Chris Rothbauer (redfarmer) wrote in lj_biz,
Chris Rothbauer
redfarmer
lj_biz

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Lately, I've noticed more and more users (including many paid users) becoming increasingly frustrated with, what lately, seems to be the constant problems with LiveJournal. I know Brad has posted a couple explanations to lj_maintenance but this does little to soothe the frustrations of users, especially considering the vast majority of users do not monitor the official LJ communities.

As I'm sure everyone realizes, this could become majorly bad for business fast. LiveJournal already has too few paid users as it is (the only reason I'm not a paid member myself is because of my monitary situation at the present). LiveJournal depends on these accounts to continue to exsist. If these people do not renew it could spell the end.

I don't think that a quick fix is necessarily the only way to appease most users, either. In my experience with working front line customer service jobs, many users can be appeased with a simple explanation of what's going on as it's happening. As an example of what I mean, on a day when there were numerous problems with the site, I checked the status page only to find some note about load balancers. To the average user this means nothing. Also, lately lj_maintenance has rarely been used.

What I propose is that LiveJournal should create a new team devoted to member relations. As it is, we get many requests in support with frustrated users but due to the volume of requests we receive, we're really not able to often give explanations or customer service. A new hidden subcategory in support could be created to receive user complaints and compliments that aren't easily handled by any other support volunteer. I know a similar category currently exsists but with a team devoted to it I feel we would have much happier users.

Also, the users need explanations. The status page, lj_maintenance, and the big yellow box need to be updated more often. Maybe Brad's article should be linked from the front page too. Perhaps even a weekly opt in email explaining the status of LiveJournal.

Finally, I wish to state that this is in no way a criticism of the LiveJournal staff and developers. I am a loyal user of LiveJournal and, being a volunteer in support myself, have nothing but the upmost respect for all of you. I'll be buying a paid account as soon as I can afford it. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same way I do. That's why it's so important that steps be taken now to ensure that we do not lose paid accounts.
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