ think that SUP is completely dumb or something, but when you think about it, can you say SUP is irrational for prioritizing the Russian-language segment of LJ? If it's most of their business, it makes sense for them to develop the software in that direction, give more resources to it, etc., given that resources are not unlimited.

I guess it's just human nature to equate "not meeting my needs" with "wrong." I think LJ is meeting the needs of the majority of English-language users, however... Personally, I've always seen it more like "eh, if you have a problem with the way LJ is run, but you can't leave because X is there, shouldn't you work on persuading X that there is a problem with how LJ is run instead?"

In any event, I wonder if this DDoS will have any long-term impact on the English language side. Will people stick with LJ despite difficulty of accessing the site? Or will this lead to an acceleration of the decline in traffic?
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
http://dw-biz.dreamwidth.org/6029.html

Some interesting bits:

Dreamwidth tried advertising using Google Adwords, but it didn't turn out very well, possibly because of the lack of a good site tour. The site tour would need to be especially good, I think, because the people who come in via Adwords may be totally unfamiliar with LJ.

I wonder what is behind the drastic increase in monthly posts, whereas the amount of active users has stayed stable or even declined.

In other news, an article on the attacks on LJ.

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/state-blamed-in-livejournal-attack/434552.html

Google translate link to Dronov's journal. He says they have purchased new equipment which should help them withstand future DDoS attacks.

Google translate link to Gazeta.ru article, in which it is estimated that the attack cost $15,000; it is estimated by outside sources that it cost LJ $10,000 in ad revenue. No idea on how accurate this really is.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
http://www.livejournalinc.com/sales.php

There's a PDF linked on this page (unsure about the netiquette of linking a .pdf) which contains LJ's sales pitch to advertisers.

notes on this )

some links

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011 04:21 pm
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
http://www.tightwind.net/2011/01/android-isnt-about-building-a-mobile-platform/

Article on Google's possible reasons for creating Android.

http://freelish.us/

Open-source bookmarking service (a la Delicious.com). You can also host it on your own server.

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/3-unique-creative-dropbox-accounts/

Uses for dropbox accounts.

http://www.lukew.com/ff/entry.asp?1279 (from Sabina)

"Market maturity is also driving toward an increased focus on experiences and design. As markets mature, overall experience becomes more important than new capabilities and features."

It strikes me that blogging platforms have hit this point: design and user experience have become more interesting to people than features. The high emphasis Tumblr places on design is one of the reasons it's become so popular.

http://denise.dreamwidth.org/57248.html

On technical debt, and how Dreamwidth is paying it down.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
http://feathertail.dreamwidth.org/103445.html

Yeah, I think now whether you can successfully move to DW really tend to depend on whether there is an audience here.
more on this )

a few random links

Thursday, March 24th, 2011 07:52 pm
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
Suggestion to make news-only LJ news comm. If you dislike the current news format at LJ, I guess you could try commenting here to express your opinion.

http://www.majordojo.com/2011/02/how-did-wordpress-win.php Why Wordpress became more popular than MT.

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/the_state_of_web_spam_human-posted_spam_is_on_the.php

Dreamwidth + Tumblr?

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011 11:37 pm
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
In the dw_news comments, some suggested that DW make Tumblr a site you could link to with an icon, which IMHO might be a bit hard because Tumblr allows you to use domain names fully for your Tumblr site. IMHO Tumblr is sort of like a hybrid between Twitter and Wordpress, and the way it allows for (free) domain name usage is more on the WP side.

DW could implement a Tumblr import. Probably Tumblr's API can handle this, because you can import Tumblrs to Posterous and Wordpress.com.

Why DW might want to create more Tumblr integration, some thoughts:

thoughts/speculation/terseness )

Some links:
Requiem for Livejournal

An article about LJ's popularity in Russia

Quote from Anton Nossik: "In Russia, LiveJournal's primary function has shifted from social networking to mass media, so it makes little sense trying to figure out how many people are actively blogging in Russian LJ -- tens or hundreds of thousands. It's the readers that count, and the readership has been growing quite steadily over the last five years."
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
LJ has released a further statement on the spam issue.

http://news.livejournal.com/135748.html

In any event, [personal profile] azurelunatic had an idea about reporting spam on the "Latest LJ posts" page. I have no idea whether this will work (someone I talked to in the anti-spam industry suggested it probably wouldn't), but it probably won't do any harm. The scale of the spam seems so large, that I suspect they'll have to use more automated means of dealing with it.

http://azurelunatic.livejournal.com/6663221.html
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
http://news.livejournal.com/135669.html?thread=94245621#t94245621

Currently there's a notifications problem at LJ, which apparently has something to do with a third party [EDIT: possibly Spamhaus]. People are getting fairly upset about it in the comments of the news post (well, also because of the banner color scheme).

