charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
2011-08-16 01:11 am
Entry tags:

a Russian user talks about DW, and what LJ is working on now

A post from a Russian DW user about using Dreamwidth: http://vserguey.dreamwidth.org/130399.html

In other news, LJ continues to be working on...

http://changelog.livejournal.com/11239637.html A new photo-hosting interface (this is being tested with a small group of beta-testers, IIRC)

and some mysterious thing called "self-promo": http://changelog.livejournal.com/11236661.html
I'm guessing this will allow you to pay to promote your posts on the LJ site?

The new photo-hosting is intriguing. Perhaps it'll make it easier to post and embed photos?
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
2011-08-11 07:53 pm
Entry tags:

more Russian-speakers are using DW

I've heard that more Russian speakers are using DW, and reportedly some English-speakers are complaining about it. They don't like the way that the Latest Posts page is not 100% English.

Actually, I think an influx of Russian users is not only not bad, but potentially a good thing for DW. The growth of English-speaking users IMHO seemed to have had plateaued prior to the recent DDoS. With a new group of users coming in, there's the potential for viral growth there as well. There seem to be at least 2K of Russian users, although I'm not sure how much that is relatively. However, growth may be limited by the fact that the site and its documentation are all in English.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
2011-08-10 12:11 am
Entry tags:

importing communities eventually planned?

http://lj-refugees.dreamwidth.org/46588.html

Huh, I had thought that Dreamwidth wasn't going to allow the importing of communities, but it seems that has changed, and it is eventually planned, but unlikely to happen soon?

I'm also kind of confused by the 'non-evil way.' As I understand it, right now OpenID accounts cannot post entries to DW comms (they can on LJ), and if this is implemented on DW, it would be possible to allow comm importation in a non-evil way? (Under the same understanding that governs the importation of comments). I wonder if it is possible to use LJ's code for implementing openID posting on DW, or if it's part of the non-open-source code.

However, I wonder about the social implications of this. Some people already disliked the comment importation thing. What about comm importation? The importation of a comm potentially affects many more people.

I suppose the people who really object are totally capable of getting rid of their stuff, but what if they've deleted the account? Or what if it ran in a way in which the mods posted something, not the actual owners of the content? Also, this involves even more comments potentially being imported. (BTW, if you are no longer a member of a comm, can you still delete the comments you've made in a post you no longer have access to?) Well, that probably won't happen with entries, since a comm owner can't change security level on entries, so if they were public to begin with, you can still delete them.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
2011-05-16 11:42 am

IJ problems, Identity accounts and "commitment"

http://asylums.insanejournal.com/announcements/83654.html?thread=4290758#t4290758

Above link has more details about the reasons behind Insanejournal's decision to institute a purge: financial and spam problems.

In other news, a majority of respondents to the "should identity accounts be allowed to post on DW comms" poll answered yes. In the comments [personal profile] foxfirefey points out there are some spam concerns with this. Spam is a big threat the the finances of a Web 2.0 site, so that's definitely a big issue.

Thinking more about the openID/identity account issue, I noticed that many people who opposed the change in that LJ thread cited "commitment" to LJ itself as being important. People may believe that such "commitment" to LJ means that the user is less likely to be a troll, yet wouldn't a really dangerous troll be the sort to put in more effort into their trolling? But does using an openID account mean that you are inherently a suspect character? Couldn't it be just indicative of not wanting to remember another login? What if you simply see no benefit in having a journal at LJ/DW? Now, on DW, it could mean that the person has no idea how to get an invite code, or just doesn't see any point in becoming a DW user because all they want to do is comment: however, I don't think that would make the person suspect.

I think there are more people who use LJ in this way, and thus have little need for anything other than an identity account. Personally, I often see many users who seem to have accounts solely to participate in communities, and with largely blank journals. If this describes more and more of the LJ clientele, it has consequences for LJ's financial model. And, if many people see LJ not as "site where I have a journal and talk to friends" but "where Community X is hosted," that's a significant change in usage, too.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
2011-05-11 09:18 pm
Entry tags:

LJ allows identity accounts to post in communities

In the latest release, LJ has now allowed for identity accounts (openID, Facebook, Twitter, and others) to post in LJ communities. While this new feature has been overshadowed by the LJ nav strip revision, it seems to have already caused some controversy.

Personally, I'm for this feature (although I don't think that it'll affect me personally much); I really don't think there's much of a security issue with Twitter/FB accounts posting, and actually I'm puzzled by the assertion that LJ-Abuse has less data on the identity accounts than other accounts. I mean, isn't LJ Abuse able to trace even anonymous posters through IP addresses and other things? Anyone with more technical knowledge want to chime in on those aspects?

