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December 19, 2009

LiveJournal Research Report Examines User Issues of Trust, Passion and Privacy

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - LiveJournal Inc. today published a research report designed to examine the issues that are emerging at the interplay of online communication and personal expression, and to present those issues to the LiveJournal community and beyond for discussion. Today's report attempts to answer the question: what makes LiveJournal unique?

The answer to this question lies at the heart of "LiveJournal Users: Passionate, Prolific, and Private," available at http://www.livejournalinc.com/news.php. The report was written by Alice Marwick, a Ph.D. candidate in the Media, Culture, and Communication department at New York University.

Her findings indicate that if there is a defining characteristic of LiveJournal users, it is their passion. According to the report, "Long-term LiveJournal users speak passionately about how the site has connected them to other people, helped them meet their best friends or partners, encouraged lengthy and provocative conversations, and created a sense of engagement and trust between themselves, the site, and other users."

"In a world where personal expression often comes down to a short Twitter message or a Facebook status update, this report confirms that LiveJournal has created a platform for deep engagement built on passion and trust," according to Marwick.

Through a combination of primary and secondary research, the report goes on to discuss how this passion emerged on LiveJournal since its debut on the social media scene nearly a decade ago. Much of it is attributed to the combination of personal interest around diverse communities layered upon LiveJournal's filtering system (which gives users the option of public, private, Friends Only, or custom filters). As one respondent put it, "The comment/friends system mimics real-life social dynamics better than any other system I've ever used."

"LiveJournal's feature set encourages real, engaged, committed, long-term interaction with the site and friends met through the site, creating passionate users who care deeply about LiveJournal," adds Marwick. "With passionate users comes significant responsibility -- they constantly offer opinions, disagree with each other, and demand company and product accountability -- but they are absolutely crucial to the long-term success of LiveJournal."

The full report is available at http://www.livejournalinc.com/LJ_Research_Report.pdf, as well as at LiveJournal News, where users are encouraged to comment on the report findings.

"Alice has put a tremendous amount of work into this project and delivered a fascinating report," said Matthew Berardo, GM of LiveJournal. "I know that many LJ users will find the research thought-provoking and want to add their own perspective. We're encouraging them to do just that at LJ_News."

About LiveJournal

LiveJournal is one of the world's most respected community publishing platforms. Since its launch in the United States in 1999, LiveJournal has become the online home to a wide array of creative individuals looking to share common interests, meet new friends and express themselves. LiveJournal encourages community and personal expression by offering users both a user-friendly interface and the ability to deeply customize their journal. The site allows users to set up their own virtual diary and communicate with their friends by posting and receiving comments on each other's entries. In many countries the site's most popular functionality is the community aspect which allows users to engage each other on issues of common interest.

LiveJournal has registered more than 16 million accounts since its founding, and currently has a worldwide monthly audience of 20 million of whom 5.7 million are Russian based (Omniture, TNS Gallup). LiveJournal Inc. is headquartered in San Francisco, CA. For more information, please visit http://www.livejournalinc.com