The threaded comments are better than almost any other discussion forum, and the level of control you have over comments and visibility are very high.
It's just a shame that the owners couldn't make money that way, and seem to be focussed on an entirely different demographic.
I'm "AndrewDucker" over there, by the way. Feel free to add, if you like lots of links to things.
And very few came back to LJ. I still use it but it feels more and more like I'm talking to myself there. Some super hardcore users among my friends just... stopped... writing longform blog stuff when they abandoned LJ.
I still think LJ really nailed the social/privacy stuff in a way Facebook, and everyone trying to improve on Facebook, has really failed to do.
Maybe it was when Six Apart owned them, but for a really long time it looked like LJ had given up on trying to improve on features on the site or fixing bugs, and instead focused on cheap and dirty ways to monetize the site like e-gifts.
It may have gotten them some up-front cash but you risk causing long-time users to stop renewing their paid accounts and go elsewhere.
One thing I remember about when LJ was independent was that they intentionally kept a feature disparity between paid & free users to steer people into paying.
And I remember in 2002-2004ish if you were at all an active user you definitely had to have paid -- they had more demand than server capacity, and they configured their load balancer to prioritize paid users. If you didn't pay you'd wait 30 seconds for a page to come up.
Since then they've closed the feature gap, and even if my friends were all to come back right now and post like they used to, I still don't see a need to pay. I couldn't care less about more photo hosting or user avatars.
However, since SUP bought the platform, the management was nothing short of disaster. The great success in community building in Livejournal is evenly matched by the failure of current administration in the technical site building. Technically, it is plagued with DOSes, screwups, breakdowns, security breaches and UI changes that nobody asked for and that make it annoying to use. Moderation is chaotic and voluntaristic, and prone to abuse by interested parties. They do not seem to have any plan of how to develop the site and so far almost all the improvements they made seem to make the platform worse, not better. The people in the management also have very openly disdainful attitude towards the users, publicly calling users complaining about their policies idiots, freaks, assholes, etc. Of course sharing any plans about site development with the community or, God forbid, let the community have a voice in it - are out of the question completely.
Their monetization efforts also seem to lack any coherent direction. They have paid accounts, and I have been paid user for many years. However, now I am considering switching back to the free option, since the feeling that I'm getting something for my money - better service, better options, etc. - is disappearing fast. Many paid options are useless for me - such as ability of having 200 userpics or 500 links in my homepage - but the main factor is that I don't feel the management of the site knows what they are doing. They bought a great platform and a great community, but my feeling is they are squandering it away.
The Russian-language pages were licensed to the Russian company SUP media, founded
by US entrepreneur Andrew Paulson and a Russian banker thought to be close to the
Kremlin, Alexander Mamut. Just over a year later, SUP bought LiveJournal.