August 9th, 2007

Consumer Whore

Here, for the time being

I've been loosely keeping up with the Great LJ User Revolt with a sort of idle interest, lately.

I don't mean that to sound flip...it's just that of the things to invest tremendous emotional energy in these days, LJ's low on my list. If my LJ experience begins to suck, or I feel that I know conclusively that the management's corporate values seriously conflict with mine, or enough of my flist migrates to another service, I will pack up and move somewhere else.

In the meantime, I'm chillin'. Waiting to see how things shake out. Doubting that enough people are going to flee screaming just yet to rouse me to find another journaling service. Coincidentally, my cashflow sucks for the rest of the month, so I'm turning off autobilling and letting my journal lapse to Basic for a while, which I think more or less makes me a neutral observer.

I remember when I first learned about LJ, back when I still lived in NY; when I finally joined, it was still a big hippie freewheeling open source utopia experiment where you had to get an account code from an existing member in order to get a basic account because it was all about community. It was really cool and something I supported, and I can totally see why other "old timers" would feel proprietary towards LJ, that they had helped build it, because everyone kind of did.

But "building" and "owning" are two different things, and that Summer of Love era ended permanently the day LJ got sold to SixApart.

Abstractly, I can't say that was such a terrible thing. It is, after all, a lot easier to keep something going when people are getting paid to run it. And there's nothing inherently wrong with becoming a more formal business entity. Whether it's being mismanaged now is a whole other question and one I'm not that interested in getting into right now.

For me, there's two big considerations. One is that emotions are flaring very high all around now, and that's not a good condition under which to make a rational decision about stay vs. go. Second, I've carved out a tiny little niche for myself here. It would be hard to keep up with a lot of the people I've met here, who I like very much, if I up and moved; and rebuilding a community and presence online-- even a wee tiny one like this-- takes work and directed effort. The reason that blogs bloom and die like one-day roses all over the 'net is that it's not easy to create something that feels like marginally more than shouting into the wind. LJ has been a very good home to me, and I'm not really ready to dump the real estate until and unless the value of doing so outweighs the value of not doing so.

Point being, I'm remaining for the foreseeable future. Making some snark-salted popcorn with which to properly observe the fireworks. And waiting till some dust clears before I make any other decisions.
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