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Reflections on the shape of the ‘blogosphere July 8, 2005

Posted by Sarah in Uncategorized.
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The purchase of LiveJournal by Six Apart in January marked a major consolidation within the ‘blogosphere. LiveJournal has 7.6 million accounts, 2.6 million of which are active, and SixApart produces MovableType, one of the most popular and powerfull ‘blogging tools out there.

The combination is interesting… in some ways, LJ seems to be the “low-end” of the ‘blogosphere – little to no technical knowledge necessary, a relatively shallow learning curve, free accounts and free hosting, and a “typical user” who is an angst-filled teenage girl. MT, on the other hand, is high(er) end. It’s not free. Hosting a ‘blog on one’s own domain requires some knowledge of server administration (or access to someone with that knowledge), not to mention the capital of one’s own domain and hosting services for that domain. There is some middle ground in the form of TypePad, a hosting service for MT ‘blogs, which is relatively inexpensive (though the lowest level of service does cost more than twice as much as a paid LJ account) and fairly powerful, especially at the “plus” and “pro” levels.

As of last month, there’s started to be “feature bleed;” LJ added “tags” which are essentially the same thing as MT’s “categories.” Will there be other features that make the jump in one direction or the other? Will we start to see security settings and Friends Lists on MT ‘blogs? Somehow I doubt it, but it’ll be interesting to watch.

Coming later:
Reflections on how Blogger might fit into this universe – what niche it’s creating for itself, etc.

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