Six Apart’s focus over the past few years has switched from catering to the professional web development and enterprise audience, to the tweens/teens MySpace crowd. After their acquisition of Live Journal in early 2005, you could tell that their focus was shifting. The world of LJ is entirely different than the blogosphere that I know about, here’s a good quote from Zephoria:
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.
I saw the LJ acquisition as a way to break into the 12-18 year old market segment of the population, but didn’t think much about it until I heard Project Comet (now named Vox, an awful name that I will refuse to use in this entry) was coming out soon. Comet is the new lifestyle publishing platform coming from Six Apart, which they describe as “combin[ing] the publishing power of TypePad, the community aspects of LiveJournal and the years of insight garnered from Movable Type.” I anticipated that Comet would be a way to merge the free LJ users into a TypePad-esque payment structure, but now that screenshots of Comet are out I can see that they’re taking it a few steps further… Comet will be taking on AIMPages and MySpace for a slice of the youth audience pie.