Short, concise description of the idea
Subdomain URLs (like http://everdred.livejournal.com/384562.html) should not break when paid accounts expire.
Full description of the idea
Broken links are not happy things. And purposely breaking URLs when a paid account expires is exceptionally bad form.
While the paid user themselves are responsible for paying for their account, their readers probably suffer more when their paid status is allowed to lapse. While RSS feeds seem to properly redirect (which is good) and visiting a user's journal itself will present the reader with the proper URL (which isn't as bad as it could be), links to journal entries don't help the reader find the proper location of the entry they want to see.
The very ether of the Web (especially in this latter-day "Blogosphere"-thing) is linkage. There is simply no excuse for breaking peoples' links. ("Perma")Links that are once valid should stay valid permanently. Right?
I'm not posting this just for the sake of whining about wanting free stuff. While I've been paying for my account for a few years now and don't plan on stopping anytime soon, I'm usually too scared to even let people know my subdomain address exists because of the lack of permanence associated with it. Sometimes I let it slip, which is bad. (Oh no... what if someone... god forbid... BOOKMARKS everdred.livejournal.com and expects it to work next time they try to visit it?)
Unfortunately, it's not really under my control. Anyone who knows of the subdomain feature can access my journal that way, link to it, bookmark it, and so forth. Links and bookmarks that will someday die should I decide I no longer want to be a paid user or, heck, go into an extended coma.
- Fewer broken links
- Less headaches/no worrying about which URL scheme someone chooses to experience your journal with
- Paid users can use a paid feature they're entitled to with confidence
- Happy users
An ordered list of problems/issues involved
- Less incentive for people to renew their paid accounts, since they won't have the fear of broken linkage instilled in them
- Cost of maintaining subdomains for those who paid in the past but no longer do so (how significant is this cost?)
An organized list, or a few short paragraphs detailing suggestions for implementation
- A few alternate ideas:
- Perhaps only users who paid for a certain amount of paid account time over the life of their journal should have their subdomains made permanent. This shows that the user has made somewhat of a committment to LiveJournal. This isn't a great solution, though, as it makes certain paid users second-class citizens, of sorts.
- What about selling permanent subdomains as an add-on paid account feature? I'd personally consider paying for this since it's an issue of much concern to me, but LiveJournal might come off as being a bit sleazy if they were to offer this for sale. On top of that, subdomain breakage is something that hurts readers more than it does journal authors, and there's no reason readers should be expected to purchase the feature for someone else.
- What about having subdomain-style links to only entries posted while the user's paid account was in effect? This might, however, be making things more complicated than they need to be.