SixApart Buys LiveJournal

So the rumors are true: SixApart (creators of Movable Type) have just purchased Danga, creators of LiveJournal.

It’s a strange pairing, in a way, although I can also see how this makes sense from a strategic POV. While MT is considered more “grown-up” (both grown-up technology and a more grown-up userbase), LJ has a much larger userbase: compare MT’s approximately 1 million to LJ’s 5.6 million (eWeek). On whole that puts SA in position to keep a strong head of steam against Google and Microsoft as those companies’ blogging systems gain more traction.

According to the FAQ, it’s the userbase and the LJ product they’re after (different types of platforms for different types of users), not the technology — no intention of integrating code between one platform and the other (although I’m sure eventual cross-pollination is inevitable). The idea of one company owning/running two radically different publishing systems without trying to integrate them seems odd. Then again, maybe it’s not that much different from Conde’ Nast publishing both Wired and Modern Bride.

Shrug. We’ll see…

Music: Bruce Lash and the Virgineers :: Plasticman

2 Replies to “SixApart Buys LiveJournal”

  1. I’m not sure about MT being “more grown up” technology-wise.
    It is actually LJ that is pushing the technology envelope more I think. Their work in scalability, caching etc. is quite advanced, as it would have to be to support so many users.

    It is my understanding the MT has had to catch up quite a lot after starting with TypePad (It was really slow in the beginning for instance, and often-times still is). I suspect this is part of the reason why real functionality updates have been really slow in coming.

  2. > I’m not sure about MT being “more grown up” technology-wise.

    MT has the flexibility to be a general content management system, a general publishing platform. A rather large, well-documented API lets it do much more than just blogs. One could point to any number of features that one system has that the other does not (e.g. LJ still doesn’t have TrackBack) but I think MT is much-better thought out as a generalized publishing platform with the flexibility to become almost anything the publisher wants it to be.

    > Their work in scalability, caching etc. is quite advanced,

    Here we have to distinguish between MT and TypePad. MT doesn’t have to worry about cacheing since it’s always taken the approach that it makes more sense to put the server-load up front, in initial page generation, with all subsequent requests being static. In the case of TypePad, which is a hosted service more akin to LJ, SixApart had to learn how to do more stuff dynamically – an area that LJ had been dealing with since the start. I certainly remember continual issues with the speed of LJ, and feeling trapped by not having control over the server, being at the mercy of LJ’s growth and the impact that had on all users. It wasn’t pretty.

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