penpusher: (LJ Broken)
By now, everyone you are knowing that still an active account has on LiveJournal mentioned at least the new Terms of the Service. This is not for to create no worry and no concern. Anyway, you must agree to be reading this!

Before, people ask why servers were sent to Russia. It is to provide better, what word it is? surveillance? Nyet! Not yet. It provide better support.

People believe that the Russian side of LJ and the so-called western side go separate. But we are friends and so now, Russian side help on other side by being better support. We work together and we prove that we are good and very good for you.

So if see you something that sounded not normal, it is. Welcome to new normal!

Welcome to LiveJournal.
penpusher: (LJ Broken)
So, I'm really annoyed and disturbed by the LiveJournal Terms of Service, introduced, as far as I know, April 3rd, 2017.

First of all, the whole damn thing is in Russian, and though I suppose we all should start thinking about learning that language, based on the actions of our government's current Administration, why are we being required to answer to this? After all, we were told that the Russian side of LJ (aka Zhe-Zhe) was a separate entity from the Western version.

Then they made a note stating that you would get a bonus if you agree to the TOS... but if you choose to ignore it, they attempt to log you out of your account!

So, the obvious question here is what's going on?

And the obvious problem here is... there's no way to find out. We have no idea who the "western" directors of LiveJournal are or how to contact them, or what they are doing, or who they actually care about.

I did note that one of the translated elements of this all Russian TOS stated, and I quote:

"this translation of the User Agreement is not a legally binding document. The original User Agreement, which is valid, is located at the following address: http://www.livejournal.com/legal/tos-ru.bml."

In other words, you can't really agree to the translated version of this document. You can only agree to the Russian version.

WHERE ARE THE NON CYRILLIC LIVEJOURNAL DIRECTORS?!?!
penpusher: (Dean Wild Hare)
Hey!

This is my first ever cross post from my account at Dreamwidth, my alternate home on the internet. When I first got this Dreamwidth account, I did do a "First Post" on March 24, 2006, in what was my 5th Anniversary of my LJ. Unfortunately, that post was devoured when I transferred the entirety of my LiveJounal to Dreamwidth so that record is gone, but my journal is preserved, which I guess is the important thing.

It doesn't feel like almost 16 years of blogging. Or maybe it does. Or it really hasn't been because I took off months at a time when I wasn't writing here at all. But I do need a place to write, and there really isn't another like LJ er, DW.

I would make the following notes about the transfer.

1. It was extremely easy.

Despite going back through 2001 (and the handful of entries dated prior to that), it was just a couple of clicks to get the transfer set up and running.

2. It was successful.

Though I have heard that some people have dropped entries, my journal was transferred successfully without any issue - a feat that could be because I have a permanent account on LJ and now a paid account on DW. Though I also transferred a couple of free LJ accounts over (with a lot fewer entries, of course) and that seemed to have been fine.

3. All your LJ links remain LJ Links.

If you reference a LiveJournal post in one of your archived entries being transferred to DW, that reference will still point to the LJ link. That means, if you actually want to turn your DW journal into one that is self contained, you would have to go through and change those links manually to connect to the DW post you were referencing.

I expect that the same would be true going from DW to LJ. So that would be inconvenient, for certain... especially for me because I have linked pertinent entries to each other frequently and it would take a lot of patience to comb through all of the archive to adjust them all!

4. LJ user links remain unchanged.

If you have written the name of an LJ user in an entry, and that person had since changed their username, the original name still shows up in the DW post. I think that if you clicked the name, the link goes to a "non existent" user page. Again, this would have to be corrected on a post by post basis, manually.

5. When you edit your entry on DW, it automatically gets updated to your LJ!

I discovered this just now, but I had a typo on my DW entry and I noticed it when I was reading through the LJ version. I corrected it there, then found another on Dreamwidth. When I corrected THAT one, and came back to the LJ version, it was already fixed! Handy Dandy!

Meanwhile, are you on Dreamwidth? if you are, please add me to your journal there... I know a couple of folks like [personal profile] binaryorchid, [personal profile] jazzy_dave and [personal profile] ragdoll have done so already!

And yeah! On DW, to link someone's journal name in an entry, the term is

[user name=username] with the "[ ]" standing in for the "< >," just to get you up to speed on the HTML.

And if you have any other questions about transferring your journal to DW, let me know.
penpusher: (Pen)
It's been a while since I've felt the need to introduce myself HERE, since I've been on LiveJournal for almost thirteen years! My name is Dean and I am known as [livejournal.com profile] penpusher here, and on twitter, which are the two social media sites I use most frequently.

