LJ got rid of basic accounts with no ads - Journal of Omnifarious
Mar. 13th, 2008
09:20 am - LJ got rid of basic accounts with no ads
I've thought about the demise of LJ for awhile. It's quite clear now from how the news wasn't mentioned in a news post, how it's being spun as 'making it easier for users to sign up' and various other things that LJ really doesn't care about it's users at all anymore. This was really quite predictable from the moment they started accepting advertising at all.
Brad Fitz, the person who started it all has a nice post in which he makes the most excellent observation that it's the users that create the whole reason people want to visit the site in the first place. This observation and a discussion of LJs legal status made me realize something.
The modern corporate structure is a wholly inadequate means of expressing the values and desires of the stakeholders in an organization where most of the value of that organization is created by what a corporation would think of as "its customers". Basically this legal framework has been shoehorned into serving a purpose it is wholly unsuited for because a corporation has only a very weak incentive to take the interests of all the people who create the stuff that enables its existence into account. Those users have made a huge investment into the site and that investment is almost completely ignored by the modern corporate structure and repeatedly leads to disaster when the corporation makes decisions at odds with its most important investors, the users of the site that it is a caretaker of.
User content sites need something other than a corporation, something where the organization is legally obligated to take the interests of those users into consideration as the most important factor in decisions made by the organization. I'm going to have to think for awhile to see if I can think of a structure that would work. It's tempting to think of some sort of trust or something quasi-governmental. I prefer structures that naturally and with very little oversight or intervention align the interests of all the participants.