Master of the Oblivious, Destroyer of Souls (pyran) wrote in lj_biz,
Master of the Oblivious, Destroyer of Souls
pyran
lj_biz

Publicity we don't want and trust

By now I'm sure everyone, their brother, their brother's roommate, and their brother's roommate's brother has heard about the recent flap in support over the win32 client. If you haven't, you may have seen posts saying "I support semagic", and you may have followed the link until you got to the original thread anyway. To be honest, I'm surprised that no one here has talked about it yet.

I have two issues I'd like to discuss: publicity and trust.

Everything that is done in the public, LJ-specific forums on this site (i.e., support, biz, dev, etc.) reflects on LiveJournal. Because of this, it's important that the behavior on these forums stay professional. It has not been. The mess in
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By now I'm sure everyone, their brother, their brother's roommate, and their brother's roommate's brother has heard about the recent flap in support over the win32 client. If you haven't, you may have seen posts saying "I support semagic", and you may have followed the link until you got to the original thread anyway. To be honest, I'm surprised that no one here has talked about it yet.

I have two issues I'd like to discuss: publicity and trust.

Everything that is done in the public, LJ-specific forums on this site (i.e., support, biz, dev, etc.) reflects on LiveJournal. Because of this, it's important that the behavior on these forums stay professional. It has not been. The mess in <lj-user="lj_support"> is of course the most recent one, but there was recently a problem in this board as well.

Everyone has their own opinions, and everyone is entitled to discuss their opinions in a civilized manner. However, flames and comments saying "Fuck you and the horse you rode in on" are the rough equivalent of a company broadcasting to the world what's said in the bathroom. These things reflect poorly on LJ. Imagine: you're a user who just ran across this LJ thing. You want to learn more, so you go to some of the communities mentioned on the site. You decide you like it, so you join up, but during this process you run into problems. So you go to lj_support and you see... people bitching at each other, loudly. They're not arguing, they're bitching and screaming. What would you do? I, for one, would be likely to turn away. After all, there's always Blogger.

Arguments and discussions are a normal part of any group of people -- changes need to be debated to insure that they are actually good for the site. But screaming matches between people telling each other to fuck off will not endear ourselves to anyone, especially those who are not familiar with the site.

What to do about it? Well, for starters, how about limiting who can see these posts? These things should be private -- they are private arguments between groups of people who constitute one public face of LJ. As such, they should not be aired out in public. Make them friends-only. Don't just let them sit there. They belong in the communities, so they shouldn't be deleted outright, but they don't belong out there for public consumption.

The other issue I'd like to discuss is for existing users of LJ. Recently, a post appeared in lj_support smoothing it all over. Visions was given his admin status back in support, and the whole thing is supposedly over. The problem is, it's not. If you're Joe User, and you heard about this whole thing, what would you do? Especially if you found out that the guy who was in the center of it all is still in charge of the area you need help in. Would you still go to support?

There's a trust issue here. Many people heard about the mess, and many others heard that it was solved by... what, exactly? What has LJ done to prevent it from happening again? What steps have been taken to insure that someone else won't simply wake up one day and decide to take a chunk of the site away from us? I don't have the answers to that, and I wonder if anyone does. That's the problem -- nothing has been changed, and there's no gaurantee that it won't all start right back up again.

Things need to be changed. Let's take this opportunity to do something about it.

Any thoughts?
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