Russian Company Buys LiveJournal

LiveJournal, born in 1999 as one of the first blogging platforms, has been acquired by SUP, a Russian company that had already been managing the "Russian sector" of the LJ blogosphere. The Russian sector, while six times smaller in membership than the American, produces 45% of all LJ content (wiki).

Press release: "Six Apart, the world's leading independent blogging software and services company, today announced that SUP, an international media company, has acquired LiveJournal (LJ), the pioneer of social networking communities online used by millions of people around the world to connect through personal journals and topic-based communities. SUP has established an American company, LiveJournal, Inc., to manage and operate LiveJournal globally." Also, press release from SUP.

Two reasons for blogging this. I used to spend a lot of time on LiveJournal, probably because LJ was the first platform to incorporate strong social networking elements such as friending, communities and "newsfeeds" and in many ways it is still superior to, say, Blogger (Russian ad community advertka.livejournal.com has over 15000 members). Second, it's one other example of how a medium evolves in a direction unforeseen by its creators (something that Fremantle's Gary Carter talked about).

Also: danah boyd on the culture of LJ users: "They typically value communication and identity development over publishing and reaching mass audiences. The culture is a vast array of intimate groups, many of whom want that intimacy preserved. LiveJournal is not a lowbrow version of blogging; it is a practice with different values and needs, focused far more on social solidarity, cultural work and support than the typical blog."

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