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discussion: candidates and their platforms

This is a cut and paste of all the candidates platforms linked from here.

If any candidates wish to have the text of their platforms removed from this entry, please email seperis at livejournal and I'll remove the text and keep the link only.

Discussion Rules

1.) Comments must be balanced; when making a post with negative comments on one candidate, the entry must also contain positives comments on another candidate. Comments will be screened that don't fulfill this criteria. All positive comments on one or more candidates are fine.

This does not mean ten paragraphs of anti-x candidate with a single line of VOTE FOR Y YAY! Seriously. Abide by the spirit as well as the letter.

2.) Discussion is encouraged, but flaming and negative personal attacks won't be tolerated. The poster will be banned without warning and the comment screened or deleted. If you think you've been unfairly banned, email the moderators (seperis or svmadelyn) at our livejournal addresses.

3.) Discussion is limited to the ten candidates here. Any comments that discuss a candidate that is not listed here is not on-topic for this community. For discussion of all candidates, go to lj_election_en; ljvotes, ljunited and votepocalypse are some alternate venues.

Candidate Platforms:

daniidebrabant - Link to Platform Post

Who Am I? Name's daniidebrabant, who's wanted to change her LJ name since, oh, forever. Damn thing keeps sticking. That said, I've been here since Sept 2001, having started my LJ right along with my college experience and I've been here ever since through three and a half moves as well as quite a few other changes. You've probably never heard of me, but that's all right. At least, I think it's all right.

LJ and me? I live on this site. While I keep track of RL friends as much as the next person, I've also MET friends through this service and through these comms on the site. In fact, considering that my first 'roommate' was someone I met through an RP game on LJ, and that person got me out of a living situation I was very unhappy with, I can honestly say that LJ changed my life. Aside from her, I've made other friends through this service, people I've gone to see in person more than once, people I talk to the phone with, people I play and write and make art with: LJ is incredibly important to me and I want to be a positive part of shaping the LJ experience in the time to come, especially as I know that it might be difficult.

Why Do I Want to Do This? Because this site has done so much for me, because the membership of this site is so important to me, and because I hate sitting back and saying 'I don't like this' without doing something about it when I have the chance. Also because I think that I will contribute something valuable to the Advisory Board.

Something Valuable? My day job is working as a Member Services Representative at another social networking site. Suffice to say that that membership is sizeable, though the site itself isn't well known within most of LJ's markets main markets. The point of mentioning that, though, is that I have experience in shaping user experience from the company's point of view. I have sat through many many meetings dealing with monetization, cost issues, advertising vs. user experience discussions, 'what the members REALLY want' discussions; I've observed this process. Not only do I find the whole thing fascinating, but it's part of my job in the long run to translate what is most certainly not Earth Logic into something I can tell members while still providing good customer service. I've helped to be the voice of the membership in meetings before, told them what they're doing wrong so it can be fixed; on the other hand, I've also been the voice of the company to the membership. As a matter of fact, I've actually brought some of the LJ kerfuffles up at work and we discuss them strategically, look at what WE can do better by looking at what they've done.

Like I said above, I am first and foremost a member of THIS site, but I know some of what goes on behind the scenes in a company like LJ. And I think that this will be valuable both to LJ and to the membership. There's no better way to talk to someone than in their own language, and that goes for both sides.

That's nice, but is that it? Nope. I'm logical, practical, hard-working, passionate (especially about LJ), and generally pretty darn friendly. I'm a member of fandom and non-fandom comms, run some fandom and non-fandom comms, role play, write (original and fanfiction), icon, do CG and traditional media art, and keep up with my personal journal pretty regularly. I'm available nearly all of the time through LJ or IM or email, I like to think I'm approachable, and as I'm a people pleaser, born and bred, I will do my very best to be there for comments, questions, or anything else. Also, re: some of the stuff mentioned above, I have a very thick skin and an even temper when it comes to this kind of thing, so I'm not afraid of any of the flack that might come my way from any direction (or any of the terrifying things one might find on the internet!) nor will I lose my cool when things get rough.

You done yammering? Uh, I'm a New York-born, New Jersey-living Capricorn in her mid twenties who loves tea, sushi, knitting, Early modern drama, and a host of other things. I have no pets, but I live with a dog and three cats, as well as their owner.

jmaynard - Link to Platform Post

I'm one of a bunch of folks running for the LiveJournal Advisory Board. I think I'd be a good user representative to LJ because I understand that, first and foremost, this is a community of folks who put their hearts and souls into their journals and the communities that form around them.

The folks who got appointed to the board have suggested that the candidates answer the following questions:

1) What do you think is the value of LJ?

This is going to sound corny as hell, but I'll say it anyway: LJ brings people together. It lets them share their thoughts, and lets others comment and discuss and bond. There are folks I've gotten to know a lot better through LJ. I hope folks have gotten to know me better the same way. Communities with common interests can share those interests. Individual people can find others with the same interests. We come to understand each other a little better.

2) What changes would you like to see LJ make in the next year?

The biggest change I think needs to happen is that LJ needs to put its users first. This was sadly lacking all through the Six Apart era; I watched people leave because they got tired of Six Apart treating them with contempt. The emphasis has been on advertisers and on avoiding being the center of attention from pressure groups. LJ management needs to understand that if the users all get unhappy and leave, the advertisers will too. The pressure group problem, on the other hand, goes with the territory, and the only appropriate response is to deal with the real problems and ignore the groups otherwise.

3) Why do you want to be the elected representative?

I want to make LJ a place where the users feel that they're the focus. I'm tired of watching my friends give up and depart for other similar sites; this defeats both the inter-journal linking and the larger sense of community. I've been around communities of people for my entire adult life, and understand how they work. I think I can help LJ understand how boneheaded moves like the strikethrough will affect the LJ user community. I'm also experienced enough, and mature enough, to explain things and persuade corporate managers that they should do things the right way.

