Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Is anybody following me only here any more?

(Unlike nearly everything I post, this is intentionally only being posted to LiveJournal.)

A few days ago, I posted my analysis of the new LJ Terms of Service, over on Dreamwidth as usual.  Those of you only reading me here didn't see it, because (as I found out the hard way) crossposting from DW to LJ is now blocked until and unless you *accept* that TOS, which I didn't do until after posting that.  I recommend reading it if you want my views on the situation, but here are some additional thoughts, and a question to y'all.

On top of all the other problems with the new TOS (and, importantly, the Russian law it is based on), they've unilaterally broken their contract with us permanent users.  One of the primary reasons I (and many others) went for permanent years ago was that those accounts would never have advertising featured on them.  They've now said that they are going to disregard that promise, and show advertising on *all* LJ pages, regardless of membership status.  Basically, they've given a fairly explicit fuck-you to all permanent members, which doesn't do much to endear them to me.  Everything I've been able to find indicates that the new ownership of LJ regards it as nothing but a cash cow, to milk ruthlessly until it dies.

Just to make that a bit more special, they're indulging in some pretty explicit censorship on the subject.  If you look at the news-community post about the changes, you'll find that the comment section is pretty anodyne -- entirely neutral-to-positive.  So I decided to do a little experiment, pointing out (unhappily but civilly) that they've violated their contract with the users.  That comment remains screened.  I have a strong suspicion that the reason there are so few comments on the change is that they are hiding all the negative ones.

Which is legally within their rights, but drives home the important point: LiveJournal is no longer the LJ I originally joined.  It's basically a zombie, animating the husk of the service that I loved for so many years.  Which further points out that DreamWidth is much, much more like The LJ That Was.

For those who haven't looked at it seriously: DreamWidth is a "fork" of LJ, based on LJ's codebase from some years back, before LJ decided to hide their code.  It has evolved somewhat differently, but the general look-and-feel is still a lot like LiveJournal.  More importantly, it's a non-profit company, running on a shoestring, and doesn't take advertising, so they care *passionately* about their users: paid memberships are basically their entire revenue stream.  By now most of my friends from LJ have moved to it to at least some degree.

I made the jump to DW a few months ago, and I haven't regretted it -- while it lacks a few features that LJ now has, it is a much better site in other ways, having added features that I've been wanting on LJ for a decade.  (Eg, Markdown support.)  More importantly, it's much livelier, and actually gives a damn about what the users think.  (The dw_suggestions community is a downright fun discussion about how to make the site better.)

The question before me now is: do I cut LJ off?  I'm strongly tempted to stop crossposting my DW posts to here, and just use this account for commenting on the few people who are still only here.  It's not an idle question: many of my posts are probably borderline-illegal by Russian law and precedent because I am, y'know, in favor of gay rights and stridently opposed to Vladimir Putin.  And while many people have pointed out that I'm *unlikely* to suffer any consequences from violating Russian law, the fact is that I'm a lawful guy and don't like violating a contract in any form.  So I don't know if I can post here with a clear conscience any more.

So the question to you is very simple: do you care?  If you are actively reading me here on LJ (as opposed to DW or FB), and have no intention of beginning to read me on DW, please comment to that effect.  If nobody comments, then it's an easy decision: either nobody cares enough to have read to the end of this, or they don't care enough about reading me here.  If some folks *do* care, I'll take that into account -- it might or might not change my mind, but I'd like to know.

Oh, and if you've been following the Querki Development Journal here, that will almost certainly be moved off of LJ soon.  My current plan is to enhance Querki itself enough to begin posting it there instead.

Thanks.  (And seriously, think about setting up a DW account and backing up your LJ to it, while you still can...)
Tags: livejournal

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