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News community uses simple formatting again

We are posting to let you know we will no longer be heavily formatting news posts from this point forward -- please see yesterday's news post an example of the much more simplified style we will be using from now on.

We will therefore be shutting this simplynews community down in the next few days, to ensure people aren't watching a community that will no longer be updated. Please re-friend or re-track the main news community if needed so you can be assured of keeping up with all of the latest LiveJournal news.

Thank you!
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LJ News: February 24th, 2012

Release 89: Top Entries, Commenting Updates, and More

The latest LiveJournal site update – Release 89 – is alive and kicking. Noteworthy changes include:

  • Popular Entries now on the LiveJournal homepage: This fun new feature highlights the 25 most viewed public community entries (not flagged as adult concepts or adult content) on LiveJournal. The homepage feature also links to an expanded list of popular community entries that you can sort by page views or visitors. Learn more about this feature in this FAQ.
  • Purging of inactive accounts: As we noted earlier, inactive accounts are being deleted from the system. Any account that hasn't been logged into for two years and has never posted an entry will be subject to removal.
  • Classic commenting format for Minimalism styles: A new commenting scheme that mimics the previous default commenting scheme has been developed for Minimalism styles. This option is available on the Customize journal page by enabling customized comment pages and enabling the "Use classic commenting page" option.

Check out lj_releases for complete details related to Release 89.

Announcing LJ Media; Plus: Community Leader Summit

Last week was an exciting and busy one for LiveJournal. It began with the official announcement of LJ Media, a new online publishing group created to find active and interesting LiveJournal communities that desire to grow, and then help transform them into media sites. Along with this announcement, the first LiveJournal Community Leader Summit was held in San Francisco. Joining us for a day of presentations, discussion, and good food were awesome owners and mods from six LiveJournal communities that are also the inaugural sites within LJ Media: Anything Diz, Arama They Didn’t, VaginaPagina, Craftgrrl, ONTD Political and ONTD Games. We plan 40-50 LJ Media communities by the end of 2012. Learn more.

Featured Communities

Craftgrrl presents Crafts for Charity

Crafting community craftgrrl is collecting pillowcases for Mary Bridge Children's Hospital. Check out this creative cause that's bringing comfort to hospitalized children.
more…

Photophile picture of the week

Congrats to harnessphoto, winner of last week's lj_photophile contest! This week's contest is in full swing. Vote for your favorite photo!

Free vGift for Paid and Permanent Members

If you have a Paid or Permanent account, you can send six Blue Dragons now until Monday, February 27th, at midnight, PDT! You'll see both the free and the $0.99 vGifts displayed until you've sent them to your friends.

LJ Scribe Announcements

Congratulations to darklotus1211, macaparket, monochrome_song, and blueskywriter, who won prompt #51 of our lj_scribe writing contest! We've selected 6 finalists in response to our 52nd prompt theme for your review.

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State of the Goat 2012

Bienvenue, dobro požalovat', bienvenidos, and welcome! Thank you for sharing another year with LiveJournal, home to some of the liveliest discussions on the Internet. Archived within LiveJournal are nearly 13 years of memories, memes, triumphs, and tragedies encapsulated in entries written by millions of people across the globe. LiveJournal members embody the spirit of passionate individual expression. We are continually grateful to be a part of your daily life.

LiveJournal's history and vision, as far as Internet experiences go, is extensive. While the gatekeepers and direction have varied over the years, two major elements factor into deciding how the site experience evolves. First, the core belief that LiveJournal is a safe harbor for expression, outreach, and discussion. Second, the idea that member feedback is vital. Looking ahead to 2012 and beyond, together we can create a LiveJournal experience that excels beyond anything we've ever accomplished.

A part of improving that experience begins with the site itself. “Under the hood” of every entry shared on LiveJournal is an infrastructure that holds it all together, roughly 13 years worth of infrastructure designed to allow members extensive flexibility over style layouts and content placement. That's a lot of programming code over the years and some of it has to be replaced. We're making changes behind the scenes that will improve our production and testing process, which in turn will create a better user experience for members when a feature goes live. Some might ask, "How would this make things better?" Imagine an update to the Rich Text editor that doesn't result in weeks of tweaks and fixes. By streamlining the process behind the scenes, we can create reliable features faster, which in turn allocates more time to adjust existing features and address member requests.

