First off, we had our 200,000th account today! That, my friends, is no itty bitty site!
We have also taken the lead in the Services category of the Peoples Voice Awards! LiveJournal is still tied at 25% with PayPal, but we know we have a few more votes than them, because we were at 26% a little earlier this afternoon. I talked to Brad about this race... LiveJournal relies upon PayPal and owes a great debt to them for creating such a cool service that allows all of you to support the site by getting memberships. If it weren't for PayPal, we would have a much harder time bringing this great site to you. As a result, we are going to contact PayPal and the people at the Webbies and see if there is a way we can share this award with them. I think this would be a great way to show our support for some of the other great sites and services on the Internet, and ideally bring a bit of friendship and good sportsmanship into a bitterly fought race.
As you probably know by now, we have a 5% lead on Blogger in the race for the Personal category. Although Evan Williams, the person who owns Blogger, made a few disparaging comments about us and our site, I urge all of you to put any ill will towards Blogger behind us. Both LiveJournal and Blogger empower personal publishing, and, as Evan said, "Anyone enabling personal publishers is cool in my book." We agree. Like it or not, LiveJournal and Blogger do similar things, and some amount of competition is bound to pop up at times, but we should temper that with respect, and work towards cooperation whenever possible. This is a "win-win" world, and not everything has to be about someone winning at someone else's expense. I sincerely hope that Blogger will receive the Webby-awarded prize for Best Personal Site. Weblogs have come a long way in the last year, and it would be a great night for personal publishing if both LiveJournal and Blogger won an award. It would go a long way towards honoring the hard work of everyone involved in the creation and development of the tools and sites that give all of us a voice.
I also wanted to take the time to say both thanks and sorry to all of you who have had to endure all these requests for votes and who have been so supportive of LiveJournal. I wanted to let you know that once we take a clear lead in the Services category, I intend to let things rest as far as the whole "spread the word" thing goes and just see if we can ride things out until the end of the race. If something changes, or if we start dropping in the polls, I might put the word out again, but the cool thing about this is that we haven't had to email everyone or even email those people who signed up for news and information about the site.
I have to admit that I pushed very hard to find votes for LiveJournal, but, hey... that's part of my job as the "All things business" Manager here. Someone's gotta promote not just the site, but especially our open source project... and I guess that's me. Fortunately for LiveJournal, that is also all of you too. We wouldn't be where we are today without the support that all of you have given the site, and those of us who help run LiveJournal just can't thank you enough.
I suspect that we will send out an email (our first) to those who have signed up for news some time after the race, telling you about a couple cool things we're up to, and maybe doing a few things intended to get LiveJournal users together in "real life". I was thinking that if LiveJournal does win a Webby, we could have people organize viewing parties around the country and maybe even use webcams to tie all of us together for the evening. That's one of the best things about LiveJournal... it's not just a private, isolated journal in a sea of journals on the web; it is part of a larger community and it empowers its users to come together and make real changes in the real world. LiveJournal can, for lack of a better phrase, change your life... and that's reason enough for it getting an award!
So, with that in mind, (and before we get too cocky), just a brief reminder that although the hardest part of this race is probably over, there is still a race going on and your vote counts just as much as the first vote that was cast. If you haven't voted yet, please do so.