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19 June 2009 @ 02:21 pm
Vote for Cheesemon and Provocative Mainstream!  
A few weeks ago, Oprah interviewed the creators Twitter and Facebook. Here are some of the things that I remember being said:

- "We started the term friending .."
- "You can poke others who haven't been updating .."
- "We have communities that you can take part in .."
- "Privacy is important, so we created a way for you to make your journal private .."

While Oprah was shocked as each new feature was listed, I'm sitting here thinking, "Wait, isn't this Livejournal?"

And it could've been Livejournal. Livejournal was a pioneer, many social sites may not have even been around without it laying the foundation! However, somewhere along the timeline, it lost its will to compete.

Heck, I was on a site recently that asked you to share it through the following sites:

According to this long list, Livejournal is even less popular than Mister Wong! (Who is Mister Wong anyway??)

So this is my platform: I want to focus on marketing and branding LJ, I want to bring the activity back to the communities and your comments. Since I saw those interviews, I've been brainstorming ways that Livejournal could compete with giants like Facebook and Twitter, and with a chance to sit in the Advisory Committee, I'm sure I can bring some of these ideas to the table.

Here's where I will be pouring my resources into:

  • Marketing: Livejournal needs to brand itself and start a campaign proudly declaring itself as the superior alternative. This campaign needs to be aggressive yet cost-effective, out of the box, word of mouth, hip, targeting all demographics.

  • Changing: Livejournal has stayed roughly the same since its conception. While some may find consistency attractive, I think it's this same reason that has made many leave the site for something new. I want to push LJ to evolve and become that something new. Sure, change can be bad, but change can also be improvement. I want to focus on developing new stuff while tweaking the good stuff already here (like Scrapbook!), with the goal of making it a better, more fun experience for members, new and old.

  • Fun Incentives: Contests! Frequent, regular contests! I want to give members a reason to come back, keep interest going, and keep everyone actively blogging. While Facebook has 75,000,000 members blogging every day, we only had 220,000 in the last 24 hours. C'mon, I know we can do better, and perhaps through prizes as simple as a Livejournal collector's pencil or a digital gift, I think we can!

  • Sustainability: I feel that Paid Accounts can sustain the site better than ads, and I would recreate the business model around them. While I wouldn't try this without the support of the community, I was thinking of making LJ a 100% paid service, although with a far lower cost per year ($5?) or a by-donation amount which would maintain quantity. It could make our members feel special too, like the invite days, and weed out the spammers. The end goal of this is to make Livejournal self-sustaining and ad-free, kind of like Wikipedia.

  • Expansion: Many communities have roots on timeless fandoms, but we can't let it be restricted by these boundaries if it wants to compete and attract more members. I want to work on diversifying the communities, multiplying the topics you can discuss on the sites -- I want LJ to be a place where anyone will be able to find an active community based on any of their interests.

  • Sponsorship: To get the Livejournal name out, it needs to start partnering with more trendy corporations .. Youtube, Apple, Skype, as well as the smaller, up-and-coming businesses. Perhaps LJ could be a launchpad for LJ users' business ventures. We also need to get more celebrities on board! Imagine Oprah, Obama and Ashton Kutcher on Livejournal, too, and the millions of members each star could attract!

In short, my goal is to make Livejournal provocatively mainstream. Mainstream is popular and everyday, the common stuff -- but by provocative I mean making the mainstream exciting, interesting, stimulating, topics that raise comments and make the news. I envision Livejournal as a buzzword, where everyone here would be proud to own an account, for posts to uncommonly have 20 comments or more, where you can go up to your classmate/coworker and say, "I use Livejournal" and not hear back, "What's Livejournal?" but "Cool. I use LJ too!" This is how it was like in the early 2000s, and even though it's a whole new ballgame with Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, I know we can do it again. We just need to be progressive, proactive and provocative.

And if for whatever reason you disagree with that, I hope you'll at least support the last part of my campaign to push for 200 x 200 pixel userpics!

C'mon, which one would you rather have?? :)

Hey, I hope you like my platform, and if you wanna support it, please comment now! I apparently need 300 in a very short period of time!

P.S. Hi, I'm Kevin, aka cheesemon, I've been an active member of Livejournal since 2003 and haven't had a reason to try something else since. :)
Skittish Eclipse: mywordfoxfirefey on June 20th, 2009 05:20 am (UTC)
The conflicting outcomes of your goals confuse me.
Cheesemoncheesemon on June 22nd, 2009 05:39 am (UTC)
I had to rush writing this to meet the deadline, so I'm sure there's holes, though it made sense to me at the time. :) Which parts confused you? I definitely want to know so I can tweak this if I try running again next year.

Skittish Eclipsefoxfirefey on June 22nd, 2009 07:13 am (UTC)
The first biggie:

You are talking about making LJ into a 100% pay service, yet also talking about the importance of expanding its membership. You can only have one or the other. As a 100% pay service, LJ would lose the majority of its membership and have difficulties regaining its niche marketshare--you'll note the competitors you talk about do not have paid membership, either. An additional problem with that is that LJ's parent company does not wish for mere sustainability; they wish for profitability. They paid a lot of money for this service, and the purpose wasn't to babysit it, but to get a return on their investment. You cannot compare the funding of a non-profit organization like Wikipedia to the revenue required by a business.