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Fueling the resistance
LJ in 2009 -- The Grim Purge 
6th-Jan-2009 01:57 am - LJ in 2009 -- The Grim Purge
Skittish Eclipse
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."
6th-Jan-2009 10:04 am (UTC)
Thanks for the info...will be interested to see how this pans out and if it indicates something else is on the horizon.
6th-Jan-2009 10:08 am (UTC)
What you said about Janine & Stacey. :-(
6th-Jan-2009 11:08 am (UTC) - I know this isn't the place but...
Do you know what else these Russians do?

I always link to where I get pictures for my userpics; the Truman icon I use came from the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum but every time I enter that url into the comment section of my userpics they delete it!

Who has the time to check? Or should I be asking, "Who wrote the code to delete it?"
(no subject) - Anonymous - 2009-01-06 11:53 am (UTC)
Re: Dude - justgoto - 2009-01-06 12:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Dude - daffodelias - 2009-01-06 05:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Dude - foxfirefey - 2009-01-06 05:20 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - Anonymous - 2009-01-06 12:20 pm (UTC)
Re: and... it's there. - justgoto - 2009-01-07 04:16 am (UTC)
Re: I know this isn't the place but... - pne - 2009-01-06 05:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Maybe it's because - justgoto - 2009-01-07 04:34 am (UTC)
6th-Jan-2009 11:40 am (UTC)
Must be time to archive my journal again.
6th-Jan-2009 04:27 pm (UTC)
This may seem like a silly question, but I have asked it before and never had anyone give an accurate answer: How does one archive one's livejournal?


By which, I mean, how does one save all the old entries?
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2009-01-06 05:12 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - kwanboa - 2009-01-06 05:39 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2009-01-06 06:03 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - djmermaid - 2009-01-06 07:31 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2009-01-06 07:38 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - sloot - 2009-01-06 08:25 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2009-01-06 08:33 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - labelleizzy - 2009-01-07 02:38 am (UTC)
(no subject) - lexinatrix - 2009-01-06 06:59 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - acroyear70 - 2009-01-06 07:16 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - acroyear70 - 2009-01-06 07:23 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - lexinatrix - 2009-01-06 10:00 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - byfaith - 2009-01-07 02:16 am (UTC)
(no subject) - acroyear70 - 2009-01-07 02:28 am (UTC)
(no subject) - byfaith - 2009-01-07 02:41 am (UTC)
(no subject) - elfwreck - 2009-01-07 04:12 am (UTC)
(no subject) - acroyear70 - 2009-01-07 04:18 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - teithiwr - 2009-01-08 10:06 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - lexinatrix - 2009-01-07 03:51 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - acroyear70 - 2009-01-07 04:17 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - lexinatrix - 2009-01-07 05:12 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - doctroid - 2009-01-06 07:28 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ironed_orchid - 2009-01-06 10:09 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - urban_yogi - 2009-01-06 11:29 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - m03m - 2009-01-07 09:19 am (UTC)
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2009-01-07 09:21 am (UTC)
(no subject) - m03m - 2009-01-07 09:28 am (UTC)
6th-Jan-2009 12:04 pm (UTC)
6th-Jan-2009 12:16 pm (UTC)
I generally try to avoid panicking until there's more information available, but... this really doesn't look good.
6th-Jan-2009 01:53 pm (UTC)
rahaeli says:
The numbers are wrong; it was 13 laid off and 17 still on staff. But yeah, no severance package. Stay classy, SUP. Stay classy.
The analysis in the VW article looks about right though, if he spent that much on it it was too much.

Edited as I type:

Gotta go out, I'll start really thinking later on.

janinedog and chasethestars (and anyone else on staff that read this)?

You've been great, really, of all the staff to lose, you guys would've been the last I picked.

Wasn't Stacey effectively running the usability project? Without that, does the site even have a mid term future?
6th-Jan-2009 06:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah, she got that number from the same source I did in an IRC channel, I think.

I don't know much about the usability or anything. All I know is that LJ has just axed some very knowledgeable and passionate employees without any sort of transition period. That's hard to buy back.

No clue on how this may affect the place. At the very least, I am imagining it crippling morale in the US office. The remaining employees may be shoring up their resumes to shop elsewhere to attempt to find other employment, before they too are cut without any warning. Every Support member will make a personal decision on how this affects them, since there are considerations of community and ties with friends, but it is likely that some may decide volunteering their time to a company that does this to people they personally know isn't as big a priority as it used to be.

Site development will be more and more driven to the needs of the Russian market, and less towards the needs of US users. Good for the Russians, I suppose, but not so good for you and I.

