points out this exciting tidbit from news
We've always wanted to remove invite codes but it's a big, scary change, so we've been slow about it. Since we initially added them, though, we've added: screened comments, moderated communities, anti-spam-bot protection, community invites, and a few other anti-abuse measures. The final one we've been working on (if you follow lj_dev) is human tests: making users recognize a blurry word or distorted audio file before they can create a new account. This ensures accounts are made by humans and not spambots (which can't read blurry stuff or understand muddled audio). Anyway, we're rushing to finish that, and then the plan is to remove invite codes tomorrow or Friday morning. (the commercials gave us good motivation to finish by then)
But... we know people are divided on this issue, some wanting LiveJournal all open, and some wanting to keep it exclusive. Also, some people value their invite code collection, and would be offended if we devalued it by making them obsolete.
So, we have a plan. Users will be able to join LiveJournal without an invite code and have a "trial account" for 30 days. Trial accounts are identical to free accounts, except that after 30 days they won't be able to make new posts or comments unless they're either invited to stay by an existing user (with an invite code) or pay for a paid account. Paid accounts expire to free accounts (not trial accounts), so we're not forcing anybody to keep paying if they don't want the paid bonus stuff. Hopefully this is a fair compromise.
I am all for the prospect of LJ being a less exclusive district (though with more than a million and a half LJs out there, I'm not sure what exclusivity it can really claim); however, I am already a little nostalgic for the soon-to-be-bygone era of the invite code. I fondly recall the fawning letter I sent to masqthephlsphr
begging for my code. I have always taken pride in being having secured such an illustrious forebear (and I appreciate that she forbears from publicly expressing her disappointment in my paucity of updates); I am similarly prideful when I regard my own spawnling
, though I wish his user name were as mellifluous as his writing (atpo_tch
would be a little less easily rhymed). I will miss this self-selected genealogy (so much more rewarding and dare I say revealing than my real genealogy, which shows me to be the descendant of cultists and confederates), this tracing of intellectual bloodlines, this record of the ties and bonds of friendship. Plus, I've been hoarding up the 6 invite codes I have left for a special occasion, when I could have been trading them for cigarettes.
But there is still some time left! I can still have the spawnage of my dreams! And, seeing one of my favorite posters, after much too long an absence, drop by
the board, I can't help but reflect that matching_mole
would be a pretty sight indeed. Not to mention mundusmundi
, or even darby_with_an_epee_and_a_phd_in_biology
. Not to mention that with the success I've had with finding some of my college friends here on LJ, I hope to see benjamin_christopher_strong
before too long.
So the window of opportunity to become my spawn stands still slightly ajar; whether it will admit a balmy breeze or a chill wind I cannot say. If anyone is interested, drop me a note.
One more thing about this new policy. I foresee a small problem with the new regime: since users with trial accounts will be blocked from posting new entries and new comments after 30 days, they effectively have one month to kowtow to and curry favor with users with spare invite codes. I envision LJ becoming a place of great obsequiousness around the middle of January. Indeed, should there be a flood of new users, we might soon have a drought of invite codes. And once you're blocked from making new comments, how can you beg for a code?