beatrice_otter: What are we Protesting against? (Protest)
Over on tumblr, things are shaking up--tumblr is changing how people track tags and search for tags, and also they've taken away (mostly) the ability to reply to a post. [ profile] madamehardy hits the nail on the head as to why:
"When you consider the latest highly annoying changes to Tumblr, never forget that they aren’t meant for you. Yahoo, Tumblr’s owner, is under a lot of pressure to make some money. That means that Tumblr has to either pull its weight or be shut down. In the Web-ancient adage, “If you aren’t the customer, you’re the product.” That is, if you aren’t directly paying for any Website, then the Website is selling you, in the form of advertising. Tumblr desperately needs to monetize you. To monetize you, they need to know your personal demographics, so that they can sell groups of similar users to advertisers."

“If you aren’t the customer, you’re the product.”

Let me repeat that again: “If you aren’t the customer, you’re the product.”

This is why I really, really don’t like websites where advertising is part of the revenue stream.  I would rather pay up front–in donations or user fees–and be the CUSTOMER who is catered to instead of the PRODUCT that the website is SELLING to its advertisers.

What Tumblr is doing now?  That’s what LJ used to do, back when LJ was the fandom hub.  The great advantage of DW over LJ is that DW’s users are its CUSTOMER base, because DW organized their finances from the very beginning so that they didn’t need ads.  User revenues–paid accounts, merchandise from the store, extra icons, etc–pay the bills.  DW is never going to be a huge goliath of money-making, but it doesn’t have to be because it is financially self-sustaining and makes a decent income for the owners.  (And they manage it on a freemium basis, where basic accounts are free, and you get more features if you pay but you don’t have to to use the site.)  DW has other issues, but we are not the commodity we are the customers.

AO3 is similar.  The whole POINT of AO3 was that a big enough segment of fans got fed up with being the commodity and not the customers, and wanted to own the servers that fannish work was on.  AO3 has problems–huge problems–but at that they are quite successful.  We own the servers.  Our donations fund a service designed by, for, and about US.

Pinboard is also user-supported.  That fee you pay?  That means that we are the customer, not the commodity.  Which means that while Pinboard may eventually close down, it won’t do like Delicious did and make itself unusable for us while making itself more attractive to its advertisers.

I know tumblr has a lot of great features.  But maybe that shouldn’t be the number one thing we as fandom look for in a website.  Because what do the features matter if they get yanked out from under us every time they’re not profitable enough?
beatrice_otter: Lex Luthor runs for his life (Run for your Life!)
LJ has a new bug where people can be accidentally logged in as other people--you can't change anything, but you can see flocked posts of whoever it is the system logs you in as incorrectly.  IOW, random people may be able to see your private stuff if they get logged in as you.  Not cool, LJ, not cool.  Fix soon, plz, kthnxby.

[personal profile] eruthros has a good roundup of what's going on.

In other news, I have 18 unused Dreamwidth invite codes if anyone wants them.

beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
There are several people in the Dreamwidth support queue right now (me among them) who aren't receiving e-mailed notifications of comments on entries we post or replies to our entries unless we click on the icon to track that entry.  (And, for added bonus fun, some of us are only getting some of the notifications on entries we're tracking getting to us, which might be spam filters somewhere along the line.)  So check your inbox for comments that you haven't received!

Also, COMMENTS ON ENTRIES IN OTHER COMMUNITIES DON'T GET SENT TO YOUR INBOX.  This is just the way the system works, part of the legacy code from LJ, I don't know why but entries in coms get different treatment than entries in your own journal.  So if you aren't getting the comments e-mailed to you, there is NO WAY to find out you have comments other than to actually go to that entry and check, or to track that entry so that the comments will at least show up in your inbox..

If you're surprised you haven't gotten as many comments as usual lately?  That's probably why.

If you find you're not getting your comments:

1) Open a support request
2) Include specific information.  If you're getting some things e-mailed to you and not others, include links to the stuff you're getting e-mailed about and also to what's not getting to you.

