mark: A photo of Mark kneeling on top of the Taal Volcano in the Philippines. It was a long hike. (Default)
Mark Smith ([staff profile] mark) wrote in [site community profile] dw_news2010-02-22 08:58 pm

Weekly Update: February 22nd, 2010

Monday, Monday! And this time, I actually manage to get the update written and posted on Monday. Huzzah! We have a few things to discuss today, of various levels of importance, so let's dive right in.

1. Credit Card Payments (Again)



In a repeat of last month's situation, we have once again come under attack by the same group of people attempting to extort us out of business. We've been back and forth in discussion with Google Checkout, our current payment processor, but they've decided to terminate our business relationship unless we alter our Terms of Service to prohibit all adult content.

This means that we are once again temporarily unable to accept credit cards to buy paid time for your Dreamwidth account, since prohibiting all adult content on the site goes against our Guiding Principles of free expression. We're really sorry about the problem, believe me, but we think it's important to stick to our promises to you. More than important, really: it's a requirement. We're not going to go back on our promises simply because Google and PayPal are unwilling to work with us.

We are in discussion with several alternate payment processors who share our commitment to free speech, and we will have another -- hopefully more permanent -- solution implemented as quickly as we can. In the meantime, the offer we extended the last time this happened still applies: if your paid account is about to expire, email us at accounts@dreamwidth.org and we'll extend your paid time for you.

On behalf of both Denise and myself, please accept our apologies. I know that this inconveniences more than a few of you; we will have this resolved just as soon as we are able and we will keep you informed in the weekly updates.


2. Spam Volume Up



The amount of spam comments being posted has gone up in the past week. We've noticed, and our spam whomping team has been on top of that. In particular, thanks to [personal profile] beatrice_otter for all of her work on taking care of the spam reports that everybody's been making.

Please remember, if you get any comments to your entries that are spammy in nature, to check the 'mark this comment as spam' when you delete it. That will really help us by informing our spam team that you were spammed. It also gives us access to the IP address of the poster, which we can use to look for patterns to ban the spammers.


3. Development Update



This week's code tour is brought to you by [personal profile] yvi who took time out of her busy schedule to report on all of the bugs (23!) that have been resolved lately:

http://dw-dev.dreamwidth.org/38178.html

One of the big changes: [personal profile] grimsniffer updated the current draft saving functionality so that it saves all of the metadata in addition to just the subject and body. This functionality will be used when we do the big update to draft posts, so thank you!

Work continued on the cross-site reading list, account renames, styles, and other suggestions, features, and bugs. To all of the people who help to make Dreamwidth go: thank you! I appreciate every one of you.


4. One Year Meetups



It's still two months away, but we're starting to think about meetups and parties and things for Dreamwidth's one year anniversary (of Open Beta). [personal profile] katieastrophe is kicking the ball off in [community profile] uk:

http://uk.dreamwidth.org/3846.html

We'll be posting more in our weekly updates as the time gets closer, but Denise and I are planning on having some sort of official get together. We haven't decided on which coast, where, when, or any of the details, but stay tuned.

Speaking of, we're looking to create some Dreamwidth schwag. Stickers, shirts, mugs, things like that. We'll announce in a week or two some sort of contest where people can submit designs and we'll get the community involved to vote on what they think best represents the site. There will be prizes, so stay tuned.


5. And I Saved the Best for Last!



In this particular case, I saved the absolute best part of this weekly update for last, because it's just so incredibly exciting for us. Seriously. We've actually been contemplating this decision for some time now (months), but we finally decided to go for it. Things look good for us financially and we feel that this decision will benefit the site in so many ways that we can't even predict.

I suppose I should get to the point. :-)

We have made an offer to pay [personal profile] afuna to work on Dreamwidth full-time. She has accepted, and will be starting in early April once she wraps up the responsibilities she has at her current job.

