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The Internet The Almighty Buck

LiveJournal Buyout Rumor 274

Posted by timothy
from the until-brad-says-so dept.
Aaron B. Russell writes "Om Malik reports that Six Apart are looking to buy blogging community LiveJournal.com. Rumour? I hope so. I seriously hope so. Neither Six Apart nor Danga Interactive (the company behind LiveJournal) have commented on the situation yet. What impact will this have for the users and volunteers over at LiveJournal? Chris Schmidt, a volunteer at LiveJournal, hypothesizes here(1) and here(2) ." Sources close to LiveJournal creator Brad Fitzpatrick say this is just a rumor, and that LJ is not being sold. Update: 01/06 by J : Our sources were way wrong.
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LiveJournal Buyout Rumor

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  • If it's "not being sold" like PeopleSoft was "not being sold", well, then, one would guess that they really are being sold.

    • PeopleSoft was beat into submission by Oracle. Oracle spread FUD for a year and half until PeopleSoft had no choice but to take what they could get and sell to Oracle. It is kind of scary the tatics used by Oracle. Any company big enough can just freeze the market until the smaller company takes the cash for it's customer base. In the end that's all Oracle wants is the customers of PeopleSoft. It can't build a better application but it won't use PeopleSoft's technology, it will just create a dubious "conv
  • Sell it!! (Score:2, Funny)

    by grazzy (56382)
    .. and stuff it with ads.
    Maybe the blog menace will go away.

    I did my part, now im waiting for yours.
    • Re:Sell it!! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SpooForBrains (771537)
      What blog menace? Seriously, if you don't want to see any blogs, then don't. There's an entire internet out there. Or do you just like having something to complain about?
      • Well said. My first thought was "isn't Slashdot kindof a blog? Maybe? You know, being a forum where articles are posted and people reply?

        Bah! It reminds me of all the elitist crap in the "old days" (mid-90s) about the easy availability of webspace meaning that "our" Internet was being "swamped" by newbies. And I can't walk the streets without tripping over real people. Poor me.

        • Nah, the real hell was when USENET got spammed by those PSU idiots....AOHell'ers every single one of 'em.
        • Re:Sell it!! (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Vellmont (569020)

          isn't Slashdot kindof a blog? Maybe?


          No. A blog is where one person makes journal entries, and other people read it. Slashdot is a news discussion site. That's a lot different in content and format than a blog. Blogs are all about one person, Slashdot is about a the geek world around us.
          • by erroneous (158367)
            I had assumed that the hive mind of Slashdot was now legally registered as a single entity.
          • Plenty of blogs have more than one person posting.
          • No [Slashdot isn't a blog]. A blog is where one person makes journal entries, and other people read it. Slashdot is a news discussion site. That's a lot different in content and format than a blog. Blogs are all about one person, Slashdot is about a the geek world around us.

            I guess that's maybe subjective; byolinux has already suggested that there are blogs with multiple posters, and I'd add that Slashdot was nominated for - and won - an award in the most recent "bloggies". I can - maybe - see a dif

          • No. A blog is where one person makes journal entries, and other people read it.

            According to Wikipedia, Slashdot is a blog. [wikipedia.org] A blog needn't be personal. One of the most famous is Metafilter, [metafilter.com] which is also collaborative.

            Slashdot doesn't do its own reporting. It just posts links and allows comments. That's exactly what most blogs are.
          • The real difference between slashdot and all the jetsam and blogsam bobing in and out of the attention of the surfing public is the peer refereeing: the moderation.
            This becomes a "blog" worth reading on the strength of its participants/readers [and fails with their weaknesses: sloth, bias, misinformation...just read some of my comments!] more than on the strength of its "writers" [the bizzare zoo of /. eds and Roland Clique-appeal wannabes] who drag stuff in for us to kick around.

            Nope, quite different fro
          • Nope, Slashdot is a blog. Blog is a derivitive of "web log." Not web journal. A log is a chronologically ordered list of entries.

