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.


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

This made me curious to see how LJ was doing.


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


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


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)

In this entry, there are some disturbing allegations of a comment in a locked post by a possible LJ staffer, crazyprotein. Unfortunately, since the comment has now disappeared, I suspect that there will be no resolution.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
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)

The commenter makes a good point, in that does it really count as openID adoption if you can't really TELL that the sites are using openID and there is no generic openID login?

http://davidrecordon.com/2010/09/openid-technology-or-movement.html <--the blogger responds.

On Dreamwidth, it seems, there is reportedly some feelings that openID integration has gone too far:


I personally haven't seen this kind of sentiment mentioned, so I can't really say much about why people feel this way.

Also, word of a troublesome (now fixed) bug at LJ. This was major flaw, and thankfully, it was discovered quickly.


Is it normal for bugs like this to slip through? 0_o

Tumblr vs. LJ?

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010 10:31 am
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
Prompted by fears that people are abandoning LJ for Tumblr, some LJ users have started a movement for people to take a month-long break from Tumblr.


While I have no interest in participating in such a campaign, I hadn't realized that so many people were apparently moving from LJ to Tumblr (Tumblr's growth is continuing, though, and those new users must be coming from somewhere). Personally, I see no reason why the two can't coexist, and I suspect that Tumblr's popularity is because of its ease of use, lower pressure, and also because the personal, locked component on LJ is migrating to FB and locked Twitters (Tumblr doesn't, IIRC, have much emphasis on the locked aspects of its service).

Some highlights:

links to subthreads )

Anyone else have other links? Have you noticed any LJ-->Tumblr migration? I noticed that some of the people on these posts, also, are claiming they've seen a big slow-down of LJ activity compared to last year.

In any event, I think one thing which also defines Tumblr is that, unlike LJ, it's developing consciously within a niche, and they are very willing to experiment with new features, and axe them if they don't make the cut.

In other news, now you can use Twitter as an identity on LJ, meaning you can comment using your Twitter account. Reportedly, according to Russian sources, in this update you'll also be able to crosspost a Tweet digest to LJ on a daily basis automatically, and be able to view all posts by a specific user within a community.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
Recently, a new feature was added to Cyrillic Services on LJ. This feature, LJ Times, causes a scrolling field to appear at the bottom of LJ pages, showing popular posts. Many Russian users were very displeased, to say the least. Eventually, SUP made (I think) a statement that there will be an LJTimes opt out. From some of the blogs, I get the impression that LJ held a meeting with some popular bloggers, who agreed that the intent of the feature was good, but had problems with the implementation. However, LJ launched the feature without revising it.
links (all Russian-language) )
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)

Because of the instant personalization features of Facebook, I HIGHLY recommend that you stay logged out when not using the site, and tell all of your friends to also do so. Facebook is rolling out this feature to more sites, and in the past and present, there have been many cross site scripting problems with it.

Unrelated, but I agree with what [personal profile] azurelunatic has to say about people spamming the LJ news comm with DW Promotions here. It is simply giving people a bad impression of DW. However, at the same time, I think even though DW and LJ can 'co-exist peacefully' the fact is, DW is objectively speaking in competition with LJ, so hawking a competitor's product in the official forums is not going to be looked upon well by the company. Whenever a DW advocate criticizes LJ, there is a strong likelihood it's going to come off as a PR move to promote DW. [BTW, Splitcomplex is not replying because they've been banned from LJ news]

http://news.livejournal.com/130231.html?thread=90773943#t90773943 A Russian user claims that Russian users didn't care very much about the cross-posting thing because a) Twitter and FB aren't very popular, and b) because of security concerns, they don't post private things to LJ anyway.

some links

Monday, September 27th, 2010 09:50 pm
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
Via [personal profile] elena: Microsoft to shut down their Windows Live Spaces blogging site, allows users the option of moving to Wordpress.com.

A User's Guide to Websites, part 1: If it wasn't broken, why fix it?

