LJ has a new CEO, and a new plan. Did you know this? I don’t think it was announced in LJ-News or any official LJ source. I unearthed an article while doing my semi-regular LJ news trawl:
Under Ex-Googler CEO, LiveJournal Gets A Revamp, Promises New Services, Apps And More In 2014
The new CEO has names like Google in her resume, and she wants to emphasize our long-form contributions that make LJ more like Medium than Tumblr. The article mentions the very recent makeover as part of the efforts.
TechCrunch’s article seems relatively optimistic while still noting the common view of LJ as a relic of bygone days. I noticed that it didn’t mention the oligarch behind LJ’s “new ownership” (I think SUP is still a part-owner, somewhere). It hardly mentioned Russia at all, come to think of it. Anyway, it is well worth watching this space, meaning LJ in general, to see what happens.
My LJ/Russia news trawl dug up these as well. Global Voices Online reported that the director of LJ Ukraine resigned after a disagreement with his management over what he was saying in his blog about the Crimea situation (31 March 2014). A few weeks later, it reported that LJ was taking steps to protect users as Russian lawmakers pass laws to control media and bloggers and media (24 April 2014).
Finally, a blog in the Washington Post discusses The logic of Russian Internet Censorship (16 March 2014). Did you know that LJ’s servers are still located in the United States? That’s among one of the factors that may be influencing how far Putin and the Russian government take censorship and control of online media.