            That's the defining characteristic of blogs that make them a subset of web sites. Chronological order. Obviously this makes them very good for journals, but it means that Slashdot is also a blog.
          • I must disagree with your definition of Slashdot as a news discussion site. The basis of /. is it's homepage, a short list of recent posts. The number of editors is very small. Slashdot strongly resembles a blog insofar that the primary distinguishing characteristic is that the comments to each post tend to be very numerous. Beyond that, however, I fail to see any fundamental differences between /. and a really fancy blog.
      • Yeah, and stop yanking my wheelchair, boy!
    • Maybe the blog menace will go away.

      Or maybe you could learn to "turn the dial"?
    • sniff it (Score:2, Funny)

      by Doc Ruby (173196)
      For the sarcasm impaired: this post seems to be a facaetious comment parodying the attitude of the corporate media towards blogs, which is that they're a threat to be bought out and quashed.

      Nerds: one way to detect sarcasm is to notice any surprising detail in any statement, like a Slashdotter demanding more ads, and consider whether the statement in a sarcastic tone rather than "straight". Then, compare its effect as sarcasm with its straight effect, and then choose. In fact, you can usually risk respondi
      • by glrotate (300695)
        Many of us are tired about hearing about the latest entry in so-and-so's online diary, and wish they'd just go away.
        • Of course, this is only for all values of so-and-so which are equal to Roland Piquepaille [slashdot.org]
        • Grazzy, is that you? Only Grazzy is qualified to say for sure whether it's sarcasm. Just because you agree with the statement doesn't mean it's not sarcastic: not all sarcasm is accurate. In this case, though, your problem isn't the blogs, but rather that you keep hearing about them somehow. Since blogs require clicks, I think you should stop clicking them, or get your friends to stop emailing you about them. Annoying people aren't going "away" in our shrinking world: you have to learn to control your own
        • Many of us are tired about hearing about the latest entry in so-and-so's online diary, and wish they'd just go away.

          Why do you hate Wil Wheaton so much?

          I mean, hating Wesley Crusher is understandable. But can't you separate that from the actor who played him...?
      • Re:sniff it (Score:3, Insightful)

        For the sarcasm impaired: this post seems to be a facaetious comment parodying the attitude of the corporate media towards blogs, which is that they're a threat to be bought out and quashed.

        OK, I'll hold my hands up and admit that maybe, just maybe, I'm sarcasm-impaired. Maybe.

        ...but, and it's a big but, there's a strong elitist grouping on Slashdot who argue that blogs are the devil, and I read the OP in that light. The subsequent replies seem to bear out that train of thought...

        I'm also not sure if

  • Mood: Gossipy Listening to: Rumours by Keith Sweat You won't believe what I heard today...
  • Why LJ? (Score:5, Informative)

    by KinkifyTheNation (823618) on Wednesday January 05, 2005 @11:46AM (#11263830) Journal
    Even if something does happen, there's always other LJ variants out there, such as DeadJournal [deadjournal.com] and GreatestJournal [greatestjournal.com] if your privacy is concerned.

    And as hypothesis #2 states the removal of some features, the other variants will almost always have them.
    Livejournal isn't the only journal site out there.
  • Why?

    MovableType Sucks.

    Why does it suck?

    1 J Random Luser on dialup one some old sparcstation IPC, and about 20 lines a Perl can bring any server to it's knees with comment spam.
  • Oh no! (Score:5, Funny)

    by spellraiser (764337) on Wednesday January 05, 2005 @11:46AM (#11263834) Journal
    Chris Schmidt has, among other things, this to say:

    Sadly, I fear this will be the end of the LiveJournal Volunteer support system which I strongly support: I met the love of my life via doing support for LiveJournal, and it will be sad to imagine that others will not have that same oppourtunity [sic].

    Dang, there go my chances of ever mating in this life. Damn you, Six Apart!