I was also talking to someone who felt that SUP splitting LJ into Cyrillic (meaning mainly Russian and other languages using the cyrillic script) and non-Cyrillic services (mainly English) as a bad thing for users. However, I don't really agree. It makes sense to split them up, because the Russian-language and English usages of the site are so different, and because certain things which Russian (and other Cyrillic-script using languages) users like, might be disliked by the English language userbase, and we might have had even MORE drama. Also, some of the features for the Russian-speaking userbase are more useful when restricted only to journals which use a common language, such as 'popular posts' and 'top users.' [edited for clarity]

/goes back to reading very long book which they made an anime of. PG 400 w00t. Why do I read so slow in Japanese...
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
A staff member responds to both the dissatisfaction over the cross-posting and the incidents with staff members behaving inappropriately:


Another staff member confirms the 50/50 stat, and explains the staff's reasoning behind the exemption for Cyrillic services:


Here's also an interesting post about web 2.0 and web 1.0

further thoughts on the split in LJ user practices )
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
Re: the latest LJ news announcement.

It is somewhat puzzling to me why LJ announced that they would make it impossible for comments to locked entries to be crossposted by non-Cyrillic Services users, but possible for Cyrllic Services users. If they wanted to allow for the possibility that some users would have no problem with having comments to locked entries crossposted, why didn't they create an opt-out feature? Or, if they wanted to make Cyrillic Services the deciding factor, why not have it automatically disabled on non-Cyrillic Services journals?

This is pure speculation, but could it have to do with the way they engineered the software, so to have an opt-out based on whose post it was, vs. whose comment it was, require a huge re-engineering? So, under the current code, possibly they can only alter it based on the commenter's preferences/characteristics, thus they can make the boxes disappear for people who haven't opted in, and turn it off entirely for non-Cyrillic Services users, but not make it follow the preferences of the post owner.


Some interesting information here: currently the active users are evenly split between English-speaking and Russian.

Possibly this does go some ways to explaining the above decision. So far the English language userbase appears hostile, or indifferent to this feature, but if the Cyrillic language userbase likes it, that essentially means it's not a situation of 'vast majority of users hate this.' Otherwise, it seems like it would have been perfectly technically feasible to just shut it off entirely for locked entries like they said they were going.

According to the wayback machine, the amount of active LJ users are somewhere around what they were in the past (in the past it was higher also), which means that in absolute terms, the number of English LJ users has decreased, and the number of Cyrillic/Russian users increased. So, the perception that English-LJ has shrunk is probably accurate. It will be interesting to see in a year or two what the ratio is.

(Also, if you look at the wayback machine you'll see that the ratio of non-posters:posters seems to have increased, in that for the same number of active users, there are fewer people who posted entries to their journals. In other words, there seem to be more people who comment/lurk without keeping active journals. So, it seems that on the whole, LJ has shifted to a more broadcast model.)

EDIT: Staffer bluemeringue comments that: "We have addressed this issue internally with [info]brenden and [info]dnewhall."

(Context: This is re: the issues with dnewhall, which were already publicly acknowledged by LJ, at least as far as the commenting went, but dnewhall denied that the entry was locked when he saw it. Re: brenden's trolling, up to this point no one from LJ had acknowledged that Brenden was in fact trolling using a sockpuppet, so is this an admission that he was indeed trolling? I suppose so, because otherwise wouldn't the statement be more like 'Brenden was in fact not that person, blah blah.'?)
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)

On LJ, someone has sent in a suggestion, similar to the oft suggested 'security level for logged-in LJ users', suggesting that LJ create a new level of commenting permissions, for logged-in LJ users only, and not allowing openID users or FB users to comment. (Note that it doesn't affect who can view the entry).

I'm not really sure what such a commenting level would be really useful for, though. If people with FB accounts can see the posts, certainly it's not impossible for them to register and then start commenting, so I can't really see this being helpful from a prevention standpoint; from a spam standpoint, I'm not sure there really is much FB connect spam, or openID spam, but perhaps I'm wrong.

If many people embrace this, however, it really will start breaking some of the interop abilities of openID (and FB Connect) at LJ.

It's also interesting, though, that so far LJ has yet made no decision about the logged-in-user access level. If that's implemented, though, the main party I see it benefiting is LJ itself, because it won't really enhance security for users much. (I also, however, am not sure much disaster will ensue. This function exists in a lot of social media sites which are not disaster zones.)

