March 19th, 2008

planet

strikes & lj politics

apparently there's a "livejournal strike" on Friday - I won't be participating. For the record, if I forget to post, it's because I forgot to post, not because I'm supporting some insane "strike". For those who don't know, the movement is happening for the following reasons:

1) Livejournal no longer offers free, no-ad accounts for new users. When you sign up you chose between ads on your journal or a paid account. There used to be the "basic account" choice, which had fewer features but it was free and didn't show ads. brad, who invented livejournal, said that basic accounts were set up so there'd be more users and more content. Well, we're there. Livejournal has lots of users and content. So when the basic account types are whining that their friends can't set up the same accounts (existing users aren't even losing theirs, just whining!) I fail to see what ammunition they've got. I've run big websites - you do nice things in the beginning to encourage new members, then when the site gets more expensive you make it harder for freeloaders. That's the price you pay of being a freeloader. You're doomed to wander from website to website, contributing to their beginnings. That's the choice you make. If you hate it, start your own website.

2) Users are also mad that they weren't pre-told about basic accounts going away. Um, there'd be a rush on basic accounts? Again, the whining.

3) They're mad that "sex" doesn't show up in the list of most popular interests, it's filtered out. I can think of so many other things to care about.

One-day strikes are incredibly ineffective. My favorite are the gas strikes... people still drive their cars and use gas, but due to some e-mail forward, they think that taking a day off will stick it to big oil. Of course, oil companies issue quarterly statements like everyone else, so the daily ups and downs don't make a bit of difference, but no one talks about that, and no one talks about driving less. It's slacktivism at its finest.

So if you hate livejournal, GO. Move to the next website and drink in its free years, that's the way the internet works. You cannot convince a company that its decisions are bad, when they're basing their opinions on business and you're basing yours on, well, yourself. Somebody's gotta pay the bills around here, if you can't. Deal.