"I'm sure short-term revenue went up ... I'm not debating that. They probably get a lot of money for that ad, and more than they do for regular ads. The question is how you quantify the cost of the long-term bleeding."
Stop sounding like me, or you may wind up losing your job.
I mean, really... how can you of all people really complain? You opted in for this new reality of longterm bleeding, profited nicely by it, and will continue to do so, especially if and when the company goes public or gets acquired.
And longterm bleeding is a reality. The site has been shrinking considerably for awhile now
when it comes to what really matters to users -- reading posts from and interacting with their friends.
I understand your justifications for doing what you did, but I still think your behavior has been rather shortsighted and Bradcentric when it comes to the really important decisions involving LJ. Craig Newmark strikes me personally as a catty metrosexual egotist, but when it comes to making enlightened decisions mixed with considerable business acumen, Craig Newmark you ain't.
The "coolness" factor of LJ has long since worn down to the nub, and the general level of loyalty people have for the site has been significantly damaged. If you don't see this frequently, then perhaps you're surrounded by people who still have enthusiasm to spare. (That's not a bad thing, mind you, but it's not the larger reality.)
If you really don't think this state of affairs is a good one for the users, and think it is hurting the overall user experience and the site as a whole, you can always cash out at some point and use the money to create another LJ that everyone can migrate their accounts to.
Of course, LJ doesn't really support seamless syndication of both entries and comments from other LJ sites, so seamless migration is kind of a moot point. People will stay as long as enough of their friends do, and, barring a significant turnaround in policies on 6A/LJ's part, the site will continue its slow death spiral to the bitter end.
If you think that another potential longterm reality for LJ is possible from a business standpoint at this point, I'd love to hear it. Chances are I won't believe it a particularly likely story, however.
The Goose Who Laid The Golden Eggs
Once upon a time there lived an old woman who had a number of hens, ducks, and geese. She used to send her little daughter to the meadow every day to take care of the ducks and geese.
But she had one goose that she never allowed with the others. This one had a little house and yard of its own. It was such a wonderful goose that the old woman was afraid of losing it.
Each day this goose laid a large golden egg. The woman could hardly wait for the new day to come, she was so eager to get the golden egg.
At last she said to herself, "I will kill the goose and get the gold all at once."
But when she had killed the goose she found that it was just like all the other geese.
In her haste to become rich, she had become poor.
Moral: Greed destroys the source of good.