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25 November 2008 @ 02:31 pm
LJ in the UK  
LJ is taking its first official steps in the UK today. Of course, LiveJournal has thousands of UK users but this is the first time we've developed a specific project for the local market. That is why we are so excited to be working with The Independent newspaper and their website. We are starting this project with some simple blogs and communities; over the next few weeks we will be adding on more features. We're rather proud that a newspaper as well respected as The Independent has decided to incorporate LJ as its blogging and community platform.

We're very excited today to launch this community in conjunction with Independent Minds, our new partnership with The Independent. Independent Minds is the new home for blogs from Independent journalists, where they write about everything from the stories they're working on to musings on Gordon Ramsay or Russell Brand. You can comment, ask questions, and hear directly from the journalists. Even better, you can also create your own blog on Independent Minds and contribute to the debate and discussion. Get the full scoop on Independent Minds and future plans for the LJ/Independent partnership here.

The exciting part for us is working out how best to engage the existing LiveJournal userbase with The Independent's communities, content and articles, a process we'll be starting over the next few months. In the meantime, we would love to hear more from you about how best we can develop LJ in the UK. As you might know, we've been developing specific services for our Russian audience for many years, and in recent weeks we've also begun some projects in India—we'd love to know what you think we should be doing in Britain. So, if you have ideas, please jot them down below. Perhaps you want to help us moderate some partner communities, or want to suggest other organisations like The Independent who might be interested in working with us. Let us know what you think.

This is just the beginning of the process, get in touch and help us get the ball rolling.
 
 
 
Nat: #36 Gold Sparklers36 on November 25th, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC)
Wouldn't you reach more people if you posted to livejournal_uk?
子rin - An faigh: obvious7rin on November 25th, 2008 11:21 pm (UTC)
Oh but don't you know EVERYBODY reads news. *wry g*

Seconding 36's suggestion of posting in livejournal_uk.
(no subject) - steveeeee on November 26th, 2008 02:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Peter: 1337peterb on November 25th, 2008 11:28 pm (UTC)
wtf is wrong with livejournal_uk?
Tim: What the heck ...spodlife on November 25th, 2008 11:42 pm (UTC)
I was wondering too.
(no subject) - nodarius on November 25th, 2008 11:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - matgb on November 26th, 2008 12:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - windiain on November 26th, 2008 12:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - a_pawson on November 26th, 2008 10:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - radiantsoul on November 26th, 2008 10:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - matttt on November 26th, 2008 05:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - forthwritten on November 26th, 2008 06:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - windiain on November 26th, 2008 12:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - charlycrash on November 26th, 2008 01:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lino on November 26th, 2008 03:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - windiain on November 26th, 2008 08:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - steveeeee on November 28th, 2008 07:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lordofmisrule on November 26th, 2008 09:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
folkfolk on November 25th, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC)
working out how best to engage the existing LiveJournal userbase

It seems to me that you need to figure that out independently (so to speak) from your work selling us to The Independent.

what you think we should be doing in Britain

Hey, a working site would be a great start! It's been a week since the server move, with intermittent site outages (see #lj and #livejournal on Twitter), no comment notifications, email posts going missing into the ether, and the slowest page load times since I was a free user in 2001.

Seriously, go ask your Ops guys what you can do to help make the site actually work. Or you're going to lose your content creators to Dreamwidth when it goes live.
Ano Maki: puppy dog eyesano_nee on November 25th, 2008 11:33 pm (UTC)
Suggestion~
Automatic account payments that work with more different credit/debit cards. I've asked about this in the past and been told it only supports US-based ones.
princesskirstyprincesskirsty on November 25th, 2008 11:38 pm (UTC)
so UK lj users are only recognised when there is some sort of sponsorship behind it?
folk: Britishfolk on November 25th, 2008 11:51 pm (UTC)
Seems like! *thumbsup*
(no subject) - princesskirsty on November 25th, 2008 11:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - matgb on November 26th, 2008 12:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
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Pez }}morning.maple{{yuki_scorpio on November 25th, 2008 11:46 pm (UTC)
I'd like the choice to donate to UK charities when purchasing permanent accounts/gifts etc, instead of making us give money to charities we've never even heard of.
snake eyes and deja vusorchasilver on November 26th, 2008 10:19 am (UTC)
I think this is a very good idea. I'd be much more inclined to give money to LJ if the charity cut went to something in the UK.
(no subject) - radiantsoul on November 26th, 2008 10:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - humbuggirl on November 26th, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - syniqal on November 27th, 2008 10:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Mat Bowlesmatgb on November 26th, 2008 12:10 am (UTC)
A getting started user guide would be good
It's very clear from the comments from new users at IndyMinds that they're very very confused, lots of them are used to MyTelegraph (which was awful) which had a very facebooky hold-your-hand approach.