I am a penpusher because I am a left-handed writer... I push the pen across the page. I was kind of built to be a writer: Only child, intently observant, obsessed with facts, and not a lot of friends growing up, so left to my own, quiet devices when I wasn't being protected/observed by my mom and grandmother. Perfect dynamics for writing. And I did write, short stories and plays were my favorites, but I would toss out the occasional poem too.

Eventually, I started keeping diaries. I made the mistake of using Appointment Books which had narrow columns to write in per day, and I used a soft graphite mechanical pencil which now makes some of those entries next to impossible to decipher! I have been trying to transpose some of my paper journal entries to this LJ, just so I can preserve them!

But to give you the backstory on me, I was born in New Brunswick, NJ, at the start of ragweed season, in late August. When I was two, and then again at age seven. I was moved to New York City and have grown up here. I have a habit of attending strange schools. Bucknell University not withstanding, I am a graduate of:

Macy's Sales Manager Training Program
Connecticut School of Broadcasting
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College
New York Film Academy (I showed the first completed film in its history!)
New York Bartending School (by request)

And all of the grade schools I attended, (pre K through 12th grade) eleven more of those over the years. As you might guess, I'm used to being "The New Guy" because of all of the new schools I've attended. And this is a new experience for me, never having done an LJ Idol before. Might as well give it a go!

I'm looking forward to reading entries from other LJers that I haven't encountered before, and I hope you consider adding me on to your friendslist, if you like what you read from me.
penpusher: (Pen)
I am, for the very, very first time, signing up for [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol, which seems to also be...

The Very Very Last incarnation of [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol!

Good luck to us all.
penpusher: (Two Cents)
I started talking a little bit about greed in my Writer's Block about Fairytale Endings designed by [livejournal.com profile] oxinterruptedxo. I firmly believe that greed destroys everything. And since everything is involved, I figure I might as well do a series of essays on how that's progressing. And I might as well start right here.

I mean, just look at LiveJournal! Humble beginnings... where Brad Fitzpatrick simply wanted to stay in touch with friends from College. But then that expanded into this communication platform. It changed and grew as people invited others to join. It became a phenomenon as the user count grew into the millions, and then Brad saw a huge payday from selling the site to SixApart. So, he did. And since that moment, LJ has spiraled down to a point where only the hardiest of users still remain.

Of course, 6A intended to use LJ as a profit making operation, plastering ads everywhere and actually trying to force the users to swap over to VOX (remember that?). That was THEIR blog platform with the ads already built in... so there were no issues about Brad's "no ads" comment from before all of that. Looking back, it all seems so obvious.

VOX has long since been deleted from the blogosphere and SixApart had long since sold LJ again. But that step definitely helped to put this site where it is now.

And now, there are new people doing new things to attract more people back to LJ; this though the changes being suggested are not to the liking of the people already here.

Here's a link to an article about it all, if you haven't heard:

http://www.fastcompany.com/1809674/the-return-of-livejournal

And here's the listing of the LiveJournal changes planned:

http://news.livejournal.com/140969.html

So, where are we now? LiveJournal is attempting to lure more users back here, so they can get more sponsors to purchase ads, which will make them money. That money will not be shared with the people who are helping to create the content, which is always the question about such a setup.

Now, I know and understand that a website does cost money to operate. There is the matter of servers and bandwidth and load time all of the elements that most of us take for granted when we go online. But this is the quandary we end up with when we start examining a situation like this one.

If there were no LiveJournal users, the site would not exist, and there would be no way of using it to generate revenue for the LiveJournal owners. So, clearly there is some power in what we, as users, can say about this, especially those that have purchased accounts here.

Now, looking back on the SixApart situation, it's pretty easy to see how they tried to manipulate LJ users. First, they introduced backgrounds that looked like the VOX backgrounds for people to decorate their LJs. This was to make the transition to VOX more subtle, more inviting. Then they tried to coerce LJ users into getting a VOX account "too." So a lot of us (me included) got one. But it was just a method of drawing people away from this place to a site where they had TOTAL control.

This really hurt LJ in a lot of ways, but not the least of which was the population was being sliced up. Now, some people were on VOX, even though most remained on LJ. But to 6A, the bottom line was the buck. They were trying to establish their own blog site and wanted to leech the LJers to come there so they could put into action their plan of big money ads and use the users to cash in with it.

SixApart started doing a lot of ridiculous stuff to make the LJ userbase angry (not coincidentally, the moves made were supposed to make the site "family friendly" which really meant "advertiser friendly"), and, I presume they hoped that people would start using VOX more as well. If they could drive more people to VOX, all the better.

