So its true... Six Apart bought LiveJournal. I think the funniest thing was that, by the time they announced it, it was old news... a whole day old. We all posted and commented the thing to death before we knew anything about it including myself (you thought CNN was bad about making 24 hours of news out of nothing.) The truth is, we don't know what this means until at least a year from now, if not longer, and I don't think either of the companies knows either... well, not exactly anyway, which, to me, is what a marriage is supposed to be about.
I've always said that, if you're truly in it for the long haul, you're in a marriage for like 50 or 60 years. What could you possibly discover about each other in even a year or two that would somehow prepare you for 60... its insane. You need to just find someone who compliments you as a team and decide that, no matter what, this is the person I'd like to face the unknown with. I knocked this thing at first because I couldn't figure out why and I couldn't point to tangiable reasons that would create value. But, that doesn't matter. Inevitably, the landscape changes and all of the "best laid plans" go awry. I think marriages and mergers fail when people are too locked into a plan and what the future will bring, instead of just saying, "we have great resources, they have complimentary resources, we think we're better together." You can't predict the future and things won't always go your way... so just pick someone you love and hold on tight... seems that's what is happening here. I may not get it, but I can respect it.
Its too bad this didn't happen earlier, because had Howard Dean's blog had a little Current Mood: "So excited I might scream uncontrolably" smiley, we might have seen that coming and taken it better.
Make that $100,000,100. I will personally contribute $100 to the get Carlos Beltran fund if the Mets need help. This guy would be the best outfielder this franchise has EVER had.... I'm ALL for it.
Danah has more cultural insight into the blogworld in her pinky than I have altogether and assesses this deal from an interesting perspective. And yes, I'm one of those people that thought LJ was just for teens... obviously its a lot more than that. In fact, now that I think of it, I think of it like Diaryland and I've definately witnessed firsthand how close those communities are and how far away from the new blog wave that hit in '04.
This is almost as bad as when AMF bought Harley Davidson.
This is interesting, but I'm not sure I agree with OM's comment that Six Apart is somehow a natural fit. Certainly the LiveJournal audience is a drastically different crowd than the paying Typepad crowd or the Moveable Type users, but diversifying your audience by buying a group that is unlikely to ever pay for your product, well, I'm just not convinced that's a good way to go. I mean, how many fifteen year old girls are going to fork over a dime to get their site hosted, even if you do give them all of the fantastic features of Typepad/MT which I have come to know and love. Where's the payoff here? Perhaps it makes Six Apart more attractive as an acquisition candidate itself? It seemed like their growth would certainly make it attractive enough, and I can't honestly believe that LiveJournal's growth is any better.
Om writes "It also gives the company a very fighting chance against Google’s Blogger and Microsoft’s MSN Spaces." Fighting chance against MSN Spaces? I'm sorry, but I don't see the droves of people flocking to Spaces, and I can't really see any blue blooded blogger letting Bill and Steve host their little baby. I haven't seen numbers, but I never got the impression that MSN Spaces had any initial success. And as for Blogger, which is currently the biggest site, well, I never really thought of it as a "winner" takes all scenario. I always thought of Typepad/MT as a place for more sophisticated and professional bloggers that need more features and Blogger as the place to go for a simple, free service. There should be more than enough of the prior space to go around, if you include all of the corporate blogs, to build a viable business. That segment of the market, currently the only paying segment, is prime real estate and will be huge at some point.
I'll stop, because I definately don't have enough info to work with here so I'm not going to go guessing as to why they did it. But, let me tell you, if they try to generate revenues directly from LiveJournal members (I won't make that statement more explicit for fear of starting up the rumor mill), hell hath no fury like a fifteen year old LiveJournaler. Forget the backlash when they changed the MT pricing scheme...that would be nothing.
I'll think more about this on my way to work, but I can't really think of a good reason to spend your venture money on LiveJournal. If I'm missing something, I'd love to hear it.
So I checked my e-mail this morning and I had nine notices of trackbacks. "Ooh... my site is catching on, look at this." Nope... TRACKBACK SPAM. The trackbacks were total gibberish. So I added them to my blocked list and then deleted them.
Here's a question. I labeled them all "trackback spam" and then put them on my blocked list, but does any other user of Typepad benefit from that? I'm sure I wasn't the only one trackback spammed last night from those addresses and I'm sure most users will block the address after they clean their site. Why shouldn't we collectively benefit from all that labeling? SixApart should partner with Cloudmark, which has this "community" concept to help block e-mail spam, to offer some kind of trackback screen. If enough Typepad/MT users block an IP address and call it spam for trackbacks, every other user who signs up would get the benefit of that block. I'd pay for that in a second, because if this trackback spam gets as bad as e-mail spam got at its peak, I'd probably quit blogging.
Martin at Ignition had a similar problem on MT, but admittedly, the volumes of spam he got were much worse. His comments were on point, though. Even though I only had nine, it was way too cumbersome to delete, label, and block these goofballs. I'm surprised he didn't mention a possible Cloudmark solution, since Cloudmark is Ignition's company.