I've got experience in being a member of, and an advocate for, and even a manager of different communities of different sizes. I understand how they work. I know what people want from them. I know how to make them better, and what makes them dry up and blow away.

4) What do you think are the community's greatest concerns?

The biggest concern that I see is that the community thinks LJ sees them as just hits on a web page and free content providers, not as an active partner in making LJ a great resource for users and owners alike. This has GOT to change. If left unchecked, it's toxic.

legomymalfoy - Link to Platform Post

I have been mentally writing this post for the last week, and I'm sure it's still not going to cover everything I'd like to say.

I want to start by saying that I am running to essentially be an advisor. I am not running to push a personal agenda of mine. I am not running to push fandom's agenda. I am not running to push any agenda. That's not my job, that's not why I am here. That may not be the most politically correct thing to say in this election season, but I wish to remain 100% transparent with you. I would like you to have all of the facts before you make your final decision.

1) What do you think is the value of LJ?

When speaking about value, I feel that the irresistible value of LiveJournal is in its community. We are what makes LJ valuable. The users who post about their day, about their kids, about their last BDSM encounter, about sex and food and everything under the sun. Without its users, LJ is nothing but an empty husk. To continue being valuable, LJ needs to work on retaining existing users by keeping the aspects of the site that are most valuable to them, while at the same time attracting new users by making new features available and taking advantage of new ways of thinking.

2) What changes would you like to see LJ make in the next year?

Top on my list, is a usable site search that will allow users to search their entries. A search engine that is actually hosted on LJ, and not powered by and linked to a third party site.

I would like for LJ to treat all of its users with respect. Respect that we are smart. Respect that we are not "one size fits all". Understand and accept that site changes aren't going to make everyone happy, but work to a compromise which allows everyone to get as much of what they want as they can.

I would love for LJ to be clear on why decisions are made.

Finally, I would like to see LJ give clearer explanations in terms of policy. List updated policies in an easy to find place, and explain why we take action, and why we do not. A good majority of dissatisfaction with the Abuse Prevention Team (APT) comes from those who feel that we did not take the action they personally desired, whether or not the actions being reported were in violation of the TOS/US law or not. I feel that clearer explanations will a long way in this regard, since people have a right to know the standards to which they are being held

3) Why do you want to be the elected representative?

-I want to be the elected representative because I feel that I truly understand the needs and concerns of the community as a whole. I know what's broken on the site, and I know how to get these issues resolved. I know which policies aggravate them, and I am able to bring these topics up for discussion with other APT members. In turn, I can work with other Advisory Board members, explaining how things work to them.

-I am completely versed on site policy, working to uphold it on a daily basis.

-I am an incredibly patient, free-thinking and reasonable person. At the same time, I can be as stubborn as an ox when it comes to user rights.

-I am an active member of fandom. I know what issues are forefront with them, and would love to work on repairing the bridge between LiveJournal and fandom. It can be done, if we're all willing to work together.

4) What do you think are the community's greatest concerns?

I believe that first on the list for many would be any real or perceived censorship. Clearing up what is OK, and what is not would help put at least some of these fears to rest.

Next would be the issue of Basic Accounts. A compromise needs to be reached that would allow these account types to return in some form, while also allowing the site to grow.

As I mentioned above, I believe that misunderstanding of how the site works leads to a lot of tension and confusion. The community needs to know where the boundaries are, and why they get in trouble for crossing them.

Advertisements continue to be a large issue for many of us on LiveJournal. If they are going to remain on the site, and I am fairly sure that they will, we need to continue to keep them hidden from paying users, and in general ensure that they are treated as the necessary evil that they are rather than something desirable.

lordandrei - Link to Platform Post


I'm running for the Advisory Board for LiveJournal.

The reasons I decided I would be a good candidate are:

1) I have been an active user of LiveJournal for over 5 years. I established my primary LiveJournal account in October 2001. In that time I have brought many users into LiveJournal (ah, who remembers invite codes). I have helped develop software clients that work with LiveJournal (iJournal, Xjournal, NewsAccess). I have started several communities, some of which prosper today without my participation (con_central)

2) I have been working researching and developing in the technology area of "Social Networking" for about 20 years. My experience as a net-based user of network based social tools goes back 30 year. (Writing and running BBS software in Basic on an Apple ][ in 1979. Go, go Gadget 300 baud modems!) I work in the software industry as an engineer. I understand how software is put together and what the business end of the software life cycle is. I'm also a user and want to be able to use LiveJournal.

3) I feel I have a balanced view on the topics. I believe strongly in the freedom of speech. At the same time I am the parent of a toddler and am strongly concerned on giving parents working tools necessary to meet their needs for filtering content. I strongly acknowledge that LiveJournal is a business that offers resources to many countries and many legal jurisdictions that may not share the same freedoms. As a result, to keep the service alive, some concessions need to be made that will ultimately be unpleasing to some. Finally, I believe that the end user is the customer. This is the person who will choose to use the service or find an alternative. Being honest, fair, and open with the end user is the most important way to keep them feeling part of the process and not driven to find those alternative services.

4) I am for the most part... sane. My primary journal (for the most part) is open to the public. I filter comments from those who I don't have on my flist. My posts span the range from family updates, technical observations, and the occasional rant, drivel, or (perish the thought) pointless meme.

I don't consider myself the average user. But I strongly consider myself a typical user. And I think that in itself is what we need as a representative on the Advisory Board.

qfemale - Link to Platform Post

It was suggested that I answer the following few questions to help you decided if you want to vote for me. Here we go!

1) What do you think is the value of LJ?

The value of LJ is its user base! Not only do uses provide content which can be the reason for others to sign up but they also create communities and bring people together over one topic.
Also each person is different and because of that uses their journal or a community in a different way. Maybe even in a way that the original programmer of a toll or the whole site hasn't even though of, thus increasing the value. But without the users LJ would just be a fancy site with fancy tools that sit around and collect cyber-dust.

2) What changes would you like to see LJ make in the next year?