The changes to the site, as well as the process through which we develop and implement these changes, are a work in progress. Your feedback is an integral part our design approach and influences what and how features are implemented. Given the large scope of the work being done, our response time might be longer than expected. Rest assured, though, we are eager to keep things working effectively and in a way that best embraces the ideals of LiveJournal and its passionate members.

2011: A Look Back
Last year was filled with ups, downs, and all-arounds. New additions like LiveJournal Singapore, a revised Community Directory, improved spam prediction and prevention, free paid account trials, the introduction of community owner privileges, and enhanced privacy settings were received favorably. The redesign of the Navigation Strip, and removing the LJ pencil from the favicon were met with mixed reviews. Less welcome changes included the numerous Rich Text editor update issues following Release 80 and the comment page redesign in Release 88. As you read this year's State of the Goat, we're preparing fixes, looking over your comments, and we'll provide updates as new information is available.

And then there were the DDoS attacks. While they resulted in some service interruption, the DDoS attacks made world news again this year. LiveJournal is still an active global forum at a time when ordinary people are using social networks to exercise their freedom of expression and organize political protests. Despite the bumps in the road, LiveJournal played in a major role in voicing issues that resonate with anyone who believes that governments and politicians should be held accountable. New hardware and mitigation practices gradually minimized the impact these attacks had in the last half of the year. Many recent attacks have been successfully handled with virtually no interruption to the service, and we expect even better results in 2012.

LiveJournal continued to expand beyond the website as well. In the last two years, our drive to offer LiveJournal members greater flexibility and accessibility prompted the creation of new mobile applications. In 2010, LiveJournal released an iPhone/iPad application to meet the on-the-go lifestyle of our mobile members. As those expectations grew in 2011 and continue to grow in 2012, we've expanded our mobile app support to include many popular Android, Windows Mobile and Nokia devices.

Purging Inactive Accounts
As you may have noticed, we're currently deleting inactive and empty member accounts. Only accounts that have zero entries and have not been logged into for over two years will be affected by this process. Right now, account owners are being notified by email if their account is set to be deleted. If you receive such an email about an account you'd prefer to keep, all you need to do is login before the date listed to prevent the deletion. Even if it is deleted, you will still have 30 days to undelete the journal.

An account is not subject to inactivity purging if it has at least one entry in it but this criteria may change over time. If you have friends or family who have passed away and were LiveJournal members, the best way to protect their accounts against future inactivity purges is by requesting such journals be set as 'memorial' accounts. Please email Support to request memorial status for a journal.

2012: A Look Ahead
Expect to see big changes in the coming months. Over the last year we've decreased advertising across the site. We're excited to announce that by mid-2012, advertising will be phased out completely for virtually all of the LiveJournal service pages, journals, and communities that we know and love. Advertising will only be shown in select communities that opt in to displaying it (which you'll hear more about on February 15).

We're also taking huge strides to improve site efficiency and functionality behind the scenes. Changes like these are usually not immediately noticeable but they affect many aspects of our production and testing process. Site performance will improve in the coming months with these changes in place. We're also redesigning service pages, introducing new journal style designs, improving DDoS mitigation practices, and addressing modifications to existing features. And we may have another surprise or two for you along the way so stay tuned!

LiveJournal is a living document. We're eager to hear your feedback as we dedicate ourselves to improving the member experience. Every day invites new ideas and new opportunities. We're excited to see where 2012 takes us and we welcome you to join us!

To you, your family, and your friends, we wish you a healthy and exciting 2012!
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Release 88, Paid time extension

December 21st, 2011 - Happy December Holidays and welcome to the official LiveJournal newsletter! Bringing you system updates, community events, and other newsworthy nuggets from the world of LiveJournal. Here's a look at what's news on and around LJ:

Release 88

Our final site update of the year, Release 88, is live. Here's a look at a the most notable changes around LiveJournal following Release 88:
  • Comment pages have been redesigned. Share your thoughts on the new comments page design here. As with any new feature, something unexpected may pop up. Please contact support with any bugs you encounter while using the new comment page layout.

