My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, a Research Assistant Professor in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, and a Fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

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The Cultural Divide Between LiveJournal and Six Apart

Ah, shit. If Brad is willing to sell, i suspect that this rumor is definitely true. It doesn’t require a brain to know that buying LiveJournal would be a brilliant move on Six Apart’s part. That said, i’m not sure that i like this move at all.

Live Journal is a culture, not simply a product or commodity that can be bought. From an outsider’s perspective, it might appear as though they are similar properties – they are both blogging tools, right? Wrong.

Jump inside LJ culture. People who use LJ talk about their LJs, not their blogs. They mock bloggers who want to be pundits, journalists, experts. In essence, they mock the culture of bloggers that use Six Apart’s tools. During interviews with LJ/Xanga folks, i’ve been told that MovableType is for people with no friends, people who just talk to be heard, people who are trying too hard.

LJ folks don’t see LJ as a tool, but a community. Bloggers may see the ethereal blogosphere as their community, but for LJers, it’s all about LJ. Aside from the ubergeek LJers, LJers don’t read non-LJs even though syndication is available. They post for their friends, comment excessively and constantly moderate who should have access to what.

While you cannot generalize about LJers, a vast majority of them are engaged in acts of resistance regularly (think: subcultures, activists, youth rebels, etc.). They value LJ because it values them. They value LJ because it is a tool of resistance, an act of going against mainstream and representing those already marginalized by society – the geeks, freaks and queers among us. They don’t want to be mainstream. They don’t want their parents/authorities/oppressors using the same service. At the same time, LJ provides shelter, support, community. When someone threatens to commit suicide, LJ doesn’t throw up its hand and scream “not my problem.” There are folks who actually work to help friends help each other. They’re not just an anonymous service – they care.

I would love to know why people donate to LiveJournal. My hunch is that it has to do with cultural identity. When you donate, it says so on your page. When you donate, you signify that you value LJ. Forget increased features, you’ve just made the ultimate commitment to a community – a commitment of money. And aren’t you jealous of the permanent members and early adopters?

Friends have asked me if people care about Brad. Craigslist users often talk about knowing someone who knows Craig and that they value the intimacy of it because they know that Craig loves them. I don’t think the same is true for Brad. The geeks definitely give me the 6 degrees relationship status, but most people talk about it being their community. In other words, i think that as far as most LJers are concerned, LJ is run by an attentive benevolent dictator who cares about them. They don’t care about Brad – they care about the freedom that he appears to give them without any indication of reality.

Movable Type is a product; LiveJournal is a community. Six Apart is seen as a community that provides tools, not culture. I suspect that if LJ goes to SA, there will be discontent from LJ users even though the media and blogosphere will hail it as an exceptionally [insert business rhetoric here] deal. Even if Six Apart doesn’t change a damn thing, i suspect that LJers will feel wary, unloved and co-opted by The Man. I can’t imagine them going anywhere fast but i can’t see them being happy either, nor can i see them continuing to contribute economically.

My biggest concern is that a merger will stunt the cultural growth on LiveJournal that makes it so fascinating. My second concern is that Six Apart will not be prepared to deal with the userbase and will initiate practices that are more detrimental because of fear. [For example, what’s the best way to handle an LJ community dedicated to cutters trying to outdo each other via images?] It takes a resistance-based culture to support a community of resisters and Six Apart is by no means a resistance-minded company. My third concern is that LiveJournal will shift because of investor value. It’s already compared to blogging, but as its own entity, it doesn’t have to be evaluated on those terms. If bought by Six Apart, i’m concerned that SA’s investors will evaluate it on SA blogging’s terms instead of in terms of LJ. My fourth concern is that fear of control will limit the evolving identity production/consumption that makes LiveJournal so valuable for youth and marginalized populations. It’s already far too public for more people, but easy access to LJ from MT/Typepad could be a disaster for many LJers.

While many bloggers love to talk about LJ with disdain, as a low-brow version of the culture, i adore LJ from the bottom of my heart and i’m truly concerned that LJ’s culture will be corrupted by an acquisition. It is not like any other blogging service and the needs that it serves are fundamentally different. I understand that Brad would gain much from selling, but it breaks my heart all the same. I can totally understand what he will gain, what Six Apart will gain… but what will LJ folks gain?