Personally there are three things I'd like to see changed. Removal of the tag-limit, video-embedding of scrapBook videos and the ability to create basic accounts again.
However what I want is not always what the community wants so if we're talking about what would be good for the community that is LJ the following things should be changed:

- Take a look at the differences between the account levels. Over the past 2 years they seem to have become askew. Plus accounts are no longer that different from paid accounts (and so forth) and early adopters clearly need some love too! (No news posts goes by without somebody brining that topic up!)

- Re-prioritize the creation of new tools and services. Right now it seems that LJ goes for the things that are easy and quick to create or cheap to buy instead of what the users would like to have.

- Work on the way LJ is communicating with its users. Past incidences have shown that LJ does not communicate enough or the right thing to its users. There is also a lack of 'between information' - for example we're still waiting for a policy change but nobody is giving out information how that project is going or if people are even working on it. All you're ever told is to watch 'this' and 'that' community.

There are more things I could name that should be changed but I guess the above would be fairly enough for a years work :-)

3) Why do you want to be the elected representative?

In simple word because LJ is my home and all of my online-friends are here and I'd like to see the site staying as great as it is. But over the past 18 months some really sad things have happened and a lot of users got driven away from LJ and I wish I could do something to change that.

4) What do you think are the community's greatest concerns?

I think part of that I've already covered in my response to question #2. But really I think it's the concerning lack of communication or the way LJ communicates to begin with. Users feel ignored or are afraid that LJ might change even more - yet all their problems and needs keep being ignored. (For example users are afraid LJ will turn into MySpace just so somebody can make a bigger amount of money from the site - when the user base does not want LJ to be like MySpace at all and has told LJ so already.)

randomposting - Link to Platform Post

1) What do you think is the value of LJ?

First, and foremost the value of LJ is the community. The diverse and wonderful group of bloggers from all over the world make this site. All of the users are more enriched by their membership. Without each and every one of us there would be a void. We need to continue to make this place welcoming and positive to encourage new users to join, and to keep those of us that are all ready present confident in continuing to live here. We share our most personal thoughts, our art, our accomplishments and our losses on our blogs, and we need to feel safe in doing so. Our content is what keeps this community interwoven.

LJ brings people together; People that might not have had the opportunity to know each other without this outlet. I have made many dear friends whom I love through this site and know many of you have done so as well.

2) What changes would you like to see LJ make in the next year?

I think the most important change that can be made is for LJ to be more candid and honest with their communication. There have been a lot of underhanded decisions made in the past year, and I think it's important that we have input in some choices that are made. Even if they do not decide to change their policies and procedures I feel it is very important that they communicate any changes to us. It is necessary that LJ and their staff and elected members show respect to the userbase.

Specifically I want to see:

-The free non-ad-based accounts return as an option.
-More control over the ability to remove bots and spammers from your profile when they've added you as a friend. I understand that it can be very uncomfortable having a user who represents something you disagree with listed on your profile, and having them list you. This would not change their ability to see unlocked posts, but it would give many people peace of mind.
- Instill very clear terms of service and not change them at a whim.
- Create two more elected user positions next year. I think that if we have more members of the community represented on the board, it would be a positive change.

3) Why do you want to be the elected representative?

I am a very positive person. I feel that is something that has been missing from livejournal recently, and I know that I can be a positive voice of change. I have a broad and diverse friendslist that helps me focus on issues that concern the userbase of LJ. I have very good communication skills, and most of all, I listen. I listen to those things that concern our community and I will bring your concerns to the board, and your voice will be heard.

I am active in roleplay, so I have a very specific interest in fandom, and freedom of speech for those users who participate in that rich and vibrant aspect of LJ. I am also a Mother, and am fiercely protective of children. I think that locked posts are the way to go for those things that are inappropriate for a child to come across on the site, but I also think that it is a parents duty to supervise their children so that they don't happen upon things that are inappropriate for them. Legally, LJ has to be very careful with what they allow and I understand this, but I think there needs to be more communication and clearer guidelines on all levels of LJ.

4) What do you think are the community's greatest concerns?

I have addresed most of this above, but am happy to reiterate here.
Communication, Respect and Honesty.

If all three of these tenets are observed and followed by LJ staff and owners toward the community, and vice versa I think most of the problems that we have been facing will be vastly improved. Many of us have lost a lot of respect for Livejournal over the past couple of years and I know it will be a trial for some to allow that respect to grow again, but I truly believe that it can and will happen. We are all still here for a reason, and that is because this community is incredible. We have the tools and the power to make this community great once again.

I promise to do all that I can to bring my ideals and passion for LJ to the advisory board. I also promise to answer any and all questions that any of you bring to me. I post daily and will respond to your concerns.

rm - Link to Platform Post

Four questions were suggested to all the candidates for this post, and since this isn't a format I've pursued before, I decided to run with it.

As some of you know, I will actually be in Sicily for the next week (I leave later today), so my access may be sporadic during that time, but what online time I have will be dedicated to this election process, which I believe has the potential to make LJ a better place regardless of the outcome.

What do you think is the value of LJ?

For me personally, LJ has been a way to stay in touch with friends, hone my writing and document my life for myself, and at least intermittently, for the amusement of others. I met my partner here. I found support when I was diagnosed with a rather unpleasant genetic disease. And I have fun talking about the things I'm passionate about from fencing to fandom.

While those LJ experiences are far from uncommon, they don't even begin to speak to the totality of LJ's value both as a platform for personal expression and a tool for community development. LJ gives the user the unique ability to feel both less alone in the world and more singular, whether on issues serious or trivial.

LJ allows users to experience both the world as they wish it to be, through connections with like-minded individuals, and to witness the world as it is through exposure to those of completely different circumstances and views.

What changes would you like to see LJ make in the next year?

