Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,

Livejournal = hobbled?!

Did you see the post in news?

Basically, Brad is advocating limits on how often accounts can be posted to.

"The first limit to be going live is post frequency, per 24 hour rolling window...

Free users: 3 posts (maybe 4 or 5?)
Early adopters: 10 posts
Paid/Perm Users: 20 posts"

These limits will also effect communities, too.

Now, I am very familiar with the argument of limiting the ability of people to use scripts to attack LiveJournal. There was a bit of talk on how to do it correctly, too.

Scripts have telltale signs -- they are usually designed to either:
- pound the system as fast as they can
- pound the system at a predictable rate

Therefore, in order to filter them out, all you'd need to do is to identify posts in those given criteria (not hard) and suspend posting from that source.

That's not what this does, however. It basically takes a service and makes it considerably less usable. This is especially true for communities. I run several large communities based on free accounts, such as sfbayarea and burning_man, and they can easily get 10 posts a day.

Crippling communities is stupid, because communities are a *BIG* attraction for people to use LiveJournal. Many of my friends joined LiveJournal after hearing about their great communities... Under Brad's idea, a community like wtcdisaster, which was created on 9/11 and had 231 posts on the day of the disaster, couldn't exist, even with a $100 permanent account! We had a fraction of the users back then that we have today, so if we get involved in a war that gets a bit "intense", we can pretty much forget about having communities that would allow people to share news or emergency information.

And lets talk about paid memberships while we're at it. People pay for a given service. When that service is crippled, shouldn't they have the right to get their money back? Isn't a betrayal to sell 45,000 people a false bill of goods?

What Brad proposes as a solution to malicious scripts is like using a sledgehammer to operate on a pimple. Brad knows this, too... He must, because I cannot believe he would be so stupid as to not know it. So, what it comes down to is he wants to severely restrict the posting frequency of users so as to get more paid accounts, even though the very act of restricting the number of posts means that his cost per user goes down significantly. How slimy...

Now, if all of this weren't bad enough, I have worse news. Brad's idea won't work. You can't address the script issue unless you are blocking abuse of both posting *AND* comments. Brad probably knows this too, which is why he mentioned that his "limits" were only the first of several. He'll want to limit the replies you can get/make too. As a person who has had over 700 replies for a single post, I take offense to this. No more memorial posts for users who die, no more Christmas posts where hundreds of people spontaneously flash their boobies... just pavement where community should be.

Communities have unwritten laws, and people can tell when someone pisses in the communal pool. What this really proves to me beyond a shadow of a doubt is that Brad still has no concept of people skills, no great love for the site he helped to create, and that he knows very little about the nature of communities, or about the aesthetics that make a place special. It's gotten so bad that I can't really recommend people use anymore. I can recommend Blurty or uJournal, but not LJ. That's sad, because as much as I like LiveJournal, the open source app, I dislike the insensitive, unprofessional way is run. It is a shame that an open source project that is so promising is hobbled by Brad's inability to deal with people or run a business in a professional, reliable manner. It's a serious job, even if Brad doesn't view it as such... after all, paid users bought his car and are making payments on his house.

Grow up, Brad. Learn how to run a business and how to deal with people in a responsible, respectful way. You've said more than once how much you hate running the site, so do us all a favor and give it to someone, anyone else who will take it seriously and who gives a rat's ass.

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