Dreamwidth Studios

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Contents

Introduction

Dreamwidth Studios is a social media site based on the LiveJournal code. [1] Open Beta began on April 30, 2009 at which time paid accounts were offered to the public. Public Launch is planned for approximately 5-6 months after Open Beta began. Up until open beta, accounts had only been available through an invite-code system, much like the early days of LiveJournal.

Dreamwidth Studios proposes that it will be significantly different from LiveJournal and other "clone" sites (such as InsaneJournal and JournalFen), calling itself a "fork" instead by making significant updates to the LiveJournal code. They have also promised to remain advertising free, relying on subscription accounts for funding.

Dreamwidth has been a major point of discussion and some contention within media fandom circles on LiveJournal since its announcement, and particularly as the countdown to open beta began. Some fans were adamant about moving to this new service, claiming it would be more "fan-friendly" than LiveJournal and not subject to some of the complaints held against LiveJournal for some time. Others, however, felt no need nor desire to move and there was some considerable kerfluffling and resentment between those who did and those who didn't chose to move to this new service. How many people actually migrate to Dreamwidth, and what the actual widespread impact on fandom will be, remains to be seen.

Maintainers

xb95

Xb95 is one of two cofounders. He claims experience running a site such as Dreamwidth based on his involvement with LiveJournal abuse. He handles back end development for Dreamwidth Studios. His professional experience includes:

  • [2004] Danga Interactive - worked on LiveJournal.com, Perlbal, MogileFS, other projects [2]
  • [2005/6] Six Apart - worked on the above, Vox.com, and other stuff [3]
  • [2007] CCP Games - worked on the EVE API, the new Killmail system [me] [4]
  • [2008] Mozilla - working in the IT group as MySQL DBA/Assorted Web Stuff [5]
  • [2009] Google - working as a Site Reliability Engineer [6]

Denise Paolucci

The other co-founder is synecdochic (Denise Paolucci), who was also involved in working for LiveJournal. Her presence as a founder, while embraced by some because of her fandom connections, has lead to some criticism by others because of her actions working on the LJ Abuse Team in the past. According to yonmei:

"Denise Paolucci ran LJ Abuse from 2003-2008, and - among a bunch of other horrible things - is responsible for the decision not to pursue people who were posting obscene pictures of women being tortured on my journal, because I had a default icon that showed a few pixels of areola on a nipple in a baby's mouth. (There are of course a bunch of other decisions made by Denise that appalled me - but that's my own personal Ick with her.) I gather via various posts on Insanejournal that she claims to be unable to discuss or to explain her conduct due to signing a non-disclosure agreement: I disagree with the people who have asserted that for this reason she should be forgiven unconditionally for the bad things she did because she was being paid to do them."[7]

History

Dreamwidth Studios had been in the works for a while. It was formally announced on LiveJournal on June 11, 2008. [8] The project contemplated working with the Organization for Transformative Works, a fan advocacy group [9] but currently does not claim any such actual link between the two organizations.

In mid-December 2009, Dreamwidth Studios got a boost as a result of LiveJournal's gender!fail, with one of the most active days for people updating since the first month of the service's opening.

Policies

Member statement

The terms of service states:

"You agree that you will not use the Website to:

1. Upload, post, or otherwise transmit any Content that is harmful, threatening, abusive, hateful, invasive to the privacy and publicity rights of any person, or that violates any applicable local, state, national, or international law, including any regulation having the force of law;

2. Upload, post, or otherwise transmit any Content that is spam, or contains unethical or unwanted commercial content designed to drive traffic to third party sites or boost the search engine rankings of third party sites, or to further unlawful acts (such as phishing) or mislead recipients as to the source of the material (such as spoofing);

3. Maliciously impersonate any real person or entity, including but not limited to a Dreamwidth staff member or volunteer, or to otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with any person or entity;

4. Upload, post or otherwise transmit any Content that you do not have a right to transmit under any law or under contractual or fiduciary relationships (such as inside information, proprietary and confidential information learned or disclosed as part of employment relationships or under nondisclosure agreements);

5. Upload, post or otherwise transmit any Content that infringes any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, or other proprietary rights of any party;

6. Interfere with or disrupt the Website or servers or networks connected to the Website, or disobey any requirements, procedures, policies or regulations of networks connected to the Website;

7. Solicit passwords or personal identifying information for unintended, commercial or unlawful purposes from other users;

8. Provide any material that is illegal under United States law;

9. Upload, post or otherwise transmit any Content that contains viruses, worms, malware, Trojan horses or other harmful or destructive content;

10. Allow usage by others in such a way as to violate this Agreement;

11. Make excessive or otherwise harmful automated use of the Website;

12. Access any other person's account, or exceed the scope of the Website that you have signed up for; for example, accessing and using features you don't have a right to use." [10]

A full copy of the Terms of Service is available here.