The number one issue has to be better and more respectful communications between LJ and its users. Every other concern (and there are a whole bunch we'll get to in just a second) can only be addressed if this happens. That means LJ has to recognize that users generate the content that brings in even more users that in turn generate the revenue in an ideally constant cycle. LJ's users -- free, plus and paid -- are the building blocks of the revenue model and should be treated accordingly.

What does that mean?

1. It means we need a clear TOS that is uniformly enforced.
2. It means we need communication with users whenever the TOS is updated.
3. It means we need a system for dealing with abuse and other user concerns that is transparent and allows users to present their side of the case -- justice without defense or appeal is not justice.
4. It means we need an LJ administration that recognizes and is comfortable with the diversity of its users and their interests.

Practically, what needs to happen in the next year?

LJ needs to finally resolve the free speech issues that began with Strikeout and Boldthrough. While as a private corporation LJ has the right to decide what type of content it will and won't allow, my argument is for the broadest range of speech permissible under the laws of California (where LJ is incorporated). This level of free speech should be the right of all LJ users, regardless of location or topic. Political speech needs to be protected. Religious speech needs to be protected. Creative speech needs to be protected. If it's legal speech it should be permissible on LJ.

LJ is a platform. Not a parent.

LJ needs to address disability issues. This includes getting the ALT tag working for our visually impaired users and apologizing to users with mental health/illness issues for essentially erasing their existence from the site in the debacle with the top 100 interests list.

LJ needs to honor its original commitments made to the users. These include the ongoing availability of free accounts and the right of every user to experience an ad-free LJ if they so choose.

Why do you want to be the elected representative?

To be frank, I hemmed and hawed about running at the beginning. This job is going to be hard. It's going to be time-consuming and it's going to be thankless.

But the fact remains that I have a set of unique characteristics and credentials that make me believe I am the person who can most make the LJ powers-that-be listen.


1. I currently have early adopter, paid and free accounts.
2. I am a professional author whose publisher advertises on the site.
3. I have an extensive professional background in public relations and marketing.
4. I have the previous experience of working for an on-line community of which I was also an active part.
5. I already have a good rapport with staff members on several of the current user concerns. At the same time, I have no personal friendships or loyalties to the staff or other powers that be.
6. I am relentless, clear, and systematic when it comes to problem solving.
7. I love LJ with all my heart, but I am not a cheerleader. I will call it like I see it, and can be both diplomatic and aggressive.
8. I am resilient.
9. I am an active and proud part of fandom (HP, Torchwood/Doctor Who, Riverside, His Dark Materials, Kushiel, etc.)

Everything that makes me not cuddly in most circumstances makes me perfect for this job.

What do you think are the community's greatest concerns?

Communication. Respect. The safety to be ourselves. The right to be ourselves. What the TOS really means. Free expression. A high quality user experience. Features that work. Features that matter. Preservation of community. Preservation of LJ's unique culture. Accessibility. Usability.

sollitaire - Link to Platform Post

Nomination for Sollitaire
Reasons why you should vote for me:

1. I've been a part of the LJ community since January 2001 and as a result I've been witness to the several ways LJ has changed over the years from invite codes to the addition of ads and virtual walk-outs. I am also a long time paid member and community maintainer. I understand the community from the inside out. I've seen what works, what doesn't, and I have a clue as to what could make it better.

2. I'm a grad student focusing on cyber anthropology a.k.a the study of culture online. Online communities are one of my main areas of study as well as blogging, and gaming. LJ in effect encompasses all three. What does any of this have to do with being on the advisory board? My intentions will always be focused on ways to encourage and strengthen LJ in such a way that all community members benefit from decisions that are made, are made aware of decisions being contemplated, and have a say in them as to whether or not changes based on things decided by the board are actually working. I'll be your advocate, your voice, and the board's conscience in matters that affect you.

3. I'm an interaction designer. As an interaction designer, longtime user, and anthropologist I am someone who has the ability to understand what makes sense within the LJ design and functionality from a users point of view. Why does that matter? I can help improve the functionality of LJ by suggesting new and improved ways for the site to work. I have a post as far back as 2003 laying out what functionality would be handy in LJ and I am happy to see much of it has been added over the years.

4. Above all, I have a sense of humor. I don't take myself too seriously and I just generally enjoy being a part of this great community and all of the things it has to offer. For me, it will always be about the community first and LJ's parent company second. That might be unwise to admit for some, but I think everyone should know where I stand. The way I see it, if there is no community - then there is no company, not the other way around.

rebelsheart - Link to Platform Post

Welcome to my journal. The first you might notice is that my entries are marked friends-only for the most part. That's a change I made recently, but before I ever decided to run for the LiveJournal Advisory Board. I want to feel comfortable posting about work, my personal life, and my plans, without necessarily opening up to the entire world. I fully believe that people in the limelight deserve to have their personal lives kept personal, but that they have to work to do that. That being said, this is a reasonably open forum for questions about me and my candidacy for the LiveJournal Advisory Board.

Here's some questions I suspect you'll want the answers to:

What's your opinion on strikethrough/boldthrough?
I feel the initial steps were handled poorly, though the overall recovery from that was handled in a reasonable and professional manner.

You're a LiveJournal Support volunteer in the top 50 for overall scores, have been with Support for two years, but do not have SupportHelp or Admin privileges in any category, nor are you a member of the Abuse Prevention Team. Why is that?
That's something I'm working on. I'm very much a generalist. I'm very good at gaining a lot of low-level knowledge in a variety of related topics. I personally don't feel I'm currently qualified to serve in the role of a SupportHelp. Sure, I can probably identify what answers are approvable and handle the easy questions, but SupportHelps are expected to be more than that. I'm not to that level yet. I want to be there before I apply to the APT.

What do you think of $feature? What do you think about making new features opt-in rather than opt-out?
New features are implemented in response to feedback from users, either through [info]feedback or [info]suggestions. They are added because users ask for them. Likewise, things are changed for the same reason. They are made opt-out rather than opt-in because historically speaking people don't know things are there unless they are shown them.

