Uh-oh. According to Mashable, LiveJournal, of blogging’s old warhorses, is in some big financial trouble:
The company has reportedly laid off 20 of 28 employees, “leaving only a handful of finance and operations workers.”
As the Mashable article implies, MySpace and Facebook currently dominate when it comes to social media, and personal blogging is on the wane, for the most part. Most non-fandom oriented bloggers I know abandoned LJ for Blogger or TypePad years ago.
I joined LJ back in 1999-2000, mostly to follow specific fan communities that made a home there at the time, but even then I did my personal blogging on Blogger, and only kept up my LJ account to follow “Friends Only” accounts and communities like Oh No They Didn’t or Fandom Wank, when it was housed there. But blogging – and fandom activity – has certainly changed, much as it did when many e-mail discussion groups were abandoned for LJ in the early ’00’s.
LJ’s impending demise has been a long time in coming, I believe, considering the steady account erosion that started several years ago, and it certainly may have some correlation to the fans that abandoned LJ in the wake of “Strikethough/Boldthrough”, the primarily fan-community driven backlash was spurred by LiveJournal’s parent company, Six Apart, suspending user accounts deemed sexually explicit or “harmful to children.” Since a lot of fan-fiction writing communities (particularly the Harry Potter fanfic writers) were among the few that remained on LJ after the blogging masses moved on, Strikethrough was kind of the death knell for LJ, when those communities eventually moved on to open-source alternatives like GreatestJournal, insanejournal, JournalFen, etc., especially after Six Apart sold LJ to Russian software company SUP.
There’s a lot of contention about Six Apart/SUP and how the companies dealt with some of their most dedicated consumers – fangirls, for the most part. But regardless of that, with the fluid migration of social media audiences and fan communities being a constant, I think the eventual decline of LJ was inevitable.
Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
Your, Raiul Baztepo
LJ has become very restrictive. It fails to offer the rich features of WordPress where one user can have multiple blogs, as I now do.
The Writer’s Block questions are inane at best. And there are times the editing features are cumbersome.
I love the set-up at WordPress. I can use the Tag Surfer to read entries to other blogs that share my interests and yet I don’t have to construct a circle of friends to get access to those other blogs. It’s a more fluid exchange between readers and commenting.
I currently have a paid account at LJ and yet I’m still subject to annoying ads that open up when I sometimes visit other members’ blogs.
I’m thinking of letting it expire at year’s end and not renewing it. I’ve got a nice group of LJ friends but am very frustrated by the limitations of the service.