Six Apart and Livejournal Part Ways

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

LJ logoSix Apart has flogged Livejournal, home of my very first blog, to a Russian media outfit that rejoices in the name Sup. Business Week has a good analysis of what this might mean.

There’s a couple of good points in the article:

Aside from the professional blog software Movable Type, hosted blogging software TypePad, and free ad-supported blog site Vox, there was LiveJournal, which hosted a different demographic and was built on a different code base and platform that the company never updated. “I think the world of LiveJournal, but we felt like we needed to figure out our focus,” Alden says. “It’s all about [Six Apart] growing up.”

Livejournal initially looked like a good fit into Six Apart, but with the launch of Vox, which offers much of the same functionality as Livejournal as well as having Perl-underpinnings like MT and Typepad, it increasingly looked like the red-headed stepchild. If Chris Alden spotted this and has both clarified the company’s technological focus and released some cash for reinvestment, this could be good news for the firm.

Sup, on the other hand, have a vested interest in investing in Livejournal, because of the heavy Russian user base.

Win-win? Valleywag doesn’t seem to think so:

Sup already operates the Russian-language version of the site, and is run by Andrew Paulson, an American entrepreneur. But let’s be real: This is a company operating in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, where the media increasingly is falling under state control, either explicitly or tacitly. One does not need to be a conspiracy theorist to find this prospect discomfiting.

That said, Livejournal Inc, which will run the site, is actually based in the US, which seems like a sensible move, in the circumstances….

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.