Who I am: vichan, member of LJ since 2003; first as homicial_nny before switching to my current name.
What you can expect from me: I have no ulterior motives in running. My interests lie with LiveJournal alone. I am not previously connected to LiveJournal aside from being a user. I am not connected to the advertisers. I have not rubbed elbows with LJ staff.
I represent the user because I am the user.
Why I am qualified: This is not just the LJ Advisory Board. This is the first incarnation of the LJ Advisory Board. Whoever sits on the board for this first year will not only be setting a precedent for future board members, but helping LJ as a whole understand just what role the advisory board will play.
I have experience in building things from the ground up. I was a selected as a first year member of the Summer Institute Young Adult Panel for the Unitarian Universalist Ohio-Meadville District Summer Institute. This panel planned and executed the young adult program at OMDSI. Following my first year of service, I was elected to come back and serve for two additional years. In addition to this, I was hired by my current company two years ago to build a brand new printing department from scratch. I operate and manage that department to this day.
My experience with planning committees and a career in management give me the ability to look at any situation with a level head, and an understanding of when compromise is necessary and when it isn't possible. Given the diverse userbase of LJ, I know that 'perfection' will never be reached, but that steps can be taken to make sure we reach out to each and every user.
The Change that LJ Needs - Communication:
I would be an asset to the LiveJournal Advisory Board because I understand how vital the issue of communication is.
Despite repeated user requests for more transparency from the LJ staff, we have continuously been on the receiving end of substandard communication.
When changes or problems arise, getting answers has been like pulling teeth. Communication from the LJ staff should be early, often, and precise. LJ users are not ordinary customers, they will nitpick everything, and they will report problems to each other. The fact that recent changes have been discovered and reported by users, rather than staff, has only escalated the irritation of the users.
The LJ staff can appease their customers by being honest and upfront. If change is coming or has come, the users should hear this directly from the LJ staff before the changes being to impact day to day use.
An additional problem is that we do not have a sufficient central location to retrieve important information. Instead, we have had a variety of communities and are continuously redirected to one or another depending on our interests. To name just a few, past and present, news, lj_biz, lj2008, lj2009, and lj_policy have all been used to relay important information to the users. These communities have actually been very useful, as they allow users who may be interested in one aspect of LJ but not another to keep track without getting information overload. However, when vital information is scattered between these different communities and posted in one area but not another, we have a problem. The official LiveJournal News page does not include some of these important communities, making them difficult for users to find.
Why I am running: I would love an opportunity to give something back to a community that has given me more than I can say. I am hoping that I will have a chance to take part in LJ's future. Recent changes on LiveJournal have upset the daily routine of the users. I have kept a close eye on these events, and I believe I have given a balanced view of every situation that has come up. For example, I created fandom_counts a little less than a year ago during the original Strikethrough. I did not create it as an act of protest against Strikethrough, but as a reminder of the awesome presence of fandom on LJ. I've stuck to its original purpose, and the community still stands as a reminder of just how much LJ means to fandom, as well as what fandom means to LJ.
In addition to fandom, I've used LJ to keep in touch with family and friends, as well as network with other users who share my interests such as music, recording, and baseball. Since my interests are so diverse, I've come to realize just how unique each and every LJ user is. We are not a few hundred groups of users. We are several thousand individual users. My goal is to help the LiveJournal staff reach out to all of them without leaving anyone out in the cold.
Over the past year and a half, I've seen my friends' list shrink as users leave LJ for 'greener pastures.' I want to prevent this from continuing. LiveJournal is more than just a website or a social network. It is a truly unique community that has been built, nurtured, and cared for by the people who use it. Without us, LiveJournal is just an empty space on the internet.
Do you want true user representation on the board? Do you want someone who will make sure all voices, great and small, will be heard? Do you want clear communication? Vote vichan.