LJ is sold!
Jan 05, 2005, 11:49pm EST
To quote danah, ah, shit. I’m not sure how this benefits LiveJournal. From Brad’s news post, it sounds like the main benefit is that they will receive non-engineering support for things like management and PR. Although Brad says, “they’ve [Ben and Mena] already shown that they’ll defer to me on issues of community,” I’m a bit skeptical.
I’ve seen a couple comments comparing it to Yahoo!’s acquisition of Geocities many years ago. That particular acquisition seems to represent the bad sides of a large company acquiring a small company: community destroyed and ads placed on all pages. Granted, this is a bit different since Six Apart isn’t really a large company like Yahoo!, but similar fears exist.
I admit that these fears are a bit irrational. The logic is that Six Apart doesn’t seem to provide anything that benefits LiveJournal users so any change that they make to LiveJournal will be for the worse. I admit that that’s a very pessimistic outlook on things, but Six Apart doesn’t seem to hold the ideological high ground that LiveJournal has with regards to free (open source and cost). I fear that future LiveJournal functionality will only be available to paying members.
I can relate to Brad’s desire to focus on technology, the fun stuff, but part of the desire comes from the sense that you’re helping a larger community of users. I hope Six Apart realizes the importance of this to the developers of LiveJournal and that serving the needs of a community is what makes LiveJournal the close knit community site it is today.
One could argue that Google’s acquisition of Blogger a couple years ago might have rasied similar concerns but hasn’t led to significant changes to users of Blogger (that I know of). But I think it’s a bit different, Blogger wasn’t as much of a community site as LiveJournal and Google didn’t have a similar product to get in the way.
On a related note, I’m happy to hear that LiveJournal will be getting TrackBack support.