Dreamwidth vs. LiveJournal

LiveJournal Dreamwidth Studios
MEMBER CONDUCT

You understand that all Content, including without limitation, all information, data, text, software, music, sound, photographs, graphics, video, messages, or other materials, whether publicly posted or privately transmitted, are the sole responsibility of the person from which such Content originated. LiveJournal does not control Content posted via the Service and, as such, does not guarantee the validity of such Content. You also understand that by using the Service, you may be exposed to Content that is offensive, indecent, or objectionable. Should Content be found or reported to be in violation with, but not limited to, the following terms, it will be LiveJournal's sole discretion as to what action should be taken.

You agree to NOT use the Service to:

  1. Upload, post or otherwise transmit any Content that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, invasive to another's privacy (up to, but not excluding any address, email, phone number, or any other contact information without the written consent of the owner of such information), hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable;
  2. Harm minors in any way;
  3. Impersonate any person or entity, including, but not limited to, a LiveJournal staff member or volunteer, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with LiveJournal or any other person or entity;
  4. Forge headers or otherwise manipulate identifiers in order to disguise the origin of any Content transmitted through the Service;
  5. Upload, post or otherwise transmit any Content that you do not have a right to transmit under any law or under contractual or fiduciary relationships (such as inside information, proprietary and confidential information learned or disclosed as part of employment relationships or under nondisclosure agreements);
  6. Upload, post or otherwise transmit any Content that infringes any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, or other proprietary rights of any party;
  7. Upload, post or otherwise transmit any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, "junk mail," "spam," "chain letters," "pyramid schemes," or any other form of solicitation;
  8. Upload, post or otherwise transmit any material that contains software viruses or any other computer code, files or programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment;
  9. Interfere with or disrupt the Service or servers or networks connected to the Service, or disobey any requirements, procedures, policies or regulations of networks connected to the Service;
  10. Intentionally or unintentionally violate any applicable local, state, national or international law, including, but not limited to, regulations promulgated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, any rules of any national or other securities exchange, including, without limitation, the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange, or the NASDAQ, and any regulations having the force of law;
  11. "Stalk" or otherwise harass another person or company;
  12. Collect or store personal data about other users for business purposes;
  13. Promote or provide instructional information about illegal activities, promote physical harm or injury against any governmental entity, group or individual, or promote any act of cruelty to animals. This may include, but is not limited to, providing instructions on how to assemble bombs, grenades, and other weapons or incendiary devices;
  14. Use LiveJournal as a forwarding service to another website;
  15. Allow usage by others in such a way as to violate LiveJournal's TOS;
  16. Engage in commercial activities within LiveJournal or on behalf of LiveJournal without prior approval. This includes, but is not limited to, the following activities:
    • Displaying a banner that is designed to profit you or any other business or organization; and
    • Displaying banners for services that provide cash or cash-equivalent prizes to users in exchange for hyperlinks to their web sites.
  17. Employ tactics to prevent the full and complete display of advertisements on LiveJournal pages. These include, but are not limited to, making journal style changes, customizations, or overrides that effectively block or substantially impair the display of advertisements on a Plus account's Content or other pages within the Service.
  18. Solicit passwords or personal identifying information for unintended, commercial or unlawful purposes from other users.
  19. Exceed the scope of the Service that you have signed up for; for example, accessing and using features that you do not have a right to use, or deleting, adding to, or otherwise changing other people's entries or other content when you have not been granted the privileges to do so.
  20. Make excessive or otherwise harmful automated use of the system. See this page for details on our automated use policy: http://www.livejournal.com/bots/.
XI. Member Conduct

You agree that you will not use the Website to:

1. Upload, post, or otherwise transmit any Content that is harmful, threatening, abusive, hateful, invasive to the privacy and publicity rights of any person, or that violates any applicable local, state, national, or international law, including any regulation having the force of law;

2. Upload, post, or otherwise transmit any Content that is spam, or contains unethical or unwanted commercial content designed to drive traffic to third party sites or boost the search engine rankings of third party sites, or to further unlawful acts (such as phishing) or mislead recipients as to the source of the material (such as spoofing);

