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The LJ Situation in Time Magazine

Why Have Hackers Hit Russia's Most Popular Blogging Service?

My feelings about this are complicated. LJ is a business and also their personnel can be jerks about things. But LJ as a community has been a very important thing for me for the past several years, and to many people in Russia, it's the only public place where they can get a variety of truths other than the official line.

In any case, LJ seems to be partway up - I can now get it on all the browsers and platforms that I expect. And at the moment, it's certainly not any slower than poor DW, which is having its own issues.

This entry is also posted at Dreamwidth. Comment at either location, as you prefer.



( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 29th, 2011 03:27 am (UTC)
You've pretty much summed up my feelings on the situation -- only you said it a lot more eloquently that I could have.

I support the fact that LJ allows Russians to have uncensored political discussions. I enjoy the relaxed social network of my f-list.

What I don't like is how some of their staff have behaved. On several documented occasions, their staff have harassed users and have behaved very unprofessionally. And what makes it worse is that LJ doesn't seem to care when their staff starts trolling communities and personal pages, and making general nuisances of themselves. Not to mention the fact that they seem very nonchalant about protecting the privacy of their users. Then there's the ads that pop up all over the place. You can't get away from them, even if you are a paid user. Then there is their general dismissive attitude toward fandom.

So while I do support what they mean to Russia and enjoy the communities that have formed here, I feel like a lot of the staffers could use some serious HR training.
Jul. 29th, 2011 11:08 am (UTC)

The only thing I question about what you're saying is the ad business. I only encounter ads if my log in has lapsed and I need to re-enter my info. When/where do you see ads?

The business about the LJ staffers reminds me of a gaming company for which I used to freelance in the 1980s. They had a very flexible idea of what "editing" was and used to insert their own sophomoric bits into the game modules I wrote. It was basically that there was no one with a professional attitude in a position of power to enforce pro behavior - they were all just out of college.

Jul. 29th, 2011 12:10 pm (UTC)
ACK! LJ ate my comment!

I posted a long explanation the first time. *sigh*

So like you said, I see the ads when my session has timed out. The frustrating part is that, when I used a tabbed browser, my session will time out randomly. What's even more strange is that when I right-click and open an LJ page in a new tab, sometimes the new page will show me as logged out, even if I am still logged on in the source page. When that happens, an ad will pop up. If I refresh the browser, then the new page will read the cookie properly and show me as logged in again.

And I hear what you're saying about "no one with a professional attitude in a position of power to enforce pro behavior". I guess I just expect more when 1) I am paying for the service and 2) that service had access to sensitive personal information. One of the reasons I let my paid account lapse is that I didn't feel comfortable keeping my credit card information on file once I found out about how unprofessional some of the staff were being about people's private information.
Jul. 30th, 2011 02:51 am (UTC)

I'm actually glad that it logs me out from time to time. I'm paranoid enough that it seems like a good idea. In my case, it seems to be no more than every 24 hours or so.

Yeah, I see a couple of ads then, but that doesn't bother me too much - compared to so many other places I end up online, it's almost nothing. Newspaper sites are the worst, for some reason.

Jul. 30th, 2011 03:11 am (UTC)
If you're only getting those log outs about once a day, then I'm obviously doing something wrong. :( Maybe I've got some setting in my browsers that I need to change?

Honestly, it used to happen to me several times within one session.

Plus, I always log myself off after each session, so if it only happened once a day, I probably would never even have noticed.

And yeah, online newspapers are pretty bad with the ads.
Jul. 30th, 2011 03:20 am (UTC)

Yes, really about once a day. I usually have a stack of tabs open, too: my LJ, LJ friends, LJ inbox, LJ Saiyuki memories, DW, AO3, HealthMonth, Flickr, Pandora, Facebook (logged out most of the time), a couple of search windows, etc. etc.

So I'm not sure what's happening with yours. I am using Firefox on an iMac.

Jul. 30th, 2011 10:33 am (UTC)
FWIW, I almost always have multiple Firefox windows open, each with multiple tabs, and often have Chrome (or on rare occasions IE) running alongside it, and on top of that I'm frequently logged in on multiple devices simultaneously...and I generally don't get logged out of LJ any more often than Cho does.(I also never really see any of their ads even when I'm logged out, but I am perhaps extra-persnickety about tweaking browser settings and add-ons to block the hell out of any intrusive visual clutter that I don't like.)
Jul. 30th, 2011 11:11 am (UTC)
Not that I am in any way trying to persuade you to give LJ money if you're happy on DW and understandably ticked off about LJ's past fails, but just for the sake of pedantry...you do know that it's not necessary to leave a credit card on file with them, or even use a credit card at all, to pay for an account or iconspace, no? Folks who choose to do manual payments instead of autorenewal can use Paypal or Webmoney instead.
Jul. 29th, 2011 02:10 pm (UTC)
Don't you have any sort of adblocker installed, nee-chan? *blinks*
Jul. 30th, 2011 02:53 am (UTC)

I think I have some settings on Firefox to handle some of that, and I also go through my cookies from time to time and take out all the obviously ad-related ones. The only ones that really get on my nerves are the pop-under ones, and I don't see them very often.

Jul. 30th, 2011 10:53 am (UTC)
I highly recommend Adblock Plus. Also, if you're clearing out cookies manually via the Tools menu in your browser, check out CCleaner -- you can set it up to keep only those cookies from sites you've specifically approved and automatically wipe everything else.
Jul. 29th, 2011 06:29 am (UTC)
What's going on with DW?
Jul. 29th, 2011 11:11 am (UTC)

To quote their own bulletins: "It's complicated." Recent maintenance post here. They've had a variety of little server errors that can all build up to a serious problem because they feed on each other. So they haven't had the kind of crazy patchwork coverage that LJ has had, but service is slow-ish and not very responsive.

Jul. 29th, 2011 02:01 pm (UTC)
They've also had a HUGE spike in new account creation -- the stats are pretty wild, they were in the low hundreds daily on the days before the DDoS and then jumped to THOUSANDS each day of the attack; I would be stunned if the unexpected massive jump in traffic on top of any existing issues was Not Helping.
Jul. 30th, 2011 03:04 am (UTC)

Oooh, yeah, that would do it!

Still, most of my LJ f-list has not got accounts over there - at least, not by the same names. When I was going into LJ withdrawal, I systematically went through and checked each name, and I added maybe six or eight that way.

(I also added some feeds, which gave me lots of volume, at least. But I went and forgot why I don't have Alas: A Blog on my LJ worksafe filter, and they got me today with a naked boobs cartoon ... actually, part of a rather awesome autobiographical series on the artist's eating disorder.)

Jul. 30th, 2011 07:46 am (UTC)
Yep, and I went poking about a little on their news comms now that DW is slightly less laggy and they are saying that the issues are interconnected -- the memory bug was there all along but wouldn't really have shown up until they started getting hammered with unusually heavy traffic.
Jul. 30th, 2011 07:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the info!
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 30th, 2011 02:59 am (UTC)

Meh, I haven't been able to make myself commit to even a paid DW account yet ... sometimes the earnest proselytizing gets to me. There's something wayward about me that resists that kind of approach!

Jul. 30th, 2011 07:54 pm (UTC)
For me, a huge factor in not shifting is that everybody I know is on LJ... it feels like it would be a lot of work to find new people (or old people with different names) on DW, and then I'd have TWO sites to keep track of, because I certainly wouldn't want to leave all my LJ friends.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )


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