I now wonder, though, if Dreamwidth is going to implement a similar feature, and if so, would there also be this kind of opposition?

Poll #6955 identity accounts posting in comms on DW
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 33


Should DW allow identity accounts (openID) to make posts in communities?

View Answers

Yes
22 (66.7%)

No
8 (24.2%)

Other (explain in comments)
3 (9.1%)

charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
2011-04-05 03:36 pm
Entry tags:

DW annual business report, article on LJ DDoS

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)
2011-03-27 09:26 pm
Entry tags:

blogging and platforms

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 )
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
2011-03-22 11:37 pm
Entry tags:

Dreamwidth + Tumblr?

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)
2011-01-06 01:01 pm
Entry tags:

Thoughts on the cross-site reading list feature, and the future of DW and LJ

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)
2010-10-18 10:52 am

more on openID and security?

The discussion on whether openID is undesirable seems to have picked up a bit here.

In general, though, there seem to be two potential ways openID may be undesirable under discussion.

The first is that openID accounts may be bots/spammers. However, according to what people have said, on DW openID accounts haven't been a major source of spam. Also, both on LJ and on DW, an unvalidated openID account is considered equivalent to an anonymous account, but an openID account which has been validated is considered equivalent to a member. So, just like a regular account, an validated openID account is presumably more likely to have a real person behind it. Therefore, I can't really see much difference, anti-spam-wise, between the two.

The second is that treating validated openID accounts as equivalent to members constitutes a security flaw. Coming from only the LJ-perspective, I don't agree with this either, because restricting comment to members only strikes me as more of an anti-spam measure than a security one. If anyone can sign up for an LJ account at any time, it doesn't make sense to me to consider LJ users at large a 'trusted group,' since any person can sign up for many accounts. Also, LJ doesn't require people to provide any public information about themselves to other users, so I can't really say that making an LJ account makes a user more 'known.'

I also think that the LJ devs didn't want to encourage users to consider LJ members as a 'trusted group,' as shown by their refusal to implement 'members-only security level.' IIRC this was dismissed as 'security by obscurity.'

(That said, I'm not so sure people are unable to navigate the concept of members-only-security as much as the devs thought they would be able to. It seems to work out ok on social networks which have this feature. However, I would be strongly against this on DW UNLESS they stop having invite codes, in which case I'd personally not really care one way or the other.)

(Also, I'm against the idea of a members-only (excluding openID) commenting level on DW as long as invite codes remain. If there's open registration like LJ has, I have no problem with it.)
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
2010-09-10 11:03 am
Entry tags:

Preferences in Blog Styles and Layouts

While looking at some of the discussions that people have been having about starting to use Dreamwidth, I notice one of the continual themes is a dissatisfaction with the styles available at DW. It's only natural that DW has fewer styles, but I wonder just what it is that people find so unsatisfactory about the existing ones? What features do people seek in styles?

Personally, I never thought that the existing styles at LJ were that great anyhow, since I use Wordpress and have an even greater range available to me there. (Also, Tumblr's themes) My preference for reading blogs is to have a wide column, and none of this 'big picture at the top' nonsense (my screen is a widescreen, which I don't like... why don't they make non-widescreen laptops anymore? I'd rather have a screen that is tall rather than wide.)

Maybe later it might be a good idea for DW to have a styles contest, with prizes and voting? That might get people talking about what they want to see in styles.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
2010-09-09 03:05 pm
Entry tags:

Comm Importation and Dreamwidth

There are two features related to LJ that people continually ask for on DW. One is cross site friends-list reading, which is in progress, but will only be IIRC for paid users. The other is importation of communities.

The first I expect to cause some kerfluffling, but in practice, any impact will be probably limited, as there are only a small amount of DW paid users, and quite a few of them may feel no need to use the service; also, the usage of cross site friends-list reading will not really be visible. The second may potentially have a much bigger impact socially, if it is ever implemented (I have no idea whether it can be implemented presently, or to what extent it is planned.

more on the issues of importation )
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
2010-09-05 04:07 pm
Entry tags:

recent events on LJ

So, the news post on the Facebook/Twitter integration has hit over 900010,000 comments. In any case, probably any substantive response will be after Labor Day. (There is no way of knowing what the decision making process or hierarchy is like inside of LJ, which is why I'm disinclined to believe some of the wilder conspiracy theories going around; however, one thing that seems to be clear is that there are quite a few levels of hierarchy and bureaucracy in there. No longer do the decision-makers communicate directly with users, and public statements take a long time to compile. This increases user dissatisfaction, IMHO. )

Further notes:
I'm wondering if the other changes are going to be widely used by users. Will many people use the Facebook login? Will it really help bring more traffic to LJ? I've heard about Myspace's FB integration, and am wondering whether it'll arrest or hasten their rapid decline.

