LiveJournal, Against Advice of Advisory Board…

LiveJournal’s decision to stop offering new users a free of charge and free of ads option was one of the things that prompted the recent content strike. I expressed surprise that the strike went unremarked by some of the very blogs that had been impressed by the composition of LJ’s advisory board.

I shared my surprise with Marshall Kirkpatrick of RWW. He got right on to the story and found that LJ management had run the change past a couple of its advisory board members and been told that it was “the worst idea ever.”

I was going to question the purpose of an advisory board whose members are either consulted then ignored, or not consulted, over a decision like this. My first and most cynical thought was that the advisory board was an empty PR move. However, danah boyd describes herself as upset but optimistic about her role on the board, so I shouldn’t rush to cynical judgment.