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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.


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.