No idea how long it'll take them to figure out what's going on (there's at least one report of this that's three weeks old), but the more people who report the problem the more data they have, and the more incentive they have to figure it out and fix it.
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
I have multiple invite codes for both Dreamwidth and Archive Of Our Own.  Comment below with your e-mail and which type (or both) of code if you want one; comments are screened.

AO3 is an awesome multifandom archive.  It's easy to upload fics; the tagging system is frankly awesome, particularly for readers who want to find new fics to read.  The collections feature is great; so is the series feature.  And if you want to run a fic exchange, the Archive provides software to handle signups and matching, and automated checks on who has fulfilled their assignment and who hasn't.  Basically, as both a reader and writer of fanfic, AO3 is my absolute favorite archive for a lot of reasons.  And, it's built, maintained, and owned solely by fans for fans!

Dreamwidth is similar enough to LJ to make the transition easy, except that Dreamwidth is run by people who actually give a damn about following their own ToS and about their users privacy and wishes.  They've pledged themselves to transparency, both business-wise and code-wise, and so far they're doing a darn good job of it.  (Remember Strikethrough?  When a nutty group out to Save the Children complained to LJ and its advertisers, and got many accounts suspended or deleted without warning, among which were a support group for incest survivors and a book discussion group that was reading Lolita?  Yeah, so does DW.  So when they started getting pressure from a similar group, they stood their ground, even when it cost them money because it meant they had to switch banks twice in two months and have online payments down for about that long.)  Plus, it's really, really easy to import all your stuff from LJ to DW using the DW importer, and it's also really easy to crosspost to LJ using the DW posting interface.

Both projects are open source, and both (particularly DW) make a point of nurturing new code developers, particularly those with little or no prior experience, so if you want to learn how to be a computer programmer, either project is a great way to start.

LJ refugees

Sep. 8th, 2010 04:59 pm
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
There's a lot of newbies around, who are fleeing the LiveFaceTwitBook debacle.  They have formed a community called [community profile] lj_refugees, and regularly ask questions about how to use the site, what coms are out there for particular things, etc.  They could probably use some people who have been here for a while to answer questions and rec communities.  If that's your thing, go for it.
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
Given the large numbers of people signing up in the wake of the latest LJ shenanigans, I thought I'd post a handy faq: Guide to DW for LJ users.

Oh, LJ.

Sep. 2nd, 2010 12:15 am
beatrice_otter: Cartoon Obi-Wan and Yoda: The thing is, there were just no warning signs. (Warning Signs)
Given the overwhelmingly negative response to LJ's newest "feature," being able to crosspost to FB, and the privacy problems with the way it was implemented, now seems like a good time to mention that I have many, many Dreamwidth invite codes just waiting to be used.  Comment to this post with your e-mail (comments screened) and I will send one to you.

(My biggest problem was that tags with a "/" in them weren't working this morning.  I'm assuming it was an unintended side-effect of fixing the one case of reposting where tags weren't working correctly?)

Anyway.  Fun stuff!  Pro author Patricia C. Wrede is doing very interesting writing meta in her blog; the latest one is on writing humor.  Well worth checking out; she's a great author and knows her stuff.  (I love her Enchanted Forest series, and Sorcery and Cecelia.)

beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
I has 'em, if you want 'em.  Comment below with your e-mail if you want one, comments are screened.
beatrice_otter: This looks like a good day for World Domination (World Domination)
So, because I'm on DW these days, and want all my comments in the same place, comments are disabled on my LJ as you might have noticed.  So I occasionally get anonymous comments by people who don't have DWJs and want to comment.  But!  If you have an LJ, you actually can sign in using your LJ identity to DW, through a process called OpenID that LJ pioneered and also works at several different blogsites.  Using your OpenID you can't make posts, but you can store icons for use on DW, make comments, get notified through e-mail when people reply to your comments, and subscribe to people so that you get a DW reading page that's similar to an LJ friends page, if you have multiple people/communities on DW you want to follow.  The only thing you can't do is post entries.  Best of all, the whole system is pretty easy to set up and use.  So, here's how to use OpenID.
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
The Affiliate Thing (ganked from [personal profile] rydra_wong):

LJ would like you to know:

Last week, we became aware that a recently-implemented script was overwriting affiliate referral fees for some of our users. Once we confirmed this, our Ops team quickly removed the script. Please be aware that, while we may beta-test other affiliate scripts down the line, we will take greater measures to ensure that no existing user-referral arrangements are impacted in any way.

