Now that I have been appointed High Supreme Overlord1 of all of the LJ communities I maintain, I shall now run MAD WITH POWER and delete them all, ruining all your lives and leaving everyone butthurt in my wake. PH3AR ME.
Er, actually, no. Stop panicking, people. Really.
First of all, if ownership is going to default to someone, it SHOULD default to the person who founded the community. That just makes sense. If I start a community, get some people to help me, and they then have the ability to kick me out and take over, that's pretty messed up (and I've seen it happen). If I start it, I should have control over it, including the ultimate right to delete it (and, really, if I haven't done it up to this point, I'm not going to, so calm down.) And if I leave a community and others are running it in my absence, then it's time for me to let it go (or at the very least promise I won't interfere with the day to day operations of the community until such time as it gets too bothersome to even have to appoint/delete new maintainers, at which time I *know* it's time for me to give it up).
Second of all, day to day, nothing's changed - if I'm there maintaining and moderating, then I'm still going to do it, and if I'm not, I'm not going to suddenly return and go mad with power, kick everyone out, and nuke the place (which some have suggested is going to happen to their communities - WTF?). You guys just keep on doing what you're doing - nothing's changed.
Third of all, the power to delete the community or promote/remove other maintainers hasn't changed - every maintainer had the ability to do this before, but now just one person does, and that one person has *always* had those powers. If you thought they were going to do it before and have had a problem with it, why did you leave them as a maintainer? All this means is that instead of that power being in the hands of many (which, to me, seems more of a potential problem then one person having that power), it'll be where it belongs - with the person who founded the community.
Fourthly, LJ is willing to work with you to fix problems. If your owner is AWOL, they either won't give ownership to them, or they'll work with you to give it to the right person. If the founder is still active and won't give up ownership to you, well tough beans - they're the ones that let you be a maintainer in the first place, so they should have the right to hire or fire you as they see fit. LJ needed a blanket tech fix and they had to do it retroactively (i.e., coming up with some kind of criteria for the software to do this across the board), so yes, there will be problems, but once they're fixed, things will be much better going forward.
All the butthurt "wah wah wah I've devoted my LIFE to this community and now it's being taken away from me wah wah wah" is just ridiculous. You're still a maintainer, you just don't have the power to flip the switch anymore. Cry moar - that should always go to the person who founded it. Doesn't that make sense? Am I wrong here?
And all the people coming up with either specific hypotheticals or such laser-focussed obscure situations that only pertain to them are being beyond reactionary. Yes, you have a special case that doesn't fit the rules. Good for you. So work with LJ and they'll help you out. In general, they're a good bunch of volunteers. And if things still don't swing the way you think they should? Go start your own community. (I wonder how much they'll argue that the maintainers they appoint should also have the same abilities as they do once they do?)
Anyway, a whole lot of tempest in a tiny, tiny teacup.
Edited to add: From the FAQ: "Maintainers cannot remove other maintainers, nor can they delete or rename the community. These abilities are reserved for the community owner." So maintainers can STILL ADD NEW MAINTAINERS. Even less has changed than I thought. Now that this is all coming out, the complaining is now "but if someone gets the title of owner it makes me feel UNLOVED" and similar such nonsense. WHATEVS. Move on.
Edited further to add: GIP, inspired by all this.
1And by "High Supreme Overlord," I mean "owner."
P.S. Thanks to whoever sent me the lemur! :D