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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 08:15 pm (UTC)
Wouldn't you reach more people if you posted to livejournal_uk?
子rin - An faigh: obvious7rin on November 25th, 2008 08:21 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 11:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
Peter: 1337peterb on November 25th, 2008 08:28 pm (UTC)
wtf is wrong with livejournal_uk?
Tim: What the heck ...spodlife on November 25th, 2008 08:42 pm (UTC)
I was wondering too.
(no subject) - nodarius on November 25th, 2008 08:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - radiantsoul on November 26th, 2008 07:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - forthwritten on November 26th, 2008 03:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - charlycrash on November 26th, 2008 10:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lino on November 26th, 2008 12:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - windiain on November 26th, 2008 05:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - steveeeee on November 28th, 2008 04:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lordofmisrule on November 26th, 2008 06:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
folkfolk on November 25th, 2008 08:31 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 08:33 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 08:38 pm (UTC)
so UK lj users are only recognised when there is some sort of sponsorship behind it?
folk: Britishfolk on November 25th, 2008 08:51 pm (UTC)
Seems like! *thumbsup*
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Pez }}morning.maple{{yuki_scorpio on November 25th, 2008 08:46 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 07:19 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 07:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - humbuggirl on November 26th, 2008 12:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - syniqal on November 27th, 2008 07:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Mat Bowlesmatgb on November 25th, 2008 09:10 pm (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 12:21 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 10:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
Online I'm a Giantparthenia14 on November 25th, 2008 09:14 pm (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 25th, 2008 09:39 pm (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 25th, 2008 11:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - petrusplancius on November 26th, 2008 06:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - 7rin on November 29th, 2008 12:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
smigssmigs on November 25th, 2008 09:20 pm (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 25th, 2008 10:10 pm (UTC)
Just repeating what others have said.
Other options for purchasing paid accounts, and not associating totally with the Independent.
Paul Wrightpw201 on November 25th, 2008 10:38 pm (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 25th, 2008 11:12 pm (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
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Mat Bowlesmatgb on November 26th, 2008 03:23 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 07:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
siliconshaman on November 26th, 2008 07:59 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 08:31 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.
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Catpain Blackuddercharlycrash on November 26th, 2008 09:57 am (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 10:13 am (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 07:38 pm (UTC)
If you need your shift keys to be fixed, I've got a friend who can help with that.

;)
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