    Rest assured, we are paying close attention to all of your feedback. Problems with actual functionality (inability to use the new form or aspects of it, slow load times, crashes, etc) have been reported and are being worked on. We're also aggregating all your feedback about the presentation and usability of the commenting form in the general sense, including items missing from the previous version, and the appropriate project teams are reviewing this feedback to help guide what further changes will be made. Thank you for your patience as we continue to work on the new commenting system.
  • The LiveJournal homepage has been updated to include the LiveJournal Today feature, where you can find some of the recent entries on the site highlighted by our Editorial team.
  • The Update page and Edit entry pages have been changed. Most notably, the font in the HTML editor has changed, how lj-cuts appear in the Rich Text Editor (RTE) has been updated, and a few buttons/menu items are in different locations than they previously were.
Full details regarding Release 88 can be found here at lj_releases.

Paid compensation for site downtime

LiveJournal was the target of DDoS attacks a couple weeks ago that resulted in some downtime and other accessibility issues. In order to show our appreciation for your loyalty and support during our recent DDoS attacks, we're applying two weeks of free paid time to all accounts that were paid during the recent site downtime. You will receive a notification email when the time has been applied. You can view your account's new expiration date by visiting your Account Settings page while logged in.

Thanks for stopping by! Happy Holidays!
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Release 88 sneak peek, Mashable Awards nomination, Holiday promotions, ONTD Games

December 14th, 2011 - Happy December Holidays and welcome to the official LiveJournal newsletter! Bringing you system updates, community events, and other newsworthy nuggets from the world of LiveJournal. Here's a look at what's news on and around LJ:

Release 88 sneak peek

Our final site update of the year, Release 88, is scheduled to go live around Tuesday, the 20th of December. We'll send out another announcement when the release goes live. In the meantime, barring any last minute changes, here's a sneak peek at a few features coming to LiveJournal with Release 88:
  • Comment pages have been redesigned! More information about specific changes will be announced in the next few days.
  • The LiveJournal homepage has been updated to include the LiveJournal Today feature, where you can find some of the recent entries on the site highlighted by our Editorial team.
  • The Update page and Edit entry pages have been changed. Most notably, the font in the HTML editor has changed, how lj-cuts appear in the Rich Text Editor (RTE) has been updated, and a few buttons/menu items are in different locations than they previously were.
More information about Release 88 will be available at lj_releases when the release goes live.

LiveJournal nominated at 5th annual Mashable awards!

Congratulations LiveJournal on being named a finalist in the 2011 Mashable Awards: Best Social Network.

For more than 10 years, LJ has changed the way people communicate with each other. Our global reach spans across millions of users, journals and communities. We have been with you when you were bullied (bullying_begone), when you were obsessed with fanfiction, when you discovered the mind-numbing power of celebrity gossip (ohnotheydidnt) and when you just wanted to share what was on your mind with the rest of the world.

Thanks to our users, LJ has been able to define the core concepts of Social Media: communication, creation and content across all online channels.
Vote for us here!

(Voting ends Dec.16, 2011)

Win an iPad 2!

Tis' the season, as it is often said, to embrace our companions and reflect as another year comes to pass. To that end, we here at LiveJournal U.S. invite you to join us in our celebration of December holidays at LJ's very first B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Beliefs) Gift-Away! Bring out your favorite spirit of the season as we openly embrace the customs (or lack thereof) of the final month of the year.

To get your chestnuts roasting, we're throwing special giveaways on both LJ and Facebook for U.S. residents. Check out LJ_Contests for all the details. Our apologies to non-US residents, we'll get you in the mix during our next promotion. Stay tuned!

The Great ONTD Games community owner search

ontdgames is starting from scratch and we're in the market for a gaming fanatic residing in the U.S. who can take over as owner and inspire some of that delicious ONTD fierceness! If you've got that ONTD sparkle gleaming in your eye and you love games then you might just be the community owner LJ is looking for!

If you win:
  • You take the reins of ontdgames and its supporting media channels (twitter, YouTube, etc.)
  • Choose a current-generation video game console of your choice, handheld or home system, to call your own.
  • One free video game a month for one year.
  • A brand new community theme style drafted by our design team with your guidance.
You’ll also have access to the LiveJournal editorial team for PR, marketing, social media support and other goodies.

When: Monday, December 12, 2011 until we find the right person.

