Mainly to LJ folk - you may recall that sometime back, LJ was sold by its founder to a company called Six Apart. They promptly updated the Livejournal social contract, original seen here (click for larger):
In order to remove the (circled) clause promising that they would never put advertising on the site. Six Apart, having broken the social contract with its users, has still tread lightly on the matter. In other countries it has been building partnerships with businesses which do their own advertising.
A few days ago, Six Apart announced that they're selling LJ to one of these partners - a Russian advertising/marketing firm by the name of SUP. I have no doubt that this will harm the community, at the very least changing that low-key violation of the social contract into a flagrant disregard. I hope it won't be on the scale that broke up many of the social projects I was involved with in the past such as NoWonder, but I would not be surprised. One thing I'm pretty certain of is that it will not be better - when was the last time a company you had dealings with was improved by an acquisition?
- An "advisory board" is to be formed from industry experts and "community members", according to an email. If you think about how this will be selected, this should give you no fuzzy feelings
- There's to be an "exclusive party" open to .. everyone who got these announcements, which is potentially the entire LJ community... which is about as exclusive as ... hehe .. all to "celebrate" this.
To dream what jwz might say about this, "I, for one, welcome our new Russian marketing overlords".