Sad sad sad. I hope Malik is wrong. And if he’s not, i hope i’m wrong. But i’m very very concerned about the impact of this should be it be true.

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130 comments to The Cultural Divide Between LiveJournal and Six Apart

  • I just can’t help but feel like this is going to be like when AMF bought Harley Davidson. I don’t think there was any demonstrable decline in Harley quality during that period, but Harley users just didn’t feel right about being owned by a big corporate conglomerate. Granted, Six Apart is by no means big, nor “corporate” nor a conglomerate, but still, I think just the idea that LJ isn’t independent is going to send a lot of people packing, even if there are no service and pricing chances.

    The other thing is that I never really thought of this as a “fight” for market share. The whole market is growing tremendously, and Typepad/MT, Blogger, and LiveJournal each have their own distinct niches. (I’m sorry, I just can’t take “MSN Spaces” seriously.) It didn’t occur to me that Six Apart would “need” something to be viable or be a player “against” Blogger. Can’t we all just get along? This would be more fun if we were all ganging up on Microsoft.

    The one thing I will concede is that there are some very smart people at Six Apart… and moreover… good people. I mean, the firm was started by high school sweethearts and backed by a VC that can recite the Princess Bride off the top of his head. I don’t think they’re interested in recking anything that the LJ community has worked so hard to create. All of our commentary is just thinking out loud and I think we’re all just standing outside like in that silly AOL commercial in droves waiting to hear what the two companies have to say. Uncertainty definately breeds fear… I just hope they can pull this off in a way that makes everyone happy… that we look back on this five years as a red letter day for the medium and for both companies.

  • What many people are forgetting here is that LJ users (of which I have been one for many years – paid user on one account, free on my other idents and communities I manage) is *not* about blogging or the tools available, it is *only* about the social interaction. Amongst my friends (many of whom I first me on LJ and the rest were introduced to LJ by me) it is used to create our lives, organise our lives and relationships. This isn’t blogging for the readers in some nebulous ‘out there’ but those ‘in here’. And if we lose trust in the self-control of those online lives then we’ll take the Open Sourced software and go looking for new hosting so that we can carry on ignoring the technical tools and get on with our lives.

    Oh yes, I’m 48 and my LJ friends are between 20 and 60 and include all those sub-cultures that get mentioned. That non-mainsteam enough for you?

  • I’ll inject my perspective, though with the caveat that yes, this is in fact still rumor and the reality is that none of us knows what effects either end of the transaction will have on the other.

    I hopped on board with LJ at its infancy, early 2000. For the next two and a half years, that journal became a great many things to me, and to the people who read and participated in it: a diary, a photo album, a discussion community, a coffee house, a political podium, an ‘adult pajama party’, a battlefield, a groovy, crowded bar, a virtual classroom.

    You’re right – the community and culture of LiveJournal is unmatched. And this part of it was the first thing I missed when I switched to MT back in early 2003.

    I made the move because my journal had evolved into not a private, separate space from my life — but as a strong part of it. And I had a website that delivered some of that (www.adventurejournalist.com), and felt the journal should be included, not kept separately.

    It’s worked for me. While I miss the community and back-and-forth of LJ conversations, I also greatly value the full customization and integration and ‘tweak-ability’ and seamlessness of using MT. I, like others here, am unsure why SixApart is getting such a bad rap in this case. Boil it down, and both LiveJournal and MT were born of very ordinary people with extraordinary talent and vision. Both platforms are legitimate, and both provide space that serves its population, even if they do so differently.

    If indeed SixApart should purchase LiveJournal, I do hope that they’ll leave both platforms relatively intact, and rather than changing everything on a group of millions (as I told a friend this morning, I really don’t believe LJers would ‘go quietly into the night’ with any old change 6A wanted to make) — I hope they instead choose to take the strengths of both platforms and interchange them. Bring the feel of LJ community and conversation thread to MT and Typepad, and bring the customization and integrative freedom of those, to LiveJournal.

    Every good company evolves. Change is inevitable in a dynamic market. We can only ask that those changes reflect the best interests and growth potential of its customer base.

