No Opt In, No Ads
Fueling the resistance
Recent Entries 
30th-May-2014 12:08 am - LJ has changed hands, new CEO & vision?
Mat Bowles
Under Ex-Googler CEO, LiveJournal Gets A Revamp, Promises New Services, Apps And More In 2014 | TechCrunch

Specific line of interest here:
Though the company wouldn’t speak to its revenue specifics, it would say that currently half of revenues come from user payments related to promotion of posts and premium features. LiveJournal also runs some advertising, but this is not its core focus.
(emphasis mine there obvs).

Reading her comments, she appears to both know what she's talking about and have a plan that, almost, makes sense, and is certainly better than the half baked ideas we've had from the previous couple of owners. Rambler&Co are, from what I can tell, Russian, but they're not SUP. I had completely missed the change of ownership, anyone know any details?
5th-Jan-2014 03:07 pm - PSA: malware in LJ's ads
Ide Cyan
I reported the issue to LJ support four days ago, and got a non-helpful answer then and have been seeing other similar reports pile up in the support forum since.

Public Service Announcement: beware of the advertising currently on Livejournal.

It can spontaneously redirect you to suspicious external websites. It's happened to me when I was logged out of my paid account.
26th-Apr-2012 12:43 am - Changes are coming
Harold
Over in ruljautonews we have a translation of igrick's latest entry where he details some upcoming changes to advertising on LJ. Specifically, a modified form of the self-promo block that's already available on the Cyrillic homepage will be made available to all journal owners, with all proceeds from that block going to the journal owner. And buried in the comments, Ilya confirms that Paid & Permanent accounts will see this ad, and that the ToS will be modified to reflect this.
This is a part of a larger scheme to increase ways for users to monetize their journal. Other announced changes are ways to pay or get paid for reposts, a paid feature to have entries float to the top of a friends' page, and the ability to cash-out earned tokens into rubles or dollars.
14th-Mar-2012 09:51 pm - AdRiver?
I'll po YOUR lite!
My Ghostery add-on is telling me that LiveJournal is now using a tracker from some site called AdRiver. The information Ghostery give me about it (their page on it is here: http://www.ghostery.com/apps/adriver ) tells me it's a Russian ad servicing and analytics community.

Currently AdRiver is showing up on some pages I view but not others, and I have not yet detected a reliable pattern. I have also not been able to find an appropriate changelog entry to get a peek at the code.

While I'm seeing this, I'm logged into a permanent account and also did the admin console tracker opt-out many years ago (that in turn led to being opted out of the Driving Revenue stuff without any documentation to that effect for those of you who remember that troubleshooting process). I'm using both Ghostery and AdBlockPlus when I view LiveJournal and do not have Flash installed.

This seemed like an appropriate community to use to gather more information and try to figure out the actual tracking pattern and intent. I apologize if this is off-topic and would appreciate re-direction to a more suitable community.
29th-Apr-2010 07:39 pm - Driving Revenue still directing links to the wrong places
Skittish Eclipse
jfs has discovered links that end up entirely where they're not supposed to be:

http://footprint.wwf.org.uk/
http://www.wwf.org.uk/


Clicking on them in Camino, with all JavaScript enabled, opens up a new window (instead of going to the link in the window I clicked in, despite NO new window target being specified in the HTML) to a different site entirely:

http://www.lcoffers.com/index.htm?atid=XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX&q=offers+deals+coupons&askw=offers+deals+coupons

Where the atid is 011076001001006000000000005009, for anybody who wants to keep track.

This is probably due to the affiliate linking script, as it only happens when I have the script enabled; if so, it means that Driving Revenue's new implementation still has problems making links only go to their appropriate sites, except this time because the redirection is entirely dependent on their outboundlink.me server's response instead of defined in the code, no debugging can be done on the script itself to determine what links will go where. It could be another case of whack-a-mole, just like with malware on ads, except this time even paid journals can't escape it.

ETA: marta has informed me that our hard working ops team has disabled Driving Revenue at this time!

ETA the second: Back now, for the curious.

Actual linked links if you want to confirm at the moment if this problem still existsCollapse )
22nd-Apr-2010 03:34 pm - New affiliate script location
Skittish Eclipse
The old affiliate script was at:

http://l-stat.livejournal.com/js/pagestats/DR_v4u.js

This newer one (since the last post) is at:

http://l-stat.livejournal.com/js/pagestats/DR_v4u2.js

So, it looks like you should be mostly covered with AdBlock Plus if you use this as your filter:

http://l-stat.livejournal.com/js/pagestats/DR*.js

I personally noticed sometime very recently when I started to have trouble clicking on links and having them work, since I haven't "opted out" at this time and because as a NoScript user, I have LiveJournal Javascript whitelisted, but not outboundlink.me. I think what happens because of this is that the script hangs looking for the response from outboundlink.me, which never comes because NoScript won't allow it.