The number of full-time staff for Dreamwidth is now up to three, and I couldn't be happier. Afuna has been one of our strongest contributors since the very beginning of the site. She stepped up and took over the styles process and is currently the go-to person for all styles related code questions, reviews, and commits. She demonstrated similar capability and determination when she started reviewing patches, earning herself access to commit privileges. She's been helping us on business related features (renames, payment system improvements). In short, she's been integral in getting us where we are now; we truly could not have done it without her.

This will be awesome!


6. That's All



That's all I have for this week. Remember, if you have a paid account expiring, let us know and we'll toss you an extension. I'll see you next week for my last update this month, and then Denise will take over for March.

And now: Monday night House (darn mid-season breaks), Heroes (forgot it ended), and 24!
zillah975: Painting of my Night Elf, Tyrnathera Stormcaller (Default)

[personal profile] zillah975 2010-02-23 05:15 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you for sticking to your guns on the credit card issue. It's nuts that these places don't want to accept your -- OUR -- business just because there's legal adult content on the site, but I really appreciate your commitment to free expression and to your users.
brooksmoses: (Default)

[personal profile] brooksmoses 2010-03-02 07:33 am (UTC)(link)
Not entirely nuts, from a purely capitalistic point of view -- I expect that they equate "there's legal adult content on the site" with "the site sells access to adult content", and those places are notorious for high rates of credit-card chargebacks. (I remember reading recently about someone who worked at an porn host or something about like that; they had someone with a fulltime job of calling the credit card companies to appease them and get them to turn the merchant accounts back on.)

Okay, I suppose that equating the two is, itself, arguably nuts. Maybe it saves them them bother of drawing a less-clear line in a more reasonable location, I guess. Places like PayPal and Google Checkout probably don't have the manpower to look into things enough to figure out things that anywhere in the "shades of gray" range.
firefox: (Make No Comparison)

[personal profile] firefox 2010-02-23 05:15 am (UTC)(link)
I'm sorry you guys keep having these problems with credit card payment. Maybe third time charm will kick in.
kiwikiwi: (ToV: Okay! That's wonderful! H-Haha!)

[personal profile] kiwikiwi 2010-02-23 05:15 am (UTC)(link)
Huzzah for more staff, boo on insistent nanny-groups. Thank you so much for continuing to not give in to that.
laughingrat: Emma Goldman speaking to a crowd of laborers (Obstreperous Loudmouth)

[personal profile] laughingrat 2010-02-23 05:17 am (UTC)(link)
Well, the situation described #1 is beyond bad. Thanks for not giving in--again.
vangirl: (Default)

[personal profile] vangirl 2010-02-23 05:17 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you for sticking up for us on this. The fact that you guys are willing to fight for free speech is what's kept me here. ♥
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)

[staff profile] denise 2010-02-23 05:17 am (UTC)(link)
OMG WE WILL HAVE A FULL-TIME [personal profile] afuna!
damned_colonial: Catlonian people doing a folk dance waving their hands in the air. (paul gross arms)

[personal profile] damned_colonial 2010-02-23 05:41 am (UTC)(link)
\o/

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annathepiper: (Default)

[personal profile] annathepiper 2010-02-23 05:20 am (UTC)(link)
Oh geez, I'm sorry you guys have to go through round two of this. If it's any consolation, your fine handling of round 1 is what made me decide to put down for a paid account here--and I'm glad I did. Hang in there. Your efforts are most appreciated.
deird1: Fred looking pretty and thoughful (Default)

[personal profile] deird1 2010-02-23 06:11 am (UTC)(link)
Well, the way they've been handling this has just convinced me to buy an account the moment they're available. This site really is awesome for sticking to their guns.

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medie: an astonished Jessica Fletcher with the text "my word, it's made of fail!" (msw - jessica - thinks you're dumb)

[personal profile] medie 2010-02-23 05:20 am (UTC)(link)
...guess Google never got that whole 'glass houses' metaphor, huh?