What do you think of Plus accounts?
Everyone wants more for less if they can't get it for free. This is how LiveJournal chose to address that desire.

What do you think about the elimination of the Basic account type?
I don't like it. It was a business decision, and one that was somewhat understandable, but I don't like it. I'd rather see the Basic account have fewer features or perhaps a slight increase in the cost of a Paid account - it hasn't changed since I got one in 2002.

You're a furry, isn't that kind of weird?
As opposed to any other fandom you'll find on LiveJournal?

You didn't post your comments and entries stats in your nomination post, why?
The numbers can be anything at all, they do not reflect my interaction with LiveJournal users in a truly meaningful way. If you really want to know, check my profile.

What do you think is the value of LJ?
LiveJournal has been around longer than MySpace, is home to users with significantly more maturity (overall and on average), and is a community - not a collection of random individual journals all hosted on the same place. It's very rare to go more than two or three entries on someone's friends page without finding the lj-user icon or the LJ community icon somewhere in an entry. People here know each other online and in person and they care for each other. Most people are here because someone they knew recommended LiveJournal to them or invited them back when invited codes were around.

What changes would you like to see LJ make in the next year?
A fix for the ScrapBook/rename bug, improved ScrapBook interface, new styles (not just new themes), re-introduction of a free without ads account level, improved search (interests, in your journal, in another journal), establish a secondary location capable of standing in for the primary location in the event of (earthquake/power failure/etc) - those are top on my list.

Why do you want to be the elected representative?
I enjoying helping people. It's why I do LiveJournal Support. But with that I can only help the people who ask. I can't do anything for the people making whining noises in their own journals that I don't read. I can share my opinions with some staff members currently, but most of the are directly related to support and already have the same opinions I do about certain things. The fact is, support is not LiveJournal's business - its something LiveJournal provides because it is a business. By becoming a member of the LiveJournal Advisory Board I have the opportunity to speak up for more than just the volunteers who already have a team of excellent voices ([info]coffeechica, [info]markf, [info]arie, [info]janinedog, [info]tupshin, [info]marta, [info]chasethestars, and others whose journal names I don't have memorized) speaking on their behalf; my voice would represent the majority of some 15 million LiveJournal accounts.

What do you think are the community's greatest concerns?
In the past year and change, LiveJournal users have woken up to some very abrupt changes that simply have not gone over well. There is no reason for this. The community is concerned that it's going to happen again. LiveJournal has two major strikes against it in most user's minds and a third will quite likely make it impossible to restore their faith. The second strike caused significant issues for other services such as GreatestJournal and InsaneJournal. There is no greater proof in my mind that LiveJournal is a global entity that has to consider the results of its actions not only upon itself and its users, but the extensive online community of which is it a part. Users want honest communication with all the details LiveJournal can spare without having to worry about damage control from rumors and misunderstandings.

vichan - Link to Platform Post

Who I am: vichan member of LJ since 2003; first as homicidal_nny before switching to my current name.

What you can expect from me: I have no ulterior motives in running. My interests lie with LiveJournal alone. I am not previously connected to LiveJournal aside from being a user. I am not connected to the advertisers. I have not rubbed elbows with LJ staff.
I represent the user because I am the user.

Why I am qualified: This is not just the LJ Advisory Board. This is the first incarnation of the LJ Advisory Board. Whoever sits on the board for this first year will not only be setting a precedent for future board members, but helping LJ as a whole understand just what role the advisory board will play.

I have experience in building things from the ground up. I was selected as a first year member of the Summer Institute Young Adult Panel for the Unitarian Universalist Ohio-Meadville District Summer Institute. This panel planned and executed the young adult program at OMDSI. Following my first year of service, I was elected to come back and serve for two additional years. In addition to this, I was hired by my current company two years ago to build a brand new printing department from scratch. I operate and manage that department to this day.

My experience with planning committees and a career in management give me the ability to look at any situation with a level head, and an understanding of when compromise is necessary and when it isn't possible. Given the diverse userbase of LJ, I know that 'perfection' will never be reached, but that steps can be taken to make sure we reach out to each and every user.

The Change that LJ Needs - Communication:
I would be an asset to the LiveJournal Advisory Board because I understand how vital the issue of communication is.

Despite repeated user requests for more transparency from the LJ staff, we have continuously been on the receiving end of substandard communication.

When changes or problems arise, getting answers has been like pulling teeth. Communication from the LJ staff should be early, often, and precise. LJ users are not ordinary customers, they will nitpick everything, and they will report problems to each other. The fact that recent changes have been discovered and reported by users, rather than staff, has only escalated the irritation of the users.

The LJ staff can appease their customers by being honest and upfront. If change is coming or has come, the users should hear this directly from the LJ staff before the changes begin to impact day to day use.

An additional problem is that we do not have a sufficient central location to retrieve important information. Instead, we have had a variety of communities and are continuously redirected to one or another depending on our interests. To name just a few, past and present, news, lj_biz, lj_2008 and lj_policy have all been used to relay important information to the users. These communities have actually been very useful, as they allow users who may be interested in one aspect of LJ but not another to keep track without getting information overload. However, when vital information is scattered between these different communities and posted in one area but not another, we have a problem. The official LiveJournal News page does not include some of these important communities, making them difficult for users to find.

Why I am running: I would love an opportunity to give something back to a community that has given me more than I can say. I am hoping that I will have a chance to take part in LJ's future. Recent changes on LiveJournal have upset the daily routine of the users. I have kept a close eye on these events, and I believe I have given a balanced view of every situation that has come up. For example, I created fandom_counts a little less than a year ago during the original Strikethrough. I did not create it as an act of protest against Strikethrough, but as a reminder of the awesome presence of fandom on LJ. I've stuck to its original purpose, and the community still stands as a reminder of just how much LJ means to fandom, as well as what fandom means to LJ.

