Early blogging service Livejournal is on life support: The site (which is owned by Russian media company SUP) will be laying off 20 of its 27 employees, leaving LJ’s bloggers desperate to export content off the site ahead of a possible shutdown. (Some LJ Blogs have been posting daily content for over eight years.)
LJ’s failure should serve as a warning to Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter, and other free social-networking and user-gen sites. Livejournal has (had?) an addictive social experience that its millions of users spent hours on every day, but the site could never figure out how to transform that into a sustainable business.
A variety of revenue-generating ideas like 99 cent “virtual gifts” and freemium add-ons never panned out, (these ideas are still being talked about as working models for other sites). Without a clear business plan, Livejournal stumbled on until its owners finally decided to cut the cord.
UPDATE: A Livejournal spokesperson emails us to say only a dozen employees, less than 20%, have been cut. The original report at Valleywag we cited with the “20 of 27” figure has been changed.
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.
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