May 4th, 2002


As you may or may not have noticed, the Client Download Page has recently been updated. Hopefully all operational clients have been included. If you have a (working) client and want to be listed on the page, please leave a comment to this entry mentioning it.

I would also like to incite some important discussion about clients and LiveJournal. As LiveJournal is expanding, more and more clients are being released to the public. This is a great thing--more and more platforms are being supported and users are being given a greater number of choices in how they can interact with their journal. But, with numbers comes complexity, and we want to make this easy for the users.

Firstly, should it be recommended that every client author create a journal/community for their client? Users can be kept informed of updates through their friends list this way, among other things (mentioned below). A centralized place on LiveJournal for official information regarding the client in question should be preferred to an off-site page, if only for contiguity.

Secondly, and directly related to my first point, should all client journals/communities be permanent accounts? There is no rhyme or reason to the current setup, as some are perm, some are paid, and some are free. There isn't any benefit to making them permanent, really.

Thirdly, should version updates be posted in this community? Technically, there are better places to post such announcements, as most viewers of this community aren't the end users that authors are trying to inform, but mainly developers. This goes back to the first point.

This next part is more of a suggestion to all client authors, rather than open questions to the community.

Support for end-users needs to be discussed. Technically, the only three clients that Support offers help with are the Web client, the Semagic client, logjam, and the Win32 client. Given this, probably the best way to support those that are using your client is to keep an open community, where users can go to each other for support. If nobody else can help, then you can directly help them; this way you won't have to answer the simple questions yourself. Community posting is also a great way to hash out bug reports, as users can post "me too" messages, helping you isolate the cause of odd bugs. Along the same lines, you can get a good feel for what features your users desire.

If your client is popular enough, you've undoubtedly received emails asking for invite codes; perhaps it would be a good idea to incorporate messages into your client informing the user that if they do not have a LiveJournal, then they must get an invite code from a current user, and that the author will not give out any. A note on the downloads page might help too.

Thoughts? Questions? Comments?