Of course none of that worked, as people started to pack up their accounts and move to places like blogspot, blogger and WordPress, or just quit blogging altogether. Everybody knew that VOX was the 6A baby and nobody wanted to adopt. So, all SixApart accomplished was angering the users by trying to work their will BEFORE opening a dialog about what LiveJournal is and what the users wanted.

Then two things happened offsite to kinda destroy LJ's population: twitter hit, the celebrity angle happened with that and the rest is history. Everyone is on twitter. and Facebook went from a "college only" platform to open user platform, and everyone went there as well.

Though the LiveJournal administrators would love for people to start using LJ like they do in Russia and Singapore back here in the West, the "changes" they are planning really seem more designed for sponsors, and every LJ user is savvy enough to know, that is destined to be more suck.
penpusher: (LJ Broken)
Well, LiveJournal is now perfectly safe. A couple years back, we weren't so sure about that, when the people of SixApart were doing whatever it was they were doing and people were scrambling to archive their LJs. Remember that? We all were in a state of borderline panic about losing all of our writings and comments.

But now, it seems, the threat has taken a new form. People just don't read or write here the way they used to do. It seems as if Twitter has taken over the World Wide Web in a way that LJ never could have done, and of course Facebook has exploded in the time since those 6A days occurred. What really happened?

Twitter is easy. 140 characters and you can "make a post." For people who don't consider themselves "writers," it's a handy way to do something like LJ, without needing to say much. Not that you couldn't have just written your hundred forty right in your journal here! But maybe people would have found it odd to have adopted a "self-censored" approach to LJ.

Facebook has that "What's On Your Mind" headline, which is pretty much like the tweet posts, so there's that attraction. And suddenly, everyone you know from everywhere in the world has a Facebook account, so there's the lure of finding people you haven't spoken to in years, all right there. People that I never want to see or hear from again? Right there.

Twitter has the illusion of celebrity. When I interviewed [livejournal.com profile] marta for [livejournal.com profile] talk_show back in October of last year, she noted that the Đ¯ussian version of LiveJournal was laden with celebrities in their country, and that their journals were often used as source material for stories on their newscasts!

Apparently, that's what Twitter has become, here.

I mean, I guess people are really starved for star interaction, but the truth is you aren't getting any on twitter. When you see someone like Demi Moore... who has well over 1.5 Million people following her every tweet, yet she follows less than 100 people back... that's not going to bring you the entertainment jolt you really want... unless you think that yelling at the celebs on the red carpet, while you're across the street and facing away from them will get you their attention.

Recently [livejournal.com profile] popstar all but announced that she was going to give up her LJ to just use Facebook and Twitter and that she wasn't really sure how people were using LiveJournal anymore. My response to her (in part) was:

I have a perm account, so I will be here permanently, or until they dismantle the internet or LiveJournal, whichever comes first.

I see twitter as eroding LJ. Ultimately, as a writer, twitter leaves me feeling a bit depressed, like coming down from a junk food high. Yeah, it felt great at the time, but later, it's sorta empty. The substance, the nutrients and vitamins I seek are still (potentially) on LJ. The people I selected for my friendslist are the people who are inspiring and worthwhile. They're the people I want to read and hear about, because they have something to say!


And that's what I wanted to say to you. You are on my list because you are interesting to me. I may not always comment to what you say. I may not always see every entry when you post it and I may not always write something that you find worthwhile, but the point is, LJ is what we make it, and if everyone leaves, then it's just an empty place.

I'm not sure where twitter will go. The guys who founded it have made it clear they haven't made any money from it so how will this proceed? Will they get all their celeb users to pony up some cash? Because, really, that's why many of the twitter users joined!

But the question now is, will LJ be a dinosaur, or will it continue to be a vibrant and viable place to interact with people, to follow life stories, to share the triumphs and tragedies... It doesn't seem as imminent as when 6A was manipulating everything in their efforts to commercialize LJ for its own purposes, but in a way, isn't this at least as big a threat as that?
penpusher: (Pen)
I was recently dropped by a person I met in real life. This person actually wrote a post about how people were not commenting to the entries in this person's journal. In the original draft of this rant, it ended with a "fuck you" to the people who weren't replying. Later, the expletive was deleted, but the general angst remained.

I wrote a reply to the post, which I actually wanted to keep for myself for when I will inevitably come to the realization that I'm doing what this person is doing. It's a bookmark reminder which is why I'm posting this here, not really so much for any comments or replies. Of course, you're welcome to do so, if you have any other ideas about the topic.

