I just want to point out that after removing the undeclared gender option after all (itself after saying they weren't going to) and beginning to use pop-up ads with malware, last
(apparently it was some weeks ago, but took a while to spot) LJ accidentally
(I mean, they claim, but I believe them) added scripts that redirect all outbound links to certain business sites which add their referrer information at the expense of accidentally stripping everyone else's
. After a few hours of people complaining, they got to work removing the code again and explained themselves, so that should all be over now, although I'm sure I'll see the rest of fandom discovering the old news without noticing the ETAs for a week.
Look, sure, LJ's been falling down and getting back up for years, ever since it stopped being a garage project and became a business, and that is normal. Yes, businesses want to make money, and for years I was the first cynic to eyeroll and say "What did you expect?" every time it happened. The fact that we expect businesses to try to screw us over if they can, and the fact that in LJ's case they frequently didn't even mean to screw up, doesn't mean we should just sit back and do nothing about it. After a certain point I, at least, get disgusted enough to walk away. To use a real-world business metaphor, I'd rather go a bit out of my way to buy a service from someone who isn't known to frequently, for example, destroy one's dry-cleaning or give one the wrong order out of incompetence. (This is why my dad and I stopped using Kinko's when I was a kid, and it actually was much less convenient to use the University printer - their business hours, for one thing. And their much smaller selection of paper. They were cheaper, though.)
I don't mind the ads - in fact I ignore them and can get rid of them easily - and I don't worry about malware because I'm running a reasonably secure Linux system. But that doesn't stop badly-designed ad scripts from screwing up the page loading on a regular basis, so that for example, the links on the page only work if I click my Readability style bookmarklet
(I use eBook with medium margins) to strip the existing style before the page finishes loading all the way. And hey, ads don't piss me off in themselves - that's how the Internet pays for itself. On the other hand, malware and scripts that break the page (or the referrer link) do piss me off, because it's kind of nice, when people are trying to make money from other people's computer use, if they don't then make it impossible to keep using the computer
. Seriously? You couldn't browser-test it? (And malware breaks your computer on purpose if you're running Windows and don't quite know what you're doing, and hey, it's ultimately my fault that my mother and clueless little sister sometimes visit livejournal, so, yeah, I'm pissed off.)
I've had three people in the past few weeks, one of them my wife, say they stopped using Dreamwidth because everyone they know wants to comment on LJ except me. My wife says she never gave them money in the first place (someone surprised her with a permanent account years ago), so she has nothing on her conscience. And look, I have people who keep commenting on my lj entries too, and am fortunate that the whole meta/media fandom circle with which I typically interact was the first one to move. It's too bad that I keep missing the comments on lj or getting them late because going to the lj site to read my flist there or check my comments is so practically and morally unpleasant. The thing is, if you keep using lj because other people are doing it, you're providing the content that lj is selling. You're part of the giant ball-and-chain anchoring fandom to lj. I
don't want to be part of that. (I keep thinking about deleting all my content from lj, not that it would hurt them, but just because it irritates me to have it there. And to have to go there to answer comments on it.)
And I have Dreamwidth codes (seventeen of them), as does everyone I see on Dreamwidth, because the demand slowed down a long time before the supply did. At this point I have ceased to expect that anyone will ask for one, but there it is! I'll give one to anyone who isn't a spambot.Original post on Dreamwidth at http://cimorene.dreamwidth.org/2837215.html. Comment there or read comments.