(Also interesting: http://community.livejournal.com/suggestions/1029501.html Someone proposes authenticated RSS reading on LJ. Actually, they're wrong that there is no web-based authenticated RSS reading solution: http://gregarius.net/)
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
Poll #4361 thought experiment on importation
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 44

1. What if someone created a Facebook App that would allow LJ users to import their own journals, AND comments left on those journals to Facebook. Assume that the entries and comments would be imported in their entirety, with comments attributed to the LJ usernames of those who posted them. Assume that non-public entries would remain non-public, and filters would be assigned to filtered entries. What would you think about this? Assume that you were able to delete content left by you that you have access to.

View Answers

I'd oppose it/be offended by it.
16 (36.4%)

I would have no opinion/be indifferent.
23 (52.3%)

I would be very pleased by this.
2 (4.5%)

I would use this FB app to import my journal to Facebook.
1 (2.3%)

Other (please specify)
6 (13.6%)

2. What if someone created an FB App which could import LJ comms to an FB group. Assume similar conditions to the above.

View Answers

I'd oppose it/be offended by it.
18 (40.9%)

I would have no opinion/be indifferent.
24 (54.5%)

I would be very pleased by this.
1 (2.3%)

I would use this FB app to import my comm to Facebook.
1 (2.3%)

Other (please specify)
4 (9.1%)

edit: ugh, grammar fail. I forgot a question mark. -_-
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
Ehhh? What the heck is going on here?

So those who are following LJ and/or care, LJ decided to disallow crossposting of comments to Facebook/Twitter from locked posts in the future. Some are satisfied by this, and others not, but oddly....

The head of Abuse Prevention at LJ suddenly starts to discuss issues of privacy/publicity with the disgruntled users, as well as criticizing DW's comment imports policy. And then Brenden, editor of ONTD, also begins to argue with users, but in a much less polite way.

Now we are seeing accusations that Brenden is secretly trolling?! (I have no idea whether this is true or not, but it's all over the news post comments.) Now people are starting to accuse others of being staff members in disguise. This is all getting stranger and stranger.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
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)
After about a day, LJ staff respond: http://news.livejournal.com/129190.html?thread=87522726#t87522726

Although, most of the feedback says the same thing, so I'm not sure why they needed to take so long to respond.

The LJ staffer in the above quote is directing people towards a poll on thequestionclub: http://community.livejournal.com/thequestionclub/86168785.html

An LJ user has also made an unofficial comm and put a poll on it too: http://community.livejournal.com/eljayfeedback/515.html

So far, there are 5000+ comments on the news post.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)

Most of the controversy is over the way comments on other people's locked posts can be posted to Twitter/Facebook, thus revealing the URL. So far, also, LJ is not really explaining if they intend to change any policies regarding this. (Also, the / character is broken in tags, but this was not intentional and is slated to be fixed).
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)

So it seems that the reason the layout needed to be changed was to conform to 'web standards'? What does this really mean?

Anyway, the weird thing is that Brenden is actually fairly transparent, by social media standards. He pretty much lays it out on the line why things are happening. I also wonder who the former CEO of LJ is. (Er, which one they're referring to)

http://community.livejournal.com/ohnotheydidnt/50338351.html?thread=8606170159#t8606170159 <--Brenden's train of thought

Link smorgasboard

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010 12:37 pm
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
An interview with the new head of Russian LJ: http://ottenki-serogo.livejournal.com/182058.html (in Russian)
[I also found a lot of interesting Russian links about suspensions, deletions, and renames/openID, but I don't speak Russian so I can't contextualize them very well.]

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/update-on-google-wave.html Google Wave is dead.

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/wordpress_copies_facebooks_like.php Wordpress.com is hopping on the "Like" bandwagon.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/04/business/media/04barnes.html B&N up for sale

http://money.cnn.com/2010/07/29/technology/kindle_3/index.htm Kindle 3 arriving soon. Hopefully the prices will drop even lower by next year. With this Amazon has really put one over Borders (which is hawking the $150 Kobo) and Barnes and Noble. Kindle is now the low cost e-ink leader, and wifi Kindle 3 is comparable (and slightly cheaper) to the wifi Nook, and superior to the wifi-less Kobo. But I'm still waiting for the $100 price point.

http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2010/08/google-multiple-sign-in-now-available.html Now you can switch between multiple google accounts.

http://community.livejournal.com/changelog/8909942.html LJ to allow Twitter crossposting? This sounds useful, actually.

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