penpusher: (LJ Broken)
I haven't been posting "normal" entries in my LJ Account for awhile now, using it only as the place where I post my LJ Idol entries for the writing competition. Likewise, I haven't been reading your entries, since my time was spent reading through the entries of the other contestants and making comments there. I feel like I have failed my LJ friends because of this, and I do apologize for that, but there is an element behind it.

The whole "Đ¯ussian" issue - the fact that we were acquired by the Russian side of LiveJournal definitely has had an effect. Really, I have a bellyful of Russia right now. I hear about Russia every night. And let's face it. We don't really know much of anything about what's going on with our Russian owners. I can tell you that a few of my long time LJ friends deleted their journals specifically because of this.

When I purchased a permanent account, I really thought it would outlast me, or at least would last longer than I would find a use for it. Now, even though it's likely an irrational fear, I don't feel completely safe sharing on this platform anymore. We don't know anyone who is in charge of this service. We don't know what issues those that are in charge of it examine. And it's within the unease of all that we don't know about what happens here that creates a place that is the opposite of where you would want to put your most intimate thoughts and share your most personal stories.

The current LJ Idol season is coming to a close. Tonight is a voting results night, and it's possible I will not survive. I have resolved to stop using LiveJournal at the end of the current LJ Idol competition, and I suspect that end will come before the end of the year. That means I have to make some decisions.

I have to decide if I want to delete this journal and if I do delete, do I use the nuclear option, that deletes every comment I ever made to every journal and community I ever visited. Or do I friendslock the entire journal? Or do I just leave it in place, as is?

A reason not to delete is being able to access journals that I was friends to, anyone that had their own journal locked that I was on the list for would be lost to me forever. But does that really matter, if the friends are no longer posting here?

Another reason not to delete is that I said I never would. Under normal circumstances, I thought deleting was a selfish move, that hurt the other people who were still here. And especially the nuclear option that deleted the comments posted in everyone else's journal. Part of me still believes it's somewhat selfish to delete - especially nuclear style. When people comment to your journal, it's not just "YOUR" journal anymore. I absolutely believe that.

But I do have my mirrored account at dreamwidth. Basically everything that is here got moved there (and I'll likely do another transfer over of the entries from the Idol season also). All is not lost.

But there will be loss. Some people who are still here aren't going to leave. I know this because I floated the concept in my entry titled: Let's Just Deal With... where I suggested we needed to make a break from this place and collectively move to Dreamwidth. "Lukewarm" would be a gross exaggeration of the response.

Or just not use this type of platform anymore. Facebook does have the option for writing essays, and they have the possibility of going viral, if they're publicly posted.

I do know that my LJ time is now severely limited, no matter what happens, meaning that this will be one of my final thinkposts here on the old El Jay. But maybe I'll make a go of it on DW.

http://penpusher.dreamwidth.org/
penpusher: (Default)
Can you still post directly from DW to LJ?

Answer: You can!
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: (LJ Broken)
Believe it or not, there currently is some sort of LiveJournal wave of nostalgia taking place. It sort of began on Facebook where someone created a "secret group" to which LJ members were added. And, similar to the old "invite codes," other people started bringing in their friends who had (or have) an account to talk about, read about and think about the elements that they liked about it. What kicked it into overdrive was when Brad Fitzpatrick showed up with the three word comment: "I love this."

Suddenly everyone on FB who had an LJ was ready to chat it up with both Brad and with each other, and even though there were other attempts to relaunch things on this platform a number of times since SixApart moved out, nothing ever quite got it moving with this much gusto.

Why is it happening now? It could be a number of factors... not the least of which is we're getting sick of social media as seen in these other formats. Between the trolling of internet fiends on twitter and the ridiculousness of everybody you know on Facebook, LiveJournal suddenly looks like an oasis from the desert heat of hateful rhetoric, a storm cellar against that vast tornado of twisted words and concepts, fake news and biased views. It could be that there just is a desire to go back to a place that feels more safe, more secure. Or maybe people simply got bored and decided to come back here now.

For the record, the community of note is [livejournal.com profile] 2017revival, where people are posting memes about who they are, what they have done on LJ and what they might be looking for here, again. Active users on the old El Jay? It's starting to happen.

But...

There seems to be a little thorn on this rose, or, maybe more accurately, a worm in your glass of vodka.

LiveJournal has migrated its servers to Moscow.

What exactly does that mean?

The most honest answer is, we don't really know.

We do know that the Russian government has been targeting their citizens who have a Zhe-Zhe (that's how they refer to LJ there) who have been critical of them. But we have been constantly told that the Russian side of LJ and the Western side are two different animals... mirrored, yes, but separate.

