Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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Boycott Companies That Put Ads on LiveJournal

I think the only real chance we might have of making LiveJournal ad-free again (or at least preventing it from becoming ever more ad-full than it is already) is to create a large and visible movement of users who say they'll boycott companies who put their ads on LiveJournal. If enough users join such a boycott that it catches the attention of the advertisers, this should drive down the price that LiveJournal can charge for ads. This in turn will make it less profitable for SixApart to drive away paid users with horrible policies and rely on advertising for their primary income.

To this end, I've signed up to help co-moderate the community antisponsoredlj, which will be dedicated to helping users boycott companies that advertise on LiveJournal. When you see a new company advertising on LiveJournal, you can report the company's name in antisponsoredlj, and we'll add it to a list of companies known to be advertising on LiveJournal. That way, we can all keep track of who not to buy from.

If you'd like to help, I suggest that you start with the following:

1. Add your name to the growing list of people who list boycotting lj sponsors on their LiveJournal interests list. I added it to mine yesterday, and at that time, I was the only person listing it. I posted about it on scienceofsuck (a protest community opposing the sponsorship of scienceofsleep), and now there are already 29 people and one community listing it on their interests list.

2. Join antisponsoredlj. Especially if you're a free user! Free users see ads that paid and permanent users don't, so we'll really need free users to help us compile the list of sponsors.

3. Also consider joining scienceofsuck and no_lj_ads. Both have been providing details about LiveJournal's advertising program that I'd never otherwise have known about. For example, agentdanger just pointed out in scienceofsuck: "[H]ave you edited your interest list lately? LJ has kindly provided us with check boxes so we can automatically add vague and bland interests (like music, friends, movies, computers, etc.) to our lists. At first I just thought the idea was silly, but I'm beginning to suspect that the checkbox interests will somehow be used for marketing purposes. They are similar to the spam categories you sign up for so you can 'hear about special deals,' with a few extra categories like 'emo' and 'dreams' added in for the LJ user base." I noticed those checkboxes myself, and I didn't originally think of that explanation - but now that I am thinking of it, it seems very extremely likely. agentdanger also says there are some obvious corporate-owned fake journals from scienceofsleep that have joined other, unsponsored communities. It seems likely, therefore, that those corporate shills will at some point be spamming those unsponsored communities with posts about their movie.

4. Create LJ icons stating something like, "I don't buy from companies that put ads on LJ." Preferably with witty and pointed variations on the theme.

5. Maybe create some basic preformatted HTML text (preferably colorful, like with those ". . . is love" colorbars that caught on so quickly, but not an actual colorbar) that people could post on their profile pages, stating something like, "I don't buy from companies that put ads on LJ." The text should have an instantly recognizable look to it, like specific colors and fonts on a specific background color, so that seeing it repeatedly on different people's profile pages will be memorable.

6. Post about all of the above, wherever you can draw more attention to it.

Remember when this was only an April Fool's joke, and not reality?
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