So, if you want to talk about journal comments, click on the link below.

CLICK )

But this actually got me thinking about my journal, and how I sometimes don't always reply to a statement or comment someone makes on one of my posts. Typically, this happens towards the end of the posts, but occasionally, a comment will go unreplied in the middle somewhere. I notice this when I go into the archives to find posts that relate to something new that is being discussed. I'll look back and see a comment and wonder why I didn't say something back.

If I have done that to you, it was not because I ignored it. I just didn't type something back. Believe me, I cherish all the comments I get to anything I write. I think sometimes I don't always have a good enough reply to make it worth your while.

In fact, I stated that I would never delete this journal, and I'll probably open it up to the public if I ever do decide to stop writing here, so people can have it to look at for themselves. To me, when you allow people to comment on your journal, it's not entirely yours anymore. I mean, it is "YOURS" in that it is your journal, but it's also a little bit of everyone who sees fit to make a comment, leave their flavor there, give their insights, and spin things differently. That's why I'm against deleting journals. You are deleting everything everyone else took the time to say, along with your entries!

But the point here is that I'm apologizing to you if you wrote me a comment and expected me to reply and I didn't.

I'm sorry!

Oh, and HAPPY FRIDAY!

(xposted to [livejournal.com profile] spaceagers)
penpusher: (Serious Beak)
Permanence. Is there any such thing? Of course not. Nothing is really permanent, at least not to us temporarily living creatures.

I remember hearing about LJ Permanent Accounts and thinking when I had first heard of them, how great that would be to have. No need to renew. No need to worry that your account would disappear, or be on the slow servers, or lose your icons.

Now that this coming Tuesday is "LJ Perm Acct Day," I have to say I'm ambivilent about it, at best. First of all, $150.00? That would be six years at the current rate card. What will you be doing in 2011? I mean, besides the continued grousing about that monstrosity on the West Side: Jets Stadium, and next year's Summer Olympics for sure. Aside from that? Hard to know.

The fact that they gave about a week's notice to share this info doesn't help the case. I have to think seriously about this, and this is a bit on the pricey side as an "impulse purchase," which is basically what the powers at LJ are making it. And, yes, there is the small point that I would have already paid for a perm account (or at least 2/3rds of this new one), had I the opportunity to have done so as I paid for my years here to date. Bad timing on that.

Is LJ still the place to be, and will it continue to be years from now?

Certainly I like, enjoy and appreciate the people on my friendslist. But even a "friend" isn't forever, as I'm sure you know.

Sometimes, I think things like friendship and jobs and love are reliant mostly on the "fit." How do you fit in with the people you're dealing with in those situations? If you don't fit, you are removed. If you don't work in the same way, you are excised. If you don't share the same feelings, you are taken out of the equation.

The question is why? Why don't you fit? Different age group? Different social cues? Different way of seeing life? Does it even matter? The point is you don't belong there, and you are being told this in the most obvious way possible. That's a good thing, right? It has to be. It's information you need to know.

It seems that sometimes the harder you try to fit, the more out of place you appear. This only calls attention to you being considered wrong, and may only serve to speed up the process of your removal.

Finding where you actually do belong is a life-long quest. It isn't easy, because if you are not there, and you think you are, you are spinning your wheels in the sand, while you believe you're merrily traveling down the road. This is where it really gets difficult, because if you have to leave, you will come to feel you've wasted your time, and that can bring on feelings of embarrassment, resentment, or worse.

But through it all, nothing is permanent. Just when you think you have your life under control, a person, an event, a something comes along and everything is upside-down and backwards. This might actually be good for you in the long run, but it certainly changes your view, and that changes it all.

My journal has changed several times through its existence. It began as a PR attempt for a book I wrote. Then it became a typical interaction place, and a place for me to write essays about topics that were important to me. Later, it became even more social, with documentation of trips and gatherings. Now, it's... whatever it is. Even I don't quite recognize it.

Change is just a part of the trip. What it seems to call on, for me, is that you need to be ok with yourself. If your Inner Core, the part of you that the YOU comes from is able to understand, process and appreciate who you are, nothing could ever completely throw you off track. This is mostly mental, this life, and the experiences of it are, in many cases, in your own mind. So, coming to terms with that would be a crucial step in helping you down the path.

Through LJ, I have seen into many people's lives, I've met people I would have never imagined meeting, and I've had experiences that are unforgettable. Clearly, a big part of my life is invested in the things that have happened because of my journal. Where it goes from here, I still don't know.

I guess I have another four days to decide.

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