The social networking market and ecosystem are in major flux and the early trailblazer LiveJournal announced today the formation of an Advisory Board that puts to rest any suspicion that the site will be fading away quietly after it was sold to a big Russian media company.
The new Board is made up of an all-star cast. Copyright and corruption fighter Larry Lessig, tech pioneer Esther Dyson and brilliant social network analyst danah boyd make up the group, along with Brad Fitzpatrick, whose work has been key in the development of LiveJournal itself, OpenID, social graph theory and the Google-led OpenSocial. That’s hot.
The timing couldn’t be better, if for no other reason than that by many accounts – LiveJournal is a mess.
It has always been one of the leaders in innovation, but it’s not been the cash-cow that other leading social networks have been. It’s also faced more than its share of controversy, blatant breast-feeders had their avatars struck down (not without a fight) in May 2006 and a scorched-earth campaign against sex themed groups knocked some “legitimate literary discussion” off-site in May of 2007. You know what that means: danah boyd is going to be a key asset for LiveJournal, especially in the month of May.
Why is this an exciting announcement? Because a large, important social network just got some of the best minds on the web to engage with it in this formative time of social networking acceleration and change. That means LiveJournal is going to do some very cool things, if they take the Advisory Board as seriously as they should.
Readers unfamiliar with the work of these luminaries should check out their blogs and Wikipedia pages.
- danah boyd’s blog, Wikipedia page and the most popular URLs tagged danahboyd on Del.icio.us
- Larry Lessig’s blog, Wikipedia entry and Techmeme discussion this week on his decision not to run for US Congress. (Too busy with LiveJournal, just couldn’t tell anyone yet.)
- Esther Dyson’s blog, Wikipedia page and tweets about Dyson
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