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.