Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones

Another update

Let me be clear about this boycott: I do not have a problem with anyone who wants to do it. If you do participate, I hope it meets with all success. I am personally concerned that 1) Russian antisemites are joining and co-opting the boycott, not running it, and that 2) it's not going to be very effective in the first place:
I don't want to harsh on anyone's slacktivism, and oh boy do i not want to get into an argument about this one way or the other -- the scars are still healing up -- but I can tell y'all that unless things have changed considerably -- something I do not rule out -- nobody even looks at single-day stats; the minimum aggregate time period inspected is a week. (synecdochic, via newroticgirl)
If I thought it was going to be effective, I'd plaster my journal today with anti-antisemitic (pro-semitic? Jewish-friendly? What's the terminology here?) disclaimers and do the boycott anyway. And hell, I may or may not post tomorrow anyway, just because I don't always post every day, and tomorrow's going to be busy.

What I'm more interested in, since statistically a boycott may go unnoticed anyway, is the idea of sending postcards, quite frankly. And you can boycott and send a postcard; it's not an either/or proposition. So while I'm at the grocery store tomorrow, I'm going to pick up a couple of cards and send 'em on out. As txvoodoo points out, a protest-a-thon might actually be more effective than silence, although I don't know how much they'll notice either way. I personally feel like it's going to come down to people persuading SUP that American-style (or whoever-style) customer service is a win-win situation, no matter what business is like in Russia:
Let me try to explain what I mean by that. Customer service in the Soviet Union can be summarized in the following statements (both translations of sayings that are very familiar and understandable to many Russians I know; I am aware that I cannot speak for an entire country or an entire political and economic era): "There are many of you [customers], but only one of me [salesperson]" and "Keep bitching, and I won't serve you at all". Unfortunately, you couldn't just take your money to a competing shop - there wasn't one (I am aware I am simplifying, but I don't want to wax loquacious).

It's not about people saying they will leave SUP like they said they would leave SixApart. It's about a business model not built on "we exist to serve the customer", not built on "the customer is the reason we are in business", not built on "hey, the customers are the guys who give us money, how about that". It's that cultural memory of "you don't like what I have to offer? Too bad, I am your only choice for goods and services" that is steering this ship. Learn about capitalism the hard way? Freedom to choose what to spend money on? Keep bitching. See if I serve you. (cormallen, via biomekanic)
I don't quite know the best way to go about this, but to me, the optimal solution would be to keep talking, to keep a dialogue going, in which we explain that LJ is not the only game in town--but it's the game we love, and we don't want to leave. We want this to be a win-win situation for everyone, where LJ prospers and we stay and SUP's (or 6A's, or whoever happens to be running the show at any given time) actions are introduced and explained to us in the full light of day. It's not even that the customer has to be right all the time; I do think that, apart from the secretive manner in which Basic accounts were discontinued, ads probably are necessary for LJ's growth (who pays for additional servers?), and we're going to need to get some good adblockers and move on with life. It's really the customer service/transparency issue and the shady, secretive treatment of fandom we're concerned with now. And it seems to me like the only way to accomplish this is to adopt a "squeaky wheel gets the grease" approach--I suspect they'll notice that more than a one-day boycott. But I think we're also going to have to sit down and figure out what it is, exactly, tangibly, that we want. Because I'm trying to think what to put on that postcard tomorrow, and I'm not sure what to say. They apologized. They retreated on the disappearing-interests issue. What's left to say? "Try not to be asshats in the future?" "Find a better spokesperson"? "Restore Basic accounts as an option," I guess, but I think of that more as a better way to attract new users for them than something that affects current Basic users as long as they're grandfathered in as promised. And maybe that's the way it needs to be phrased to SUP.

By the way: telling me that I'm fucking stupid is not the standard of discussion I expect or encourage on this journal. Tell me that you disagree in civil terms, or find another soapbox.

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