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Promoting LiveJournal - Step Two

In Promoting LiveJournal - Step One, I focused on the elements that might drive people to the site - celebrities, and those that love/hate them.

Traffic is king when it comes to social media, so you have to consider what would get people to visit the site, and then, hopefully, stay around.

ravenfeather offered up a pretty nice little concept that might entice celebs to come back - some sort of program that could donate a portion of proceeds to the celeb's charity of choice, possibly based on clicks, views, responses, or some combination. It might be a bit difficult to institute in a way that doesn't create some problems or issues (and maybe long-time users would take offense?), but it really seems like something to consider. It could also be a "test market" for what could eventually be a "profit sharing" system from providing content for ALL users, not just the famous ones... and wouldn't a program like THAT be a way of getting the traffic back?!

I really feel that everything is in place, from a user standpoint, for LJ to explode all over again. Well, most everything. dabroots pointed out that when he goes to other sites like The New York Times or other similar news or entertainment sites, there are buttons that allow you one touch to post an article to your Facebook, twitter, reddit, stumbleupon, and a whole bunch of other places, but no blue pencil for LiveJournal.

In fact, LJ doesn't have much presence at all when it comes to any of that stuff anywhere that I've looked lately and I have to wonder if that's somehow by design? Is it a cost factor that LJ doesn't want to pay the price to have their logo there, or is there some kind of royalty that must be submitted back to the organization? Clearly if all of these other social media sites have buttons, there should be one here too.

To me, that's still not a big deal. I have no problem dashing off a bit of HTML and posting something without a one touch button available. It's cut and paste time!

But, having our dear little pencil in the mix is an advertisement of sorts, too! It reminds people - Hey! I could post this to my LiveJournal! So yeah... we should make sure we get Big Friendly Buttons everywhere. Wherever there's a big fat "F," we should be there, too! When someone throws up the bird, that's where we are.

This also leads back to another question: Who is actively using LiveJournal now? and also, Why are they using LiveJournal and what do they like about it?

Back in Step One, I mentioned how in Russia, celebrities use Zhe Zhe like US stars use twitter. So, we know why there's no issue with the Cyrillic side of the story.

Now, those of us who started before the "Blog Craze" and are still here long after are a different breed. And I know that, and I hope the folks running the site know that. And I know that the changes I'm proposing probably aren't to your liking, if that is you. But, ultimately, for LiveJournal to be able to continue to be LiveJournal, there must be ways of making the site more viable, more useful, more successful. That will provide the longevity that will keep all of our journals in place and keep the site a destination that people want to visit well into the future. That's why this is important and worthwhile.

I think it's also important that LJ users, the current, active ones, should be aware that their experience of the site really won't change. Obviously, when it came to "Nipplegate" and "Strikethrough," SixApart really had no understanding of the site and that's just one of the reasons they are no longer a part of the LJ scene. But the model needs to be Tumblr when it comes to things like this now.

Tumblr was a basic blog site where people posted and said whatever they wanted. Then Yahoo came along and bought them. The initial thought/fear was a complete sanitization of the site, to make it better for big name sponsors to run ads. But what happened instead was... nothing. That's not to say there won't be changes eventually, but at least nearly a year into it, Tumblr is still Tumblr.

So there must be some consistency here as well. No censorship of any kind. Censorship really defeats the purpose of a site like this.

Now, granted, if we do eventually get to the point of some kind of "profit share" program (and I would guess that wouldn't happen at least until 2016-17, just based on several factors - not the least of which is figuring out how to make it work!) it would, as youtube does, require only original material... no taking someone else's music video and posting it to get views which would then be translated into some sort of pay program for you.

Not to say you couldn't post that kind of stuff, but it wouldn't qualify to boost your bank.

I don't want to focus too much on this profit share issue though. It might not happen at all, and it might not need to happen to keep things moving for LJ. In some ways, the profit share concept could be more trouble than it's worth, because it would bring people who are more mercenary based into the community, people who are just out to make money as opposed to engaging people and conversing in the way we are used to doing here. It's difficult to predict how it would go.

But these options absolutely should be explored.

More to come...


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 23rd, 2014 06:37 pm (UTC)
Now, those of us who started before the "Blog Craze" and are still here long after are a different breed. And I know that, and I hope the folks running the site know that.

They know, they just don't care. We're a small part of their user base. And more importantly, we're a tinytiny part of what they want to be their user base. That is, they want ten times as many users, at which time we will be of even less consequence.

SixApart really had no understanding of the site and that's just one of the reasons they are no longer a part of the LJ scene.

The current overlords have no understanding of the US market, or what it really takes to hold users. They still concentrate on gaining market share, and don't seem to care about the longtime users. Here's one example. In Russia, there is no such thing as accessibility. Here, sites are built so that anyone can use them - the blind, quadriplegics, whomever. That is not a market segment over there. They've never even heard of these concepts.
Jan. 25th, 2014 04:04 pm (UTC)
I think the truth about not caring about the current user base is probably good business sense. They already have us in their back pocket. Just hope they get that we like things as they are, and that there are ways of keeping the format without blocking the efforts to get more people back here.

Back when marta was on the LJ staff, she told me they had frequent meetings with both the American and Russian sides so they could exchange information and get a better understanding of what was working well and what wasn't. I don't know what the status of this communication is now, but I have to think that the Russians can learn, and have every intention of learning, some things from how the US side operates.

But yeah, the social media sites are a direct reflection on how the society runs, and it seems that in Russia, those that are disabled or physically challenged have been kept hidden and are just ignored.

But, supply and demand! When they see there is a need, they will improve!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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