Edited at 2009-01-06 07:12 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - matgb - 2009-01-06 11:10 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2009-01-07 12:01 am (UTC)
6th-Jan-2009 04:00 pm (UTC)
A great many companies in SF are feeling the economic crunch; there's a lot of layoffs, and a lot of switching to less hours.

Which, umm. Might account for 3-4 layoffs in a 30 person company.

This looks more like "the code seems to be mostly stable, and our volunteers are handling most of the Help questions that come in--we only need a skeleton staff to handle accounting, manage ad clients, and manage server issues as they happen."

I suppose it's possible that they're not rolling in the advertising dollars that they expected would kick in, now that they've plastered the ads on Basic accounts. Surprise, surprise. And the perm account sale must not have been the financial windfall they were hoping for. And perm sales might be down, 'cos the differences between Plus and Perm aren't enticing enough for a lot of people--especially those they've pissed off in the past, who are not only no longer buying, they're no longer convincing their friends to buy.
6th-Jan-2009 05:30 pm (UTC)
Perhaps if they made perm accounts slightly more affordable (say $100), they might have gotten a better response.
(no subject) - handgun - 2009-01-06 06:01 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - alryssa - 2009-01-06 06:23 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - lady_astrocat - 2009-01-06 06:43 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - mprice - 2009-01-06 07:29 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ubiquitous_a - 2009-01-06 07:48 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ashfae - 2009-01-06 08:22 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - kmarkhoover - 2009-01-06 06:31 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - abunchofcrap - 2009-01-07 02:56 am (UTC)
(no subject) - soph - 2009-01-06 07:45 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - lied_ohne_worte - 2009-01-06 09:07 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - elfwreck - 2009-01-07 04:27 am (UTC)
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2009-01-07 04:33 am (UTC)
(no subject) - pne - 2009-01-07 08:32 am (UTC)
(no subject) - doingsoso - 2009-01-07 01:16 am (UTC)
6th-Jan-2009 04:19 pm (UTC)
Shit, shit, shit!!
6th-Jan-2009 04:27 pm (UTC)
I want to know why we, the paying customers, are learning from third parties about major cuts that can dramatically affect the service we get.
6th-Jan-2009 05:22 pm (UTC)
I'm a lurker, here, but -- does any consumer normally get prior notice about layoffs from companies whose products they use?
(no subject) - adameros - 2009-01-06 05:37 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - aaangyl - 2009-01-06 05:48 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - adameros - 2009-01-06 06:03 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - aballard23 - 2009-01-06 06:33 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2009-01-06 05:28 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - adameros - 2009-01-06 05:43 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - bwinter - 2009-01-06 06:19 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2009-01-06 06:28 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ciaan - 2009-01-06 06:50 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - matgb - 2009-01-06 07:00 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2009-01-06 07:06 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - Anonymous - 2009-01-06 07:04 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - doingsoso - 2009-01-07 06:53 pm (UTC)
6th-Jan-2009 05:28 pm (UTC)
I'm now SOOOO glad I just renewed my paid account like two days ago..... O_o
9th-Jan-2009 05:02 am (UTC)
I did the same and share your pain!
(no subject) - chasyaldora - 2009-01-09 09:51 pm (UTC)
6th-Jan-2009 05:39 pm (UTC)
I hear Twitter is hiring!
6th-Jan-2009 05:55 pm (UTC)
...except that your resume can't exceed 160 characters.
(no subject) - shaebay - 2009-01-06 05:57 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - av8rmike - 2009-01-06 06:02 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - venusflesh - 2009-01-06 07:23 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - tidesong - 2009-01-06 07:28 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - kashiichan - 2009-01-06 08:11 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - tidesong - 2009-01-06 09:39 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - towards - 2009-01-10 11:15 pm (UTC)
6th-Jan-2009 06:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, look, an "update"!
6th-Jan-2009 06:13 pm (UTC)
I'm kind of amused that the livejournalinc.com link that the tinyurl link points to hasn't been updated since Dec 19th...
(no subject) - pne - 2009-01-06 06:26 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2009-01-06 06:27 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - lied_ohne_worte - 2009-01-06 09:07 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - elanorofcastile - 2009-01-06 09:13 pm (UTC)
6th-Jan-2009 06:16 pm (UTC)
I've talked to so many of these people over time. Even if LJ stays up, this still makes me sad and kind of sick.
6th-Jan-2009 06:36 pm (UTC)
I know. They're good people who worked hard for a company/product they love and got turned out on their ass with no warning. It's very depressing.
(no subject) - imaria - 2009-01-06 06:38 pm (UTC)
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