I imagine the next logical step for LiveJournal and Driving Revenue would be to make a subdomain, such as outboundlinks.livejournal.com, to use to point to Driving Revenue's service, instead of using an external domain like outboundlink.me.
16th-Apr-2010 01:37 am - Driving Revenue: back in the affiliate saddle?
Skittish Eclipse
There's a comment in the current news post pointing out a new Driving Revenue script. You may remember the previous, flawed implementation.

The script is: http://l-stat.livejournal.com/js/pagestats/DR_v4u.js

The script is now: http://l-stat.livejournal.com/js/pagestats/DR_v4u2.js

You can prettify it up for viewing and examination using: http://jsbeautifier.org/

I've not yet found (nor made) any analysis of the code therein, but the script does show up on all non-SSL LiveJournal pages for my permanent account, so whatever it does affects paid journals and the viewers thereof, not just Plus/Basic accounts.

Reference posts: one post by shatterstripes, two by xlerb.

Also, this script still follows an optout that you can use in the console (NOTE I AM A DITZ AND ORIGINALLY MIXED THIS UP):

set opt_exclude_stats 1


You can see a response from dwnewhall here:
The driving revenue script is designed to add our affiliate ID to any outbound link that doesn't have one. This should not affect anyone, and is a transparent process. The last time we tried this the process did not have enough testing. We believe it's been thoroughly tested and works correctly now. If it's causing some sort of a problem, please open a support ticket so we can notify our engineers.
16th-Apr-2010 01:20 am - Oh yes they did
Skittish Eclipse

This ad-related news has been around a couple of weeks, but for the record: ohnotheydidnt has become an officialish LJ community, with one of the maintainers becoming LJ staff. This also means that ohnotheydidnt now shows ads.

Gleaned CommentaryCollapse )
27th-Mar-2010 04:31 pm - Partnership with BigPoint Games
Skittish Eclipse
The awesome [personal profile] charmian has alerted me to an upcoming LJ development where LJ is teaming up with BigPoint as a media partner to promote their games to LJ users.

This makes LJ money by a cut in the sales of virtual goods within the games, as well as the ability to "market the page impressions of ... users in games" by which I assume means showing ads in-game (it is, at this time, unknown whether paid LJ users using these games will get an advertising exemption).

You can probably expect the new games page to be a part of the new LJ Extras menu, and given the potentially lucrative nature of the venture, possibly promoted on the home page and becoming part of the house banner ad rotation.
4th-Mar-2010 02:32 pm - Hijacking affiliate links
Skittish Eclipse
I've been given a heads up that has done some excellent sleuthing and investigation into hijacked LJ affiliate links:

What is LJ doing to my links?
What is LJ doing to my links? Part 2
What is LJ doing to my links? Part 3

Expect this post to be update through the day as I find out more and come up with a good summary.

ETA: No good summary, but I feel like I should say code got taken down, etc etc, business as usual.
14th-Dec-2009 11:33 pm - Recent code changes require gender for sign up and profile edits, has only male/female options
Skittish Eclipse
So, as noted by [personal profile] synecdochic in this post, upcoming posts in changelog (http://community.livejournal.com/changelog/7932846.html and http://community.livejournal.com/changelog/7937189.html) suggests that the way LiveJournal treats gender information is changing:

* During the sign up process, gender will be on the first page, and required.
* The only options are male and female.
* You will no longer be able to save edits your profile without specifying a gender if you have not set it.

Blah de blahCollapse )

Now, I feel I must note that this change has not come to pass yet. It has opportunity to change or be revised. Other and unspecified could be added, and the information no longer required. However, given the new aggressive interstitial ads, LiveJournal appears to be strongly seeking ways to increase its advertising revenue. Better targeting could help them do that. Given this, it might be possible that they do not change this, although you may not personally see why they would need this information.

If this upcoming development is not changed, and you do not want to give LiveJournal your gender or be forced to choose a gender that does not fit you, you should edit your profile before the next site update to something you are willing to keep for the remainder of your use of the service. I suggest putting your bio into a post and linking to it from the profile, so you can change it without running into the restriction.

ETA: Response suggesting this might not make it live, thankfully:

Read it!Collapse )

However, the code to make the option mandatory on the profile was very much added on purpose (it's hard to write it on accident, so it's not a bug), so if there was a mistake in implemented, it was in miscommunication with programmers (or they'll decide not to do it after all). I'll be happy if it's true and she says this won't be going live--but I'm waiting until the next release at least before I'm entirely comfortable with the notion.

