LiveJournal User Election Opens Up Advisory Board to Bloggers

In a First for Social Networking Sites, LiveJournal Turns to Users to Help Guide the Future of the Service

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LiveJournal, Inc., one of the worlds leading online communities, announced it will open nominations today for its first ever Advisory Board user elections. LiveJournal, Inc. has allocated two positions on the Board for elected representatives from its user base. This is thought to be unique for major social networking sites and will offer LiveJournal users a defined role in the development of the service for the first time.

“I'm sure we'll learn a lot from the process, and later on from the two users selected as well. Especially, I hope that the discussions before the voting will be more meaningful and more focused on policy than those in some offline campaigns.”

The elected users will join a distinguished group of social media influencers on the current Advisory Board: danah boyd, Esther Dyson, Brad Fitzpatrick and Lawrence Lessig.

We appointed the first four members of the Advisory Board to represent a variety of constituencies with as little overlap as possible. The two LJ Users who will now be elected to the Board are no exception: the challenge for the voters is to identify candidates who will reflect the broadest spectrum of user interests and be able to advocate these positions in an effective manner, commented Andrew Paulson, CEO of SUP, the owner of LiveJournal.com.

Users will be elected for an annual term, with the right to stand for re-election the following year. The Advisory Board will hold quarterly meetings via conference call and meet at least once a year to consider the challenges and opportunities for the LiveJournal community. The management of LiveJournal has formally committed to listen and engage with the board members and reflect their discussions in the executive decisions that they make.

The nominations process will last until Thursday, May 14th, with voting starting the following week and the winners being unveiled on May 30th. The electorate has been split into two constituencies to reflect the global nature of the LiveJournal community. One position on the board will be set aside for whoever heads the poll in the Russian section of LiveJournal users and the other will be for the victor in the non-Russian section. Results will be posted and a winner announced by the end of the day on Friday, May 30th. The new user-representatives will be seated and begin their terms on June 1, 2008.

The LiveJournal Advisory Board had its inaugural meeting in San Francisco on April 25th and the existing members endorsed the election process and looked forward to working with the new elected representatives. After the meeting, each member issued a comment on the upcoming elections:

danah boyd: LiveJournal is filled with very passionate users. These users have helped shaped LJ's various communities over the last decade and it gives me great joy that LJ is recognizing and incorporating users' voices into the decision-making processes. Having user representatives from different parts of LJ on the Advisory Board will help make sure that the company is meeting the needs of its diverse constituents.

Esther Dyson: I'm sure we'll learn a lot from the process, and later on from the two users selected as well. Especially, I hope that the discussions before the voting will be more meaningful and more focused on policy than those in some offline campaigns.

Brad Fitzpatrick: It's cool that SUP is getting users involved with the LiveJournal decision-making process. I look forward to seeing who the community elects and the results of our efforts working together.

Professor Lawrence Lessig: The user elections will provide a critical check on LJ's process of maintaining a valuable and trustworthy environment for the LJ community. The mandate of the elections will give the user representatives pride of place among the members of the Advisory Board. Each of us will look to them to guide us in our judgment about how best to make LJ the community we all aspire that it will be. I look forward to welcoming the user representatives, and learning a great deal from them.

For more information on the administration of the elections please see http://community.livejournal.com/lj_2008/.

LiveJournal Advisory Board members:

  • danah boyd, Ph.D. candidate at the University of California (Berkeley), Fellow at Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and renowned blogger.
  • Esther Dyson, Internet investor and evangelist, journalist and commentator on emerging digital technology worldwide, founding member of the digerati, philanthropist, on the board of Yandex, one of the largest Russian Web portals.
  • Brad Fitzpatrick, founder of LiveJournal, former chief architect of Six Apart, and currently part of the technical staff at Google.
  • Lawrence Lessig, Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and founder of the school's Center for Internet and Society.

About LiveJournal, Inc.

LiveJournal was one of the worlds first social networks and blogging platforms. Since its launch in the U.S. in 1999 it has registered over 15 million accounts. The site allows users to set up their own virtual diary and communicate with their friends by posting and receiving comments on each others entries. In many countries the sites most popular functionality is the community aspect which allows users to engage each other on issues of common interest. LiveJournal has a worldwide monthly audience of 18.7 million of whom 5.2 million (Omniture) are Russian based.

About SUP

SUP is an international online media company with established partnerships with businesses across the globe. It was founded in the summer of 2006 by an international management team with Russian seed capital. SUP set itself the goal of building a portfolio of high-traffic-generating projects based in Moscow from which to expand worldwide. These include LiveJournal.com, Championat.ru, +SOL, and Victory S.A.

Contacts

LiveJournal, Inc.
Eliza Walsh, +1-415-321-1883 (US media)
lj@sparkpr.com
or
Maria Spasibo (Russian Media)
info@sup.com

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