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msilverstar

LiveJournal: solving the wrong problem, yet again

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Sep. 1st, 2010 | 05:48 pm
mood: annoyed

I can see why LiveJournal management wants to integrate with the "winners" in the social networking world, Facebook and Twitter. They probably imagine seamless conversations across networks, where everyone gets to stay in the interface they prefer. This makes sense for some LJ users, especially those using it as a public forum. For example, the author ellen_kushner probably has the much same relations with friends and fans on many systems.

That doesn't work for many of us fandom people. We have online personas that are disconnected to our "real" and mundane lives. We might have Facebook open in one window to post pictures of our kids for family, and LJ open in another to post steamy erotic fanfic, and we don't want to mix the two. LiveJournal making so easy to cross-post (and default to doing pingbacks) is intrusive to us. The only good part is that we can turn it off, and disable it all the way, then all the cross-posting stuff does is waste space. (If you use Firefox, you can hide them using the Greasemonkey DisConnect script.)

What we can't control is other people cross-posting their own comments, even their comments in our locked posts that have nothing to do with any other system.

This is stupid, disrespectful, and possibly dangerous design, and should never have been allowed. Subject lines of locked posts are often revealing. Just that someone posted in a certain journal can be embarrassing. If some of the original post involves family relationships or work issues, the comment could be significantly damaging in personal or legal ways. This is why LJ was supposed to have an Advisory Board with "thought leaders" and User Representatives. This is why software and services have beta testing: no one gets it all right. You'd think, after making mistakes pretty much every time they add "features", LiveJournal staff would have learned to fly trial balloons before making radical changes, but apparently not.

Fixing things: To disable cross-posting for yourself, go to Settings -> Extensions and uncheck everything. You may want to remove Facebook and Twitter connected accounts in general. Pingbacks are enabled for new accounts, etc.: to get rid of them, go to Settings -> Privacy, scroll way down, and set Pingbacks to "disabled".

I am assuming everyone who reads this journal is aware enough not to cross-post comments.

ETA: updated to properly link to the Greasemonkey DisConnect script.

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Comments {12}

(no subject)

from: pir8fancier
date: Sep. 2nd, 2010 12:54 am (UTC)
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I can undestand why they want to link to the winners as well, but I don't understand why they were obviously deliberate refusal to offer people like us the option of opting out of this. Because we can opt out of every frigging other thing, yes? There's an evil part of me that wonders if this is a backhanded way of trying to get the fanficcers to jettison to DW. We don't generate income and we're a pain in the ass.

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kara_belle23

(no subject)

from: kara_belle23
date: Sep. 2nd, 2010 01:52 am (UTC)
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I agree..it's not fair that this is an option that can't be disabled or avoided and we can only trust our online friends to not cross-post comments and posts to facebook and twitter.

I am kind of hoping that there were be many complaints that lj will have to fix this but I highly doubt it.

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(no subject)

from: pir8fancier
date: Sep. 2nd, 2010 02:35 am (UTC)
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The infrastructure seems far too robust IMO to actually think they will roll this back, but an option to opt out would be nice. I doubt they see this as something to fix. To them, I would imagine it's a coup.

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Lotripper

(no subject)

from: msilverstar
date: Sep. 2nd, 2010 03:52 am (UTC)
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they just don't seem to THINK! Though they might fix it, apparently at least one of them has a very small clue.

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Lotripper

(no subject)

from: msilverstar
date: Sep. 2nd, 2010 03:50 am (UTC)
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I think that we do generate significant paid account income. The "freemium" (free for basic, paid for more features) is currently the hot Web business model.

Also, I think they might be finally getting a clue.

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(no subject)

from: pir8fancier
date: Sep. 2nd, 2010 03:54 am (UTC)
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How generous and savvy of them to put this is a comment. It doesn't even get its own post. The level of cluelessness continues to baffle me.

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Feel For Faith

(no subject)

from: feelforfaith
date: Sep. 2nd, 2010 02:48 am (UTC)
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I have installed the script, but since I don't have FB or Twitter accounts connected, it's more of a cosmetic thing for me to remove the icons. But I absolutely would like an opt-out on an account level. I'm hoping it will happen--see this comment.

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Lotripper

(no subject)

from: msilverstar
date: Sep. 2nd, 2010 03:52 am (UTC)
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very interesting comment, thanks for the link!

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the baby of the family

(no subject)

from: knowledgequeen
date: Sep. 2nd, 2010 04:09 am (UTC)
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While I think it's silly for everyone to assume (not you personally, but generally) that everything is a conspiracy against fandom, I very much appreciate you telling me how to get rid of pingbacks for myself.

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Lotripper

(no subject)

from: msilverstar
date: Sep. 2nd, 2010 05:16 am (UTC)
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I'm all about sharing the knowledge!

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Lobelia the adverbial

(no subject)

from: lobelia321
date: Sep. 12th, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC)
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Most considered response I've read so far. And I'm late to the party, as you can see.

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Lotripper

(no subject)

from: msilverstar
date: Sep. 13th, 2010 07:41 am (UTC)
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I've been inside software companies, I know what it feels like to make significant feature mistakes. But we found most of them in internal and external testing, instead of being idiots and just springing our ideas on the masses!

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