Hello from all of us here at LiveJournal.
The LiveJournal team returned to Moscow in early May just as the summer heat which knocked us sideways in Delhi was moving north to greet us in Moscow (yes, it gets hot in Moscow, hotter than you think.) In the two months that have passed we have learnt a lot about the role which LiveJournal currently plays in India and what it might be able to achieve in the future.
Let us make a few things very clear. We know that LiveJournal is in desperate needs of upgrades and investment. When our company (SUP) bought LiveJournal last December, we were very upfront about this. Indeed we posted our development plans for LiveJournal worldwide back in March, you can read them here.
Since that post in the spring we have recruited more than a dozen new people to work on LiveJournal in our US office and they have been integrated with the team that has been working on LiveJournal in Russia (over 100 people in total). We are on target to meet the goals which we set ourselves in terms of speed, usability, design, functionality and new features. These will deliver benefits to LiveJournal across the globe and you will see more changes in India pretty soon. For instance, since the beginning of the year we have fixed more than 300 bugs (phew) and improved site delivery by average of 40% globally.
As you might know LiveJournal has a significant presence in Russia, where SUP is based, and America, where LiveJournal was founded. Thanks to the ingenuity of LiveJournal users, and the wonderful flexibility of the web, it has spread like a benevolent virus across the globe. Our figures suggest that there are over 100,000 unique monthly visitors to LiveJournal in India and more than a 1,000 regular contributors (don’t forget on LiveJournal many more people read than write and we hope that you will help change that in favour of those who write and also read
For LiveJournal to build, grow, and prosper it needs to be extend its global footprint in markets where it is already reasonably strong, like Singapore, and ones where it is relatively unknown beyond its core audience, like India.
We have chosen India as the first stop on our global roadshow because we believe that social media in India is at a tipping point, with users looking for a new range of services AND platforms now in a position to offer them.
So, what are we going to do in India?
It is clear to us that we need to focus out energy in three clear areas
Localization – we want LiveJournal to be something which anyone online in India is able to use- , that means proper translations and multilingual interfaces. Apart from the obvious linguistic issues, please let us know about other areas which you think we need to focus on.
Socialization - LiveJournal is not just another social network, it is a platform for words and pictures which can be shared and discussed with ease. To turn our warm words into action we need to kick start this process and in the next few weeks we will be unveiling a campaign which we hope will bring more people into the community and boost the content which they have access to. Watch this space for more updates.
Integration – we want LiveJournal to be accessible through any number of platforms, in Russia we work with many publishers to extend the reach of LiveJournal, in the US LiveJournal it is integrated into many sites which offer “Blog this” functionality – this is something which we will do in India too. Tell us which sites you think we should be working with.
There will be more to say soon. We do not want to run before we can walk, nor do we want to raise expectations too high. But we are determined to make progress with this and we will soon, needless to say, with your help.
The team @ LiveJournal India