In addition to fandom, I've used LJ to keep in touch with family and friends, as well as network with other users who share my interests such as music, recording, and baseball. Since my interests are so diverse, I've come to realize just how unique each and every LJ user is. We are not a few hundred groups of users. We are several thousand individual users. My goal is to help the LiveJournal staff reach out to all of them without leaving anyone out in the cold.

Over the past year and a half, I've seen my friends' list shrink as users leave LJ for 'greener pastures.' I want to prevent this from continuing. LiveJournal is more than just a website or a social network. It is a truly unique community that has been built, nurtured, and cared for by the people who use it. Without us, LiveJournal is just an empty space on the internet.

In Conclusion:
Do you want true user representation on the board? Do you want someone who will make sure all voices, great and small, will be heard? Do you want clear communication? Vote vichan

There you go. Discuss at will.

ETA: Added two other alternate discussion venues.


( 82 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 24th, 2008 10:17 pm (UTC)
a quick comparison
I support rm. I already wrote here why I support her, but just to summarize:

- She puts free speech issues foremost. My argument is for the broadest range of speech permissible under the laws of California (where LJ is incorporated). [...]If it's legal speech it should be permissible on LJ.

- She is the only candidate who is a member of OTW.

- She argues that LJ needs to honor its original commitments made to the users, specifically the ongoing availability of free accounts and the right of every user to experience an ad-free LJ if they so choose.

- She advocates greater transparency and accountability for the Abuse Team.

- She is not already entrenched in the LJ structure: I have no personal friendships or loyalties to the staff or other powers that be.

- I like her attitude: I love LJ with all my heart, but I am not a cheerleader. I will call it like I see it, and can be both diplomatic and aggressive. ;D

In contrast, I am not comfortable with the assumption that legomymalfoy represents fandom's interests over LJ's. legomymalfoy is a long-time support volunteer and a member of LJ's controversial abuse team. While I'm sure she is a lovely person, she made it clear in her platform that I am not running to push fandom's agenda. I am not running to push any agenda. And indeed, her goals seem aimed at not at change, but at compromise and clarification. (As well as providing a user search, which is nice but not at the top of my list of pressing priorities at the moment.)

- She doesn't want to reform LJ Abuse but just provide better rationalization for its decisions.

- She doesn't want to influence LJ policy, just have them make their decisions clearer.

- She doesn't advocate free speech, but rather clear policies about what can be censored. Quote: The community needs to know where the boundaries are, and why they get in trouble for crossing them. I find this troubling in light of fandom’s commitment to free expression.

Improving LJ’s communication with its users is important, but not if it isn’t also accompanied by the will to reform some of LJ’s more controversial policies. It runs the risk of simply maintaining business as usual at LJ, but with better PR. Perhaps that’s all that’s possible, but I’d prefer to support a candidate who sets her aim higher. If this is, after all, fandom_votes, then I’d prefer someone who made fandom concerns (and the larger issues they touch upon, which affect almost everyone on LJ) a priority.

Then there’s the Abuse Team issue. (I’ll put aside the issue of whether it is a conflict of interest for a member of LJ’s volunteer support staff to even be running for this position, although I think it’s a valid objection.) Remember strikethrough? Remember the Abuse Team deleting the LJs of mommies who used a breastfeeding icon as their default one? The Abuse Team’s lack of accountability and transparency, and the fact that legomymalfoy upheld LJ policy during strikethrough is troublesome to me. I think we need someone who can examine the role of the Abuse Team critically, rather than someone who in the topmost entry in her journal says she doesn’t want to hear comments against the Abuse Team or LJ.

I know that some people have acknowledged these issues, but argue that Jen is still a member of fandom: one of us, and someone whom they know, like, and trust. She sounds like a great person, and I think it’s admirable that she is capable of inspiring such enthusiasm and loyalty in others. However, her platform and her actions during strikethrough do raise concerns for me about the challenge of balancing her loyalties to LJ and fandom.

(Deleted comment)
Re: a quick comparison - spare_change - May. 25th, 2008 12:52 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Re: a quick comparison - spare_change - May. 25th, 2008 01:33 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: a quick comparison - kenboy - May. 25th, 2008 05:11 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: a quick comparison - icarusancalion - May. 25th, 2008 08:11 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: a quick comparison - vichan - May. 25th, 2008 07:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: a quick comparison - jiggery_pokery - May. 30th, 2008 06:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
*jumps headfirst into Godwin's* - spare_change - May. 30th, 2008 09:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: a quick comparison - zillah975 - May. 25th, 2008 04:16 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: a quick comparison - icarusancalion - May. 25th, 2008 09:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: a quick comparison - icarusancalion - May. 27th, 2008 10:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: a quick comparison - spare_change - May. 28th, 2008 12:58 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: a quick comparison - icarusancalion - May. 28th, 2008 01:09 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: a quick comparison - icarusancalion - May. 29th, 2008 08:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: a quick comparison - spare_change - May. 29th, 2008 09:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: a quick comparison - icarusancalion - May. 29th, 2008 09:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: a quick comparison - icarusancalion - May. 29th, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: a quick comparison - spare_change - May. 29th, 2008 09:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: a quick comparison - icarusancalion - May. 29th, 2008 10:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 24th, 2008 10:25 pm (UTC)
I'm throwing my support behind rm wholeheartedly. I'd like to link to spare_change's comment here because all the reasons she outlined there are reasons I share.

I think that there are many strong pro-fandom candidates running, but rm has impressed me the most of all of them. I agree with each of her concerns and her points, and I like that she has not been a member of the LJ staff. Although there are arguments to be made for electing someone who has been on the staff and as such has staff contacts and an intimate knowledge of the way LJ works, I believe it's more important to elect someone who does not have existing loyalties to staff members. Also, fair or not, I lack confidence in candidates who were on-staff when LJ was deleting fannish accounts.

I like rm's professional experience.

I like that she is exceptionally smart and articulate, presenting her views clearly and confidently. I believe she will be a strong advocate for fandom and for all of LJ's userbase, and an extremely strong debater when debate is required.