Also, LJ is currently blacklisted with Spamhaus.

http://news.livejournal.com/135669.html?thread=94199285#t94199285

[EDIT: http://www.spamhaus.org/Sbl/sbl.lasso?query=SBL104433 an example of the complaints filed against LJ.]

How significant is this development? I'm not sure about the technical aspects, but is it possible this has something to do with the notifications problem?

Feeling upset about this, some paid users are having a petition thing here:

http://enabeans.livejournal.com/11459.html

I'm surprised some people have this many paid accounts.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
http://news.livejournal.com/134313.html

So, LJ has added some games, which actually seem to be minimally disruptive, and so far, rather of little interest, judging from the number of people who are playing. Most news commenters seem to be decrying the games, but I think this is an overreaction, given that they probably will not impact people who aren't playing. I wonder if LJ directly got any money for this deal, or they're going to take a cut of revenue?

There is the endless discussion over whether LJ is emulating FB, but I suppose the alternative is emulating Wordpress.com, which probably wouldn't work because a lot of their business is enterprise sites paying enterprise fees. (They could emulate Tumblr or Posterous as well, but currently those two sites are running off their funding, and anyway, both of those sites also have blogs owned by businesses or people using them for professional purposes) Ning perhaps is like the communities feature, but Ning is currently on an all-pay model. (Which seems to be working for them, to some extent) BTW, Sabina unearthed an interesting graph as well: Tumblr.com vs. LJ.com vs. farmville.com. To a great extent I think Tumblr is the new LJ, stripped of the privacy aspects (privacy has gone to locked Twitter and FB.com))

In probably more significant news, LJ now has added an "owner" status to communities, meaning that now there will be an end to the problem of maintainer usurpation. This, IMHO, is a pretty good feature, and perhaps one which Dreamwidth should code also, if it's not part of the free code.

Random graphs

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 01:00 am
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
(note, you might need to be logged into google to see the full graph)

Was bored and looking at Google Trends, randomly.

http://trends.google.com/websites?q=myspace.com&geo=all&date=ytd&sort=0

In the past year, Myspace has lost over 50% of its traffic.

This made me curious to see how LJ was doing.

http://trends.google.com/websites?q=livejournal.com&geo=all&date=ytd&sort=0

Globally, LJ has stayed stable, with around two million daily visitors.

http://trends.google.com/websites?q=livejournal.com&geo=RU&date=ytd&sort=0

In Russia, traffic has risen significantly over the past year, to around over ~1.4 (maybe 1.5) million.

http://trends.google.com/websites?q=livejournal.com&geo=US&date=ytd&sort=0

In about a year, the US daily visitor traffic, however, has gone from ~500K to somewhat under ~400K. This represents around a 20% decline. (Thusly, Russian traffic is about three times the size of US traffic, and the US contributes 20% of LJ's visitors, if Google Trends' stats are correct.)
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
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.

speculation on the future of DW and LJ )
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
http://www.facebook.com/pages/InsaneJournal/199532194739?v=wall

There seems to be some problem with Insanejournal after an attempt at maintenance was aborted.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
Ran into some weird bug where Kindle has trouble reading some Japanese text files, yet serendipitously, discovered a tool which turns Japanese txt files into PDFs optimized for the kindle.

At the same time, I also found that while Kindle is ok for scanlations, for raws you do need it to be somewhat bigger so that you can read Japanese text. (of course, you could zoom in, but that would be annoying... also, the img browser does have some bugs, like needing to be refreshed after sleeping) Oh well. It's kind of uncomfortable to read raw scans on the Kindle. However, I think it the Kindle DX would work well for that purpose. Unfortunately, the Kindle DX is quite expensive. There also don't seem to be any other e-ink readers available in the US which are the same size.

I actually saw the Kindle DX at Best Buy the other day. Surprisingly, they moved the ereader section, previously in the back of the store, to the very front, right next to the door. Does that indicate that e-readers are selling better? Already, four people I know have recently gotten ereaders, so there's anecdotal evidence for you there.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
http://ascii.textfiles.com/archives/2848

"Yahoo! actually went on the offensive and claimed they weren’t going to kill Delicious but sell it, which makes me laugh, because no such thing could be true – the most glaring reason being that Yahoo’s authentication system infests every one of their properties, and a lot of people on Delicious are using Yahoo IDs. Another is that Yahoo are incompetent assholes. Back in January of 2009, Archive Team announced that Yahoo! was not to be trusted. Someone from Yahoo! showed up and said we were wrong. I’m having this image he was fired, as was the entire staff of Delicious. Tell me how you intend to transition a site when you fire everyone first. You don’t. A place buying it would be buying the name and maybe the right to use the software. Maybe. Who would want that?"


Let's hope this doesn't happen. However, there still seems to be no news of any buyers for Delicious...

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