Also, IAWTC: Here. Basically, my opinion is, whatever you think of this latest thing at LJ, I am 99% sure in the future that something like this is going to happen and LJ will handle it in the same way. /shrug
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
2010-08-12 05:07 pm
Entry tags:

post draft update

In the latest DW news post, a new draft of the update journal page has been introduced! I think it's a big improvement on the last draft, and it's great that we can collapse all the things we don't need, like how it is in WP. The main qualms I have with it are that the text box still feels too narrow, and it would also be good if there was a way to disappear the boxes instead of collapsing them. However, I don't have many strong opinions about the update post page because I basically use only two features on a regular basis: tags and access lock. As you can see, I normally don't even change my icon. So I felt, that as long as the boxes were collapsible so I don't have to see the things that I don't use, it would be ok. However, some people brought up some good points about complexity:

from here:

It's got an on/off switch for everything including the kitchen sink, with collapsable menu upon collapsable menu requiring clicks to conceal or expose functionality that only a handful of people will need.

If our target audience is LJcode power users, let's just come out and say it. Diversity statement or no, when the site's interface looks like this we're making it very intimidating to new users. And I know Dreamwidth serves a different niche than Tumblr or Posterous, but it seems like it requires a lot more effort to do basic things on Dreamwidth than it does almost anywhere else.

Between invite codes and privacy filters, I wonder if Dreamwidth's real "killer feature" is insularity. And I don't mean that as an insult.


I think this is a pretty good point.

more thoughts )
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
2010-07-29 03:09 pm

Renames, OpenID and deletion of external content

Recently, LJ had been restricting openID usage of LJ accounts which had been renamed. The problems seem to have been resolved to some extent, but I'm not sure what they'll end up doing in the long run. Basically, the problem has to do with renames. If you delete your account, and I rename my account to take up your old username, I can use openID to login to sites where you have previously left data under the open ID identity oldusername.livejournal.com, view it, delete it, etc, and represent myself as oldusername.livejournal.com. Now, probably you can say that since you abandoned oldusername.livejournal.com, you implicitly consented to my assuming the identity; however, I'm worried about the privacy implications this has. Many users do not understand openID or how it works very well at all. If you understand how it works, it becomes immediately obvious the renamed LJ account would be technically indistinguishable from the prior LJ account, but many people don't understand openID and also, could have used it, but not remembered that they had.
openID combined with potential new LJ policy creates some potential serious social problems for sites where LJ users log in with openID )
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
2010-07-24 12:56 pm

Hide Referrers? and Why I Hate Google Analytics

http://dw-suggestions.dreamwidth.org/390320.html?style=mine

Suggestion on hiding referrers. I think that some form of this should be done, for privacy's sake. And that it should be opt-in. Other than that, the technical concerns are very complex, so I don't have much else to say.

In the course of discussing that suggestion, I mentioned that I hate using Google Analytics, although this is a result of my very specific needs. I'm sure that Google Analytics is great for analyzing e-commerce and professional usages, but I use it for one reason: because I want to see if anyone is linking to my posts. Now, Google Analytics is capable of doing this, but in a very inefficient way. Possibly, there's a way to make it do it more efficiently, but I don't know how to make it output that data, and GA is so complex that it's not intuitive to do so; which is not necessarily a flaw, but more of a sign that it's not suited to the avg noob.
my peeves )
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
2010-07-04 12:04 pm
Entry tags:

More on Interop vs. Site Culture Preservation

Huh, it seems a lot of people are quite interested in the issue, as there are sixty comments (admittedly, a lot of those are mine, but anyway.)

Some highlights:

It was pointed out that crossposting might undermine pseudonomity, not in a general sense (newcomers changing the site culture), but in a specific sense (people's friends crossposting, and then the crossposter's FB friends coming over to DW, and then possibly finding them.) In other words, say that A and B both use DW and are linked here (through access/subscription). A blogs pseudononymously at DW and wishes to keep their RL identity and their pseudonoymous DW identity separate. B does not blog pseudononymously at DW, and so crossposts to FB. What if B's friends on FB decide, prompted by this, to go to DW? Then, it is possible that they might find A via B's profile or by reading B's read-list or some other means, thus undermining A's pseudononymity.