*facepalm*

Might be an inconvenience, but I think, at least for me, it's a livable one. I'm just sorry you guys keep having to put up with this stuff. It certainly can't be making life fun, but thank you for not giving in.
blnchflr: Remus/Ghost!Sirius (Default)

[personal profile] blnchflr 2010-02-23 07:15 am (UTC)(link)
Considering Google's latest actions and dedication to information gathering, I'm not sure I would have felt comfortable handing over my credit information to them. I'd take my chances with a $20 bill in the mail before I used Google checkout, I think :o/

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chagrined: Marvel comics: zombie!Spider-Man, holding playing cards, saying "Brains?" (brains?)

[personal profile] chagrined 2010-02-23 05:22 am (UTC)(link)
Best of luck with the further negotiations with possible payment processors!

And, yay! This user had a very positive interaction with [personal profile] afuna upon venturing timidly into #dw_styles, and is pleased to hear the news of #5. :)
perestroika: Ryoji of Persona 3 saying "Wow, I thought I just heard something stupid!" (i thought i just heard something stupid)

[personal profile] perestroika 2010-02-23 05:23 am (UTC)(link)
Congrats to [personal profile] afuna!

I really hope y'all can find a solution to this payment dilemma. Best of luck!
perestroika: Tidus and Yuna from Final Fantasy X with P!atD lyrics (when the day met the night)

[personal profile] perestroika 2010-02-23 05:25 am (UTC)(link)
Talk about inappropriate icon... *blush* Whoops.

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biodamped: ([dw] xD)

[personal profile] biodamped 2010-02-23 05:24 am (UTC)(link)
Ugh. I'm sorry to hear that about the credit card payments; that really sucks for you guys. Mine's not due to expire until May so hopefully you'll be sorted by then.

Congratulations [personal profile] afuna, that's fantastic! :D
tifa: (>8()

[personal profile] tifa 2010-02-23 05:27 am (UTC)(link)
Again? D: I don't know who keeps doing this, but I also want to thank you guys for sticking to your guns instead of just giving up. ♥ And for telling us too!
j00j: rainbow over east berlin plattenbau apartments (Default)

[personal profile] j00j 2010-02-23 05:27 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks for sticking with your commitment to free speech even when the payment processors are being absurdly difficult. I am proud to be a dreamwidth user!

Also, congratulations to dreamwidth and [personal profile] afuna!
elke_tanzer: sing your own song (sing your own song)

Thank you.

[personal profile] elke_tanzer 2010-02-23 05:28 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you so much (again) for sticking up for us re: #1. If there's anything we all can do to help, don't hesitate to let us know.

[personal profile] zoanthropic 2010-02-23 05:28 am (UTC)(link)
You guys need to send some lawyers after those people. This is ridiculous.
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)

[staff profile] denise 2010-02-23 05:39 am (UTC)(link)
We aren't discussing the steps we're taking in public, on specific advice, but trust me, those steps are being taken!

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sarken: leaves of mint against a worn wall ([1776] mr. adams)

[personal profile] sarken 2010-02-23 05:28 am (UTC)(link)
Yay, [personal profile] afuna!

I look forward to credit card payments coming back, because I have a few bucks with Dreamwidth's name written all over it. You guys are being awesome.
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)

[staff profile] denise 2010-02-23 05:35 am (UTC)(link)
We do still take checks and money orders. :)

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lanterne_rouee: opal dreamsheep (dreamsheep opal2)

[personal profile] lanterne_rouee 2010-02-23 05:29 am (UTC)(link)
thank you for the update.

thank you for keeping your word.

thank you, everybody, for all your hard work.

congrats to [personal profile] afuna on the new job!
srevans: (Default)

[personal profile] srevans 2010-02-23 05:29 am (UTC)(link)
1. I have to echo: thank you for not sacrificing freedom of content in order to expedite credit card payments. I too feel rotten for paid accounts whom this affects in the next little bit, but seriously, thank you, admin.