  • http://www.decloah.com/linkblog/archives/2005/01/index.html#000917

    apophenia: The Cultural Divide Between LiveJournal and Six Apart – Danah Boyd talks on the downsides of the possible merger…

  • VampWillow – i think we’re on the same page actually. The only difference is that my definition of blogging encompasses the practices you’re referring to which is why it might be confusing.

  • (Apologies if this is in prior comments; I skimmed them but there’s a lot to wade through.)

    Keeping a site like LJ running requires an investment of both time and effort. I wouldn’t be surprised if Brad would like to spend more time thinking about new features, and less time load balancing the database servers–not to mention managing the staff. Selling LJ is one way to get more resources and some management support.

    I’m inclined to make a comparison with Slashdot: it also has a community aspect, though of a different kind, and was also sold off to a sympathetic but decidedly commercial parent. Now, the quality of commentary on Slashdot is (IMO) very low these days, but I think that decline started well before the acquisition. The main function of Slashdot seems to have survived: people submit interesting stories, and it’s still a good place to check the pulse of the tech-geek world.

    If this acquisition actually happens, I’m curious to see what the revenue model will be afterwards. There used to be some real benefits to paid accounts (e.g. use of faster servers), but those have become smaller. I thought it was interesting that you chose to call them “donations”; it *is* very close to that. Once LJ is owned by a bigger parent, will I still be inclined to support them?

  • same page? yes, we probably are. But I suspect many others (including those who are seeing $ in their eyes at this idea) are forgetting that fact. I’ve been in the computing biz since 1971 and have plenty of other options I could explore if I wanted to be concerned with the minutiae of coding my own blog from scratch (btdtgtts!) or with some tool like MT (again btdtgtts) but I don’t as what I want is to *comunicate* with my friends not behave like I’ve got a personal newsletter. As Tonya has noted, change *is* inevitable. The question must always be though whether that change is for the better of the many or the better for the few …

  • Six Apart, purchases LiveJournal?

    If this rumor is true, it is a BIG, BIG win for Six Apart. I hope it is true!…

  • An interesting take on the differences between bloggers and LJers. I think you may be overstating the ‘rebellious teen’ theme, though.

    I gave money to LJ because I wanted more user icons, first and foremost; I’m an artist, most of my icons are from my own art, and the choice of icon is often part of the message – especially in commenting. But I did also give them money to keep them around – it became a part of my life, a way of examining myself and of keeping up with friends. I wanted to do a little to make sure they’d still be around.

    I don’t value LJ as a tool of resistance, despite being a marginalized part of society (artist, transsexual, queer). It’s connected me with interesting new friends who have similar issues, but I don’t think of LJ as anything political, as any kind of tool. It’s a substrate for discussion. An endless array of BBSs where there’s no “on topic” flames to be had. I see frothing Jesus-freak rightwingers on LJ. I see teens speaking to their friends.

    I see LJ as a hell of a lot of people, who have all these little communities and networks. Some are quite alien to me. Some are dear to me. LJ is the medium I encounter them through. There isn’t any one LiveJournal community; there’s a ton of overlapping communities on LJ.

    I’ve played with Movable Type. The only things it has that I vaguely desire as a user are categories and plugins. I don’t see 6A having any technology to offer to LJ. Just cash money. And maybe a chance for Brad to hand LJ off to someone else; he’s been working on it since 1999, and maybe he’s getting tired.

  • but you’ve got this posted on MT – where’s yo LJ?

  • Live Journal and Six Apart

    I understand the points that danahis making, but looking on the bright side, everthing could work out great for all :) In my opinion two great companies getting together. I admire what the LJ team has built and liked how…

  • I think it’s really hard to characterize the entire LJ population or speak for them – beyond saying it’s about community and friends.

    It sounds like everything is going to stay distinct and intact. Bloodshed between SA and LJ — that’s a wee bit dramatic don’t you think?

    True, *some* bloggers and LJers make fun of the other team, which is silly but harmless. There are also a growing number of people who have both a blog and an LJ. I also really love LJ and it’s many little communities – it’s totally amazing. An LJ friend of mine setup an LJ syndication of Blogumentary, and I feel like I have a little bridge to their magical world.

