Archive - Mar 24, 2008

A Series Of Drama Queens

« March 2008 »

Memo to the People's United Front of Blogonia: YOU ARE DUMB.

You are not on strike, motherfuckers. And the sooner you Clintonite Kossters and LJ wankers realize it, the better off we'll all be. There are a number of words, encompassing the entire spectrum from flattering to insulting, to describe your ASCII hissy-fits, but "strike" is not one of them.

You see, a "strike" is a collective action, taken by workers, to harm the employer until the employer is forced to address the workers' grievances. At DailyKos, the "strike" features "diarists" - people who've signed up for a free account on the site to post their opinions. Their grievance? DailyKos's apparent pro-Obama, anti-Clinton stance. At LiveJournal, the "strike" features members - people who signed up for a free or pay account on the site to post their opinions. Their grievance? The decision by the new owners to eliminate new free LiveJournals without advertising on them.

And the "strikes"? Well, at DailyKos, they consist of a handful of pro-Clinton diarists no longer posting pro-Clinton diaries. At LiveJournal, it's even funnier. On Friday, a bunch of people didn't post anything.

Yes, you heard me right. In the interests of their great cause, the most the mighty LiveJournalistas could manage was a single day of not asking each other which "Lost" character they'd be. This, from a social networking site where 95% of the blogs' last entries are three weeks old and promise to "update my LJ more often". Be still, my beating heart.

And even at Kos, it's a fucking joke. There are hundreds and hundreds of diaries, all lapping up the tiny percentage of the giant audience bored enough to drill down to the basement. Or, if they're lucky, they'll be "rescued", included in a giant post on the front page of the site that nobody reads because it's a huge undifferentiated mass of links that glazes the mind like a dozen donuts. In both cases, the aggrieved have an overinflated sense of the worth of what they're withholding. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"We are going on strike and taking our writing elsewhere. When and if our beloved community is once more a focal point for Democratic election discussions, we will gladly return." - "Alegre", founder of the Kos collective action.

That's not a strike, dipshit. That's a boycott. And it's not even a particularly good boycott, because it's not withholding anything DailyKos needs to survive. Believe me, I'm someone who knows quite intimately the value of regularly-updated political opinionating. Leave if you must, but if you think for an instant there won't be ten desperate attention-seeking bloggers stepping up to take your spot, you're an even bigger fool than you come across as.

"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. This is a protest that will have long-lasting effects, showing up forever in the daily posting statistics. This is a protest that will not harm LJ in the long run, as leaving LJ might do. This is a protest that will demonstrate the power of community, as all users unite to support Basic users and the concept of adfree space." - "beckyzoole".

Yes, the long-lasting facts of a single-day drop in posting statistics tied directly to a specific, known event. I can just imagine the conversation in the offices of Sup, the new Russian owners of LiveJournal, a few years from now:

"Hey, I was just looking at some old posting statistics. There was a big drop on March 21, 2008, then they went back to normal. What's that about?"

"Oh, that was when we cut off new Basic accounts. There was a strike or something. You weren't here then. I'm off to Starbucks, you want anything?"


The whole point of a strike, or any kind of exercise of power, is to do something that will adversely affect the target. Make the target realize that without you, they cannot operate. At Daily Kos, where it's the management that actually produces the content people read, that's impossible. And on LiveJournal, you need a critical mass of people who need LiveJournal less than LiveJournal needs them. And that's also impossible. Ergo you're fucked, ergo you can shut up, bend over, and take it now.