ETA2: We have rollback! And in unrelated news, apparently Nokia is going to be reskinning LiveJournal.
12th-Dec-2009 12:15 pm - New page takeover ad type confirmed; ad FAQ consolidation; LiveJournal partners with AdNectar
Skittish Eclipse
marta (who I am ever grateful for) has confirmed that the Best Buy ad is an approved LiveJournal ad; however, there has been a change in the ad's presentation, in that it no longer automatically plays audio.

Additionally, Frequently Asked Question #265: What are LiveJournal's guidelines on acceptable ads? has been modified, as the Best Buy ad trips over some of the guidelines against rich media ads that interfere with a user's ability to use LiveJournal, video playing without a user trigger, and aggressive ads. There are also no longer any instructions on what to do or who to contact about possibly misbehaving ads.

The old FAQ, from Google CacheCollapse )

The tirelessly FAQ dedicated jai_dit is talking about consolidating and organizing ad FAQs.

In other news, LiveJournal is also partnering with AdNectar to provide sponsored vgifts. My guess is that these will only be able to be given to mutual friends. Considering previous sponsored gift fiascos, it might also be wise to limit the number an individual may send. Sponsored virtual gifts are also a way to make some advertising revenue off of paid users who allow branded vgifts. These sponsored vgifts can include creatives like embedded movie trailers.

Quotes from press releasesCollapse )

You can change your VGift settings on the manage profile page. You can disable all vgifts, or disable only sponsored vgifts. You can also change your vgift notifications settings to not receive notifications of when your friends receive vgifts.
23rd-Sep-2009 12:08 am - Important security notice: malicious embedded content
Skittish Eclipse
There's been a breach of LJ security using embedded content, where post entries are edited to be public and contain malicious flash content. Please see my post on meta_lj for more details and updates.
22nd-Sep-2009 04:13 pm - Google AdSense / Your Journal - Your Money
Harold
Yesterday LJ rolled out their new "Your Journal, Your Money" feature (news, paidmembers, releases, and userdoc).  The long and the short of it is that paid (and permanent) accounts can opt-in to show Google AdSense ads on their journal pages (not in posts displayed on their friends' friend's pages) and that the revenue from those ads is split between the user and Google.  Here's the FAQ and the signup page.

Who sees the ads?
From this comment and this one my understanding is as follows - blue are LJ ads and red are Google ads.

  V i e w i n g
Basic/ EA Plus Any Paid/ Perm w/o AdSense Own Paid/ Perm w/ AdSense Other Paid/ Perm w/ AdSense
V
i
e
w
e
r
Logged Out Radio! Radio! No Radio! X Radio!
Basic/EA No Radio! Radio! No Radio! X Radio!
Plus No Radio! Radio! No Radio! X Radio!
Paid/Perm w/o AdSense No Radio! No Radio! No Radio! X No Radio!
Paid/Perm w/ AdSense on own journal No Radio! No Radio! No Radio! Radio!
No Radio!
Paid/Perm w/ AdSense on own journal and choosing to view AdSense site-wide No Radio! No Radio! No Radio! Radio!
Radio!


<Edit>
What's in it for me?
(Sorry, forgot this bit intially) It all depends on the way you use your journal and how your friends view your entries. The ads are inserted into the journal layout, not into the body of an entry, so any entry that is viewed on a friends page will show no ads. You need someone to come to your journal and view recent entries, or even a specific entry, in order for the ad to be displayed. One way to ensure this would be to put your content behind a cut to force readers to view your entry alone, and presumably in your journal style.
That makes this program ideally suited for artists, authors, craftmakers, and writers holding forth on a particular/popular subject. Anyone who has lots of readers and especially anyone who has lots of readers that only come to LJ for that particular blog is going to make out wonderfully from this program.
</Edit>

What's in it for LJ?
According to this comment the AdSense API that LJ is using does have an incentive program - for each user who signs up for AdSense through LJ, and then reaches a certain balance within 180 days of signup, LJ will receive a Referral Bonus of $5 or $250 dollars, with a onetime bonus of $2000 after 25 LJ users have reached the second level.  Now, that's the standard agreement, it's possible that LJ has worked out another arrangement with Google.
Also, as pointed out in the comments to the news post, this is basically a way for LJ to stay competitive with Blogger and Wordpress by offering features that appeal to professional bloggers.

What's this about the AdSense account being canceled?
A mistake.  While the FAQ (currently and incorrectly) states that "Please note that if you cancel your paid account on LiveJournal, your AdSense account will be automatically canceled" the truth is that upon cessation of paid time the journal will simply stop showing AdSense ads in place of LJ ads.  When paid time is renewed the AdSense ads will return.
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