    I think it’s good to be concerned for those subcultures too, but like someone else said – if they *choose* to let it bother them, this invisible Six Apart oppressive force that probably won’t actually affect anything they do – they can *choose* to join one of the other LJ-like communities. And that might be a good thing, to branch off and to their own thing on a smaller more independent scale.

  • Year of the cock continues…

    So its confirmed, Six Apart has aquired Live Journal. This post sums it up. Live Journal is a culture, not simply a product or commodity that can be bought. From an outsider’s perspective, it might appear as though they are…

  • By the way, I don’t mean to sound demeaning when I say “little communities”. :-) Since LJ is actually one huge frigging community but made of many smaller cozy communities.

  • The sound you hear is an approaching train wreck

    So, today’s hot story on the internets (found via Doctorvee) is that Six Apart, the company behind Movable Type and Typepad is buying LiveJournal, the company behind such famous acronyms and spellings as OMG!?!?, LOL and kewl. There’ll likely be a pe…

  • On Six Apart and Livejournal…

    So Six Apart have bought Livejournal after all. I was chatting to Mena yesterday about something else and couldn’t resist popping the question, to be politely informed that she didn’t respond to rumours and speculation. To which the only real…

  • Six Apart to buy LiveJournal?

    Om Malik reports that he has learnt that Six Apart are to buy LiveJournal for ‘an undisclosed sum’. The deal is a mix of stock and cash, and could be announced sometime later this month, according to those close…

  • How I’ve Been”Blogging” for Five Years

    May 2000. Ana Voog gets a LiveJournal. I, camless camgirl, wanted in. I signed up. (User 2501. Oh, yes.) All the camgirls followed Ana, from the PG-13 to the whoring-but-for-a-lens. Within one month of my LJ going live, I was in California hobnobbing w…

  • The Cultural Divide Between LiveJournal and Six Apart

    The Cultural Divide Between LiveJournal and Six Apart…

  • Six Apart Interview

    As suggested before, Six Apart, the San Francisco blogging company, has officially announced that it’s buying online journal company LiveJournal in a cash and stock deal (no terms released). The deal allows Six Apart, whose products to this point were…

  • http://dongresin.katgyrl.com/#001353

    We had similar thoughts, this person wrote them down without cursing….

  • Thursday Stuff

    Just a couple of interesting links that get even more interesting in the comments discussion. Danah Boyd talks about the announced merger of Movable Type and LiveJournal, and how the two may seem like just “blogging tools” but are really…

  • The Cultural Divide Between LiveJournal and Six Apart

    More interesting commentary regarding the pending ‘merger’ between LJ and MT….apophenia: The Cultural Divide Between LiveJournal and Six Apart:Live Journal is a culture, not simply a product or commodity that can be bought…. During interviews with…

  • “Completing” Six Apart and Making a Business Case for the Deal

    In my experience, I think I’ve gained at least a rudimentary conception of value creation in acquisitions, and how to evaluation acquisition targets.

  • Jason Taylor

    Your and LJ’s blanket black-n-white characterizations about bloggers shows to me insecurity around your own little turf. What it shows me is that you don’t have a clue about the power that blogging is having on the mainstream press. Blogging is a radical democratization of a persons ability to publish. Never in history as such a thing ever been as powerful or as possible as it is today with blogging. I could list hundreds blogs that totall cutting edge, radical, and subsculture. Better than LJ’s Blogs are inclusive. Jorunals are not. Your “we are here, and you can’t come” is exactlt what is wrong with Journaling and why it will not last. Bullshit exclusivity and elitism needs to die, so perhaps MT’s move is a good thing. Not for your little turf however.

  • Information Reformation Confessionation

    This is another big old ramblin’ post in the grand style of yore — mashing up my own personal experience with art and etherial stuff I think, sparked by the news of the day. It just came out this way, man. I swear.

    The Beeb says 32 Million Ameri…

  • “During interviews with LJ/Xanga folks, i’ve been told that MovableType is for people with no friends, people who just talk to be heard, people who are trying too hard.” Excuse me? Talk about generalizations.