While this is an issue, I don't think this is one which should be solved by banning B from crossposting to FB, or otherwise discouraging them from doing so. The same problem would exist if B had a WP blog which linked to A's DW journal, and B was crossposting their WP blog to FB. It's an issue which exists when someone who is pseudononymous and someone who is not are publicly linked to each other: I am not sure how it is generally solved in other situations. (I personally solve it by keeping a strict separation, and also, on LJ and DW, not posting publicly RL info: location, birthday, etc.)

There was also the important point of how social networking sites are generally not monocultures, and how multiple norms may exist on other sites. In some parts of LJ, it is the norm for people to use IRL names, and not in other parts. I think this could occur on DW, and wouldn't necessarily be a problem either.

There was also a call for more non-LJ users on DW.

Also, I was thinking about Tumblr, and actually, it has some FB integration. This, in my limited anecdotal knowledge, has not undermine Tumblr's own culture, or made it difficult to blog pseudononymously there, as I do. In fact, I would say that Tumblr minimizes the above issue (undermining of pseudononimity by visible social media links) by allowing people to hide on their blog their lists of followers/followed.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
2010-07-02 08:00 pm

Interoperability vs. Preservation of Site Culture

Recently, there was a suggestion about crossposting to Facebook Notes. In general, public opinion was against the suggestion, and in the comments, there was some discussion about whether this option might create problems for DW site culture or not.

For example, this comment by [personal profile] damned_colonial:


2) I dislike Facebook culture and the style of interaction that happens there. I fear that making it easy to crosspost to Facebook would result in lots of people coming here from Facebook and bringing Facebook social norms, which are at odds with the social norms I enjoy here on DW. (For instance, things I enjoy on DW include: lengthy, thoughtful posts and comments, a respect for pseudonymity, and the ability to segregate one's journalling from one's "real life").


In response, there was an interesting comment left by [personal profile] matgb, who said:

More of my readers come to read my stuff from Twitter and Facebook than do from LJ or DW. Even more come from a UK politics aggregator (or at least did when I was posting regularly). I'd like them to be able to comment effectively. I'd also like to 'push' to those sites I make use of to aggregate my stuff.

Essentially, who are you (or anyone else) to determine what sort of culture I want in my personal journal, and why should a whole site be tarnished because some people don't like the bits they've seen?

[......]

I didn't sign up for a fandom blogging platform, I signed up for an LJ fork that would take the good idea and make it genuinely interoperable. Refusing to deal with other sites because there are "normal" people there and they have a "culture I don't want to see here" is, well, annoying.


more on these issues )

UPDATE: [personal profile] foxfirefey has alerted me to the fact that an earlier suggestion about crossposting to FB was already accepted into the bug database. So the point itself may actually be moot.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
2010-05-28 09:57 pm
Entry tags:

Draft of Update Post Page, and random tip

The draft of the new update post page has been posted to dw_news, and they are seeking your commentary.

http://dw-news.dreamwidth.org/21237.html

It looks pretty good, and has new sections for the scheduled posts and drafts.


Also, in case you've ever encountered sites which insert links into your clipboard when you C&P, it's probably this Tynt script. Here is an explanation of how to get rid of it.

And now back to translating. >_> Five more pages of this section to go!
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
2010-05-13 10:58 am
Entry tags:

Livejournal introduces 'ratings'?

It seems that LJ has put the ratings system formerly on the lj.ru domain into lj.com. (Don't know since when this has been) 'Ratings' show which are the most popular users, communities, and posts by a variety of metrics, such as users friending them/members, page views, and 'digs' (for the posts). These apply to the Cyrillic side of the site.

http://www.livejournal.com/ratings/ <--users
http://www.livejournal.com/ratings/community/ <--communities
http://www.livejournal.com/ratings/posts <--posts

However, I also noticed something interesting. When I went to LJ.ru and looked at the section of the front page that has a box with these ratings in it, the top ten listed there seemed to reflect the non-Cyrillic side of LJ. Very strange. Could this mean that ratings are coming to the non-Cyrillic side of the site?

In some ways, I think a leaderboard system like this might be helpful for DW, especially for comms, because many DW users have felt that they have a difficult time finding active comms. If a leaderboard system for comms was implemented, IMHO it would be best to base the stats on pageviews or comment activity or posts, rather than on number of members. This would enable people to find comms that actually have a high level of activity. (And of course, there should be an opt-out)