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Interesting Perspectives...

...from wendyg on the issue of advertising on LiveJournal at newswireless.net.
LiveJournal, home to approximately 1.3 million active blogs and 10 million overall, announced this week that it's inaugurating ads on its site, following on from a post on the subject from the founder about six weeks ago.

The general idea isn't all that dissimilar to what Salon has been doing for the last five years with its Premium service: you pay for the value you receive with either ads or money, your choice. LiveJournal has always offered free and paid accounts, basing the incentive to pay on limiting the features available to the free accounts. Now, it will offer an intermediate "Sponsored" level which will include ads. If you're a logged-in paid user you will never see ads; if you're a free or sponsored user (or visitor) you will see ads on LiveJournal's main site and on sponsored journals. No one has to display ads on their journal.

Almost simultaneously, Six Apart, the owner of LiveJournal, announced that it had secured $12 million in venture capital funding. LiveJournal was a cooperative community; now it's a business.
More here.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 21st, 2006 02:06 pm (UTC)
Interesting stuff. I left a comment about one bit, but largely I agree with it.
Apr. 21st, 2006 03:40 pm (UTC)
From community to business
I'm reminded of the IMDB, actually. That used to be a community effort, originally starting out as a set of text files and moving through various database engines to become what it is today, which is a full blown commercial business. I do, however, wonder whether all the people who put in lots of work early on got to share in the proceeds of it becoming a business.

Of course this is the "crunch" we're in at the moment in that provision of a service like IMDB or livejournal (*) does actually cost a moderate amount of money when you move from a few hundred to tens of thousands of people using it every day. However, the "value" in terms of the content which generates that traffic is produced by the users. Reminds me of the second life tax revolt.

(*) I just mis-typed this as liverjournal - as someone from near Liverpool this raised many horrific concepts.
Apr. 21st, 2006 04:52 pm (UTC)
remember the howls when Amazon turend out to be a business rather than a community book catalogue? the value of Web 2.0 is metadata-driven sites - but the users who contribute metadata rarely get to own it let alone profit from it. LJ was already a business; I've paid for my LJ for ages to get the benefits. I don't actually see it as a big step on from that.

Liverjournal: you postin?
you commentin?
I'm commentin!
I'm postin!
Apr. 23rd, 2006 12:59 pm (UTC)
but the users who contribute metadata rarely get to own it let alone profit from it.

I think I read a blogging site has been set up to allow that and I'm wondering if LJ's missed the boat by not offering it as an option. People who prefer LJ to TypePad do so for reasons other than money, so it's silly of Six Apart not to allow LJ users to switch to being commercial bloggers if they want to.
Apr. 23rd, 2006 01:13 pm (UTC)
rather than the sponsored userpics? maybe

but with LJ you own your metadata - you can use it for analysis and recreate it offline with various tools. Amazon locks it up unless you copy and paste by hand. that may compensate...
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )