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09 March 2009 @ 11:11 am
Upcoming meeting on March 10, 2009  
There's an Advisory Board meeting on March 10 and we'd love to hear your thoughts about the agenda items listed below. We want to share your views and opinions with the Board so they can get a better picture of the issues that are important to you. Please comment on any of the agenda topics that are of interest to you and we'll present them at the meeting.

  • LJ 10th Anniversary
    We have a lot of plans to mark the tenth anniversary of LiveJournal. We'll be asking the Board what they think about our plans and what role they want to play in the celebrations. You've probably already seen lj_turns10, our special birthday community. We'll use that as a springboard for a discussion with the Board about such questions as: How can we most effectively represent the global nature of LJ in our celebrations? What's the best way to reflect LJ's pioneering role in the social media boom? What areas of LJ should we be sure to highlight during the celebrations? Please comment on these questions and any other birthday-related questions you might have.

  • New Paid and Premium Services
    The expansion and enhancement of premium features are a big priority for LJ in 2009. We'll be asking the Advisory Board for their views on the new services we're working on, and we want your views to be represented, too. What kind of premium features are you most interested in? Should we do more with v-gifts? Who should we partner with to best add value to the site and boost the number of Paid Accounts? What's the best way for LJ to merchandise its own goods across the globe? What other kind of features should we offer? Let us know what you think.
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Imariaimaria on March 9th, 2009 06:22 pm (UTC)
V-gifts should not be a priority. They are, in essence, png files. Please don't go overboard with them. There are much better ways to get us to add revenue.

Besides the ever-requested a la carte icon purchasing, LJ should be considering revenue that does not change the content available on the site already. The internal advertising is at about maximum saturation, so partnerships OUTSIDE of LJ might be better suited. Perhaps getting an LJ account AND an account at a similarly marketed website at a premium price would be worthwhile. Or perhaps giving Paid users a discount to an online retailer, with LJ receiving a portion of the money spent. There was an attempt at this type of deal with MooCards, which while they didn't appeal to most users, was a better idea for revenue building that was much less intrusive.
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Kentkent on March 9th, 2009 06:24 pm (UTC)
I agree about V-Gifts. They're a revenue stream for LJ, not a feature that greatly enhances the user experience for most.
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Kentkent on March 10th, 2009 12:05 am (UTC)
Also, why isn't our user representative soliciting the opinions of users so s/he can represent the users at the meeting? Isn't that part of the job?

I would appreciate it if the board could discuss the 2009 user representative elections and how to improve them so the reported problems (ballot stuffing, candidates intimidated and threatened into dropping out, no clear role/accountability for the winner) won't happen again?
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This House Believes in Skyscraperskenboy on March 9th, 2009 06:28 pm (UTC)
Icons, for sure.

Are paid users still on faster servers (or somehow prioritized in some other way) then sponsored or free users? I used to have a Greasemonkey script that told me how much time I was saving over non-paid users. If they're not, consider bringing that back, and if they still are, make it even faster and make it a selling point for paid accounts.

V-gifts are worthless, IMO, and only get used when someone wants to prove a point (i.e., lots of Pepsi Max or whatever it was for the LJ staff.)

Consider breaking ALL of the paid user benefits into a la carte service -- I'll bet there are some unpaid users who would pay (a lower amount) for just icons, but who'd be happy to never use (and never pay for) polls or voice posts or scrapbook space, etc.

Use your relationship with Peanut Labs (if that still exists) to survey the user base, both paid and otherwise, on what they want and what they'd pay for, rather than just guessing.
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Ken [not quite a real boy]: Siberian clawsmereprototype on March 9th, 2009 06:34 pm (UTC)
Agreed completely. I like icons, the layout options that come with Paid status, and occasional voice posting, but that's it.
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(no subject) - pne on March 9th, 2009 06:40 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - danceinacircle on March 9th, 2009 07:05 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on March 9th, 2009 06:28 pm (UTC)
Imariaimaria on March 9th, 2009 06:45 pm (UTC)
I was trying to grill my own brain for recent content & policy issues that needed discussion, but I admit to pulling a blank.