    As an MT user, just wanted to drop by and report that I have friends, a life away from blogging, I try not to try too hard, and don’t really enjoy talking to be heard. It’s amusing to read that LJers mock bloggers as “people who just talk to be heard” But no LJ’er talks just to be heard, either? Good grief.

    For me, the whole idea of mocking bloggers, or any other group of a similar ilk, is a waste of energy and attention. I have an LJ friend, and I comment on her site, and she comments on my blog. We even go for coffee sometimes, and haven’t yet come to blows.

    What’s to be gained from Live Journallers mocking Moveable Typists? A sense of trendoid superiority? Again, it’s a waste of time and energy.

    I wasn’t aware that if you donate to LJ, it sez so on your LJ page. I agree that this suggests that the donor values her or his commitment to the LJ community. Why would broadcasting this be necessarily important? I’ve contributed to MT, but this information isn’t available on my site.

    “Movable Type is a product; LiveJournal is a community. Six Apart is seen as a community that provides tools, not culture.” Um, say what? Both are products, and both can be used to create community. But again, I wonder, why is the distinction so critical? I am a blogger who has nothing bad to say about LJ, and has never spoken of it with disdain. Again, what a waste of time, energy and brain cells. It’s picking fights for the sake of picking fights.

    I appreciate what you have said, and hope that your worst fears about this apparent impending acquisition are not realized.

    I never feel lonely with my blog. I don’t write it for anyone in particular. I’ve made friends in the blog world, such as Tonya, who responded above. There is a critical mass I’ve reached regarding how many blogs I can view, and even among that number, I can’t keep up. Within those blogs, I have community. Oh, and I have a life away from my computer screen that keeps me unbelievably busy.

    I hope, sincerely, that LiveJournal survives, without any bloodshed whatsoever.

  • Kai

    On one hand I do think your comments about how LJers see blogging is a gross over-generalization, as is commenting that LJ is so heavily “sub-culture” and underground. In point of fact, LJ can be rather full at times (or seem so) of people who are vocally anti-sub-anything and anti-hippie and anti-whatever. From the outside, mirroring your idea of how LJers see blogging, bloggers and the mainstream seem to have a tendency to see LJ as angsty teens looking for exclusive communites to get attention from and “drama”. However, the comments by the aggressive Mr. Taylor are equally extreme in the opposite direction. Bullshit elitism? This is a cry I hear from many self-styled pundits – frequently young – that is always rather nebulous. Elite about what, exactly? The ability to have some measure of privacy while still performing a degree of publication? (Let’s call it limited scope publication.) Mr. Taylor sounds as if he is laboring under a false dichotomy that blogging and LJ are in some sort of competition for the elegatarian future or something. Err, no. How about they’re just different entities that have different parameters despite a superficial resembalance? (Mr. Taylor himself could be interpreted as sounding insecure – he might want to calm down and realize that it seems rather innaccurate to say LJ users in general have much of an opinion of blogging at all.)

    I feel there is really a difference between LJ and the blogging world, but it is somewhat more muddled. It’s still very definite in spite of that. Just not easy to conceptualize simply.

  • 2005年のblog拡大予想させるようなSix ApartのLiveJournal買収

    シリコンバレーの地元紙San Jose Mercuryによると、Movable TypeやTypePadで知られるblogソフトのSix Apartが、同じようなサース展開するLiveJournal買収するとのとである。
    LiveJournalは、”teens …

  • latemodel

    So LJ has updated their TOS, which Brad refers to as being basically no different. There’s one change in there that I can’t figure out, though: the terms used to mention a “security policy”, and now they don’t:

    Old TOS:

    XV Journal Content
    4. LiveJournal.com reserves the right, without limitation except by law, to serve user Content on the web according to the security provisions set forth by the author. LiveJournal.com also reserves the right, without limitation, to resell any portion of a user’s LiveJournal back to that individual;

    New TOS:

    XIV Journal Content
    4. LiveJournal.com reserves the right, without limitation except by law, to serve any user Content on the web, through the downloadable clients and otherwise. LiveJournal.com also reserves the right, without limitation, to resell any portion of a user’s LiveJournal back to that individual;

    My gut feeling is that this change is in the same vein as the new NO WARRANTY section of the terms, that is, to say they’re not liable for breaches. But it seems odd that there’s now no mention of the security policy. I’d be curious to know what the real reason for the change is.