I like that she is "relentless, clear, and systematic when it comes to problem solving." I like that a lot, and everything I've seen from her tells me that she's not blowing smoke when she says that of herself.

I like that she "will call it like [she sees] it, and can be both diplomatic and aggressive." That will be vital for anyone in this role.

As will resilience, another rm trait.

I like that she wasn't sure she wanted the job.

I agree with her on what the community's greatest concerns are: Communication. Respect. The safety to be ourselves. The right to be ourselves. What the TOS really means. Free expression. A high quality user experience. Features that work. Features that matter. Preservation of community. Preservation of LJ's unique culture. Accessibility. Usability.

All those things. That's why.

May. 24th, 2008 10:27 pm (UTC)
And also, *points up* All that, too.
May. 24th, 2008 11:57 pm (UTC)
Hi. seperis asked if I'd repost my thoughts here when this post was live; apologies if you've already read all or part of this. I've modified the last paragraph; everything else is as it was, so you can skim down to that if you've previously seen the rest of what follows:

I am completely baffled that fandom's current #1 choice is an abuse team member who was on staff during strikethrough.


For me, this is a complete dealbreaker. Fandom's #1 problem with LJ management all along has been the complete lack of transparency in operations and in abuse team decisions, and you're going to pick someone who's been making those decisions all along to represent you on the board? When the chips were down, she stood with management, not with the users.

Frankly, even if she hadn't been involved in strikethrough, how is this not like electing your manager to be your union representative to management?

If fandom gets it together and rallies around a candidate who isn't already working for LJ, I'll likely back that candidate; vichan and rm both seem like good choices, but in particular, I like what rm has to say about not only the need for communication, but the need for LJ to allow the broadest allowable range of legally allowable content. LiveJournal shouldn't just be home to content I like; it should be home to whatever content its users want to post.
May. 27th, 2008 04:10 pm (UTC)
For the record, Jen has never been on staff. She's a volunteer.
May. 25th, 2008 12:04 am (UTC)
I'm just seconding what the comments above me said about rm. She "gets" fandom and she cares about protecting the broadest range of content.
May. 25th, 2008 07:09 am (UTC)
Regarding legomymalfoy:

synecdochic, a former LJ employee knows her and states here that she has the right balance of fandom interest and experience behind the scenes to be effective.

furiosity (whose LJ kenboy mentions above) states here that "I can't say I see anyone more qualified than Jen to occupy an Advisory Board position. She's been involved in many aspects of LJ for many years, and that doesn't just include being a content contributor or paid user -- she's served both as a support volunteer and a member of the Abuse Prevention team. She gets fandom, particularly the HP fandom, and she gets LJ, having seen LJ's history unfold from both sides of the fence for years and years."

bookshop says that she's been a mod for years, including on Fiction Alley, and that "to this day [I] don't think I've met a single person in it who's conducted themselves with more integrity than she has, and consistently tried to bring only positive things to fandom. She's pretty much the best that fandom has to offer Livejournal's advisory board. There's just nobody who would be more honest than Jen - and no one whom I'd trust more to be objective and reasonable in moments when everyone else is screaming."

violet_quill knows her as well and states here that "I highly support her in this matter, because A) she's actually qualified, and B) she has fandom interests in mind."

nnaylime says here that "Having worked with her on the LJ Abuse team, I can tell you that I personally know her to be a very conscientious, level-headed person, who really cares about LJ and the users."

There is a consistent pattern in the description of legomymalfoy from those who've worked with her: level-headed, fair, calm, and objective.

I've looked at kenboy's link. While legomymalfoy was on the LJ Abuse team during strikethrough, scanning down the comments, kenboy's question was "how many LJ Abuse staff members resigned, rather than carry out instructions to permanently suspend members?" While I can't play Monday morning (or is that Tuesday morning?) quarterback, I don't think resigning would have prevented strikethrough.

May. 25th, 2008 08:36 am (UTC)
What we need is massive fandom voting. Get out the vote.
The current numbers (as of 1:30 am, Sunday morning, hush, I'm always up this late):

jameth - 2400 (17.9%)
legomymalfoy - 3491 (26.1%)
rm - 1410 (10.5%)
vichan - 671 (5.0%)

After last night's spike in votes for Legomymalfoy, Jameth has kept pace with her. She's dropped from nearly 30% since 5pm.

Now if we added RM and Legomymalfoy's current votes together and split them exactly in half, then our two main fandom candidates would only lead Jameth by 50 votes.

That's divvying up the current 4,900 votes. If 14,000 of the 35,000 people in fandom_counts vote for the two of them, then it won't matter which candidate we pick of those two, both will pass Jameth. So the main priority is to get out the vote.

We can always change our minds (well, between now and Thursday).

(no subject) - amireal - May. 25th, 2008 09:38 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kenboy - May. 25th, 2008 02:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
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May. 25th, 2008 04:48 pm (UTC)
I'd like to raise some concerns about vichan's candidacy, re: the discussion I had with her in this thread on this post where she revealed that she participated in the spamming of the news posts during Boldthrough. As I stated on my journal, I don't necessarily trust her to maintain her professionalism in regards to fandom, especially since in those comments she has said she "doesn't regret" what I consider extremely juvenile behavior.

I do support rm and legomymalfoy, though I wish both of them would participate in the discussion more, to address the concerns that the people above me have raised. rm especially seems to have an fandom-friendly and free-speech friendly stance, and I like that she is a member of the OTW. legomymalfoy's extensive experience with both fandom and LJ also speak in her favor. I am not as pleased with the emphasis on basic accounts and the search engine in her platform; to me, it smacks of treating the symptoms and not the disease (which would be fandom's concerns with censorship and clarity in communication). Plus, I don't really want yet another search engine that I have to jump through 20 hoops to opt out of (lookin' at you, LJSeek).
May. 25th, 2008 06:29 pm (UTC)
Coming to my own defense here. I hope that's all right.