3. Maliciously impersonate any real person or entity, including but not limited to a Dreamwidth staff member or volunteer, or to otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with any person or entity;

4. Upload, post or otherwise transmit any Content that you do not have a right to transmit under any law or under contractual or fiduciary relationships (such as inside information, proprietary and confidential information learned or disclosed as part of employment relationships or under nondisclosure agreements);

5. Upload, post or otherwise transmit any Content that infringes any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, or other proprietary rights of any party;

6. Interfere with or disrupt the Website or servers or networks connected to the Website, or disobey any requirements, procedures, policies or regulations of networks connected to the Website;

7. Solicit passwords or personal identifying information for unintended, commercial or unlawful purposes from other users;

8. Provide any material that is illegal under United States law;

9. Upload, post or otherwise transmit any Content that contains viruses, worms, malware, Trojan horses or other harmful or destructive content;

10. Allow usage by others in such a way as to violate this Agreement;

11. Make excessive or otherwise harmful automated use of the Website;

12. Access any other person's account, or exceed the scope of the Website that you have signed up for; for example, accessing and using features you don't have a right to use." [11]

Account termination

Like LiveJournal, Dreamwidth Studios reserves the right to terminate your account at any time, for any reason if they believe that you have violated the Terms of Service. This can be contrasted to LiveJournal, who have a similar policy.

Dreamwidth vs. LiveJournal

LiveJournal Dreamwidth Studios
You agree that LiveJournal, in its sole discretion, may terminate your password, journal, or account, and remove and discard any content within the Service, for any reason, including and without limitation, the lack of use, or if LiveJournal believes that you have violated or acted inconsistently with the letter or spirit of the TOS. Any contracts, verbal or written or assumed, in conjunction with your deleted journal and all its parts, at LiveJournal's discretion, will be terminated as well. LiveJournal may also, in its sole discretion and at any time, discontinue providing the Service, or any part thereof, with or without notice. You agree that any termination of your access to the Service under any provision of this TOS may be effected without prior notice, and acknowledge and agree that LiveJournal may immediately deactivate or delete your LiveJournal journal and all related information and files. LiveJournal reserves the right to bar any further access to such files or the Service. You agree that LiveJournal shall not be liable to you or any third-party for any termination of your access to the Service. Paid accounts that are terminated will not be refunded. We may terminate your access to all or any part of the Website at any time, at our sole discretion, if we believe that you have violated this Agreement. You agree that any termination of your access to the Website may involve removing or discarding any content you have provided. We may, at our sole discretion, discontinue providing the Website at any time, with or without notice.

If you wish to terminate this Agreement, you may delete your account and cease using the Website. You agree that, upon deletion of your account, we may, but are not required to, remove any content you have provided, at any time past the deletion of your account.

Paid accounts that are terminated for violations of this Agreement will only be refunded at our discretion, and only if such termination should come under our established criteria for issuing refunds.

All provisions of this Agreement which by their nature should survive termination shall survive termination, including, without limitation, ownership provisions, warranty disclaimers, indemnity and limitations of liability.


Diversity Statement

A copy of the diversity statement has been preserved at Dreamwidth Studios/Diversity Statement. The text below is in reference to that text.

The diversity statement has been criticized by one or two people in fandom as essentially giving lip service to diversity because, when push comes to shove, the service promises to follow the Law in the United States, even when it conflicts with the above diversity statement. foxfirefey responded to this criticism by making the following statement:

