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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Russians Are Coming

Live Journal was sold to the Russians! Weird. I have an LJ account I use to get into private group discussions, but I don't post at that blog. It's just a placeholder.

Earlier this year when I decided to start a blog I tested several models. It was a case of Goldilocks and the three blogs. The first one, WordPress, was too hard to get used to. The second, Live Journal, was too soft. (read: not business-y enough for my needs). But Blogger was just right. It had just the right amount of functionality and it was easy to learn.

I don't know which came first, but Live Journal follows the business model of outfits like MySpace and Facebook, which is great for networking if you want to go through all the trouble of friending. I had to ask one of my LJ friends to explain friending to me. Even after she friended me, I'm still not sure I understand its value. All I know is that I'm on some list.

Friending is a unique concept of the 21st century. I just finished reading an article in the RWA newsletter touting the benefits of MySpace. It too, uses the friending model. But I can't help thinking it feels like some benign pyramid scheme.

Vehicles like LJ and MySpace hit a goldmine with this concept. Membership grows by getting members to bring in their friends. Their friends bring other friends, and on and on. It's brilliant from a marketing standpoint.

When I was researching blogs, I once got stuck going from one LJ friend's blog to another. With the exception of a few, which I link to and love, most didn't talk about writing much. But then Live Journal specifically calls itself a "social" network, not a business one.

Since I have both LJ and Blogger, I've noticed that Live Journal seems to send out a lot more notices than Blogger. I don't know if that's a recent phenomenon or if they're always that chatty. It could be a sign of trouble though.

Years ago, Greg and I had some cash tied up with an investment firm. A few weeks before we pulled out our money, we started getting a lot of letters telling us what a fine job they were doing and all the perks they were adding. We never paid attention, thinking it was just PR.

Then we went in to take out our money. That agent begged us not to be hasty. Our decision wasn't subject to negotiation since we needed the money as a down payment for a new house. Within a couple of weeks after we withdrew our funds, the company went bankrupt. Many of our friends lost a bundle. It was horrible, and we were so lucky to pull out when we did.

So as long as Live Journal doesn't start showing other signs of ailing, it shouldn't be a big deal. They're just changing hands. And the Russians seem very friendly. *grin*

Just to be on the safe side....archive your posts if you use Live Journal.