3. [personal profile] grimsniffer updated the current draft saving functionality so that it saves all of the metadata in addition to just the subject and body.

Hooray! One of my least favorite parts about saving drafts was making sure I put the metadata in the "text" box before closing out.

5. And yes, congrats to you guys and [personal profile] afuna, both. :)
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)

[staff profile] denise 2010-02-23 05:40 am (UTC)(link)
Wait until you see the next step -- full, multiple-drafts-at-a-time capability, with provisions for scheduling posts, retracting posts after publication back to draft status for revision and republication later, and setting up posts as recurring ("post this every week at X time"). It's gonna be awesome

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technoshaman: (poke)

[personal profile] technoshaman 2010-02-23 05:30 am (UTC)(link)
Guys, the trolls aren't fighting fair. Don't take it.

Go after them. It's costing you real money; it should cost them real money.

If you don't wanna, or it's too costly for DW themselves, at least expose these bastards for who they are. I want to be able to call them out. You guys run a good, legit, open, above-board service, and they should not have the luxury of anonymity.
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)

[staff profile] denise 2010-02-23 05:38 am (UTC)(link)
We aren't discussing the steps we're taking in public, on specific advice, but trust me, those steps are being taken!

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darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)

[personal profile] darkemeralds 2010-02-23 05:31 am (UTC)(link)
I'll join most everyone who's commented so far in saying "Thank you for sticking to your guns." Your strong stance has made me transfer my little mite of blog business over here, and really, getting a money order and mailing it was more of a piece of cake than I remembered.

I really appreciate your commitment to your principles.
strigine: l33t Pirate Arwen (Default)

[personal profile] strigine 2010-02-23 07:19 am (UTC)(link)
(apropos of nothing, your icon is super-purty. *_*)

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jamethiel: A white water lily is reflected against dark water (NightLily)

[personal profile] jamethiel 2010-02-23 05:33 am (UTC)(link)
Again? Seriously, what's it going to take for these people to give up?

And on another note, YAY for you. Well done on your handling of this--open, honest and transparent. I'm sorry about the inconvenience of the credit card stuff but thank you so much for not deleting our content because it would be easier for you.

Also, YAY! New member of staff!
stormy: βͺ ππŽπ“πˆπ‚π„ ❫ 𝑫𝑢 𝑡𝑢𝑻 𝑻𝑨𝑲𝑬 𝑴𝒀 𝑰π‘ͺ𝑢𝑡𝑺 ⊘ (Default)

[personal profile] stormy 2010-02-23 05:33 am (UTC)(link)
Congrats [personal profile] afuna!

And don't worry, I believe the community on Dreamwidth is more than patient with the issues of payment processing and freedom of speech. After all, it feels like we've all waited an eternity for a site we could trust.
lexi: (apple/mac: think different)

[personal profile] lexi 2010-02-26 02:27 am (UTC)(link)
This.
lacey: (Dreamwidth- D)

[personal profile] lacey 2010-02-23 05:34 am (UTC)(link)
Congratulations to you, fufu <3

Thank you for sticking to your principles and defending us.

Can't wait for when I can wear my Dreamwidth shirt! I'll take a few XL tees <3

So proud and happy to be here! Thank ya'll SO MUCH.
hypatia: (Default)

[personal profile] hypatia 2010-02-23 05:36 am (UTC)(link)
omfg congrats on hiring [personal profile] afuna. i'm peeved about the CC stuff, and will send you a money order!
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)

[staff profile] denise 2010-02-23 05:42 am (UTC)(link)
The moment when Fu said 'yes', I pretty much exploded in glee. We could not possibly hope for a better "first employee (other than us)" :)
vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)

[personal profile] vlion 2010-02-23 05:39 am (UTC)(link)
I join the crowd thanking you for sticking to your principles. I am very glad to be a paid member of a site that espouses free speech.

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