Hello Kitty, Destroyer of Worlds (rahaeli) wrote in news,
Hello Kitty, Destroyer of Worlds
rahaeli

Spring Forward

Spring's just around the corner, and we're starting our spring cleaning early this year: blowing the dust off some old ideas, fixing up a few foundations, and trying some new ideas to see how they work. Long update this time, but we think it's worth it!


New Feature for Paid Members: Mass Privacy Editing Tool


We haven't released many exclusive features for Paid users lately, and we finally found a perfect chance: our new Edit Journal Privacy option. This will allow Paid users to change a bunch of posts in their journal from one basic privacy level to another. We haven't been able to offer it before, because of the load it would put on our servers, but thanks to a lot of hard work from our folks in Operations and Engineering, we can go for it now. So if you're like me and look back at your entries from 2001 and think what was I thinking?, we've got you covered.

We're in the final testing stage of this feature -- so you can't use it quite yet -- but watch for a post in paidmembers within the next few days. (And if you're asking yourself how you can get in on the action, you can upgrade your account for around $2 a month.)


Other Fixes and Features
  • The Edit Friends page has been getting some redesign love, making it easier to manage your relationships at a glance. Well, your LiveJournal relationships, at least. You're on your own for the real world ones. (Useful tip: clicking the arrows in the table header sorts the table.)

  • It's alive! The Random User page is back from the dead. Just click on it to be taken to a random, active user of the site. You might find a friend, get a laugh, get puzzled, get offended, or get enlightened -- anything is possible when you're brave enough to visit that link. (Don't say we didn't warn you.)

  • As always, we chained the engineers to their desks until we could beat a bunch of bugfixes and backend improvements out of them. If you're curious, check out the list in lj_releases, your one-stop shop for all things LiveJournalian. (LiveJournalistic?)

...oops.

Mercury was in retrograde last week, and oh boy could we tell. Some less-than-stellar moments you might have noticed:

  • One of our S2 database tables filled up early Thursday morning, which caused problems in editing and saving some journal designs. We had it fixed within a couple of hours, and we've updated our database architecture to keep it from happening again.

  • Our code release last Thursday -- R2, codenamed "basil" (hey, burr86 has to amuse himself somehow) -- was kind of rocky on the backend, although you guys probably weren't affected for more than a few minutes' worth of glitches, mostly having to do with posting polls and how the site looked temporarily. We'll be making some process changes to make R3, codenamed "endive", roll better. (And a virtual beer to the first person who spots the naming scheme.)

  • Friday brought some other slowdowns, due to a combination of a bug in friend limiting (our fault) and some technical facts of how our backend is set up. We're really sorry. Those responsible have been sacked. (Well, not really, but who can resist a good Python joke?)


Go Forth And Friend

Some of the database improvements we've been making have finally allowed us to up some of our limits! Starting immediately, we've raised the friend limit from 750 friends to 1000 friends for Basic, Plus, and Early Adopter accounts, and 2000 friends for Paid and Permanent accounts. (That sound you hear right now is fandom and RPG participants shrieking with delight. Hi, guys!)

New V-Gifts

We've added some new items to the Gift Shop for all your St. Patrick's Day needs. This year, we have a pot of gold, a leprechaun with mugs, a pub sign, a shamrock, and a shot glass. (We tried to get a pot of pants at the end of the rainbow, but frank ate them before we could get the shot.)

The pub sign is a limited edition -- it won't last forever, so give one while you can.


Introducing New Charity V-Gifts

We're proud to announce a new program: charity V-Gifts. We'll be offering themed V-Gifts this year at various times to coincide with various occasions.

March is National Women's History Month in the US. To show your support, you can purchase the Rosie the Riveter V-Gift for yourself or for a friend.

All the proceeds (minus the annoying fees the credit card companies charge) will go to Women for Women International, a program to support women in unstable regions and provide them tools and services to allow them to transform their communities. Read more about the organization and our new charity V-Gift here.

Since this V-Gift is designed to be an easy way for you to make a donation, we've set the price at $1.99. Buy one for one of the strong, smart, fantastic women in your LJ life. (Or the guys, too!)

And speaking of...


LiveJournal's First Non-Fiction Essay Contest

Today, we're kicking off our very first writing contest ever, and the theme is centered around National Women's History Month. We're looking for submissions of no more than 1500 words, on the topic of how women's issues and/or something in women's history has affected you personally.

We'll have two grand prize winners: one selected by us, and one selected by the community from a list of finalists. Each winner will receive a $500 prize, and the right to choose a charity (from a list we provide) to receive another $500 prize.

Find out more information, including the official rules, at lj_contests. (Unfortunately, due to the laws surrounding contests like this, our lawyers swear we have to limit participation to US residents only. And, for some reason, you can't play if you live in Arizona. We know it sucks. We're really sorry.)


Earn LJ Gift Certificates

Through a partnership with LJ and Peanut Labs, a market research firm, you can now take surveys and earn LJ gift certificates in exchange.

To get started, you fill out a profile questionnaire and, based on eligibility, you'll be notified when you qualify to take a survey. Each survey you take will earn you a $1 gift certificate, good for paid time, V-Gifts, or add-ons -- everything but LJ merchandise.

Plus users might see some house ads around the site for this program, but it's open to all account levels, including Basic and Paid as well. Participation is completely optional, and your privacy is protected. You can read more, or check out Peanut Labs' sponsored community, holla4adolla.


Work for us!

We're hiring! Looking for a QA Engineer to come join the team in our San Francisco office. We're also looking for systems administrators and software engineers. If this is you, check out the job descriptions and drop us a resume.

Even if you're not looking for full-time work, we always welcome volunteers to help improve the site. Support, documentation, translation -- we always need an extra pair of hands! Learn more about how you can help.
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