Still, the fact that "Russian government officials now have access to the private information of people with these accounts," is definitely a damper on wanting to return here.

But that, in and of itself, might not affect us. After all, this is still a separate part of LJ. Have we been hacked by the Russians already? Have they already made copies of our LiveJournals? Do we need to pack it in?

Actually there is a likely threat. If the Russian government steps in and decides that Zhe-Zhe is simply too incendiary for their tastes, they might just shut the whole thing down, on their side. While that wouldn't affect us immediately, the question would be, wouldn't it affect us eventually? Even if our side of the servers remained running, who is paying for it, how is it being maintained and what happens to it if something happened to it?

And that brings us to the other issue that can't be overlooked... where are the Western LJ administrators?

As this story began to snowball, I decided to take a walk around LJ Land to see what I could find out about the people running it.

Turns out, I couldn't find out anything! I mean, we have people who are working as volunteers, very much like back in the late 90s early oughts, who fix any tech problems with the site for users. But what we don't have are representatives... the people who are the liaisons between the user base and the Board of Directors. Only it's worse because who are the Board of Directors?

Things changed severely when SixApart came in and tried to turn LJ into a profit making venture. Naturally, since they didn't know what blogging was all about, they made a couple of enormous errors and, once they wiped the egg off their faces, decided they didn't want to show their faces again. That's how we got [livejournal.com profile] theljstaff, a nameless account that allowed the administration the ability to make pronouncements, announce changes in policy, and explain issues (or more accurately ignore them) without needing to be targets for the derision of users who neither needed nor wanted what they were selling.

And once that precedent was set, it has remained. Why put up the names of actual people who could be blamed for something going wrong? It's much safer to keep that information hidden.

Of course, now, that's a definite issue, as who do we speak with about any of this, and who would or could clue us in about what's going on? And really, maybe there is a hierarchy of power that is in place. But the fact that I couldn't access it in any reasonable way, not even knowing where to look for even one name of a person who should be able to answer some basic questions about how our servers are in Moscow, is a little unnerving. I don't want to go as far as saying I'm worried, but it doesn't feel all that safe.

To wit, I have migrated the entirety of this journal over to Dreamwidth.org. I'm not certain what I should do about photos that have been stored on my LJ account. I'll probably need to figure out a new housing situation for them also.

I'm at: https://penpusher.dreamwidth.org/

It's an account I set up back during those 6A days, when it seemed like that group were going to turn their capitalist dreams into our blogging nightmares. How wrong we were!
penpusher: (Pen)
Dean and I have been trying to pinpoint the time frame that he and I added each other on Livejournal. He found a post from 2003 and I am still positive that it was sometime in 2001. For close to 15 years we have followed each other's lives and cheered each other on through jobs and relationships.. ups and downs. Through loss and expectations, our own and other peoples..

We are still here. We are older and we have smile lines and life under our belt. And we are here.

I remember the fantastical birthday posts that he used to write and I still remember the first one that he did for me. Seattle made me feel very alone. But Livejournal was this balm that made everything that was hard just a little easier. You had this social safety net that you could pour your heart out to and they helped get you through.

Dean was one of those people for me. I am thankful for his friendship and for his continued part in my life.

I am very thankful that I got to hug this person today that has been a part of my life for so very long.

** Note: This entry was written by [livejournal.com profile] theda for my blog! It's a science experiment!
penpusher: (Playbill)
One of the banes of every actor's existence is to have to audition for roles. Whether it's for a stage role or for screen, big, small or computer, be it a hundred million dollar budget blockbuster or a local PSA, landing the part can feel like a mountain standing in your way.

Enter, Michael Kostroff. He is a well-seasoned and extremely successful actor in his own right, having done roles across all of television, ranging from heavy drama to soap operas, from kid sitcoms to nationally televised commercials, notable parts in films you definitely have seen, and a host of stage plays and musicals.

He has created what I feel is a revelation and, dare I say it, a revolutionary way of viewing the process of landing jobs in show biz for actors.

Michael Kostroff's Audition Psych 101 is a workshop intensive that will give you a different approach to how you handle the process and might just change your view in a way that even makes the experience fun! Click through to the Audition Psych website and check out some more details about it.

His next workshop is scheduled for Friday, August 19th in New York and I'm pleased to say I'm offering two actors comps to attend it!

the fine print )
penpusher: (Pen)
Twitter made it official this week that they were going to permit "longer tweets." If you're familiar with how twitter works, you know that the standard tweet permitted was 140 characters. There actually was a rationale for that number: they wanted the tweet to be able to fit inside a single SMS (Short Message Service) message, which has a limitation of 160 characters.