As it's not against US law, there's no reason for DW to become involved in judging whether breastfeeding icons can be shown or not. If someone rams a law through tomorrow that all images of breastfeeding are against the law in the US, DW will comply with that law. (What LJ allows or doesn't allow on their service is moot to this discussion.) Your diversity statement will only protect your users up to the point where DW, your users and US law don't conflict.
I don't use a Kurzweil, but that kind of accessibility has been around -- especially on major commercial sites -- for a while now. I don't know if you're unique as far as social networking go, as none of my visually impaired friends tend to use those anyway.
It's not that I expect everything to be posies and sparkles so much as I disagree that our diversity statement is just window dressing or typical PR fluff because of the factor that we are under US law. It's not so much that I want people to gush or praise, since in many ways we are doing things that just should be done because they are the right things to do, or that I think things are perfect or that there are not places in which we can be criticized so much as I don't want people to say that we make no efforts or that it isn't important to us at all.
We added "other" to the gender options to try and give people outside of the gender binary better choices. When we heard someone mention that putting names in red was upsetting because of cultural connotations, we put up a site scheme in a different color that night. The documentation team strives to make documentation accessible for more than just sighted people by avoiding visual, spatial, or movement-specific language as much as possible. The owners auctioned off a seed account to raise funds to help fans of color attend Wiscon.
There's certainly room for criticism, and it's good for people like you to remind others that, like pretty much all US-based sites on the internet, we have to follow US law when it affects us. It's not so much about if we're currently perfect, it's about the work we are willing to do and have already done to improve, and I don't think it will ever be complete. [12]
And I don't even want to touch the question of whether your diversity statement means that you're also welcoming of the legally protected speech of groups/organizations that do not share the ideals of DW or its members. I have no idea how you intend to handle that issue when it rears its ugly head.
Obviously one can say what one likes until a situation like this actually comes up and is dealt with, but from everything I read and discuss with members of the project and those in the know, if the speech is legally protected and the account is not harassing members in ways that are against the TOS, well, it can stay. Now, one could very well point out that that isn't very welcoming, just tolerating, but I don't think even Dreamwidth can make everybody like each other. But it does mean that even if Dreamwidth overall hate somebody's content, we'll host it even though it goes against our beliefs if the content is legally protected.
I'm sure that could make for some epic drama storm at some point, and I think it's okay for people to remain cynical about it until something like that actually happens. [13]

When asked if Dreamwidth Studios/Diversity Statement would be used to protect "Neo-Nazis, the homophobes and pedophiles who will use that service to their advantage," [14] foxfirefey responded by saying:

Is their content legal? Then I'd imagine yes. It's always possible that a shifting legal landscape may make some things illegal that used to be allowed.
But it's not as if LJ doesn't have content like [info]white_racialism or [info]n_eugenics or [info]savemarriage.
DW has already run into complaints about a community that posts disturbing material (just shock pictures, ala rotten.com); but as far as we know it's legal, so the response has been "don't look at it". I find it very plausible that not everybody will see that as a plus--some people would rather be on a service where that kind of content is not allowed. [15]



Other perspectives

Privilege!Fail

Dreamwidth Studios's welcoming attitude to everyone was mocked in conjunction with Privilege!Fail:

I love how the Dreamwidth theme is something about welcoming everybody, and yet some of the most YOU FAIL posts about people with triggers should avoid all fandom are showing up over there, some by people working on dreamwidth. [16]

The comment was further explained:

they don't have to agree on everything, but you'd think someone who'd been pimping DW as this welcoming, all-inclusive non-discriminatory service for months before it even being available would refrain from making statements like :
2. If you're that mentally and emotionally fragile, you probably shouldn't be reading fic at all. Or watching television. Or reading regular novels. And for god's sake, you'd better get off the internet right now. [Or, you know, as so many people have said over and over and OVER -- their reasonable suggestion falling on deaf ears as usual -- you can have a friend who is aware of your special needs read it first and report back to you.]
Yeah, that sounds really inclusive. God's sake, get off the internet right now? But oh yeah, buy an account at DW because we're open to all differentially abled people. That is total failboat right there. [17]

EncyclopediaDramatica

This section contains the perspective of a participant or observer. It is intentionally not neutral in order to provide multiple perspectives on an event. Information in this section may need to be integrated into the article to ensure that the overall article is neutral.

EncyclopediaDramatica has this view of the diversity statement:

Dreamwidth claims to operate under the following pleasant and agreeable principles: Transparency, Freedom, and Respect. However, as with any other site that will allow fellow users to rate, comment, and reply, these high expectations are about as worthless as a U.N. Resolution written on the used and crusty underwear of a repeat felon in the workhouse. Since (as of this writing) Dreamwidth is in beta testing, these principles are not fully being scrutinized. Once the system goes public, the first ban will, in all likelihood, cause the sites first questioning of their golden code and generate what will become yet another drama cow amid the drama herd. [18]

Funding

Funding is always a contentious issue in fandom. There is often a backlash against attempts to monetize in fandom. Dreamwidth Studios was created, in part, due to the events of strikethrough. The early supporters were those coming out of fandom backgrounds. People who were given invite codes were members of fandom,[citation needed] many associated with the Organization for Transformative Works, an organization opposed to any sort of profiting off fandom. Features were created with fandom in mind, such as the lack of paid advertising, an issue which many fans find contentious when advertisements may contradict their personal and political beliefs.[19],[20],[21]

The creators insist the the project is not for fandom, despite those issues. On the issue of funding, they have said:

