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kyle cassidy

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I'm running for the LiveJournal Advisory Board [Jun. 22nd, 2009|11:32 am]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

If you're coming to this post via the LJ election community, hello & welcome. I invite you to take a look through my archive as well as this introductory post.

You can vote in the election here.

LiveJournal has been here for ten years and some of its users nearly that long. What LJ does well has never been duplicated -- it's community driven, it's content driven. It's users are content producers. LJ is unique in social networking sites in that it has become a valuable repository for people's memories -- it truly has taken the place of a paper journal and many people have forsaken their handwritten diaries for an LJ which has many additional benefits but one serious drawback -- the threat of impermanence. While many people probably wouldn't consider trying to archive their Facebook status updates, many of us look to our LiveJournal's as an official personal history -- a document that needs to be preserved for future reference and grows in value each day.

The reason that I'm running for this position is that I feel there are gaping flaws in LiveJournal's ability to be able to continue to shoulder these responsibilities.

1) LiveJournal needs a server side backup and restore feature, which includes comments. In the past year I've seen too many people's accounts deleted and replaced with advertisements -- and was shocked to discover that LiveJournal has no method to restore these. Years of people's lives lost.

2) LiveJournal also needs a global search and replace mechanism. Over the years as users move from image-host to image-host (perhaps from someplace like tripod.com to a place like Photobucket, and maybe to their own web server) their images need to stay. Currently, if you switch image hosts the user needs to manually update every entry.

In addition to those are a number of smaller things: It should be easier to look through back entries rather than having to page day by day. The spell-check should be integrated, LJ should investigate a new "read this user" feature to distinguish between actual friends whom you want to share you secrets with, and people who's journals you simply want to read.

LJ asks that I answer the following questions:

What do you think is the value of LiveJournal?
The thing that sets LiveJournal apart from other social networking sites is that it is community based and driven by content producers. It is a place for creative people to write, to produce, to share, reveal secrets, or keep them. The things that are good about LJ have not been duplicated by any other social networking site. It is a precious place which occupies a large place in my heart and I want, desperately, for it to continue.

What changes would you like to see LiveJournal make in the next year?

1) The biggest change the LiveJournal needs to make is in recognizing that its users have spent hundreds or thousands of hours creating their presence here. Recently we've seen a wave of attacks by malicious individuals or groups who delete peoples accounts and replace them with links to malware websites. In the grand scheme of things, this is probably to be expected. But it is inconceivable that LiveJournal has no way to restore deleted accounts. This boggles my mind. What it says to users is "don't trust us with your work." There needs to be a mechanism for backing up and restoring LJ accounts. LiveJournal needs to realize that they are a mechanism for people's memories.

2) Users need to be able to search and replace their old entries.

3) Reading back entries should be easier -- LJ will let you go "back X entries" for a while but eventually defaults to "previous day".

Why do you want to be the elected representative?
It is with great reluctance that I do this. I have plenty of other things I can be spending my time on, but I fear that if I don't do this, it won't get done. This is in large part for selfish reasons because I want to know that in fifty years the work that I've put into this community every day will be somewhere, that it will be readable, viewable, that it won't simply evaporate.

What do you think are the community’s greatest concerns?
Impermanence. Users want to know that LiveJournal will be here in the next ten years. LiveJournal also needs to figure out how to exist in a world with Facebook, twitter, and the other places which have come to glue the Internet community together. Growing the paid user base is important to this primary goal.

What skills, qualifications, or unique perspective do you think you would bring to this position?
I've been a member of LiveJournal since 2002, I've built up a community of friends here, people I care about and people I wouldn't have met otherwise. I understand the dynamics of groups of large people with differing opinions. As the moderator of photographers, a community with more than ten thousand members I've been able to maintain a space which is exciting, informative, welcoming and nearly drama-free under the single guiding principle "be nice". I think that goes a long way. In all this time on LJ I've never treated another user with disrespect.


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[User Picture]From: heycheri
2009-06-22 04:09 pm (UTC)
i am so friggin voting for you.
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[User Picture]From: rhiannonhero
2009-06-22 04:12 pm (UTC)
Do you have suggestions about who you would like to see voted in if you should be defeated in this? i.e. who should people consider for their second and third votes?
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2009-06-22 04:27 pm (UTC)
I'd say look at their pages and read what they have to say. Ask yourself if you'd be comfortable sending that person a request and having them represent you to the LJ management -- use your gut.
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[User Picture]From: playright
2009-06-22 04:17 pm (UTC)
Voted for...and btw just placed my copy of Armed America on our new coffee table. :)
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[User Picture]From: arnavtul
2009-06-22 04:18 pm (UTC)
voted! good luck!
I think this is an amazing thing you are doing. You care about something and instead of sitting back and complaining you are getting proactive and donating of your valuable time. i respect that tremendously!
for this I will dig out my gay hobbitses icon from the mothballs.
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[User Picture]From: dissentia
2009-06-22 04:19 pm (UTC)
I'd like to think that your work will remain forever as well,
and to a lesser extent my own sporadic musings.

So you got my vote.
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[User Picture]From: nebris
2009-06-22 04:30 pm (UTC)
My Votes:
#1 kylecassidy
#2 daphaknee
#3 webqatch

And I'm pleased you announced your candidacy in photographers. I wasn't sure if you would.

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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2009-06-22 04:49 pm (UTC)
I felt it relevant there. The people in lj photographers probaly know my mediation skills better than anybody and should feel qualified to make a decision.
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[User Picture]From: lolareina
2009-06-22 04:31 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: blackwell
2009-06-22 04:38 pm (UTC)
Voted! I am so glad you are volunteering to take on this responsibility. I hope that you are elected.
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(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2009-06-22 04:51 pm (UTC)
It would make an excellent incentive to become a paid member. If you're serious about your blogging, then it only stands to reason that you'd be happy to shell out a few dollars for that assurance.

I joined for the same reason as you, but now ... it's become much more important. And if I woke up tomorrow and it was gone....
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[User Picture]From: alibaster
2009-06-22 04:43 pm (UTC)
Voted! (for you, of course)

*shakes pompoms for you*
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[User Picture]From: lostreality
2009-06-22 04:45 pm (UTC)
don't you also moderate west_philly? :)

I'll put up a post promoting you
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2009-06-22 04:50 pm (UTC)
I do. Many thanks.
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[User Picture]From: sidewinder
2009-06-22 04:55 pm (UTC)
You totally have my vote and I will try to promote within my media/music fandom circles as I can.

'cause I pity the fool that doesn't vote for you ;)
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2009-06-22 04:59 pm (UTC)
much appreciated!
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[User Picture]From: brokenever
2009-06-22 05:15 pm (UTC)
My vote is all yours, good sir!
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[User Picture]From: quiet_light
2009-06-22 05:16 pm (UTC)
This is some of the most articulate writing about LiveJournal that I've ever come across. You make a lot of valid points about current issues, and I like your proposed solutions. In other words: you have my vote!
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2009-06-22 05:28 pm (UTC)
I've thought about this long and hard and I really wouldn't be doing it if I thought anybody else would. Thanks for your kind words.
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[User Picture]From: darkstarfairy11
2009-06-22 05:17 pm (UTC)
you get my vote...im also of the mind that id most likely pay if it meant my stuff would be safe...i started this thing in 04 and ive been pouring my heart out to it ever since id be totally devastated if it was gone one day

good luck!!
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