  • Takeover

    Six Apart (creator of Movable Type, which powers this here website) has acquired LiveJournal. Can’t wait to see what comes of that. Thoughts on same, from the expert on such: Live Journal is a culture, not simply a product or…

  • More on SixApart LiveJournal

    LiveJournal users have been proving that the recent spate of LiveJournal murder and mayhem may be a reflection on a number of their users sanity with a post from apparent high profile Live Journaler (apparently some users of Live Journal don’t like …

  • Beyond osmosis

    Six Apart, producer of Movable Type, is buying LiveJournal, and I don’t quite see the fit. Apophenia nails down the major issue: Jump inside LJ culture. People who use LJ…

  • LiveJournal meet SixApart – tracking the conversation

    This morning when firing up my newsreader, I had this feeling as if something “big” happened…

  • I would love to know why people donate to LiveJournal. My hunch is that it has to do with cultural identity. When you donate, it says so on your page. When you donate, you signify that you value LJ. Forget increased features, you’ve just made the ultimate commitment to a community – a commitment of money.

    There’s also the anonymous gifting of LJ friends for more LJ time and other paid user perks that illustrates this idea of LJ as a community. That probably doesn’t happen a lot anywhere else.

  • There are a number of distinct differences between the various journalling/blogging sites and services available, but one thing that does strike me about LJ is this teen-angst element highlighted by other comments here. I don’t see that as a problem at all, but I do suspect that one thing that causes discomfort about LJ is its popularity amongst young women. I think of LJ as a quite feminised space in its way, whereas MT/Typepad seem very masculine on the whole, both in content and appearance, as do many others. There’s more tinkering about under the hood on offer. More professionalism and less anarchy.

    I’m 38, a man, and started a journal at LJ two years ago purely because I came across it by chance when looking for information on a web cartoonist, Patrick Farley, who has a journal there. It was easy to set up and get writing, I didn’t pay much attention to the nature of the LJ versus any other services. Over time, I’ve grown to like it more than similar services on offer. It’s not so serious (or it’s as serious as you choose it to be), I don’t have any belief that my journal should somehow be shouting to the world and clamouring for attention. I don’t think my opinions on this or that are desparately needed or sought. It’s just a way for me to write on a frequent basis. Along the way I’ve met some intriguing characters and found some excellent journals. I’ve found a lot of chaff too, but so what? It’s like going through a used bookshop. Anything might be there and it frequently is. And there are young people there? With all their complications, idealism and self-absorption? Perish the thought that we should allow these people a voice of any sort. Especially these girls with all their problems… LJ is frequently hysterical. Good! I say. Is web publishing some sort of private gentleman’s club?

    I’d agree with Jason Taylor’s comment above, if I understand him, that it’s frustrating at times to find that journals are friends-only. Mine isn’t and almost all that I visit aren’t either. I don’t see how that is “you can’t come” though. And, frankly, I couldn’t a monkey’s about influencing the mainstream press, as much as I recognise the achievements of others in that endeavour.

  • LJ sells out to Six Apart

    Brad Fitzpatrick has sold his baby to Six Apart. Congratulations Brad! I’ve recently been looking at various things relating to software developed by Brad and his team, namely Perlbal, Memcache and MogileFS. I’ve also noticed that they have numerous me…

  • I’m a bit confused about your post;

    “While you cannot generalize about LJers…”

    You appear in your post to generalize about bloggers having no friends, and mostly being lone kooks screaming on the street corner for attention. Contrasting this against a LiveJournal love fest where everyone cares about everyone, and they’re all there for the good of society as a whole.

    That’s a bit intellectually dishonest, no? LJ has good and bad, as does blogging. The big difference is that with LJ the community infrastructure is already there – you don’t need to dig sewer lines and hook up the electrical – it’s done for you. With blogging, you setup your software, and then you have to build your own exit ramp and access road to get people to come to you. The tools are different, but the people aren’t. There are as many lonely crazies on LJ as there are on TypePad or Blogger or MSN Spaces or ANYWHERE.

