When I started paying for LJ it was because I liked the service, had faith in the people running it, and wanted it to help make sure that it would stick around. There weren't any ads on any account levels at the time. I got a permanent account a couple of years ago partly because I figured it'd pay for itself over time (I use LJ mostly as a private journal and don't see myself going anywhere), and to be totally honest, partly because of the rarefied status (not that I actually interact with LJ users I don't know IRL, or think anyone actually cares anyways).
I don't know if I would have gone down the same path if I was just joining LJ recently and making the decision whether or not to pay now. Most of what got me paying was the respect I had for LJ as an open-source project being run with a lot of spirit. I don't really feel the same way about how LJ is run these days, though honestly I don't have any specific complaints. But I do think you have some work to do on your brand image if you want to get new customers to pay for the reasons I paid years ago.
"be totally honest, partly because of the rarefied status (not that I actually interact with LJ users I don't know IRL, or think anyone actually cares anyways)."
I know exactly what you mean - I'd be lying if I said that part of me didn't want a permanent account just because it's rare (and I don't even have a lot of people reading my journal.. :)
I also agree with what you said about LJ's brand image - there's a lot of competition out there now, and I think LJ needs to seriously think about its roots and what drew people to it in the first place.
More user pics
Custom Mood Themes
Interesting poll and interesting answers. :)
However, I'm still wondering where the feature is that Brad promised us years ago, to have copies of just not our replies to others' posts and just not copies of others' replies to our posts/comments but to also have copies of our original posts emailed to us? What happened to that?
Also, why isn't there an Edit Tags feature in the new Manage Accounts page? Obviously the former design team didn't take into account that not everyone on LJ uses Six Apart's Horizon or Vertigo site schemes. :(
Obviously the former design team didn't take into account that not everyone on LJ uses Six Apart's Horizon or Vertigo site schemes.
To be fair, the reason the other site schemes aren't selectable by default is BECAUSE LJ no longer develops or updates with them in mind.
Some kind of journal back up would be nice, for the chance that something happens to destroy your journal. I have years of post on mine, and I know I would be heart broken if something happened to them.
I second the first comment. You should ask why my personal account and my other character accounts lapsed as paid accounts. I also got a paid account for one because it looked like you were working to reverse some of those stunts you pulled. but they weren't all revesed, were they? not really.
Voice posts would feature more highly if there was an Australian dial-in number.
THIS. It wouldn't be so bad if we'd never been able to do it, but we could once.
I want to point out that I did choose "I just like Live Journal and am happy to pay for it" as one of my top 5 reasons I signed up for a paid account in the first place, about one week before LJ introduced ads
oh the irony.
My opinion of Livejournal has changed a lot since that time and as my paid account is due sometime in april, I won't renew it anymore.
I really enjoyed the forwarding but had to disable it to rid myself of russian spam. As each bonus becomes less useful people are going to be less inclined to pay, maybe someone should be fixing this instead of blowing us off when we open support requests. You know, instead of making polls.
I have been bombarded with Russian spam recently too. And I accidently opened one once and saw it was addressed to my @livejournal address. I don't suppose there's any way to prevent getting spammed apart from turning it off?
I've had a paid account since about 2002, back when there wasn't much difference between paid and free except for faster servers and more user pics. I was just happy to support LJ for years.
But I haven't renewed it when it came up for renewal this year. I don't like the way LJ treats the users. For example, I hate the damn ads that I had to look at before I logged in to my paid account. There was no way to get around seeing them. Another thing is the stupid snapshot crap that slows down the browser and obscures the text and which I cannot turn off completely! I have seen LJ's response to little issues like these -- nothing -- and finally I understood that I don't want to support this site if I don't feel like it's striving to be the best that it can be. Which it's not. It's trying to become a paid-for service, targetting a younger demographic which is incompatible with my interests.
I still feel sad whenever I think about it. If only I trusted LJ to turn things around and go back to the kind of mentality that was around when Brad was at the helm -- not about the money, but about building something awesome...
Hm... I was able to turn off the snap previews. Check under Journal - Viewing Options?
Like many others have commented, I bought a paid account before there were ads. The main reasons were extra userpics and more customization options. Now my main reason is to not see ads. Of course, I use adblock so I guess I wouldn't see them anyway...
Also, a lot of these features weren't available when I first got a paid account, so they were not a motivating factor, but they would be reasons why I would get a paid account now.
E.g. not seeing ads, being able to edit comments, being able to mass edit the security level of posts.
I like no ads, more themes, ability to edit comments and mass security editing. I just went to a Paid account for the first time and I was happy to pay for using LJ. However, I am not certain I will renew to a Paid again unless I see some improvements.
No ads and additional userpics are a plus, but I just like using LiveJournal and it's cheap for a yearly account. I appreciate the service it provides of giving me a place to journal where it won't be lost.
Userpics are the biggest thing for me. While I hate ads, I also have firefox and greasemonkey to help with that, greasemonkey also has the expand plugin and something to help reset the profile back to a way I like it. Recently I've been playing with the customizing features, but in general I'm just overwriting that with CSS.
But userpics? These days I've been playing LJ RPGs a lot and lemme tell you, I can't go back to the normal 6/15 you get with a basic account. If anything what would get me to sign up for more paid time would be more userpics you got (not counting loyalty pics), like, 125-150 total with the add-on package.
I'm another one who used to have a paid account for many years, but no longer do. I paid for my account before ads were introduced to the site, and kept it for many years until around the strikethrough debacle. This was not the reason for not renewing the account, though. Snap was my reason; all I needed to do was click on a cut tag on my friends page and Snap appeared again. Snap is no better than an ad as far as I'm concerned, and since I couldn't properly disable it, and it was my major irritation with the site, there was no reason to keep on paying since I couldn't avoid it by throwing money at it to make it go away.
I miss not having more icons, and the ability to be able to edit my comments, but not enough to consider paying for the service again.
This turned into more of a rant than I intended. oops.
It is possible to turn this stupid thing off, like tinylegacies
has pointed out (http://www.livejournal.com/manage/settings/?cat=display
and uncheck the Graphic Previews checkbox). But then, I think they shouldn't have forced it on everyone by default. The same goes for grey navigation strip, by the way. It should've been an opt-in, not an opt-out. Why do they need to make my choices for me, I wonder.