ccupguy suggested that we have a system badness announcement site hosted completely outside speakeasy which users can go to if the site is down. Blogger have a site like this, and it seems easy enough to do...
We just need someone to offer up the use of a web server for this purpose, and then add a DNS entry for status.livejournal.com which points at that IP address. A password-protected form to fill in to add 'entries' to the front page of it using just a bunch of text files would be enough... no databases and other stuff to fall to bits.
This would complement lj_maintenance for unscheduled downtime, and hopefully reduce the amount of users who sit there repeatedly reloading an error message if we can give a considered ETA on the problem being fixed.
Anyone up for allowing one of their servers to be used for this purpose? It only needs a vhost... not a dedicated box. I suppose the data transfer might be quite high at times of down, but most of the time it'd be left pretty much alone I should think. Of course, if anyone wants to beg to differ, please feel free! I'd love to offer a server of my own for this, but I don't have any... so I can't.