Explaining why you should friend people, how to get comment notifications, how to use your friends page, etc would be good.
子rin - An faigh: fail7rin on November 29th, 2008 03:21 am (UTC)
Re: A getting started user guide would be good
Um... I know this might sound stupid, but why should you (generic) 'friend' people?

Surely it's not a 'should', but a 'can'?

ETA: Also, people might be stupid, but if they can't follow the pretty reasonably written FAQ and links, then do we really wanna hold their hands? Why not turn LJ into the place for people with a fuckin' brain instead of dumbing it down to the lowest common. like so many other places do (and I challenge yo to give me an answer that doesn't involve profitability :p)?

Edited at 2008-11-29 03:24 am (UTC)
Re: A getting started user guide would be good - matgb on November 29th, 2008 01:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Online I'm a Giantparthenia14 on November 26th, 2008 12:14 am (UTC)
I've never heard of livejournal_uk so this one's Ok by me.

I agree with folk that the Independent collaboration should be totally separate from whatever else you want to do in the Uk. Newspaper choice is incredibly political - personally, I hate the Indy for reasons I can barely articulate. I do love (sort of) the Guardian which has a huge digital presence with loads of rabid commenters (rather like LJ). I'll be interested to see what happens with the Indy. Actually, I don't think the UK users are quite as er, robust in their views, as the US ones, so maybe it'll all be fine.

I'd like more Uk knowledge, really.

Edited at 2008-11-26 12:31 am (UTC)
folk: Britishfolk on November 26th, 2008 12:39 am (UTC)
Yes. This too. UK newspaper choice is indeed incredibly political, but there is also a much, much wider national choice than there is in the US, and there's also the class aspect to it as well. The closest that the US comes to it is the NY market where there's the NYT, the Post, and previously the Sun and Newsday, but there are five daily broadsheets and at least five daily tabloids. While I think the Indy is probably the closest to LJ sociopolitically apart from the Grauniad, I still don't get what's supposed to happen.

From the looks of it on the Indy's page and with their users, they don't really understand it either.

(Dear LJ, I would be happy to consult on this for a very reasonable fee. Contact me for my CV.)
(no subject) - jslayeruk on November 26th, 2008 02:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - petrusplancius on November 26th, 2008 09:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - yuki_scorpio on November 26th, 2008 09:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - radiantsoul on November 26th, 2008 10:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - 7rin on November 29th, 2008 03:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
smigssmigs on November 26th, 2008 12:20 am (UTC)
uk users would benefit from..
- support for automatic payments via Direct debit.
- better localisation. some themes don't make proper use of the internationalisation layers (either overriding properties when they don't have to, or not bothering to use them at all). as far as the UK goes, this only really affects datetime formats, but it's still occasionally irritating.
escapismrocksescapismrocks on November 26th, 2008 01:10 am (UTC)
Just repeating what others have said.
Other options for purchasing paid accounts, and not associating totally with the Independent.
Paul Wrightpw201 on November 26th, 2008 01:38 am (UTC)
So, what's the deal with the people who sign up via the Independent page? Looks like they're regular LJ users, but they agree to an extra set of Indy terms of service and get a custom style (but some of them have already changed it). It looks like regular LJ users can post to the Indy reporters' blogs. Reporters' blogs exist both as username.independentminds.livejournal.com and username.livejournal.com.

The Indy folk are complaining that they can't find a "centre" for the site, where all the Indy users can find each other. jleach says he can find other Indy users though.

Some more explanation of how it all works would be good for the new people and for existing LJ users.
David Gormangorman on November 26th, 2008 02:12 am (UTC)
Hey,

I'm the Product Manager at LJ leading up this partnership, so hopefully I can offer some insight.

You are correct about the distinction between users that sign up through The Independent registration process and our normal process. They agree to additional terms of service, get a custom style, and have a .independentminds.livejournal.com alias. In the future there may be other differences, but that's the extent for now.