In other words: they will be redirecting your links to slap affiliate codes on them and make money out of them in future.

As comments from the reps indicated, the "mistake" this time was that it stripped existing affiliate codes (thus massively violating the affiliate agreement with Amazon and pissing their lawyers off).

But hijacking your links and redirecting them through a third-party site for fun and profit? That was the point.
Stay classy, LJ.  Stay classy.
beatrice_otter: Babylon 5--Vir waving (Vir's wave)
I have Dreamwidth invite codes, free for the taking to whoever wants them!  Comment with your e-mail and I will send them, first come, first served (Comments will be screened, so you don't have to worry about your email hanging out there).  Also, since the Remix Redux will be hosted on AO3 this year, if you want to participate you need an invite code, which they will be happy to send you.  (Also, if you're going to participate in the Remix, you need to friend [ profile] remixers_lounge so you can stay current with what's happening.)  AO3 is a multifandom archive run by fans for fans, on new code written just for it, and so far I'm loving it.  It's a lot more flexible than, say,, and I love the tag system.
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
Three Dreamwidth journal-creation codes available.  Comment with your e-mail to claim one; comments will be screened.
beatrice_otter: Are you challenging my ingenuity? (Ingenuity)
Dreamwidth has implemented a new feature in beta form: text search for paid users. From my understanding, you can't search private journals that don't belong to you, but you can search your own journal and communities. And things posted/edited in the last 24 hours won't come up. Still, very cool.
beatrice_otter: This looks like a good day for World Domination (World Domination)
I have two invite codes, first come, first served. Reply with your e-mail if you want one, comments are screened.
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
I have five DW invite codes, which will go to the first five people who request them. Comment here to request them. Comments are screened.

For those of you who have just gotten accounts: (Yeah, I know, it was written for closed beta. It's still got some good information in it.) Also, the official communities for news and stuff are both more interesting and more informative than the LJ versions.

ETA: all used.
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
For those of you who don't have accounts and want them, you can purchase them now in the Dreamwidth Shop. A $3 payment will get you one month of paid time that will revert to a free account when that month is up. (You can, of course, pay more for a longer paid account time if you wish.) Or you can register an OpenID at Dreamwidth and validate your e-mail quickly, so that when they get around to giving invite codes to all the OpenIDs with valid e-mail addresses (which should happen in the next day or two) you'll get one. Or you can wait until people start announcing they have invite codes, and ask someone for one.
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
I have three Dreamwidth invite codes--comment with your e-mail if you want them. (Comments screened)

ETA: All codes have been used.
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
Dreamwidth, in their ongoing attempt to test load-bearing on the servers prior to the launch of open beta on April 30, is releasing more invite codes to create accounts and I have one to give away. Comment if you want it.

I'm moving to Dreamwidth as soon as they're in open beta. I'm not abandoning LJ. I thought I might write a bit about why. )

Anyway. That's me and DW, and I've got an invite code for someone else. Who wants it?

ETA: Invitation used!
beatrice_otter: Giles would like to test that theory. (Test That Theory)
To expand their closed beta and check server load and things, Dreamwidth is handing out random invite codes to various people--I got one because I used OpenID to comment on something. I'm waiting to import my journal for a few weeks, until they get a few more of the kinks out of the import system (and they are fixing bugs at an amazing rate over there), but once I've done that I plan to make DW my primary fandom journal home. Don't worry, I'll still be here too--that's not changing in the forseeable future, and probably won't unless fandom on LJ has a complete and total meltdown. If you're on DW too, let me know--my username is the same both places.


beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)

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