Why should LiveJournal win a Webby? Well, for one, because we all really do think that it is a great community site and a great personal site... but also because it's what LiveJournal will need to attract serious attention to its open source project and to the site. Recently, there have been two major Internet-oriented conferences featuring panels on weblogging. Not only was LiveJournal not invited to speak on these panels, they weren't even notified. This isn't acceptable, in my opinion. LiveJournal is the leading open source weblog project. We are tied with Blogger now in number of users, and we are clearly outdeveloping them... and you know what? All that is nice, but it doesn't matter if the rest of the world doesn't know it.
Some of you might be thinking "Why bother? LiveJournal is doing great! We're growing like crazy!" ...and you'd be right. But we are an open source project, and we need to differentiate between LiveJournal the community and LiveJournal the software, because both have different needs in order to succeed. One of the things that LiveJournal, the software, needs to succeed is to attract attention, developers, and customers to its software. LiveJournal needs equal status from the media for that, and the Webbies would be the quickest way to get it.
This year, the Webbies have gone all out to make themselves (and their winners) newsworthy. It's worth mentioning that Sam Donaldson is hosting the Webbies, and that ABC News will not only cover the event, they will also webcast it on their site. That doesn't even touch upon the hundreds of reporters that will be covering the event from all around the world. We could decide not to compete, and let Blogger get the Webby Award because a handful of people decided to specifically nominate them and not us, but why? Don't we want to be able to have LiveJournal hire on more volunteers to create new features? Is it fair that we use the service for free, while expecting Brad and the rest of the volunteers to work 24/7/365 for slave's wages? None of LiveJournal's volunteers are doing what we do to get rich (there are many easier ways...), but wouldn't it be nice to have at least one paying customer for LiveJournal to help out with paying volunteers salaries they could actually live on?
I guess I'm asking all of you as an unpaid volunteer and a fellow user of LiveJournal, will you stand behind LiveJournal and help us do this? Will you work, both as individuals and together, to get LiveJournal the serious attention that it needs and to open new doors for us? Will you spread the word to your other LiveJournal friends and get them to vote too? Again, I absolutely promise you that we can win this thing... all it would take is a few dozen of you to really go out there and spread the word. We have until July 4th to get the votes we need to win this. If we're going to do it, we should start now.
If you do vote in the Webbies, remember, we are LiveJournal and our URL is http://www.livejournal.com . We are currently the lead write-in candidate for the Communities, Personal Site, and Services categories!
Voting update! See the latest vote totals, updated regularly!