  • kolzzv

    It’s the bloggers who are influencing the mainstream press? Then tell them to stop it!

  • “i’ve been told that MovableType is for people with no friends, people who just talk to be heard, people who are trying too hard”

    Similar things can be, and have been, said about LiveJournal. You know, people with no real friends trying too hard for popularity, vying for people to add them as a friend, for personal validation.
    I’m sure both things could be true of some, or even many, of MT or LJ users.

    Mind you, I’m in complete agreement that there are often major differences between other general bloggers, and LiveJournals. Even their comment threads often seem to be a different animal somehow.

    It’d be interesting to know why that is.

    But if someone says it’s because of youth culture… you have people claiming LJ is not youth dominated.
    And then people mention “oppressed groups”… and I have no clue who they’re talking about. Does anyone know the specifics about these oppressed groups of people who use LJ, who they are, and how LJ is working for them?

    “For example, what’s the best way to handle an LJ community dedicated to cutters trying to outdo each other via images?”

    Isn’t that kind of thing hands-off on LJ? I think it’s hands off on the internet, generally. I mean, LiveJournal, nor any other tool owner or even community owner, or any other individual, has any legal responsibility to police the mental health of their users, so far as I know, unless it involves actual law-breaking, right?

  • There’s a difference between hands-off and actually doing what’s necessary when things go wrong. I have the UTMOST respect for the abuse/support people at LJ for knowing what to do in suicide situations, when people are hurting themselves, etc. Sooo much respect.

  • “There’s a difference between hands-off and actually doing what’s necessary when things go wrong.”

    What do you mean by this?
    I mean, that seems self-evident, no? Of course there’s a difference between hands-off and doing something…

    But what do you mean “doing what’s necessary” ? What is necessary? Are you saying it’s necessary for LJ abuse/support people to intervene in, as you said, a “cutters photo competition” or whatever?

    And what do LJ abuse/support people do in these situations?
    If they do anything beyond what’s required by law, then yes, that’s definitely NOT hands-off.
    But I was always under the impression that LiveJournal WAS hands-off – in that LiveJournalers were definitely not policed on these things (other than where it’s required by law).

    So I’m still not clear on what you mean.

  • They do not police, but they have been known to intervene to prevent suicides and get people help when necessary.

  • Six Apart and a Bit of Weblog History

    Big news hit over the last couple of days in the weblog world and I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about it. The news is thatSix Apart Aquires Live Journal . You’ll find a great rundown at Mena’s Corner. For those of you wondering- why is that news? …

  • dan

    I get what you are saying, but Live Journal, Six Apart, they are businesses and they are here for money. As for it’s users you may say Live Journal is for Cultured users and Movable Type is for people with no friends. I say Live Journal is for amateurs who can’t setup a blog and MT users are people who are taking the plunge at being their own publishers and learning more than that.

    This isn’t an argument I want to start, but embrace change and see where it goes, if you want a culture start your own, and see what happens when you get offered money

  • “They do not police, but they have been known to intervene to prevent suicides and get people help when necessary.”

    I’m still unclear about the “when necessary” part, and who, exactly, is doing this intervening?

    “I say Live Journal is for amateurs who can’t setup a blog and MT users are people who are taking the plunge at being their own publishers and learning more than that.”

    Oh that’s definitely got to be the major reason LJ developed quickly early on. Nowadays, I don’t know if that’s the main reason someone chooses LiveJournal. It’s certainly not the only reason someone would choose LiveJournal over other services which offer no fuss & remote hosting nowadays.

  • oboreruhito

    LJ folks will gain a cleaner product. Yes, that’s right, mom is coming and she is going to totally wail on LJ to clean it’s damn room before dad comes home and breaks out the belt.

    I _cannot wait_.

  • Brad is a tech. He sucks at business management and personal leadership. (I used to be an LJ support volunteer, I’m allowed to say that.)

    6A gets backend technology that can support 6 million user accounts (probably 3 million actual users). LJ gets to be managed by people who understand business management. Brad gets a job as 6A’s chief tech. Brad was going to need to sell at some point, unless he managed to recruit a good manager. This is a pretty good outcome.

  • On LJ – Six Apart merge and LJ’s community

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