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[Exclusive] LiveJournal to track and promote popular communities

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LiveJournal will be rolling out a feature that could breathe new life into the 13-year-old platform.

Starting sometime this month, the front page of LiveJournal.com will consist of a feed that updates with the 100 most-trafficked entries every hour. Visitors will not need to be signed in—or even LiveJournal users—in order to check out what’s currently buzzing on the platform.

Anjelika Petrochenko, LiveJournal’s U.S. general manager, likened the new format to “Reddit without the karma system.” The site willl select the most popular stories from all of LiveJournal’s public communities, but rank them on traffic—not comments.

“This [feature] shows you what a lot of people already found interesting on LiveJournal,” she said. “You’ll feel encouraged to check it out and maybe find something new for you.”

The yet-to-be-named feature (LiveJournal HQ is debating between “Top Entries” and “Top Community Posts” so far) already exists internally at LiveJournal HQ for the editorial team. For the external version, however, the feed won’t show exact hit numbers, just an overall popularity ranking.

A similar version of the feature already exists on LiveJournal’s Russian counterpart, LiveJournal.ru. (The site is currently sporadic, due to a previously reported DDoS attack.)

Petrochenko said the  “huge success” of the Russian version was a factor in bringing it over to the states. There’s one key difference: The Russian counterpart focuses on blog entries by popular users ; the U.S. version will display only LiveJournal community entries.

“In Russia, it’s more about big names in personal blogging,” she said. “On the American side, it’s so much more about community. Ninety-eight out of 100 entries are posted in communities, not peoples’ personal blogs.”

Based on the internal version of the feature, Petrochenko can already guess which LiveJournal communities are going to spend a lot of time on the top 100 list. There’s LiveJournal’s most popular community, Oh No They Didn’t!, plus spinoffs ONTDpolitical and ONTDglee. Then there’s saucydwellings, which is all about interior design.

One thing that’s certain. This feature is going to make it a lot easier to find the cream of the crop out of LiveJournal’s 50,000—by LiveJournal HQ’s estimate—active American communities.

“Every hour, it’ll be something new,” said Petrochenko. “I hope it’ll be a big deal for our users.”