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LJ and Six Apart

There's a lot of angst floating around regarding recent statements by LJ staffers and Six Apart marketing.

The big blowup on lj_design when a buggy prototype user profile page sample that looked a bit too much like mySpace has settled; several thousand "No!" votes caught their attention.

The assumptions about LJ made in Six Apart's marketing release for VOX still need to be challenged. Spread the word.

Update your profile for all your journals (if you have more than one) and include your year of birth. Prove to them (SixApart) that not everyone on their site is 18 and female. Feel free to check the box that says not to share the information publicly.

It'll still be counted in the statistics.

Data drives sales and engineering. It's your choice to provide the data in hopes that sales and engineering decisions are made that take you into account, or not provide the data and ensure that you're not considered. If you're a sponsored-plus, paid, early-adopter or permanent member, definitely do this. We're not seeing the statistical break-down by member type or journal activity level, but you can be sure that the people at Six Apart are paying attention.


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 20th, 2006 07:52 pm (UTC)
I have been amazed that people seem to be surprised.

Small, funky, independent company "merges" (i.e. bought) with/by bigger company
company becomes mega commercial
sell-out of independet/funky status
big bucks
users drop off
small bucks
company ceases to exist

Jun. 20th, 2006 08:08 pm (UTC)
Neither are particularly large companies, and I haven't seen them going mega-commercial yet.

I actually kind of understand what they're doing with Vox: taking what they like about TypePad, Movable Type and LJ and build a new system from scratch. It's a blogging system with training wheels; less customizable and more slick.

The issue is if marketing and engineering both believe what they say about LJ demographics (and I expect they do), they'll make decisions about LJ based on that. I'd like to see more data in the system to validate or debunk that assumption.
Jun. 20th, 2006 08:58 pm (UTC)
And I'm quite simply an incorrigible cynic.
Jun. 20th, 2006 07:59 pm (UTC)
Not everybody is, but you can't really argue with the statistics. 425166 users are 18 year-olds versus 10384 users my age bracket. And since I'm not paying them for their services I can't really complain too much about what they decide to do with their member personal pages. As long as I get to keep my journal, I'm happy. If not, I find a new host that supports RSS and move forward.
Jun. 20th, 2006 08:15 pm (UTC)
There are more 13 year olds on LiveJournal than my age cohort...
Jun. 20th, 2006 08:45 pm (UTC)
I don't doubt that these statistics are somewhat representative. Still, the total number of journals reporting age (about 4 million) are less than half of the total user accounts.

The stats that we'll never see (but Six Apart definitely cares about) is the age break-down by member type, and the age break-down for accounts that are showing activity.
Jun. 21st, 2006 12:38 am (UTC)
425166 users are 18 year-olds versus 10384 users my age bracket.

You mean: 10384 users of your age bracket who have actually listed their birthdate in their user info.

Only 6332 users in my "age bracket" (4 years older than you, I see) have listed their birthdates, but I for one didn't used to list it, because it used not to be the type of profile data that one had the option to hide, and I don't LIKE people collecting age data on me! (Or other data I don't wish to share with strangers.)
Jun. 20th, 2006 08:49 pm (UTC)
What they don't say in their stats is that the age distribution is only about 40% of the total number of accounts.

I included the year of my birth, but I wish there was a way to keep the month and day visible and not the year.
Jun. 20th, 2006 08:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I punched it into Excel and saw that myself.
Jun. 20th, 2006 09:55 pm (UTC)
I'm thinking that many of the older people on LJ (such as myself) are MUCH more cautious about putting personal information in a public space.
Jun. 20th, 2006 11:10 pm (UTC)
yeah, I agree, which was why I didn't have my birthyear posted at first. Or the years I was in school. I'll take it down after a while, but if enough people include it temporarily and it makes a difference, it would be worth it.

I also wonder about many of the "personal" memes that are going around. Some of the questions are close enough to "personal security question" that someone could try to use them to get into accounts.
Jun. 21st, 2006 12:44 am (UTC)
Temporarily will just allow them to assume you've gone away later when you take it down.

I know, "my generation" was taught to be honest, :p but I've been known to use a fake birthdate, in a year that's "close enough" to what I think is useful, if it's required for statistical purposes. (Not too helpful to potential identity thieves that way.)

Also, I typically answer memes facetiously, and I deliberately do NOT put potentially sensitive personal info in any answers. I don't even use other people's real names online to protect their privacy too.
Jun. 21st, 2006 12:40 am (UTC)
I'll toast to that. Personal info such as my age should not be any strangers' business, IMO.
Jun. 20th, 2006 09:07 pm (UTC)
Permission to repost?
Jun. 20th, 2006 09:12 pm (UTC)
Sure, I swiped the basic content about updating from somebody else...
Jun. 20th, 2006 09:29 pm (UTC)
Gosh, that chart makes me feel old )^:
Jun. 21st, 2006 02:45 am (UTC)
You feel old?!? According to their chart there is only about 2000 people my age! Probably because most of us don't bother to give our age any more. Why bother? We're Old Enough, and that's really all that most people should care about. I'm sure we are a major # of the uncounted.

Jun. 20th, 2006 11:33 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I put my birthyear into all 5 journals I have (my primary one, my doll's journal, my dog's journal, my alternate-in-waiting, and my fandom journal.)
Jun. 20th, 2006 11:36 pm (UTC)
How much bullshit is this?
Following the link to raw data from their statistics:

age 5 1038807
age 6 939804

I notice they don't even LIST "decline to state age", so their statistics are even more skewed.
Jun. 20th, 2006 11:47 pm (UTC)
Re: How much bullshit is this?
Well, I've got community journals with the birthdate of the community and/or event it's for. It's a legitimate number, and some of them are less than a year old.
Jun. 21st, 2006 02:42 am (UTC)
Well, I gave them my usual fake one of 42, which will adjusted each year, the day after my birthday. The real one (54 this June 27th, if you must know), already barely registers in their system and would probably be ignored any way. 42 isn't much better...

I will remain female however. There is no reason to change that. Besides, the Harolds like me the way I am. :)
Jun. 21st, 2006 10:39 am (UTC)
Ooooh! :-D
A VERY Happy Upcoming Birthday to you, you young'un of 42!! :-D
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )