Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

And we go to Plan B.

I have to admit - a lot happened over the weekend that made me think on this further, so I'm going to apologize and say that I don't believe that the first idea I had for this community is going to cut it any longer. The original plan was to put up a run-off poll between our top two candidates, but I've decided against that. I think it's highly likely we'll get the same results as we've gotten already, and we'll just waste time doing it.

I think that it'd be pretty redundant, and people are going to vote for who they're going to vote for anyway. I apologize to both rm and legomymalfoy for this, since they're the two who would have been fighting it out in our poll.

So here's what I'm thinking we need to do instead.


I think we're on the same page in that we want one of our three top vote getters - legomymalfoy, rm and vichan to win. And that we don't exactly appreciate a lot of the things that have happened during these past several days.

legomymalfoy is currently up by 1200 votes over the next highest contender. (ETA: In the time it's taken me to write this post, make that 1000 votes.) Many people have weighed in with great support of her in our discussion posts. Several people brought up some concerns they had with her candidacy, and you need to figure out if you share those. rm also enjoyed good support in our community.

Splitting the vote is not going to work in our favor though. It is therefore my view that with legomymalfoy's current lead, that we should try to ensure we maintain that lead.

So if you have read through the platforms and feel comfortable/happy with legomymalfoy's candidacy, I strongly urge you to vote for her.

I also support rm and vichan's candidacies, and if this were a less weird election, I would much rather just run the poll the way I said I would. I just don't think that's a viable option anymore if we're to have any hope of getting the results we want.

Do *not* vote straight ticket - the math doesn't work in our favor that way. Mathematically speaking, our best option looks like voting in the following order on the LiveJournal election poll:

1) legomymalfoy
2) rm
3) vichan

AGAIN: Do not vote for the same person three times; that will not work and it will make the second and third votes not count. The total needed is fifty percent of all LJ votes to win so...yeah, we're going to have our work cut out for us.

If you decide you cannot, for whatever reason, support legomymalfoy's candidacy, switch those first two slots.

The most important thing to do right now is to SPREAD THE WORD. If you want any one of these three people to get a slot on the board, we are going to have to work for it.

Again, their platforms are


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.

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.

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

Link to Platform Post


If you already voted, and wish to change your vote, you can edit your poll answers here.

ETA: An Open Letter to Fannish Community Moderators - if you'd like to help out by e-mailing a moderator of a community you belong to, please go here. Or if you moderate a community, check this out.


( 46 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 27th, 2008 04:59 am (UTC)
Have you considered posting at various popular fandom communities/noticeboards in order to help spread the word? Cause I've noticed that a considerable amount of fannish people didn't even find out about the elections until very recently.
May. 27th, 2008 05:01 am (UTC)
Yeah, we're working on it. :) A lot of people were away for the weekend, and things got pretty strange fast, so.

We'll have to see how it all turns out.
May. 27th, 2008 05:02 am (UTC)
I'm a little sad that one of the reasons legomymalfoy is attractive to vote for is because she has a lot of votes already. I do think she's a good candidate (and better than jameth by far, although that's faint praise), I just think rm is a better candidate, since she has a little more distance from livejournal's official structure (not that being connected is a bad thing, but we already have people on the board who are connected to lj, so I think some diversity would be good) and has more of a focus on ensuring free speech.

Edit for code snafu. Sigh.

Edited at 2008-05-27 05:03 am (UTC)
May. 27th, 2008 05:09 am (UTC)
I do understand and empathize - but frankly, what's done is done, and we need to deal with how the numbers have turned out. I'd have loved to see this process play through until the end, but with the posting at such a huge community on behalf of a person who most of us would agree is entirely unsuitable...well. To try and catch up to where legomymalfoy is and *then* override Jameth? It's a difficult situation all around, and at this point, we've just got to make the best of it.
(no subject) - davidkevin - May. 27th, 2008 07:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thickets - May. 28th, 2008 02:22 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - davidkevin - May. 28th, 2008 05:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thickets - May. 29th, 2008 02:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - davidkevin - May. 29th, 2008 03:59 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 27th, 2008 06:02 am (UTC)
Just wanted to say, I think what you've done with all this has been fantastic. I did post to my flist a couple of days ago, for what it's worth, urging them all to come here and act accordingly, and tonight I went ahead and voted per your suggested order of voting. Because you're right - though I might have slightly preferred a different order, I don't really know, and if fandom splits its vote too much, fandom will get nothing.

My time's been super limited, and I really, really appreciate that you and seperis and many others have spent time to bring this to people's attention. The work involved, not to mention headache - well, it's appreciated. A lot. I'm sure it's frustrating and stressful, but just know, you did a good thing. Really good.

May. 27th, 2008 07:22 am (UTC)
I'm pretty sure I'd have gone with a different order myself, but I can't say for certain. At this point, I just think it's really important that we support someone who at least will go into this position genuinely intending to try to help.