  • by Kingfox (149377) on Wednesday January 05, 2005 @11:47AM (#11263845) Homepage Journal
    See LJers freak about it here [livejournal.com].
  • Oh No! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Alan (347) <arcterex&ufies,org> on Wednesday January 05, 2005 @11:48AM (#11263858) Homepage
    OH dea, I hope this doesn't mean the end of random, attention seeking girls showing their boobs off to their LJ friends to get comments! Say it ain't so!
  • by wintermute1000 (731750) on Wednesday January 05, 2005 @11:53AM (#11263906)
    As a LiveJournal user who's about to celebrate my journal's 3rd birthday, and who's young and female enough not to be embarrassed about it, I doubt most LJ users will know or care. It would be stupid to make more than minor changes to the interface, and if they do, I'm sure old interfaces will be selectable options (as is the case now). The fact is that the vast majority of LJ users came on when the site stopped requiring invite codes to join and feel very little connection with the LJ community as a whole--certainly, no obligation to become paid members just to support the site, or volunteer as coders, testers, or what not. I honestly don't think any of these people will notice anything beyond interface changes, except "Hey, my journal's loading faster than usual. Sweet!"

    I think it's telling that the blurbs about LJ don't mention that it's open source. Yeah, it's cool when it's an OS or a browser or a media format, but what movement of /. nerds wants to be associated with online diaries. Eeeeew.
    • *Only* UI? (Score:3, Informative)

      by BarryNorton (778694)
      Remember eGroups?...

      If so you're probably unable to bear, as I am, the take-over-resultant Yahoo Groups interface (I pulled everything I had on there off it), and know just how awful this could be...
    • Don't you think that your characterization of late joining LJers is a egregiously unfair? We're not all assholes.
    • Getting involved in the greater LJ community at anything greater than a superficial level is bloody difficult. Just look at how many replies the news stories get, for example.
  • LJ. bleah (Score:5, Interesting)

    by British (51765) <british1500@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 05, 2005 @11:58AM (#11263955) Homepage Journal
    I recently got rid of my LiveJournal, and feel a bit relieved. FOr some reason, I found myself spending too much time reading about the percieved(not exactly real) lives of other people who have no bearing on my life. I've been slandered twice on LJ, and in one instance my full name was not used, so I couldn't report them for TOS violations.

    That's what's great about livejournal. You can say anything you want, it's only one side of the story, and everyone on your friends list will kiss up to you and agree.

    Want to have some fun on LJ? Try to disagree with someone on your friends list, and watch the hilarity ensue.

    With interconnected friends networks, gossip can spread like wildfire and all sorts of wonderful sour attitudes towards one another can result.

    How would you like it if some LJ using friend of yours decided to tell the world about something you did or didn't do to your embarassment?

    I for one can't wait until the blogger bubble bursts.
    • Funny, I don't have any of these problems. Maybe I just choose my friends wisely!
    • Re:LJ. bleah (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dema (103780)
      That's what's great about livejournal. You can say anything you want, it's only one side of the story, and everyone on your friends list will kiss up to you and agree.

      How exactly is that any different from the internet itself? I could just as easily register a domain, put up a page full of gossip, generate hits from people likely to agree, slander without names, etc etc. If the problem with blogs is the ability to "say anything," isn't the internet just as flawed?
    • That's the wrong way to go about blogging.

      I just say whatever the hell is in my head despite what people think.
  • ...clear the way for something like LiveJournal but with a sane, usable web design.

    I mean seriously, LJ has got to be the most hideously unusable website since Sourceforge [sf.net] - are there any usability guidelines it doesn't violate?

  • by cuban321 (644777) on Wednesday January 05, 2005 @12:02PM (#11263995) Homepage
    I'll take a guess and guess that LiveJournal is in the top 5 of open source projects. By popular I mean user count.