This is just the first phase of our partnership; functionality like community hubs is definitely forthcoming.

I would be happy to answer any other questions you (or anyone) may have regarding our partnership and how it works -- just let me know!

Thanks,
David Gorman
(no subject) - radiantsoul on November 26th, 2008 10:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
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Mat Bowlesmatgb on November 26th, 2008 06:23 pm (UTC)
Um... That means Labour
I stopped reading the Indy ages back, but they've been backing the Lib Dems prominently for some time now. And the Lib Dems are just as opposed to the current imbecility as the Tories are (and doing a better job, would you prefer Osborne or Cable as chancellor?).

Anyway, it's not so much LJ aligning with the Indy, more the Indy choosing Livejournal. For a long time they've been using Six Apart's TypePad service (which is also used by the BBC), and the Guardian has been using Six Apart's Moveable Type software.

That the Indy has jumped to LJ and is spending money here (ie keeping the site alive in the way all paid users do) is a good thing—LJ isn't allied with them, they're using us.
(no subject) - syniqal on November 27th, 2008 10:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Syona aka the Silicon Shaman: Vsiliconshaman on November 26th, 2008 10:59 am (UTC)
I think the general opinion of the Uk users is something along the lines of:
"Sod off ,we already have our own community. Oh and thanks very much for selling us out to The Independent without asking !"
DCradiantsoul on November 26th, 2008 11:31 am (UTC)
I don't think anyone has been sold out to the Independent. You can be a UK livejournaller and not use any of The Independent stuff.
(no subject) - gorman on November 26th, 2008 06:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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Catpain Blackuddercharlycrash on November 26th, 2008 12:57 pm (UTC)
All I can say is thank Christ it's the Independent rather than the Mail. I'm sure as soon as LJ's content is more geared around property prices, paedophile rings and the unspeakable horrors of what poor people get up to they'll make an appearance, though.
It's a tough job, and someone else can do it: union jocksteveeeee on November 26th, 2008 01:13 pm (UTC)
interesting that you're taking more notice of the uk community. i've been getting along fine for more than seven years without any specific customisations or services, so meh tbh. i'm still using s1, even. get off my lawn!
Ninja Noblemansyniqal on November 27th, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC)
If you need your shift keys to be fixed, I've got a friend who can help with that.

;)
(no subject) - steveeeee on November 27th, 2008 11:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - syniqal on November 27th, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - syniqal on November 27th, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - steveeeee on November 28th, 2008 12:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
Chris: flagccgig on November 26th, 2008 06:23 pm (UTC)
I'd like to able to use voice posts, my network is not listed.
J: E - London bus big benbminor_or_a on November 26th, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC)
I'd really like for it to work at all. It says that I am supposedly able to use the voice post feature but every time I try it just cuts off after about 30 seconds and doesn't post what I have recorded.

Think of all the lulz you American people could have actually hearing us weirdos speak!
(no subject) - inspired on November 26th, 2008 06:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - potter_wars on November 27th, 2008 12:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
forthwritten: cogsforthwritten on November 26th, 2008 06:46 pm (UTC)
Voice posts, direct debits, easier payment options, making it easier to change date formats, being able to donate to UK-based charities for a start. Much as I loathe them, being able to purchase v-gifts for UK holidays. Possibly toning down the Americanisms - like making a Halloween site scheme an option? Not referring to 'States' and 'zip codes' on the profile page. Giving times as UTC as well as an American time.
Nicparanoidangel42 on November 26th, 2008 07:25 pm (UTC)
Being able to buy stuff in GBP. It makes a big difference to the price of things when the pound falls against the dollar, whereas for American users the price hasn't changed at all.
DCradiantsoul on November 27th, 2008 11:04 am (UTC)
To be fair though livejournals costs are all in dollars.
(no subject) - syniqal on November 27th, 2008 10:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - radiantsoul on November 27th, 2008 10:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - syniqal on November 27th, 2008 11:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Ciaran Gogginsshanghai7 on November 26th, 2008 11:17 pm (UTC)
To the Finland station!
Please remember the amount of censorship in the UK (especially regarding the Baby Peter case).
Jadefickledame on November 27th, 2008 09:44 pm (UTC)
Re: To the Finland station!
What do you mean? They didn't name the mum or bopyfriend so the lawyers couldn't say they had a trial-by-media and to protect her other children. Is that what you mean?
You want pr0n?! - 7rin on November 29th, 2008 06:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
the_silver_sunthe_silver_sun on November 27th, 2008 10:03 am (UTC)
Being able to pay for my account with a debit rather than a credit card, would be nice. You can't get a credit card until you're 18 here in the UK, so it means that all those under 18, can't purchase a paid journal without getting somebody else to pay for it for them.

