LiveJournal Strike

I saw Lucius’ post on the LiveJournal strike just before the 24-hour content strike started.

For 24 hours, we will not post or comment to LJ. Not in our own journals, not in communities. Not publicly, privately, or under friends-lock.

Why? Because the new owners of LJ said they were going to listen to a user driven advisory board before making any changes, and didn’t. They instead tried to take away all GLBT related interest groups, and were about to take away all free, ad free accounts as well and make LJ paid.

I expected to see the story show up on the web-focused blogs to which I subscribe. These blogs had been impressed with the makeup of LJ’s advisory board. For example, Marshall at RWW described the board as “filled with awesomeness.”

The new Board is made up of an all-star cast. Copyright and corruption fighter Larry Lessig, tech pioneer Esther Dyson and brilliant social network analyst danah boyd make up the group, along with Brad Fitzpatrick, whose work has been key in the development of LiveJournal itself, OpenID, social graph theory and the Google-led OpenSocial. That’s hot.

Right now, RWW seems like the blog that didn’t bite on the strike. I hope to see coverage on the strike story soon from RWW – and from TechCrunch, Mashable, etc.

Writers and Reality

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike against the studios has been going on for almost two months now, with no end in sight. Early press coverage pointed out that one of the most immediate impacts on consumers would come when the pipeline of already-written episodes of TV shows dries up. The coverage went on to threaten a deluge of repeats and reality shows.

I was tempted to make the joke that reality shows are just as scripted, and hence just as vulnerable to the WGA, as fiction. I didn’t, because I was too busy and the joke too obvious.

I now realize that I should have made the joke, because of course it’s truer even than I realized. The WGA’s latest demand is that it be allowed to extend its membership to cover people who “write” for reality shows such as Extreme Makeover or Biggest Loser.

I saw the story in a Business Week column by Ron Grover. Ron thinks that the writers, or at least the WGA leaders, are losing the plot. But I won’t go in to that, or attempt any more jokes, right now…