    If you are looking at popularity by name count, it might even rival Linux.
  • Wait for Apple ... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by adzoox (615327) * on Wednesday January 05, 2005 @12:02PM (#11264003) Journal
    I think Apple might have all the rumor sites confused a bit or at least making an omission:

    Just as Apple bought Soundjam from Cassidy and Greene to make iTunes, and as they bought Logic to create Garageband and their own pro audio app - I see Apple making a foray into BLOGging and possibly integrating it into .Mac. Or it could be part of the iWork bundle.

    I would imagine they would go after a the biggest - either LiveJournal or Blogger.

    I thought I read that the owners of Blogger are big Mac guys.
    • The next release of Mac OS X Server (10.4) will have the Blojsom blogging system built in [blojsom.com] although I'm not sure how heavily they'll promote that.

      Also, I believe that there's a feature for .Mac called iBlog that lets you blog to your .Mac account, although I've not used it.

      • Yes I know about those ... but thanks pointing those out.

        I didn't do my homework on Blogger as posts have indicated here.

        I think BLOGging is the next big thing - and I think /. and the past election prove that. Many websites are now just BLOGs with pictures.

        People expect less from a BLOG - so a lot of flashy HTML and graphics aren't necessary. This is the new webpage boom if you ask me.

        Claris Homepage was cool, but not robust. I think Apple could buy out a major player and REALLY promote it heavily.
    • Apple has already announced their blogging plans. Tiger Server will include Blojsom.

      For more details, check out the Tiger Server [apple.com] page.

  • Wow (Score:4, Funny)

    by cavemanf16 (303184) on Wednesday January 05, 2005 @12:03PM (#11264005) Homepage Journal
    Slashdot is now reporting on rumors about blogs.

    They might as well change the tag line to: "News for supermarket checkout lines, shit that we can neither confirm nor deny."
  • by Bluecoat93 (140994) on Wednesday January 05, 2005 @12:06PM (#11264038) Homepage
    Most geeks seem to react to hearing "LiveJournal" with something along the lines of "haha, livejournal sucks! it's just a bunch of 12-year-old girls complaining about their parents!" However, the service is quite interesting from a geek perspective: They run a pretty huge web application (700-800 pageviews per second at peak, most of them database-backed), and Brad has written quite a bit [danga.com] about the challenges and solutions they've come up with. They've also written several very interesting open source [danga.com] infrastructure applications like memcached (used by Slashdot) and perlbal. Thus, while the service may not be all that interesting, the tech behind it certainly is (at least to this geek).
    • They are also pretty advanced in terms of supporting
      new technologies. For instance they provide FOAF
      info for users, have rich SOAP API, was among first to support ATOM. They also allow to incroprorate syndicated feeds into your friends
      page. Posting by email and phone is pretty cool.

      As to demographics of their user base, I would try
      to avoid generalizing there. Yes, there are lot
      of young people there, but there are some serious
      blogs there, technical and otherwise. By the way, they also provide very nice stat
  • by dema (103780) on Wednesday January 05, 2005 @12:08PM (#11264062) Homepage
    It seems to be the norm here that people dislike blogs that don't have a "purpose." What exactly is the problem with these? Is anyone here being forced to read blogs about random nonesense? Does it cause some sort of serious problem? If you want to complain about blogs, complain about the ones run by pseudo-intellectuals who feel they should have some sort of say in the world. Most of the livejournal community are just people interested in social networking. Yes, many blogs will just be random bullshit that no one except the poster will ever care about. But, so what? The people flaming blogging in general probably just need somewhere to vent outside of slashdot, a blog maybe?
    • The issue I see most often is that blogs cludge up Google. Of course, there are solutions to this, like putting a default robots.txt in all blog software or Google making a blog search tool.
    • one problem is that they infest search engines..

      not to say that they're that bad, but that's one.

      the real problem though, or reason why people hate random blogs, is the they're nearly always without any substance or even longevity - just couple of posts on something quite random without any insight into anything. basically they're just very bad journalism, if you will.

      you can complaing about shitty newspapers even if you don't read them, you can complain about shitty tv shows even if you don't follow the
  • I have a slashdot journal but only /.ers can post to that and the interface isn't nearly as good as a lot of the blogs I've seen, not to mention no images. I post semi-regularly to a half dozen communities but often have things to say otherwise. Ideally of course I would like to not just be talking to myself... so I think I should start a blog.