Check out LJ_Contests for the particulars.

Spreading the holiday cheer, vGift style!

Close out the year by sharing something wintery and sweet with your friends on LJ. If you have a Paid or Permanent account, you can send six Snowman Cookies now until Monday, December 19th, at midnight, PDT! You'll see both the free and the $0.99 vGifts displayed until you've sent them to your friends. If you're not receiving vGifts then you may have disabled them. To enable vGifts, visit Edit profile (under Profile), scroll down to the bottom of the page, and check your settings. Make sure the box beside 'Disable sponsored only' is NOT checked! Enjoy!

For news about LJ_Scribe and LJ_Photophile and recent contest winners, we'll see you under the cut! Collapse )

Thanks for stopping by! Happy Holidays!
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Release 86, Earthquake relief, Halloween events, Tim Daly interview

October 27th, 2011 - Happy Halloween and welcome to the official newsletter for all things LiveJournal! Bringing you information about system updates, community events, LJ social outreach, and other newsworthy nuggets from the world of LiveJournal. A quick note before we jump in: we've posted an update at lj_maintenance outlining a service issue that sprung up a couple days ago and was quickly resolved.

Release 86

While 'Release 86' sounds like a great name for a horror film from the early 80s, it's actually our recent system update. New additions / changes are brief. Here's the rundown:
  • Community owners can now make use of the Google Analytics feature for their community. This feature is activated on the Extensions tab of the Settings dialog.
  • The contextual hover menu has been redesigned. Roll your mouse over a friend's or community's userhead/userpic to see the new hover menu in action.
Check out lj_releases for all the details regarding Release 86.

Earthquake relief in Turkey

On October 23rd, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the eastern province of Van in Turkey. Hundreds have been killed and over a thousand injured as an estimated 2,000 buildings collapsed during the tremor.

LJ has created a 'Help Turkey' vGift to support the recovery efforts in the region. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the vGift will go towards aiding the recovery efforts in Turkey. [link]

Halloween @ LJ


Eight reasons to love Halloween

The itsy bitsy spider crawled up the water spout and onto your friend's LJ profile! If you have a Paid or Permanent account, you can send eight spiders now until Monday, October 31st, at midnight, PDT! You'll see both the free and the $0.99 vGifts displayed until you've sent them to your friends. If you're not receiving vGifts then you may have disabled them. To enable vGifts, visit Edit profile (under Profile), scroll down to the bottom of the page, and check your settings. Make sure the box beside 'Disable sponsored only' is NOT checked! Enjoy!

The LJ Interview: Tim Daly speaks about arts advocacy and bullying

During the interview, Tim Daly talks about the bullying issue, his role in The Creative Coalition, and his passion for rallying creative professionals around important social issues. Stay tuned, later in the week we'll have an interview in bullying_begone with WWE wrestler Sheamus about his career and how bullying influenced his life.

LJ news and you

We've been experimenting with various formats for presenting the news over the last couple months, In the near future, we'll be shifting news to a fixed-width (most likely 600px wide), newsletter-style entry. We realize this doesn't work for everyone. As an alternative, we've got a few ways to keep up with LiveJournal.
  • news: Your spot for all topics regarding LiveJournal's operations and social outreach.
  • simplynews: You're here! A text-only, lightly formatted simulcast of news. Worth a look if you view the news in a highly-customized journal style.
  • lj_today: A new community we've started for announcing site updates as well as promoting upcoming events in active communities.
  • lj_maintenance and lj_releases: Two communities focused on announcing new features and site performance issues.

NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month 2011 is right around the corner. Rally together, brave writers, and meet up at lj_nanowrimo! Find support among your literary colleagues and we'll try to ease the writing experience with a couple surprises of our own. Good hunting, writers!
For news about LJ_Scribe and LJ_Photophile and recent contest winners, we'll see you under the cut! Collapse )

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great Halloween!
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Release notes, Rich Text Editor update, Contest updates, be a STAR, Bullying awareness, Halloween

September 30th, 2011 - Greetings, LJ! Welcome back to another edition of the news! It's been a few weeks so let's get you caught up on recent LJ happenings. We've run a couple contests and we've made some new friends since our last news update. More on that in just a moment. First, we address the hot topic as of late, the status of the Rich Text Editor. Let's get right into it with a list of recent site changes.


