theljstaff (theljstaff) wrote in news,

2010 State of the Goat

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. From the hotly-awaited release of a la carte userpics to the hotly-contested launch of Facebook and Twitter Connect, it's been a mighty memorable year. Since we cannot effectively move forward without taking stock of our past, we welcome you to join us on a trip back through 2010. We'll be the first to admit that there were some craggy hills and dales along the way with stellar vistas from the peaks. All told, we wouldn't have missed it for the world.

It's a Wonderful Life

Being of the glass-is-half-full mindset, let's start off with a look at all the features you liked:
  • A la carte userpics: We You were starting to think it would never happen, but we launched a variety of userpic add-on packages for all users.
  • LJ Tokens: LJ Tokens replaced plastic as the chosen form of currency to send gifts, buy paid account time, and cover incidentals, like gifts and custom userheads.
  • Custom userheads: While we're on the subject, we introduced custom userheads to help you play dress-up.
  • Google Analytics and community Stats: For our paid and permanent users, we extended Stats to communities and partnered with Google to enable Google Analytics on journals.
  • Purged accounts: We successfully purged over two million deleted and suspended accounts, freeing up loads of cool usernames.
  • Gift Shop redesign: We overhauled the Gift Shop to make purchasing easier.
  • Drop-down tag selection: We added a drop-down tag list with partial matching along with an option to check off multiple tags when posting. For more information on managing tags, read this FAQ.
  • iPhone app: We launched a new LiveJournal iPhone app, which was greeted with fairly positive reviews. (And, yes, we're hoping to introduce BlackBerry and Droid apps too.)
  • Community rejection text box: For our community maintainers, we added the ability to send an accompanying explanation with membership rejections.
  • Manage Friends: We introduced partial match search results and improved pagination on the Manage Friends page.
  • Repost button: We developed a repost button that lets you invite other users to repost your public entries.
  • Pingbacks: We brought back pingbacks so you don't have to rely on preternatural instincts to find out if someone has linked to a public entry you've posted.
  • Sort by multiple tags: We added the ability to search by multiple tags to refine search results in journals and communities.
  • View entries by poster: We added a search function that lets you view all public entries in a community posted by a specific user. For details, check out this news release.

The Big Chill

There were a few mis-steps, but together we muddled through it:
  • FB and Twitter Connect: We goofed when we first launched this new feature. It was initially possible to repost parts of Friends Only and screened comments. You asked us to change it. We agreed and changed it so only public content could be reposted.
  • New Menu: We updated the global menu to try and make it more intuitive for new users. Many of you were frustrated with the unexpected change and some made comments along the lines of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it.' We made some adjustments and most of us have gotten used to it.
  • Driving Revenue: In our zeal to pay the rent, we posted a script that, unbeknownst to us, overwrote existing commissions for those of you who linked to items for sale on sites like Amazon. We modified the script so you could pay your rent too.
  • Recent gifts on profile page: We thought you'd like to see the last thirty vgifts on your profile page. Turns out that viewing an endless menagerie of kitties and cupcakes is a little much, so we reduced it to ten.
  • Homepage enhancements: We added several new widgets to the homepage, including featured posts from ONTD and other LiveJournal communities. You found it too intrusive, so we removed those two widgets, but we kept the photo of the week and daily poll widgets.

The Right Stuff

We made some other changes that were fairly well received:
  • Terms of Service and Privacy Policy: We updated our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. A lot of you were pleased that we stopped accepting users under the age of 13, but some asked whether our expansive explanation of offensive content meant that we would censor nudity. The answer was (and remains) that so long as you flag your graphic booty shots as adult, we're cool.
  • Oh No They Didn't: In April, we announced that we were adopting our wayward love-child, a/k/a ONTD, into the LiveJournal family. We made it run faster (which many of you liked), but some of you weren't ecstatic about the formatting changes and ads.
  • Community Directory: You loved the the concept, but there weren't enough communities in each category to make it terribly useful. FYI: A fix is on the way!
  • Voicepost cut-off: We fixed the bug that cut off voiceposts for paid and permanent Canadian users after 60 seconds, but we haven't found a fix for the rest of our international users.

Gone with the Wind

We said goodbye to a couple of features that didn't warrant the cost of service:
  • TxtLJ: We discontinued TxtLJ, which some of you missed.
  • LJ Messenger: We cancelled MSN LJ Messenger Service, which almost none of you noticed.

Broadcast News

On a final note, news itself has evolved dramatically over the past year:
  • Vgifts: To distract Frank from nibbling on wires, we invited him to send you weekly vgifts.
  • LJ_Photophile: We added a themed photo contest in lj_photophile.
  • Free vgifts for paid/permanent users: We started offering free vgifts for paid and permanent users to send to friends.
  • Frank & Meme: We sent frankandmeme on some excellent adventures (and tucked them under a cut).
  • Remixed: Most excitingly, we started running monthly header design contests and vgift design contests in remixed.

Back to the Future

It's been an exciting ride, with lots of scenic frolics and detours and just a touch of motion sickness. We want to thank you for hanging in with us, especially around those sharp turns. We look forward to spending another wonderful year together.
Tags: state of the goat

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