I'm really glad you've found the community useful. I don't think I've ever seen Jenn code that much for a single post in years. *grins*
(no subject) - seperis - May. 27th, 2008 09:28 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - svmadelyn - May. 27th, 2008 05:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cathalin - May. 28th, 2008 12:32 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 27th, 2008 06:12 am (UTC)
I'm still really bothered by legomymalfoy's LJ Abuse position and her refusal to step down if elected. I can't get over it. It really makes vichan look stronger to me all the time.
May. 27th, 2008 06:19 am (UTC)
As a background member of fandom (before a supporter of Jameth) I have to agree with this statement.
(no subject) - kenboy - May. 27th, 2008 01:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - spare_change - May. 27th, 2008 02:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kenboy - May. 27th, 2008 02:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - katkim - May. 29th, 2008 06:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thickets - May. 28th, 2008 02:24 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 27th, 2008 08:48 am (UTC)
Sorry, is there a place you can see how the current vote stands? Are you able to change your vote once you have cast it at all?
May. 27th, 2008 09:04 am (UTC)
You can see the current voting here and change your vote here.
May. 27th, 2008 10:16 am (UTC)
.... This disappoints me. :(
May. 31st, 2008 10:48 am (UTC)
me too

May. 27th, 2008 10:42 am (UTC)
Thanks for the post and for keeping on top of this. I've gone back and edited my choices, so thanks extra for the link to that!
May. 27th, 2008 10:55 am (UTC)
Thanks for posting such a clear, straightforward analysis. I've revoted and passed the word along in my journal. Sadly I don't mod anything.
May. 27th, 2008 03:25 pm (UTC)
I don't get why it just has to be legomymalfoy. If you can mobilize the base to vote for, and to change their votes to, her, surely you can do the same for either rm or vichan. LMM having a large f-of list, and other fans who have large f-of lists who claim she's a swell person doesn't cut it, she has answered zero questions. But then, she doesn't need to answer any questions when her friends and supporters are running around saying to vote for her for "fandom" or else an "anti-fandom" troll will win.
May. 27th, 2008 03:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the analysis. I'm still not entirely sure who is the best candidate, but these three certainly presented a strong platform (in comparison to some to some of the others I've read).

On a side note: I'm not entirely sure why people have a problem with legomymalfoy continuing to remain on the advisory board. I haven't been around for awhile, did I miss something?
May. 27th, 2008 07:21 pm (UTC)
I'll explain my take on it. The TOS really haven't changed over the course of time. The only thing that has been changing is the way the Abuse Team is choosing to interpret them. When "Nipplegate" occured, the Abuse Team chose to say that even nudity acceptable under US law was suddenly not acceptable. With Strikethrough and Boldout, they caved to pressure from outside groups that listing things like "rape" as an interest meant you were interested in raping rather than support or the likes. LJ Abuse refuses to show just what their standards are for deletion or suspension. When all of those things happened, rather than stand up and refuse to ban/suspend, legomymalfoy opted to follow suit.

I can't expect her to stand up for users on an advisory board if she can't even stand up from her volunteer position. And even worse, she has the ability to demand clarification, transparency and more from the board but that's not what she's based her campaign around. rm has said she wants that but LMM has been absent on that. She refuses to see how even being on the LJ Abuse Team was ever a conflict of interest and her inability to see that makes me wonder how effective she could be on the board.
(no subject) - slashpervert - May. 27th, 2008 09:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kenboy - May. 27th, 2008 09:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kenboy - May. 27th, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - julieannie - May. 27th, 2008 11:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shadowclub - May. 28th, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 27th, 2008 04:04 pm (UTC)
do you mind if i provide a link to this at some of my sites? I own and operate the Forbidden Awards and am a Mod on Darker Spike and Nekid Spike.

this is way important to all three of those and i'd love to help spread the word. :)
May. 27th, 2008 04:09 pm (UTC)
Just to clarify: the winning candidate will not necessarily be whoever winds up with 50% of the vote.

If they've exhausted all of the run-off voting options, and there is still not a candidate with 51% of the vote. (Which, as far as I can tell, is if they get down to the last two and the votes come to 50/50). In that scenario, they will return to the first choice selections, and whoever has the largest percentage there will be declared the winner.
May. 27th, 2008 05:29 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I fully realize that - that's just our easiest path to it at this point. I didn't want to try to explain how the whole thing works 'cause frankly, I'm sick of the blank stares. *g*

And for what it's worth, I really appreciate that you've been around and willing to answer questions and everything. I think that speaks incredibly well of you. :)
May. 27th, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC)
Funnily enough, I read through everyone's platform posts and ended up voting that way anyway! They had the best posts. Of course, if I had my druthers, I would want rm in the top slot, but legomymalfoy has a better chance of winning.

I think it's sort of cute that vichan is rocking the third-slot vote.
May. 27th, 2008 08:50 pm (UTC)
Uh, this is totally random, but does anyone think that jameth and his fans are turning into the LJ version of Ron Paul... except exceedingly more annoying? *sigh* So much FAIL.
May. 27th, 2008 10:02 pm (UTC)
Both sides are pretty annoying at this moment of time. I find the non-fandom side less annoying because I expect that kind of behavior from that. Though, I shouldn't be surprised that fandom are whiny and entitled at this point of time.
(no subject) - julieannie - May. 27th, 2008 11:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - brighty11 - May. 27th, 2008 11:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - julieannie - May. 27th, 2008 11:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thickets - May. 28th, 2008 02:30 am (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 24th, 2008 09:58 pm (UTC)
Okay so yes, death threats aren't cool at all and they're stupid to make but frankly speaking, didn't the other side strike first? They threatened to wipe fandom off the entirety of LJ for what they deemed inappropriate content - many times without explanation - and that's the reason why we're even having to do this. When you're part of an advisory board that monitors TOS and other laws, being biased and unable to handle other people's interests and diversity doesn't bode well for the execution of your job, not to mention being unbecoming of an online mega-culture like Livejournal. That's also the reason I'm leaning more towards RM than LMM; her platform speaks more to what I'm concerned about and the non-affiliation with the board that's caused so much of the damage already is important. As an aside, many of us are far from emo and teenagers as I'm sure we as a fandom community know well.
( 46 comments — Leave a comment )