    Any recommendations on where and how to start? I don't know where to begin. What sites are free, reliable, easy to use, good looking with clean interfaces, and o
  • I've been a 'member' of LiveJournal since 2001. In that time, I've seen many changes to the service, and most of them have been for the better. The server system seems stable (albeit slow sometimes, but outages are rare) and the development team seems extremely closely knit.

    I seriously doubt that they will give up the ship so easily, unless they were offered a tremendous sum. There seems to be too much pride in the systems they've coded themselves. It's no small feat to create and maintain a system tha
  • by ShatteredDream (636520) on Wednesday January 05, 2005 @12:20PM (#11264167) Homepage
    So much of the criticism about blogging that I have seen seems to be embodied in LJ. Most of the real blogs I have seen that use WordPress or MovableType seem to be done by people who are at least semi-serious about what they write. Most MT users I have seen, for example, put at least a modicum of thought into what they write and it's rarely about their life unless it affects the direction of the blog or is amusing to the readers.

    LJs are appropriate for people who want to help people in their lives who are far away keep up with what's going on in their life and stuff like that. They don't seem to be very useful for much else. Blogs on the other hand tend to be focused on issues like politics, coding, music, etc.

    • One of the reasons that some blogs which ultilize the WordPress and / or MovableType format in style is that these services, generally speaking, cost something (even if a small amount), not only in money but in (marginal but present) communication with server B.

      About 97% of LJ's users (it changes but generally remains in this number : here [livejournal.com] is their stats page) are free. A few reasonably intelligent luminaries, including for example horror author Poppy Z. Brite, have blogs at the site so of course free
    • A blog is what you make it - some people want to be serious writers, and some don't. When I joined LJ in 2002, it was the best of breed free blogging program. People have been flocking to it as the other free sites went under; these are usually people who can't afford to (or just won't) pay for a program like MT, aren't technically savvy enough to write their own blogging system, or know lots of people on LJ.
  • LiveJournal is the only reliable place to find them.
  • Even though it is used mostly by whining 12 year olds complaining noone thinks they are cute. The system it's self is very useable and pretty advanced. It's always going to be known as "The whiney blog site", but the simpleness of the place (and yet still powerfully customizable) makes it worth keeping around, if only to see what comes out of it in the future.
  • It's a blog (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cheezemonkhai (638797)
    I'm not trolling here before I do get flamed, however who gives a monkeys.

    What relevance does a blog have to most people. I find them annoying and they tend to have people bitching about their mates etc.
    Any sensible person wouldn't post that they had done x on a blog unless they were trying to tell the world.

    People who weblog are craving attention from the rest of the world.

    Sorry but go get a diary and write in in there.

    (In case you hadn't noticed, yes I hate bloggers)
  • http://www.livejournal.org/download/code/

    If 6A screw it up, we just make our own!

    He, maybe my LJ client will never get finished now, they'll probably shut down the API.
  • I'm a big fan of LJ. I used to run several mailing lists, some of which were simple "group of friends" lists, but those in particular were hellish to run - after all, in a large enough group to be interesting, there are bound to be people who don't get along.

    Everyone has an LJ now, and it's a much more elegant solution. You pick who can read your posts, you pick whose posts you read, and that means you can fit your journal to the dynamics of your own group of friends. It's a fantastic way to keep in touch,
  • I wonder what they'll be doing with the member information they now have? If this buyout does happen, I think a reread of their privacy policy will soon be in order.

  • For those of you who don't know anything about Brad F., Livejournal is really his life. His company, Danga Inc., is mostly dedicated to running Livejournal (although it does develop a lot of neat, free software). I honestly couldn't see him doing anything else. It's not about the money for him, and he loves what he's doing.

    I think most Livejournal users would be fairly upset if it was sold.

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