liz_marcs (liz_marcs) wrote,

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The Contrarian Calls Bullshit

You know, I knew I smelled something nasty-ass when I opened my Web browser this morning.

Oh, look!

It's a translation of a a Russian interview with the diplomatically challenged Anton Nosik, who is a one of our SUP overlords.

Wow! Check it out! Doesn't Nosik sound sooooooo much like a clueless Russian Mafia Gangsta/KGB Thug!

Onoes! I was not gonna participate in that stupid One-Day Boycott on LJ that just so happens to occur on a Friday, which also happens to be Good Friday and the day after Purim starts, which means the posting volume will be low anyway, but...


Gee, I still smell bullshit. I wonder why. I must ponder this...

Look! Over there!

There are a few people saying that the translation of Nosik's interview whenin he comes across as a clueless Russian Mafia Gangsta and KGB Thug has been...maybe...perhaps...translated with slightly more of a negative spin than is warranted.

Behold! Here's the same interview with Nosik but a different translation when which Nosik actually sounds like a rational business man who lacks a certain amount of diplomacy.

Oh, and this LJ user concurs that this second translation is actually the right translation.

[Note: Links to the alternate translations courtesy of this comment on JournalFen.]

Golly gee willickers, Batman! What's a po' widdle non-speaker and non-reader of Russian like me gonna do?

Well, what I'm gonna do is take a look at both translations and decide which scenario is more likely:

  • Nosik is a a clueless Russian Mafia Gangsta and KGB Thug who hates the LJ userbase

  • Nosik is a diplomatically challenged businessman who has a fuckload of good points about LJ and its user base, even though no one wants to hear it

Wow. This is sooooo hard. I wonder which translation is a little bit closer to the real article.

Much as no one wants to hear this, one of the Very Good Points Nosik makes is the following:

Whenever LJ makes any changes, the whiners and the crybabies come out of the woodwork to bitch (true). These same people then make a zillion threats to boycott-leave LJ-call the advertisers-hurt the business if shit doesn't go their way (very true). But when all the yelling, screaming, and threatening is done, people on LJ do not follow through, therefore SUP has learned that all they have to do is wait for the hue and cry to die down and they can continue on with business as usual and not have to change a damn thing (very, very true).

This is a far cry from the tone that's in the first article, where Nosik sounds like he's digging in for a long, nasty cold war against LJ's user base, no?

If you all want to do a "day of silence" on LJ by posting nothing and commenting on nothing, be my guest.

But a one-day boycott is going to accomplish...what, exactly?

Needless to say, this is my way of telling everyone that if I don't post or comment on Friday, it'll be because RL prevented me from doing so, not because I'm honoring a one-day boycott, which, IMHO, is a pretty fucking stupid idea.

You want to hurt LJ? You want to make yourself heard by SUP?

Here's a few hints about what might be more effective:

  • Stop bitching every time some change comes down the pike. Pick your battles. Strikethrough was a battle worth fighting. Removing Basic Accounts is not a battle worth fighting, especially since the end user still doesn't have to pay if they're willing to host ads. However, arguing that SUP really needed to make a public announcement and explain that Basic Accounts are going away and why, IS a battle worth fighting for. I'm not telling anyone to stop fighting the good fight, but for Christ's sake, nitpicking every little thing means that when you're truly pissed everyone's going to dismiss it as more whining from you.

  • I don't like ads. You don't like ads. However, if you're not doing something to stop ads from happening to you like, oh, using FireFox, with its Adblock Plus, Flash Block, Script Block, and Pop-Up Blocker extensions, then that's on you. I see maybe 10% of the Web ads that are out there, the rest I see only if I want to. Want to block ads on LJ? Then block them yourself.

  • End your subscription. Stop paying for your journal space. Or, alternatively, pay for your journal space on a month-to-month automatic payment basis so you can cancel your automatic payments at any time if LJ or SUP pisses you off again.

  • Leave LJ entirely. There's a growing community over a InsaneJournal who'd love to have you. Plus, there are more and more tools for migrating individual journals and communities springing up all the time. If you're that unhappy, then just leave.

So, yeah. There are ways that are A LOT MORE EFFECTIVE than some stupid-ass one-day boycott.

Sorry dudes. That's just the way I feel.

Listen, I'm not the biggest fan of the way LJ runs things, and yeah, SUP made some boneheaded moves this week, but I'm a long way from putting SUP on the same level as the criminally stupid 6A.

While I don't know much about SUP and how they've run the Russian side of things, I have to wonder if some of the issues don't boil down cultural disconnect and (as I suspect) badly translated interviews. The Russians of my acquaintance have always been blunt to a startling degree. From an American point of view, they can come across as rude and dismissive when neither characterization is true.

So, take a chill pill and think things through because you decide that SUP has declared war on the LJ userbase, 'kay? Cause right about now, you're making us all look stupid.

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