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Strike, SUP, Stupidity, Sadness

I'm not sure what exactly the best action to take about all of this is ... I think what's worrying me most is SUP's attitude. I can see making the decision about the basic accounts, but why not include us all honestly? Like, "We're sorry to have to do this, but we have to change our business model, thanks for your cooperation" - not trying to slip it in under the radar as "streamlining the new user registration process." And the business about the interests is just weird, especially after the fairly sensible guidelines they'd issued earlier for content (I say "fairly sensible" because let's face it, they need to deal with the laws on this subject).

I'm also not exactly sure what to think about the fact that the SUP exec felt so sure it was OK to spout off like that about his customers in Russian - surely he could guess that someone would translate it? I feel that his arrogance is typical for young Russian businessmen, who tend to have a cowboy-ish outlook, but damned if I think that we need to be his chew-toy while he gets his head straight about how one catches more flies with honey than with vinegar.

But when I think about all the people I've come to know in the past 14 months at LJ - and those I'm just getting to know - the idea of people scattering to other services makes me cry. Especially because (and this is the voice of experience here, after working with issues involved in ramping up web-based systems for a larger user base since 1995) I don't think any of these other services are ready to handle a large new customer base.

Anyway, I'm also using this as a place to post some SUP contact information - it wasn't desperately hard to find, but people don't always think to look. If you do decide to contact them directly (and I think that especially those of us who actually pay SUP money should consider doing so), I'd recommend blunt but polite as the approach. No pussy-footing around, but no rudeness.

e-mail: info@sup.com or LJ@sparkpr.com

postal: 16th floor, Smolensky Passage, 3 Smolenskaya Square, Moscow, Russia 121099

ETA: Gee, the young man has an LJ!
Живые записки Антона Носика
http://dolboeb.livejournal.com
A personal weblog of Anton Nossik, Moscow-based Internet journalist and manager, currently CBO of SUP company, a partner of SixApart for LiveJournal project
(In Russian, of course)

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( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
chomiji
Mar. 20th, 2008 05:30 pm (UTC)

Well, at least they've apologized now! (Although they didn't make it very easy to find, did they?)

meganbmoore
Mar. 19th, 2008 04:15 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I think that the "no more basic accounts" thing makes sense...there is still a free service, even if it does have ads, and it's a better free service than some other places have, but the actual handling of it was very, very poor on their part.

The interests thing, though, makes no logical sense. You block yaoi, but not slash? But you also block faeries(does anyone even use that term anymore? And if they did, would they really use homophobic slang for an interest?) and depression, which is a clinical condition...and then boys, girls and guys? So much headscratching trying to figure out what they were thinking, there. It's like someone just randomly went down a list and clicked things off without thinking about what they were.

Really, though, I don't know of anyone who actually HAS left LJ over any of the kerfluffles. I've seen a lot of talk, but mostly people backing up their jurnals elsewhere "just in case" or having their "main" home be elsewhere but feeding everything to lj, and still reading lj.

But mostly, they just need customer service skills I think. And to listen to that advisory board they set up then ignored.
0nolicious
Mar. 19th, 2008 09:16 pm (UTC)
But you also block faeries(does anyone even use that term anymore?

As a slur, it really doesn't seem to be used all that much these days, inside or outside the gay community.

As a reclaimed slur, it's still used by some -- that term and spelling are big with the hippieish, playful-genderfuck radical faerie subgroup. (Wiki page, worksafe, but random googling may turn up NSFW material.)

But honestly, given LJ's demographics, I'd expect that the bulk of people listing "faerie" as an interest, especially with that spelling, are interested in, y'know, Amy Brown and Brian Froud art, or sidhe folklore.
meganbmoore
Mar. 19th, 2008 09:57 pm (UTC)
" I'd expect that the bulk of people listing "faerie" as an interest, especially with that spelling, are interested in, y'know, Amy Brown and Brian Froud art, or sidhe folklore."

Yes, well, that's would be why I have it listed...and I highly doubt anyone typing in the interest will be looking for anything else, aside from the Tinkerbell types. Now, granted, someone looking for Tinkerbell and finding Brian Froud or some of the old school myths might be in for a surprise, but...
0nolicious
Mar. 19th, 2008 10:12 pm (UTC)
Yeah, and Disney, when it isn't calling her a pixie, uses the fairy spelling on all their official Tinkerbell stuff...
chomiji
Mar. 20th, 2008 05:42 pm (UTC)

Hee, playfully radical gay pagans - nice concept! (Our friend Camille is an actual practicing Pagan - she has a good sense of humor about it, but is is her religion.)

chomiji
Mar. 20th, 2008 05:37 pm (UTC)

I think you're right on all your points. The trouble is, megan-san, you're very logical, and people are getting very impassioned and il-logical about this ... it's a knee-jerk reaction very similar to mine about the slash issue. People who have spent a good deal of their lives feeling marginalized are being overwhelmed by a feeling of "Oh no, LJ and my friends on it are my safe haven, and now I'm being marginalized again!" It may not make complete sense, but their pain is genuine.

But LJ/SUP apologized, although they didn't make it easy to find (thank goodness kispexi2 posted on this, or I wouldn't have known). Maybe the customer service issue is beginning to occur to them, too!

meganbmoore
Mar. 20th, 2008 06:00 pm (UTC)
I often believe fandom/the internet would make much more sense to me if I didn't attempt to apply logic to it. Which is its own, special brand of irony.

I also think, though, that in this case, there's also the fact that people like to protest. If there wasn't this, there'd be something else. And, very, very honestly, I think fandom as a whole would rather stay here and object than start over somewhere else. No matter how much complaining I've seen since the kerfluffles started, I haven't seen a single person I actually know LEAVE LJ, and all the communities I'm on have only gotten busier. So, if anything, it really just seems to make LJs corner of fandom even more tied to LJ.
the_resa
Mar. 19th, 2008 06:29 pm (UTC)
This is all very disconcerting. If LiveJournal succeeds in blowing itself up, all of us will be scattered to the winds.
chomiji
Mar. 20th, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)

I wouldn't give up hope yet - they have apologized, although Lord knows they didn't make it easy for people to find out.

dana1witch
Mar. 21st, 2008 05:36 pm (UTC)
I haven't followed very closely what is going on but I have a feeling that it's not going to be a good change for us. I hope I won't have to move over to blogger.
chomiji
Mar. 22nd, 2008 03:56 am (UTC)

I'm very much of two minds. Some of my f-list are emotional types like me, and they're worried. The ones who are more logical keep pointing out that no one they know has left in the last several kerfuffles. I think I found one LJ today - of a person who wrote some Saiyuki fanfic that I just diocovered and liked - that was shut down back in August as a result of one of the earlier incidents (Strikeout, I think). I know a lot of people who have backed up their LJs onto other services - but no one who's actually left.

SUP seems to be backing off of some of the less sensible things they said, now.

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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