I would like mobile phone and voice posting to work from the UK as well.

It would also be nice if some of the competitions that are run are open to people outside of the US, because so far I don't think I seen any that are.
Danierainbowchazer on November 27th, 2008 10:20 pm (UTC)
- Definitely a LESS US-CENTRIC ATTITUDE ALL ROUND would be good, when you're listening. (Last I looked, I thought Russia was in Europe anyway, but it doesn't appear so when the servers and techie team are still based in the US even if the owners are not).

- Timings in GMT or Central European Time if you must, please, not US mountain time.

- Prices in pounds (or Euros) sometimes, not dollars, if possible.

- Mobile phone posting enabled - yesterday!? (Posting through my wap connection is OK but I don't get enough characters!)

- A gentle reminder that your humble readers are many and varied and not all poor relations of the US citizenry who have the misfortune to live somewhere else on this planet. Some people do like to have something that is THEIRS, conforms to THEIR culture and feels familiar to how THEY live their lives.
(no subject) - syniqal on November 27th, 2008 10:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Sarahununpentium on November 27th, 2008 10:43 am (UTC)
The text messaging feature would do well to work in the UK.
子rin - An faigh: sick7rin on November 29th, 2008 06:20 am (UTC)
Yes. I miss this so much that I've actually (finally) signed up for a FakeBlag account. :'(
alphabetatoastalphabetatoast on November 27th, 2008 07:20 pm (UTC)
Well, it's nice you guys are doing this for us - I personally don't use the voice features, or pay by debit card or any of that jazz, but I could understand why it would be annoying for people in the UK who want those benefits, but have never been able to use them before.

But it's good for to have the recognition now too. I've sometimes felt lost in a sea of Americans, waving my little Union Jack, crying meekly "We are here too!"

And as for the Independent? You could have picked a better paper, but at the same time you could have done much much worse.
I have a feeling TPTB may have gone for the Independent on account of its name, in theory, making it politically neutral (ha) instead of going for something much more brazen like the Guardian or TroyTelegraph... but it'll be interesting to see how this works out.

All I can say was thank God they didn't choose a tabloid. (I have this horrible image of sponsorship from the Mail or the Sun in my mind...)

Looks like you guys may well get the entire readership of Indy obsessed with LJ now.
Good work team.
:-)
Mat Bowlesmatgb on November 27th, 2008 07:41 pm (UTC)
I strongly suspect they didn't pick the Indy—the Indy picked them instead (their tech blogger is has been rhodri on here for a long time). The Graun uses MT on CiF, and the ToryG has a piss poor blogging platform of its own.

This is a sign of LJ growing up and competing with the 'big boys' of blogging platforms, which given LJ existed before the word blogging was invented, is about bloody time.
(no subject) - 7rin on November 29th, 2008 06:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
Knorg Knorgsson: Candiacrackpig on November 27th, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC)
We need a UK based goat.
Ninja Nobleman: Emo Cowsyniqal on November 27th, 2008 10:45 pm (UTC)
YAY! for Libel - crackpig on November 27th, 2008 10:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: YAY! for Libel - syniqal on November 27th, 2008 11:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Knorg Knorgsson: Bullshit Warriorcrackpig on November 27th, 2008 11:23 pm (UTC)
Can it be long before the demands for LJ_UK devolution to LJ_Wales, LJ_Scotland, LJ_NI, LJ_Cornwall, LJ_Sealand, LJ_Rockall etc etc?
It's a tough job, and someone else can do it: lollerskatessteveeeee on November 28th, 2008 07:40 am (UTC)
lj_rutland!
(no subject) - 7rin on November 29th, 2008 06:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
Laudanumsentience on November 28th, 2008 01:59 am (UTC)
This is a wonderful start to improving things for users here in the UK. Perhaps the naysayers could stop bitching for a few minutes and recognise this as a starting point for things for us. It seems no-one is ever happy.

I for one welcome this. Well done.