New features / Improvements

  • The functionality of the Rich Text Editor has significantly improved. A complete list of adjustments made to the Rich Text Editor can be found here. Please Submit a Support Request if you're still experiencing difficulties with the Rich Text Editor and we'll look into the issue.
  • The Edit Entries page has been redesigned. It now has calendar functionality as well as the ability to filter entries by community. The filter by community option allows you to see entries you have posted to a specific community as well as entries which have been posted to communities you maintain. There is also an option to filter the results to only show entries in the specified community posted by you.
  • There is now an option to have re-posted entries automatically be collapsed behind an <lj-cut> on your Friends page. This option can be found on the Manage Settings page.
  • An error which prevented some users from being able to load the Manage Friends page has been fixed.
  • Attempting to upload a userpic larger than 100x100 pixels now properly resizes and allows the image to be uploaded.
  • Moon and Stars and Simply Wood, two of the winning journal styles from our last custom style contest, are now available!
For more information on the changes in this release, please visit lj_releases.


National Bullying Prevention Awareness month

LiveJournal has joined the be a STAR alliance, a group of organizations united to raise awareness of bullying and to create avenues of discourse in communities on the ground as well as in cyberspace. bullying_begone, a LiveJournal community created by a victim of bullying, is a place for people to share their stories, seek advice, and support each other in a open and friendly environment.

October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness month. Throughout the month, we'll be addressing bullying topics in various features and communities on the site. To get the conversation started, LiveJournal and bullying_begone are sponsoring a giveaway in Writer's Block this Monday, October 3rd. Here's the details:

  • When: Monday, October 3rd, 2011
  • Where: Writer's Block, on the LiveJournal homepage
  • One winner, chosen at random, will receive an Amazon Kindle e-reader and a $25 Amazon gift card
  • To enter, answer the Writer's Block question on Monday, October 3rd
  • The winner will be chosen on Tuesday, October 4th, and announced at lj_contests
While bullies aren’t going to vanish overnight, we can turn the tide by reaching out to friends, victims, and bullies alike to learn more about the roles people play in this cycle and what can be done to improve relationships. By working to better recognize bullying and the tactics employed by bullies, we can engage both the victims and their aggressors in an effort to minimize the effects of bullying. If you've been affected by bullying directly or you know someone who has, we invite you to share your experiences over at bullying_begone.


Halloween @ LJ

Costume shops are popping up in cities all across the U.S. Each one resonates with an eerily similar message: Let's scare up some Halloween fun! In October, we're conjuring a little Halloween fun of our own with a couple contest giveaways and the Halloween-themed header image selected by the LJ community.

Pumpkin carving contest - Nothing says community like enjoying the cool artistic pumpkins on display around the neighborhood during Halloween. As LJ's way of celebrating community and Halloween, we're offering prizes to five random pumpkin carvers and a grand prize to our favorite submission. Entering this contest is easy. On Halloween we'll post a question on the LJ homepage in Writer's Block asking for pictures of your carved creations. The picture should include your pumpkin and your username written on a piece of paper to prove you're the crafty pumpkin carver. Along with this, feel free to include any moody pictures of the pumpkin that you find frighteningly festive! Winners will be chosen and announced on November 1st.

ONTD costume contest - Before heading out for a big night of Tricks n' Treats on Halloween, share your clever costume designs in a special Halloween entry we'll post over at ohnotheydidnt on October 31st. Much like the pumpkin carving contest, prizes go to five random costume submissions and a grand prize to our favorite submission. Winners will be chosen and announced on November 1st.

Halloween-themed header contest - LiveJournal service pages across the site will feature a Halloween-themed header during the last week of October. Choose your favorite of the five finalist submissions today at lj_contests. The Halloween header poll is open until Monday, October 3rd. The winning submission and the finalists will receive 2,500 and 1,000 tokens respectively. Good luck, finalists! Prizes for the costume and pumpkin carving contests will be announced in the next couple weeks. Keep an eye on news and lj_contests for further details regarding these upcoming Halloween events!


For news about LJ_Scribe and LJ_Photophile and recent contest winners, we'll see you under the cut! Collapse )

Thanks for stopping by! See you next time!