What substantive issues should we be pushing for?
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(no subject) - (Anonymous) on March 9th, 2009 08:23 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - readysteadystop on March 10th, 2009 12:18 am (UTC)
(no subject) - imaria on March 10th, 2009 12:37 am (UTC)
(no subject) - thewhiteowl on March 10th, 2009 01:15 am (UTC)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on March 10th, 2009 01:41 am (UTC)
(no subject) - thewhiteowl on March 10th, 2009 09:34 am (UTC)
Ju Ju Bee: Ryanjulieannie on March 9th, 2009 06:33 pm (UTC)
It's been basically a year since the LJAB elections and still no communication from the English-speaking representative legomymalfoy. We haven't had updated minutes from the last meeting or any signs that any other meetings may have occurred. That's what I want from this meeting. An actual report.

I think the obvious step is getting LJ to follow through with the promise of a la carte userpics that were supposed to be delivered in 2008 and we're already nearing the end of the first quarter of 2009 and you all are worried about v-gifts. I'd rather pay for a service I would use, not merchandise or gifts that don't provide value.
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Kethryvis: Lonelykethryvis on March 9th, 2009 07:06 pm (UTC)
First off, i agree with *everything* that's been said so far. 24 hours to give comment? That's not making me feel like you care about my opinions. No minutes from the October meeting? Come on now.

While i do agree that something needs to happen for the 10th anniversary of LJ, i'm not sure if what's 'planned' is correct, *especially* the book idea. i'm not terribly hip on that. How about thanking us, the users, for 10 years of nifty? Up some limits for *everyone* as a celebration, help us throw anniversary parties across the globe, something to make us feel a part of the process because frankly, we are. If it were not for us, this 10 year milestone would not have ever been reached. It's our content going in your book that will generate more revenue for you (in theory). How about thanking all of us and involving all of us, not just some anointed few who make it in a book? How about highlighting the communities, which is why all of us came to LJ and not to Blogger, etc. in the first place? Or the open-source nature of LJ? (is that still something LJ is, open source? i know it used to be...) How about focusing on what makes LJ *different*, not just what it is. Those differences are why i'm here and not blogging on MySpace, FaceBook, Blogger, Twitter, whatever.

BTW, what makes LJ different is *not* v-gifts. FaceBook does 'em too. And frankly? They're not value added for most of us. i've not seen any of my friends use them, except when we all got one freebie. Other than that, why should i spend money on some stupid virtual trinket, especially in this economy? Give me something with bang for my buck. V-gifts ain't it.

How about going through news and finding loose ends? Those a la cart userpics you promised months ago still have yet to materialize, with no comment or anything from anybody. Do you know what this does to your userbase? It leads us to not trust you anymore. In online things, trust is everything. If we don't trust you anymore, we'll take our money and our *content* (which should be as important to you) elsewhere. Are there policy issues we're still worried about? What about the layoff issue? Have all the waters calmed from that? Just because people aren't talking about it doesn't mean people don't care about it.

i used to be a community coordinator for a site with a large fan base, and i'm a grad student studying online communities, especially the userbase LJ has. One of the biggest mistakes you can do as a company that relies on an online userbase for all of your content is not listening to your userbase. The biggest mistake is when you say you listen, but you actually don't. Lipservice is betrayal, and betrayal is death.
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Philip Newtonpne on March 10th, 2009 05:40 am (UTC)
Open source
Or the open-source nature of LJ? (is that still something LJ is, open source? i know it used to be...)

It still is.

Not all of LiveJournal's code, but then, that was the case from the beginning (most of the code was open-source, but some bits were marked LiveJournal-only, e.g. the Dystopia site scheme or some bits surrounding invite codes and, I think, payments). But most of it, I think.
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(no subject) - snarkysweetness on March 14th, 2009 04:59 am (UTC)
the synchronicity highway: pirates: heart full of flamesvelshtein on March 9th, 2009 07:14 pm (UTC)
A la carte icon purchasing would be fantastic to see soon. And fixing current problems, such as userpics being switched with other users' userpics, would be super awesome.

Edited at 2009-03-09 07:22 pm (UTC)
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The Teasemastertinylegacies on March 9th, 2009 07:16 pm (UTC)
I'm going to agree with most of the comments that are already posted here as well.

#1 - We should have been asked for these opinions at least a week ago.

#2 - V-gifts are nice and I do occasionally use them, but I would be much more likely to purchase a la carte userpics. I use LJ for roleplaying and have numerious accounts that are paid and plus. Most of my plus accounts would get a la carte userpics if they were available.

#3 - How about partnering with Google somehow? Many LJers use Gmail and I'm sure there are numerous opportunities for partnership that would enhance the LJ experience for your users. Maybe some way to publish Googledocs to a journal? Or a gadget in gmail that is connected to the Message Center? These are just off the top of my head. I'm sure there are other things that would be beneficial.

