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Sad, but true... - brad's life — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Brad Fitzpatrick

[ website | bradfitz.com ]
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Sad, but true... [Jan. 23rd, 2007|07:29 am]
Brad Fitzpatrick
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[Current Mood |sadsad]

czircon writes:
LiveJournal is really going to shit lately. The "sponsored communities" are bad enough; now we have to put up with ads on the front page as well? And not just banner ads, but ads with Flash and fake forms to fill out because they think it's more likely to trick you into clicking on it? Ugh. Unfortunately I'm pretty much stuck here.
*sigh* I feel ya on the ads. (Not necessarily on sponsored communities, if done right...)

You don't know how much I've fought against ads on the homepage. I'm all for ads when users want them, can tolerate them, and tell us so by choosing the advertising level. If ads are a better deal for them than paying money, great!

But ads on the front page affect paid users and "Basic" users who don't want ads because they have to see them when they're logging in. It also taints the image of the site in the eyes of new users who wouldn't otherwise know LiveJournal is different. Flashing Flash ads on the front page? Sure, we're different.

Any short-term revenue gains don't make up for the long-term losses (interrelated: users, paid accounts, advertising volume) due to loss of "cool" image and jacking with long-time users, IMO.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: brad
2007-01-27 06:09 pm (UTC)
Mark,

I've said it a dozen times, but let me say it once more: at the time I sold LiveJournal, I was going fucking crazy. I'd been threatening to just quit and close it. There's no way LiveJournal would've continued to exist with me in charge, and the thought of CEO-hunting was just as stressful and potentially terrible (if I chose wrong) as selling it. (I'd actually talked to people about going down that path, but there aren't good leaders just sitting around to be plucked super easily...)

So of the dozen companies interested (which came at just the right time of my loss of sanity), I tried to choose the least evil one. I made a third of what I could have, had I chosen a big and/or evil company. Big companies were furious (knowing the details of 6a's deal), that I could choose 6A over their much better offer. But their offers included fucking the site for sure, as opposed to 6A's fucking the site maybe. But at least at 6A I'd have _some_ influence, as opposed to none at other places.

So, that's that.

I know it's probably easier for you to think I made off with a bag of cash as I laughed at the stupid users who were going to get ads everywhere, but that's not the case. I did and still care for the site a ton.
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