Monday, May 19th, 2014 12:08 am
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
Updated notesonleaves a bit.

In other news, it seems LJ is updating its design again. Currently there is an opt-out while the design is in beta, but that will disappear after the beta period ends. In the meantime it feels like everyone has gone more to Tumblr than ever.

Currently reading a travelogue about Buddhist statuary in Japan. However I do not know enough about Buddhism so unless I have seen it I need to look everything up. I need the idiot's guide to Buddhist iconography.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)

LJarchive, the 3rd party program which lets you archive your LJ on your computer, is currently not working properly.

I found two support requests about it.


LJ staff, in later comments, say that the issue has been forwarded to the developers, so maybe it'll work again one day.

In other news, LJ's Rich Text Editor continues to have problems.

Here (in Russian), the head of LJ development talks about release 83.1, which fixes some of the bugs.

I haven't been posting to LJ recently (and I don't use the RTE anyhow) but I'm amazed they put out this release without finding or addressing any of these bugs. Something has gone seriously wrong in their testing.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
Release 83 is now live, which is mostly updates to the Rich Text update page. There seem to be a lot of bugs associated with this, however.

Also, there are some hints about what will be released in v. 84, which is scheduled for early September. Also, the Scrapbook II code has been uploaded, but due to some technical issues, beta testing hasn't started yet.

As far as I can figure out via Google Translate (anyone who can speak Russian, please help?) in v. 84 there will be:

Improved calculation of ratings (I think this is an RU-side feature only?) which will be better at calculating which things are truly popular.
Ability to create pending records for journals and comms (Is this a drafts feature? Might be http://changelog.livejournal.com/11284213.html or http://changelog.livejournal.com/11284531.html)
Some kind of self-promotion thing (I think this has been mentioned in changelog)
Remaking the comments form (I think this is what it's saying?)
m.livejournal.com can resize images on the fly
Something about SMS and personal messages/notifications
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
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)
http://igrick.livejournal.com/510012.html (Russian language link)

From what I can understand via machine translation, he gives more details on the DDoS attacks and says that it has stopped for the moment, but they are still continuing the mitigation procedures. He also talks about the origin of the attacks, and the wording of the English language message about the DDos, which seems to have upset/confused some Russian speaking users.

[Some of the content in these posts is similar to this post on SUP's official webpage: http://www.sup.com/en/news_359.html]

http://igrick.livejournal.com/510275.html (also Russian language)

He also wrote a post about how there were lots of 500 and 503 errors while posting as a side effect of the mitigation. He says that there may be fewer errors when posting with an app using xml-rpc api. (For example, the iphone/ipad/android apps)

http://igrick.livejournal.com/511301.html (again, Russian language)

This seems to have a scan of an official communication written by SUP. At the end, if google translate is rendering this correctly, he's saying that there will be two weeks compensation for paid users.

Anyone out there who speaks Russian know what the scan says?
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
http://translate.google.com/#ru|en|http%3A%2F%2Fj.mp%2Fow3oXz Via Google Translate.

Apparently they've concluded it's a DDoS so strong that the backbone providers (Qwest and Verizon) couldn't stand the load, with an avg. traffic load of 6 gigabits.

I'm not sure why another staffer says that posting this is a bad idea. The people behind this know what's going on anyway, and most users will never find out about this anyhow because they won't bother to look.

Other links (in Russian)

The sup.com link may imply that paid users will be compensated for lost time.


English language link
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)

It says "Creare RSS feed for friends page." Anyone know what it means from the code?

recent lj news

Friday, June 10th, 2011 04:22 pm
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
LJ also briefly implemented geolocation and then turned it off in the face of massive user dissatisfaction. I suspect based on these staff comments that it might be a culture clash kinda thing. In any case the issue seems to be resolved for the time being.

Also the LJ news comm is moving towards a much more reasonable format. Instead of weekly posts filled with non-news and contests, it's becoming biweekly (twice a month), and focusing on updates and important LJ information. I hope this also marks the end of the annoying "comment to get a free vgift" things too. It always seemed like a HUGE waste of time for paid staff to be administering these things anyhow. I mean, at most a few hundred people participated, which might be a significant amount if we are talking about a userbase the size of Dreamwidth's, but not, I think, in the case of one like LJ.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)

Article about why Tumblr is so good at retaining users, reportedly even better than Facebook.

I find myself using Tumblr more and more these days. The search capacity is especially useful.



Today (link processed through google translate) LJ added some code that will allow people to put the buttons for Facebook and Google (and others) in their entries. Since this is totally opt in, I am guessing this isn't going to be controversial.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
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

22 (66.7%)

8 (24.2%)

Other (explain in comments)
3 (9.1%)

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.


In other news, congratulations to Dreamwidth on leaving Beta.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)

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:


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)

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


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


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)

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.


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)

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 )
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
LJ has released a further statement on the spam issue.


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.

charmian: a snowy owl (Default)

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.


[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:


I'm surprised some people have this many paid accounts.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)

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.

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