If you're basing DW's monetary stability on the large support you're presently generating among the fannish communities, I think you'll be disappointed come next year. As someone else posted, fandom is both notoriously fickle and notoriously cheap. If we can get something for free, there is little incentive to pay for it.
DW's monetary stability is based on historical rates of LJ paid accounts under the invite code system. The estimates take the lower percent range in an attempt to be conservative--that is, 4-5% of active accounts need to be paid in order to support the service. (There are things that might affect this, of course, like the recession. But every business starts as a gamble.) I will say that Dreamwidth is very well aware of the actual costs to run a service like this given the owners' previous experiences, so they're not going to run into problems where they weren't expecting the kinds of costs running a service like this generates.
We're aware that people do need incentives to pay for accounts, so we do reserve features for paid accounts and are planning on developing more.
I think everyone will have a better idea about funding come April 30th when we see how seed accounts sell, because those are intended to provide the funds to sustain the service through its first year of operations while it gets on its feet. Original expectations were that they would sell quite slowly, as Dreamwidth is an unproven service and the cost ($200) is quite steep. However, enough people seem to have expressed interest in them that it's possible they'll go quickly. But, well, people say a lot of things and then balk when time comes to put down the cash, so I'm curious to see how it goes. [22]

foxfirefey talked more about this in the post by pfeffermuse saying:

Like LJ, I think there will come a point where DW will have to make the decision to remain a niche service without ads or expand the business with them.
You are, of course, assuming DW succeeds at all! ::wink::
Well, current declarations point to remaining a niche service:
I believe it's possible for a small group of highly motivated, highly experienced people to build a service that accepts it's always going to be a niche market, and I believe it's possible to rock the everliving hell out of that niche.


Or from the Business FAQ:
In short, we don't ever expect -- or really even want -- to get über-rich on this. We want to earn enough to support ourselves and our families, and use the rest to nurture and support the community and the project. Both of us are passionate about online community, and we want to build a good one. We're going into this with the idea that Dreamwidth isn't going to be the next Facebook or Myspace; we're always going to be the family-owned business down on the corner of the neighborhood. Our goal is to build a sustainable, long-term business that will be here for a long time. We're both prepared to make this something we'll work on for the rest of our careers, and we're designing for that from the ground up.
And, to be honest, I still consider LJ a niche service everywhere but Russia (even though there are more Russian accounts than US accounts). Six Apart bought it, like it buys every single other company (Rojo, Pownce), for its staff, which it then used to make its own (still niche) blogging service Vox. The most active accounts LJ has ever had is around 2.5 million in 2005 (before the ads) and it started to decline shortly after the Six Apart purchase. SUP's purchase and work and investments and marketing have stabilized and started to increase those numbers, but it's not yet quite up to where it used to be, and I'm certain that LJ is only becoming more niche in the US market because Russian accounts were growing at a time when the number of active users was only remaining stable, and because I have not seen any real promotional efforts by SUP to expand the US market like they have in the UK, India, or Russia.
Anyway, it's still one of those things in the area of "well, you can say that all you like, but when the time comes...", but I think that the intentions as they stand are at the very least heartfelt. They have to start somewhere, and only time can tell if they'll bear out [23]

Account structure

Dreamwidth vs. LiveJournal

LiveJournal Dreamwidth Studios
ACCOUNT STRUCTURE

LiveJournal currently has a six-tier account structure.

  • Basic accounts: LiveJournal accounts are available for free to all valid registrants. Basic accounts offer a limited number of features in relation to the other accounts offered.
  • Early Adopter: No longer open to new users, this account was created and made available to users registered before September 14, 2000. Early Adopters are offered some extended features over free account users, but do not receive any new paid features.
  • Plus accounts: Plus accounts offer access to certain enhanced features and storage. This free level of service is subsidized by advertising viewed by these account holders throughout the Service and by most visitors to their Content.
  • Paid accounts: Paid accounts are available for term-based fee and offer users most extended and basic features that LiveJournal offers. These accounts are issued in accordance with the terms set forth by http://www.livejournal.com/paidaccounts/ and http://www.livejournal.com/site/accounts.bml. Paid accounts are nontransferable and non-refundable. Once a username is chosen and paid for, that user generally retains it until the journal is deleted, whether by LiveJournal or the user.
  • Permanent accounts: These accounts have access to all the paid account features for as long as the Service continues to run, with no recurring fees. These accounts are generally bestowed upon the LiveJournal founders, administrators, or those that have earned a Permanent account by virtue of "Work Excellence" for LiveJournal. LiveJournal administrative communities such as news, development, etc., are also established as Permanent accounts for the benefit of LiveJournal users.
  • Sponsored accounts: Sponsored accounts grant free level of services, include access to the majority of features that Paid accounts offer. This type of account is subsidized by sponsors.

