In an interview with CBS News last year, SixApart co-founder Mena Trott said the following, in an exact quote:
"Yeah. I mean, it's uh... on LiveJournal it's about 70% are teenage girls".
The video of this is available here, on the righthand side of the page.
So, are 70% of LiveJournal users really teenage girls? No. That's simply not a true statement. About 67% of LiveJournal's users are women, and their ages vary considerably.
Personally, I have a problem with SixApart's staff not responding to -- or, in some cases, perpetuating -- stereotypes about LiveJournal's users, based on their age or presumed maturity levels. LiveJournal doesn't have a monopoly on drama or irresponsibility, any more than Vox has a monopoly on elitism or TypePad has a monopoly on arrogance. I worked hard at LJ to build positive perceptions of our users in the press, in order to get LJ to be taken seriously not only as a large site, but also as one with appeal to people of all ages, backgrounds, and interests.
So, was there legitimate reason for the signers of the petition to be concerned that they were being misrepresented and targeted based on age? Absolutely. Sure there was.
The people who signed the petition weren't sheep, as implied. They weren't goats either.
They were, however, essentially correct.
Even as SixApart approaches advertisers with statistics and demographics, at the highest level, it appears that their staff really didn't know much about who we really are -- only about who they thought we were. Hopefully, the petition has been a bit of a wake up call.