Opinion is appreciated. I knew that spamming would come back to bite me. :)

During Boldthrough, I had voiced my concerns legitimately and professionally, and I felt that my voice had been lost and ignored, as several others did.

It was only after voicing my concerns that I took the low road. I was starting to see the LJ staff as something of a joke because of their complete lack of response, and I was very much beginning to see my presence on LJ as a joke because it felt like the staff simply did not care whether or not I was here. In a way, I saw my little LJ world crashing down around me. Several people on my friends' list had deleted their journals, and some of those friends had been there for years. To this day, I still don't know where some of those friends went. I miss them, and I blame LJ for their absence.

Do I regret it now, several months later? Partially. I know that it accomplished nothing, and I also know that their response (or lack of response) would have remained the same with or without it. However, knowing that they are giving us this opportunity to actually communicate with us rather than flat-out ignoring what we're saying gives me hope for the future. This is more than I ever expected at the time of Boldthrough. Additionally, I gave LJ a clean slate when SUP came into the picture.

Strikethrough and Boldthrough, once you boil them both down to the lowest denominator, were examples of horrible customer service. This is why I am running on a platform of communication and customer service. I know that LJ, at the core, is a business. They are here to make money. However, LJ is a truly unique business unlike any other. The users are their customers and their product. If LJ does not provide satisfactory service, they lose both their customers and their product in one go.

I understand both fandom and the 'internet lulz' sides of this election. In fact, some supporters of the 'I did it for the lulz' faction have come out and said that they support me because I seem to be the only candidate who gets both sides, and believe that I will not isolate one side or another.

I know I will probably never change your mind in regards to my professionalism, but I can assure you that I am perfectly capable of it. Especially now, when I think it will actually accomplish something for this community.

(Although my running is now becoming a moot point. I suppose this makes me Ron Paul.)
(no subject) - icarusancalion - May. 25th, 2008 09:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sutlers - May. 25th, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sutlers - May. 25th, 2008 09:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - vichan - May. 25th, 2008 09:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - seperis - May. 26th, 2008 12:21 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - vichan - May. 26th, 2008 02:22 am (UTC) - Expand
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May. 25th, 2008 04:50 pm (UTC)
Whichever way votes here go, I do hope that people will consider casting at least their second-choice vote (if not their first) for whichever fannish candidate is in the lead in the actual poll at the time -- it's the best chance of ensuring that we get someone fannish.
May. 25th, 2008 05:34 pm (UTC)
I don't necessarily believe someone fannish is the best bet for fandom, especially if their primary focus doesn't seem to be on our free speech rights.
(no subject) - rydra_wong - May. 25th, 2008 06:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kenboy - May. 26th, 2008 04:26 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 25th, 2008 10:55 pm (UTC)
I'm here, feel free to ask me questions :-)
May. 26th, 2008 05:16 am (UTC)
I don't think we need an Advisory Board member to tell LJ admin how much we deplore censorship in fandom. I think that message has already been sent. If LJ admin did not get in May 2007 and August 2007, an Advisory Board representative is not going to get it through their heads, either. I think we need someone to represent fandom to whom LJ admin actually has a chance in hell of listening.

I don't think they're going to listen to someone whose agenda is 100% pro-fandom. They barely listened to us when we turned out in record numbers, so I question the logic of expecting them to listen to one person speaking for fandom, Advisory Board or not. What I see happening with a previously-unknown-to-admin, 100% pro-fandom candidate, is essentially "that's nice, dear. here, have some paid time to give out to all your little friends, now run along and play like a good girl/boy!" in response to any fandom concerns brought before the board.

Fandom has not made many friends within the LJ administration -- for a damn good reason: they've done nothing to win our friendship; that's just how it seems to me from where I sit. They don't like us. They don't trust us. A lone voice on the advisory board, from someone who'll necessarily be out of their depth because they don't know how things work behind the scenes, is not going to do much more than our collective roaring. In fact, it might accomplish even less.

I support legomymalfoy because I believe that due to her long-term involvement with LJ, she has the greatest chance of actually being taken seriously by TPTB during board sessions. It's just that simple. I think they might actually listen to her because they have lots of reasons to trust her and few to distrust.

And I would like to register my distaste for the argument that someone who signed up to do LJ Support/Abuse before LJ had a Draconian TOS must obviously be an ardent supporter of all LJ policy ever.
May. 26th, 2008 04:41 pm (UTC)
I personally haven't made that argument, and wouldn't.

I do make the argument that someone who deleted innocent accounts during strikethrough has no place being our representative to the company that she deleted the accounts for, period. It's too cozy and it's not appropriate.

I further think that LJ already has enough representatives on the board, and giving them back the slot they gave us for a user representative, to fill it with another company representative, is a dumb move on our part.

I'm done with jameth, who was given ample opportunity to tell us something we wanted to hear and who finally got around to reinforcing that we apparently want shiny new features; I'd really hoped his history of tangling with Abuse and posting thing that piss off management would have made him the voice we needed; it isn't.

Clearly, it needs to be rm. I don't buy that already knowing how things work in the (clearly broken) LJ administration is a bonus right now, and I question how well anyone could know how things work, since we're on our third owner at the moment.

"Ready on Day One" is a lousy campaign slogan, both in the real world and here.
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May. 26th, 2008 08:20 am (UTC)
Do you think someone could give the recent poll stats? Thanks.
May. 26th, 2008 10:34 am (UTC)
In the actual election poll? You can check them here.
(no subject) - fille_de_glace - May. 26th, 2008 12:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
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May. 29th, 2008 04:52 pm (UTC)

What LiveJournal Election Character Are You?
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as The Swarm of Fandom

There are more of you than people know! You are fandom you can make your own friends! You will swarm across livejournal in a pestilence that no election has ever seen. BRACE YOURSELF! (and by brace yourself I mean clench your butt cheeks)

The Swarm of Fandom




Innocent Bystander


Harry Potter




Jameth Supporter


( 82 comments — Leave a comment )