For a full overview of the features offered to each account type, see http://www.livejournal.com/paidaccounts/. By using the Service, you agree to this structure, and to LiveJournal's right to change, modify, or discontinue any type of account and/or its respective services.

Dreamwidth Studios currently has a tiered account structure.
  • Free Accounts are available free of charge. To create a free account, you will need an invitation ("invite code") from an existing Dreamwidth Studios user. Free accounts can access basic site functions, but do not receive access to all extended site features.
  • Paid Accounts are available for term-based fee and receive access to all extended site features.
  • Premium Paid Accounts are available for term-based fee and receive access to all extended site features, at higher limits (for those features that have limits) than those given to paid accounts.
  • Seed Accounts are reserved for those who have contributed significantly to the Dreamwidth Studios project, at our discretion. They receive all features available to premium paid accounts, at those limits, for as long as Dreamwidth Studios continues to operate, without need for future payment.

Payments to Dreamwidth Studios, for account services or for any other purpose, are refundable or transferable solely at Dreamwidth's discretion.

By using this Service, you agree to this account structure, and to Dreamwidth's right to change, modify, or discontinue any type of account or the features available to it at any time.

COPPA and Minors

Compared to LiveJournal, Dreamwidth Studios draws much less attention to COPPA. The site also fails to have special protections for minors in their Terms of Service. These exclusions allow material such as lolicon to be admissable according to their Terms of Service.

Dreamwidth vs. LiveJournal

The following text compares how the two services address COPPA:

LiveJournal Dreamwidth Studios
Special Rules Information Relating to Children
  • The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act ("COPPA") requires that we inform parents and legal guardians about how we collect, use, and disclose personal information from children under 13 years of age. LiveJournal is not directed at children under 13 years of age but, we recognize that with proper adult supervision some parents might permit their children to visit LiveJournal and use our Service. COPPA requires that we obtain the consent of parents and guardians in order for children under 13 years of age to use certain features of LiveJournal.
  • When your child attempts to register and/or provide personal information to LiveJournal, we require a parent or legal guardian to:

1. complete the registration;

2. review our privacy policy and to submit a valid credit card number to verify that the child's parent or guardian knows about and authorizes our information practices related to children protected by COPPA; and

3. verify through the use of an email confirmation and second authorization that the parent or guardian consents to the Terms of Service and this privacy policy.

  • Once parental notice and consent has been verified, the information we collect will be treated the same as information collected from any other user of LiveJournal. Without verified parental notice and consent, we will not knowingly collect personal information relating to children under 13 years of age, and if we learn that we have inadvertently collected such information, we will promptly delete it.

How Parents can Access their Children's Personal Information

In compliance with COPPA, a parent or legal guardian may request from us to review, delete or stop the collection of personally identifiable information relating to their child or any child in their legal custody who is under 13 years of age. You may do so in one of two ways.

If you know the user name and password, follow the instructions below regarding Changing your Preferences and Personal Information, or you may contact us by letter, phone or email using the address information provided at the bottom of this page.

If you request that no further information about your child be collected or used, we will be required to terminate your child's ability to use any part of the Service that requires a user to "sign in." [24]

The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act ('COPPA') requires that we inform parents on how we collect and disclose the personal information of children under the age of 13.

We do not permit children under the age of 13 to use our service. To prevent this, we collect date of birth at the time of account creation. If your child under the age of 13 has mis-represented their age at account creation, please contact us at coppa@dreamwidth.org. After confirming your identity, we will remove the account.

Features

Commenting

Other services

Like LiveJournal, users can comment on posts. These comments are e-mailed to the blog owner, if they have their preferences set that way.

Comments as spam

In late April 2009, early May 2009, several e-mail hosts had labeled these e-mail notifications as spam and were default sending these comments to spam folders. Hosts who did this included ATT. [25]


Comment importing

One of Dreamwidth's special features is the ability to import previous journal entries from other LiveJournal clones, such as JournalFen or InsaneJournal. This feature includes the import of comments made in the original posts. Many have praised this added ability, while others have wondered if it constitutes a copyright violation. Their concern is that commenters have not given permission for their comments to be published at Dreamwidth and may not want to be represented there.[26],[27],[28] For these people, it is a matter of control over what they consider to be their intellectual property and online identity. [29]

There has been additional criticism of comment importing because some see it as providing Dreamwidth Studios with content to attract a larger audience and become more profitable:

For me it's not so much about how people view seeing my posts there, but that my work is being used to provide content on a site, which is value to them, without my knowledge or permission.
User-produced content is an asset. It's not about what people THINK. [30]

Friending

You can subscribe to people with out granting them access to FLocked posts. [31] Dreamwidth has actually changed the entire "friend" system, instead calling it your "Circle". If you choose to "Subscribe" to someone in your circle, you can read their (unlocked) posts without giving them access to your locked ones. If you "Give Access" to someone, that person can read your locked posts, without you having to follow theirs on your reading page. Filters can still be used to manage access, reading, etc.

This feature has again caused some discussion and arguments. While some praise the ability to give access to a journal without having to read that person's post, others believe this will make the hierarchy of Big Name Fans only more clear and stronger. By removing the "ruse" of friending someone only to filter them out, more people may get their feelings hurt by finding they've been Given Access to someone's journal without being Subscribed to.

Icons

You can upload multiple icons at once. [32] Free users get 6 icon slots, paid users get 75, and seed accounts get 200.[33]

Open ID

OpenID is supported. OpenID2 is not supported. This means that some people cannot comment logged in over there. [34] People who had registered an OpenID account with Dreamwidth Studios before April 30 were sent an invite code once Open Beta opened up, negating the need for them to pay for an account or receive a code from a previous beta user in order to use the site.

Post lengths

The site has longer posting limits compared to LiveJournal. [35]

Hosting

Dreamwidth Studios uses a hosting solution provided by SliceHost. They have commented in support tickets on Dreamwidth Studios regarding their configuration, saying:

Just glad that the global slave database server was on a different physical box. Did you ask for that or did it just happen?
In theory everything is supposed to be on separate boxes. This incident has revealed that it doesn't seem to be a guarantee. Since then though I've emailed back and forth with Slicehost support a few times, and they gave me a list of what is sharing hardware now, and offered to break them up so as not to share hardware. [36]

Fandom reactions

Fandom reactions have been mixed, between those who have embraced the idea of Dreamwidth wholeheartedly and those who have reservations.

Many, particularly among the metafandom and acafen groups of media fandom, have campaigned hard and vociferously to promote Dreamwidth as the next new platform for "fandom". Others have responded with both cynicism and resentment. Some have pointed out that major changes in fandom communication technology have not been based on one particular service or another (ie, LiveJournal vs. JournalFen vs. Dreamwidth) but more on the entire platform: mailing lists vs. Usenet vs. blogging, etc. Others have expressed reticence to move when they have established a presence for many years on one service already. Some have felt as well that the campaigning to convert users to Dreamwidth has been offensive in its bombardment techniques, or too "clique"-based because of who got early invite codes to use the site and who didn't.

metafandom itself has linked, in a method that some find preferential and biased, to a great number of pro-Dreamwidth postings and very few oppositional posts.

Please see Discussion links for references and further details.

Communities

Manics

Panfandom

  • "a_gamer_is_me -- an all-inclusive gaming comm for discussion, squee, reviews, fic, icons and anything else having to do with games--where game is defined as just about any gaming practice aside from sports." [37]
  • "random_fic_is_random -- A pan-fandom, all types of fic welcome, challenge comm that changes challenges on a regular basis. We plan to do all kinds of fun things with it;"

non-fandom

  • "a_reader_is_me -- a reading challenge comm where you set your own goals. So whether you want to read 5 books before the end of summer or 75 books in the next year, you're welcome to post about it and review/list your books here." [38]

Community creation

Around May 3, 2009, community creation was modified to only allow people to create three communities per week. This was done to prevent large scale name squatting on communities that are popular on LiveJournal and InsaneJournal. [citation needed]

Discussion and meta

In May 2009, the meta discussion involving Race Fail 2009 started to take place on Dreamwidth Studios. [39][40][41] [42] [43]

Size

Number of members

Number of members as of May 2, 2009

The site saw an increase in a number of registered users when they opened up registration to the general public on May 1, 2009.

Date Total Accounts That are active in some way That have ever posted an entry That have posted an entry in last 30 days That have posted an entry in the last 7 days That have posted an entry in the last 24 hours
May 2, 2009 228878 27252 10359 10324 8841 4120
May 5, 2009 286805 34106 14117 14080 12592 5034
May 6, 2009 301085 36333 15603 15564 14077 4845
May 7, 2009 314431 38106 16871 16819 15294 3882
May 9, 2009 321405 38879 17564 17493 13172 2824
May 10, 2009 323769 39087 17786 17710 12115 2912
May 11, 2009 328542 39514 18157 18054 11055 3420
May 12, 2009 334359 39948 18576 18450 10352 3561
May 14, 2009 339486 39981 19100 18832 9574 3211
May 15, 2009 342599 39866 19341 18983 9395 3198
May 16, 2009 344280 39767 19507 19100 9292 2641
May 18, 2009 360117 43277 21237 20742 10514 3930
May 20, 2009 375959 45359 22573 21950 11142 3989
May 23, 2009 383491 45547 23661 22886 11578 2779
May 25, 2009 387849 45828 24124 23277 10396 3036
May 27, 2009 389474 45890 24350 23460 9985 3378
May 28, 2009 393429 45827 24729 23765 9234 3339
June 8, 2009 403253 34587 26226 18478 8364 3102
June 10, 2009 404508 34047 26440 18155 8148 3126
June 12, 2009 405357 33306 26623 17680 7931 2927
June 21, 2009 413084 27900 27890 15177 8253 2566
June 22, 2009 413933 27890 28058 15106 8382 3197
June 23, 2009 414706 27738 28233 15072 8456 3173
June 25, 2009 416173 27373 28480 14896 8295 3200
June 26, 2009 416473 27118 28561 14779 8236 3081
June 28, 2009 417705 26662 28781 14573 8141 2529
June 29, 2009 418203 26520 28941 14607 8096 3094
June 30, 2009 418612 26343 29031 14517 7966 2998
July 1, 2009 418843 26187 29114 14432 7851 2936
July 2, 2009 419230 25977 29201 14320 7703 2838
July 3, 2009 419499 25748 29260 14192 7590 2639
September 3, 2009 443092 20556 33232 11679 7174 3128
October 6, 2009 449713 18715 34538 10970 6967 3053
October 7, 2009 450503 18975 34646 11035 7072 3128
October 9, 2009 450988 19020 34762 11030 7067 3042
October 11, 2009 451318 18929 34849 10940 7008 2416
October 13, 2009 451858 18972 34967 10930 7018 3099
October 21, 2009 453061 19013 35263 10932 6990 3112
December 12, 2009 463558 19709 37421 11067 7099 2539
December 15, 2009 465416 19496 37612 11128 7276 3541
December 17, 2009 466220 19378 37730 11139 7317 3187
December 20, 2009 466623 19400 37843 11098 7326 2620
December 21, 2009 466842 19432 37880 11126 7327 3255
December 22, 2009 467051 19523 37929 11141 7249 3231
December 23, 2009 467385 19530 37971 11139 7216 3180
December 25, 2009 467807 19369 38023 11120 7166 2647
December 26, 2009 467934 19328 38056 11091 7138 2276
December 27, 2009 468044 19328 38095 11116 7092 2284
December 31, 2009 468786 19449 38238 11162 6912 3276

Traffic

Dreamwidth Studios saw a large traffic spike in late April 2009. Some of this was because of excessive promoting on LiveJournal and on Twitter.

Search traffic

According to spyfu, as of May 10, 2009, the top keywords driving traffic to the site are:

21 confirm address
26 lj cut html
31 keywordsbot com
34 lj cut how to
36 phoenix learning
37 lj cut
37 marine corps recruiting
40 lj cut tags
44 ljuser
44 marine corp recruiter [44]

More traffic information

External Links

Discussion

By date

March 29, 2009

March 30, 2009

March 31, 2009

April 2, 2009

April 8, 2009

April 9, 2009

Icon used in support of Dreamwidth, invoking sheep symbolism

April 10, 2009

April 11, 2009

April 15, 2009

April 17, 2009

An icon used in support of Dreamwidth Studios.

April 18, 2009

April 19, 2009

April 20, 2009

April 21, 2009

April 22, 2009

April 24, 2009

April 35, 2009

April 26, 2009

April 30, 2009

May 1, 2009

May 2, 2009

May 3, 2009

May 4, 2009

May 5, 2009

Icon which appeared in discussions in May 2009 regarding Live Journal vs. Dreamwidth Studios.

May 6, 2009

May 7, 2009

May 8, 2009

July 2, 2009

December 12, 2009

December 15, 2009

December 15, 2009

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