When I first joined the site, this page was called a "social contract", and had the following paragraph: (search the page for ".promise.ads")
Stay advertisement free
It may be because it's one of our biggest pet peeves, or it may be because they don't
garner a lot of money, but nonetheless, we promise to never offer advertising space in our
service or on our pages.
When 6A bought LJ in January 2005, the "social contract" was changed to "guiding principles", and this paragraph was changed:
Avoid banner advertisements
As it's one of our larger pet peeves, we have avoided putting banner
advertisements on the site. Although our Terms of Service permits us to
change our policy in the future, we've found throughout the past few years
that our "paid accounts" business model has, so far, made banners ads
Of course I'm not going to hold anyone to a promise made by a former owner (though it would've been nice). But now, at some point, even this changed paragraph was removed.
It's starting to look like pir_anha was right about this sale from the beginning. Gradually, and with the best intentions of those behind it, this site is letting all of the good principles it was build on erode away, as it becomes just another site.
Watch lj_ads and news to see when the ads go live. I bet that when they do, there will be a lot of complaining in comments. But I'm less worried about the form ads take in the upcoming days and weeks, and more worried about the long-term implications of all of this. What's the next Guiding Principle to go?