The bubble in social networking has burst, decisively. LiveJournal, the San Francisco-based arm of Sup, a Russian Internet startup, has cut 12 of 28 U.S. employees — and offered them no severance, we're told.
The quirky site, part blog and part social network, is best known for its users' weird obsessions — like the troublesome clique of Harry Potter erotica writers, whose outré tastes ran afoul of LiveJournal's efforts to comply with U.S. child-pornography laws. (Oddly, the site also gained a following in Russia, which led to its acquisition by Sup.) All that adds up to an environment even more distasteful to advertisers than the typical social site.
The company's product managers and engineers were laid off, leaving only a handful of finance and operations workers — which speaks to a website to be left on life support. Matt Berardo, a Yahoo executive hired on last summer, has also left.
You can find the rest of the article here but the major takehome points are all above. I think it's pretty clear that LJ's survival is iffy at best. I would say that it's almost certain that there will be no more improvements and the very best we can hope for is that it'll just die a slow stagnant death. At worst, someone will pull the plug within a year or so.
What a fucking pain in the ass. I wasn't all that certain that buying a permanent account on this site was a great idea to begin with and now it seems absolutely certain that I made a shitty decision. It seems that I won't even have had time to recoup my investment and I feel sorry for those poor schlubs who just bought perm accounts a month ago. They certainly got hosed.
Stinky's take on this info is that she's planning to jump ship before the whole thing capsizes anyway. I'm frankly not sure what to do. I'm not sure it's even worth blogging on if I had to start over at some new site. Hell, it's not like I have many people who read this crap as it is. Forced to start anew and I might as well make blog entries by talking to myself in the closet. Feh.
It's sad really. I always felt this site had gone to the rejects, swarming with emo teens, furries, and harry potter slash freaks but I never thought it'd actually get the plug pulled. I might actually miss it when it's all gone. We should probably all follow stinky's example and make some backup plans. LJ's going down the toilet.