#4 - I'm not sure what the purpose of the LJ book is for the 10th anniversary. I would rather see online celebrations, promotions for your users [discounts on paid services, etc], maybe even host events in some of your larger markets.
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Susan: catastrophist since 1982: daydreamerdaydreamer on March 9th, 2009 07:17 pm (UTC)
I would prefer that LiveJournal administration and developers give priority to fixing existing features (see the large list in the Known Issues box for starters, then move on to everything that has been filed in Jira) rather than creating anything new, especially as recent new features have been fraught with problems (pingbacks, commenting for The Independent, Find Your Friends...). This will allow you to maintain the active, loyal userbase you already have and create positive word-of-mouth advertising (for free!). I certainly can't speak for everyone here, but I don't use LiveJournal because of the features it might have in two years. I use it because of the features it had two, five, or even ten years ago.

If you must create new features, provide the ones that have already been promised (journal searches, a la carte userpics...). Be reliable, honest, and communicative about them. And for the love of Frank, do more pre-release testing.
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A lurking goblin marionettedanceinacircle on March 9th, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
All of this that Susan said. Jira is full of broken things, and it would be fantastic to see them cleared out on a more regular basis.
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(no subject) - intrepia on March 9th, 2009 07:40 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - lied_ohne_worte on March 9th, 2009 10:01 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - vakkotaur on March 9th, 2009 08:16 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - amanda on March 9th, 2009 08:20 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on March 9th, 2009 10:34 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - amanda on March 9th, 2009 10:37 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ex_uniquewo on March 9th, 2009 09:17 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - turlough on March 9th, 2009 10:20 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - sonneta on March 10th, 2009 01:08 am (UTC)
(no subject) - azurelunatic on March 10th, 2009 04:16 am (UTC)
(no subject) - andy on March 10th, 2009 05:07 am (UTC)
(no subject) - xnera on March 10th, 2009 02:48 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - thewhiteowl on March 10th, 2009 07:29 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - kellzilla on March 13th, 2009 09:14 am (UTC)
From Mission Impossible To MissionInfreakingsanitynot_from_stars on March 9th, 2009 07:21 pm (UTC)
I agree with most of the comments and also put my vote in for al a carte user pics. I have many role playing journals that I would be happy to buy more user pics for -- but that I don't need everything for them in a paid account.
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ex_uniquewo on March 9th, 2009 07:22 pm (UTC)
What kind of premium features are you most interested in? Should we do more with v-gifts? Who should we partner with to best add value to the site and boost the number of Paid Accounts? What's the best way for LJ to merchandise its own goods across the globe? What other kind of features should we offer?

I don't care about V-Gifts. At all. Partner? Sorry, no. I just want non-sponsored new features. Haven't you browsed suggestions? There are god knows many features waiting to be implemented.

Edited at 2009-03-09 07:22 pm (UTC)
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Judith Proctor: dalek inquisitionwatervole on March 9th, 2009 07:39 pm (UTC)
When I'm commenting on an entry, there's no easy way to view all my icons and select one. I can view them - but I can't select one by clicking on it.

Or rather, I can in some journals, such as this one, but in others it can't be done.

The Browse button should be everywhere.
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Judith Proctor: Folk music - dangerwatervole on March 9th, 2009 07:40 pm (UTC)

The 'view friends by date' feature needs to be accessible from the standard menu (likewise 'friends of friends')
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Guesslauren on March 14th, 2009 01:53 am (UTC)
There is a view friends by date feature?
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(no subject) - foxfirefey on March 14th, 2009 01:56 am (UTC)
(no subject) - lauren on March 14th, 2009 01:58 am (UTC)
Cedara: *Reading_nude-(green)*cedara on March 9th, 2009 07:44 pm (UTC)
Paid/Premium service: being able to edit my memories and rearrange them newly
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Jeweliannajewelianna on March 9th, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC)
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(no subject) - cloex_brosluvr on March 10th, 2009 01:51 am (UTC)
Nicolebandgeek01 on March 9th, 2009 07:46 pm (UTC)
First and foremost, we should have had more than a day to come up with our opinions. I'm fairly certain this meeting just didn't magically appear on your calendars.

Second, I'd like to know the minutes of the last meeting.

Thirdly, a la carte user pics. Don't keep promising something you're probably never going to deliver on.

It's this wishy washy management that hasn't had me want to go and buy a paid account and I've been on here for 8 years.

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