I'm not that surprised the LJ has ended Basic Accounts. Everywhere I go, if I do not pay to use the service, I get ads. Photobucket, Insane Journal, Myspace, Real Player. They all give me ads, and have been doing so for quite a while now. In some cases since I joined.
Yes, when I first joined LJ I was delighted to be able to try it out for free, without Ads. I joined for fandom reasons, one of my favourite authors had friends locked her journal, and I e-mailed her to ask how I could still see the entries. That was it, I had to join Live Journal. I really haven't looked back since. It is a great place for fandom, and also to keep in contact with people. So much so, that after I joined, and LJ had a Permanent Account sale, I got one (Everyone points screaming "You have a Permanent Account, no wonder you do not care"). I was unhappy about the whole interests cover up, as it seemed LJ was ashamed of certain members of the community, who didn't give "right" impression to the general public, and Advertisers. They have responded to the concerns from the users, (how I hate that word, I still think it means they do not value us), and reinstated the interests in stats.
No what I object to is how LJ Management handled the whole issue. Not making it clear what they were going to do, and insulting us by saying it was to "Make signing up easier", cos of course we cannot handle three options, can we? /snark.
I except it was a financial decision, and if we are to keep LJ, it has to make money to run. Fair enough, but up to this
news release on the 13th, they were either trying to keep it away from the majority of the LJ community, or insulting us by making it seem they were doing us a favour.
They have to improve communications, and also image with the people who are here already. Yes management has to make tough decisions, and cannot always consult everyone, but a clear straightforward statement would've gone down so much better.