Schnee (schnee) wrote,

LJ's latest antics

You may well have heard it already — in lj_releases ("Release #98"), in news ("New beta version of Friends page, plus other features and fixes"), or in the personal journals of several folks who linked to it (friends-only in all cases, though, so no links/attributions).

LJ's often making changes that are met with a less than enthusiastic response, but the latest round of changes includes a redesigned friends page that's a real stinker. Not only has it been turned from a (themable) part of your journal to a unstylable, static system page (and not the best-looking one at that), they also introduced the infinite scrolling that, for reasons I cannot understand, seems to be all the rage among "responsive" web designers these days.

Pretty much *literally* everyone seems to hate it so far (at least everyone who commented on the aforementioned posts), and people are quite vocal in their opposition (which in some cases I think hinders more than it helps; expletives and foaming-at-the-mouth rants won't win over anyone at LJ). foxfirefey has an inofficial poll where you can voice your opinion, too — so far, more than 80% actively dislike the infinite scrolling, and almost 95% actively dislike the lack of themability.

It's opt-in for now, labelled as a beta test; if it stays that way, I'll be fine with it, but for now at least, LJ appears to be intent to eventually make this mandatory for all users. Coupled with the new update page that was made public last month, this is gonna deteriorate my LJ experience significantly.

Others feel the same way, and moving to Dreamwidth has been suggested again. I'm still on there as schnee; if you'd like to share your username (assuming I don't already have it), feel free to post it here:

Poll #1875694 DW username?

What's your Dreamwidth username?

I'm not gonna rush anywhere until LJ really jumps the shark, but given how many people have already left (really, my friends page is decimated compared to a couple of years ago), it'll be good to have a plan B.

Oh, and for some interesting background, here's an article from two weeks ago that reports that LJ's US presence is being all but shut down. As you will recall, LJ was bought by a Russian company, SUP, a couple of years back; LJ is big in Russia from what I hear, too, and one presumes that all these changes are basically geared at Russian/Cyrillic users, with the rest of LJ's userbase not playing that much of a role anymore. If that were true, though, it'd really be bad news, as it'd mean that all the complaints about changes such as this redesigned friends page will be for naught.

Of course, it'd just one more reason to move elsewhere, i.e. Dreamwidth. I wonder if I should've gotten a seed (=permanent) account there when they were selling them a few years back — but probably not, since having some sort of financial leverage ("I'm paying you X dollars each year for the service, and I'll stop if you keep on doing this") might be beneficial. Many permanent members on LJ feel all but disenfranchised, anyhow: LJ's got our money, and it won't get more money from us either way.

Anyhow, for now, I'll stay here; and I hope LJ will stick around, in a usable shape. All in all, after all, I like it here.
Tags: dreamwidth, livejournal
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