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LJ in 2009 -- The Grim Purge

Starts out with half of the San Francisco office personnel being laid off in one week, with no advance warning and no severance, including personnel like janinedog and chasethestars, who have always been nothing but kind and courteous and helpful to us here out of nothing but their love of all things LJ. There might be more detailed posts on this subject to come, as information becomes less sensitive. In the meantime, I will collect links to public posts that I consider notable; feel free to suggest any by commenting here or through other means. (Note: Valleywag's original numbers of 20 out of 28 let go, and those citing them, are not accurate. The true numbers I hear are more like 13 let go, 17 kept in total, and 12 let go and 12 kept in SF--in total, around 20% of LJ staff according to their PR correspondents. Always be skeptical of Valleywag.)

Our condolences to everyone.

Confirmed lost:
chasethestars (Design -- Visual and Interactive Designer), janinedog (Engineering -- Software Engineer), gregorykennedy (Design -- Global Creative Director), lizlux (Design -- Web Designer), gorman (Product -- Product Manager), kazwell (Product -- Product Manager), mberardo, tiko_san (Product -- Head of Project Management), james (Engineering -- Software Engineer), wfinley (Operations -- Senior Director of Operations), sonman (Operations -- Senior Enterprise Architect), mariat_george (Operations -- Senior Enterprise Architect)
Known remaining:
tupshin (Engineering -- Director of Development), coffeechica (Customer Service -- Technical Support Manager), marta (Customer Service -- Community Relations Manager), astronewt (Customer Service -- Customer Support Representative), arie (Customer Service -- Accounts Manager), henrylyne (Engineering -- Software Engineer), urban_yogi (Product -- Director of Product Management), sunrise_bee, dwell (Operations -- Manager of Operations), nicholaskurjan (Senior Systems Administrator), mhwest (Operations -- Linux Systems Administrator), joemacf (Director of Editorial Content and Community Care), markf (Customer Service -- Abuse Manager), slikrikk (Administration -- Office Manager), sgravelle (Director of Finance and Administration), lyndaellen (Editorial -- Editorial Manager), katfaw (Administration -- Accounting Manager)


Official Commentary

Official Press Release -- "valued colleagues" are "leaving the company". Nice PR speak, there.
Twitter: "LJers! Don't worry, the news of our demise is premature.Yes, there were layoffs, but that does not affect your LJ! http://tinyurl.com/9rzk5y" Oh, classy. Salt, meet wound. This is an official Twitter account. "My" LJ won't die from this, it's true, but the layoffs certainly affect it.
chasethestars in lj_design, saying goodbye -- It's still official, dammit, and I like it better than the other two posts.
gorman in teamlj -- LJ employees making gallows humor and staff pages with X's printed out. Considered official to balance out that dreadful Twitter post.

During Wednesday's emergency maintenance outage:
LiveJournal.com is currently unavailable due to emergency maintenance. Don't worry, this has nothing to do with our recent company layoffs! It's a technical problem, not a lack-of-personnel problem.

Thank you for your patience.


The news post, 48 hours later.

Onsite Commentary

xb95 -- Rest In Peace (significant other a casualty of the layoffs; one of the heads of Dreamwidth)
idonotlikepeas -- sup, LJ, layoffs, and such (Support member, some analysis, links to backup)
azurelunatic -- Support means just that. (one perspective from the broader Support community)
synecdochic -- FYI (former employee, one of the heads of Dreamwidth)
scrottie -- LJ itself (one perspective on value of the people let go and buying companies in tech bubbles)

Offsite Commentary

ValleyWag -- The Russian Bear Slashes a Social Network (Misleading numbers silently corrected late Tuesday.)
CNet -- LiveJournal confirms layoffs, says rumored numbers exaggerated
Alley Insider: Livejournal Implodes: Staff Let Go* -- Claim to have been told lies by LJ spokespeople: "LJ laid off about a dozen employees, which is less than 20% of the entire LJ workforce. And contrary to some online gossip sites, LiveJournal employees leaving the business as a result of the restructuring are receiving comprehensive support from the company." Bold part is, so far, a lie. I hope it becomes the truth.
paidcontent.org -- LiveJournal Lays Off San Francisco Staff, Will Operate From Moscow -- "In July, Paulson told paidContent.org that LiveJournal traffic had doubled since the acquisition but the San Francisco team was being retained for proximity to Silicon Valley’s development pool. Indeed, it hired Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) product manager Berardo away to run LiveJournal’s US ops."
Tags: sup, the press
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