Apparently people, in their desire to post... )
penpusher: (LJ Broken)
True confession: Sometimes I like to read through my [livejournal.com profile] mrkilborn journal. I have to admit, I did some of my better comedy writing just pretending to be a talk show host that no one remembers or cares about now for a bunch of anonymous people who were also pretending to be stars. It was ideal for what I was doing at the time. Maybe I could have put that sort of effort into writing a novel or screenplay or something. Probably. I probably should have! (I am now.)

I am a bit proud (if I can use a Kilbornism from that era)... )
penpusher: (Livejournal Pencil)
My process of writing varies from project to project and from when I was younger to now. And it's certainly informed by all the experience I have had from writing and, of course, from living. So today I'm a different, and I believe better writer than I was even when I started this LJ, almost 13 years ago. I'd better be better, otherwise I just wasted thirteen years!

Maybe I was pretty good then. And maybe the changes aren't so apparent. But the facts are I have a lot more stuff in my writer's toolbox that can be useful than I did back in 2001. And that's a huge positive.

But also the topics I write about have shifted somewhat, and when you talk about LiveJournal as in why have people left the service, this is something to examine. If people consider their LJs as simply self-involved commentary from their younger days, they may feel that the journals they used back then were something embarrassing, something to forget, and that's clearly part of the reason why people may be reluctant to return.

As a writer, I have... )
penpusher: (Livejournal Pencil)
Credit this one to [livejournal.com profile] dabroots who posted a piece titled: "We are not perky, here at Live Journal." The upshot is facebook is for the happy commentary and anything considered a "downer" there is quickly criticized. And that's not the flavor of LJ.

My quickie comment back was: I like to think we're "real" here at LiveJournal. Which, of course, means perky when that's appropriate, but basically not because it rarely is.

But it's a bit more than that, which is how this thinkpost came to be!

Of course, if you're looking at Facebook... )
penpusher: (Livejournal Pencil)
I'm thinking of the people on my friendslist that don't post anymore. I'm wondering if they ever even think about their LiveJournal accounts, if they ever visit them, ever sneak a peek at their friendslists, ever even read back through their LJs.

I love reading my archives. There's so much great stuff there, partially because of all the great people that commented. That's why I said I would never delete this journal. When others post to it, it's no longer just "mine."

But I'm wondering if there is anything that might get these great people back to at least poke around.

Really, the issue with LJ is it's something you shouldn't have to be "forced" or "coerced" into performing. That's very counter-intuitive when it comes to the process.

And as [livejournal.com profile] ravenfeather recently pointed out in my most recent "LJ Promotion" post, by placing a comic in the comments, some people associate LJ with their High School years and they've outgrown that.

I guess if you came to El Jay after that time, the stigma isn't there, but the question remains:

If you weren't on LiveJournal, what sort of stuff might bring you back... and maybe as the true first question: what keeps you here now? What are you getting from LJ that makes you still use it?
penpusher: (Livejournal Pencil)
Maybe I should post these statements to a public account, like my [livejournal.com profile] spaceagers board. But [livejournal.com profile] tamar is here and can read, and perhaps she can either fill in the people she encounters who might be interested, or send feedback here based on what she's heard from them, if anything. Or she'll suggest a public posting if she thinks it's worth it?

In Promoting LiveJournal - Step Two, I was looking at the basic mechanics of the current site and the userbase that is negotiating it.

Really, there could be an incentive program for current members bringing people to/back to LJ. How many people would you nudge to get 200 additional user icons? How many more sign ups could there be? Don't you want to send some more virtual gifts or get extra LJ Tokens?

Similarly to having celebrities on the site, having active LJ users that attract more people here is a program that could prove positive, overall. Again, how it is handled is both the trickiest part and the most important one.

But, perhaps, the most crucial issue... )
penpusher: (Livejournal Pencil)
In Promoting LiveJournal - Step One, I focused on the elements that might drive people to the site - celebrities, and those that love/hate them.

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

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

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

In fact, LJ doesn't have much... )
penpusher: (Livejournal Pencil)
[livejournal.com profile] ravenfeather asked me a pointed question: So, how would YOU promote LJ?

I think it's a great question, because it allows me to examine the elements that make LiveJournal the best social media platform of them all and finding the threads that could lead people back here again.

I think you have begin by looking at the history of the other social media sites, look at what they offer(ed) and compare that to what LiveJournal can deliver.

MySpace was the original... )
penpusher: (Pen)
I'm dizzy and feeling sick and it's not from the Flu. Or at least I don't think it's from the flu, even though the temperatures in NYC today are going up to nearly 60 and tomorrow we'll flirt with 70. No, I'm feeling miserable just from reading twitter.

You might have heard... )
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)

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