SUP has acquired LiveJournal, Inc., the company that holds all LiveJournal assets, from Six Apart. LiveJournal, Inc. will continue to operate out of San Francisco, California.
What is SUP?
SUP is an international online media company founded in Moscow in the summer of 2006. SUP has a simple goal: to build a portfolio of services and projects which provide web users great content while offering commercial partners effective platforms to engage with them. SUP has developed a network of businesses and projects to achieve these goals:
- LiveJournal is one of the world's oldest and most recognized online brands. It is the most popular and influential blogging community in Russia. Prior to acquiring the service outright SUP licensed the Russian segment of LiveJournal from Six Apart in the USA.
- Championat.ru is a leading sports website and is currently ranked in the top two sports news services in the Russian internet.
- +SOL is an online sales agency agency which acts both as SUP's internal commercial department along with selling advertising for a number of high profile Russian and international websites.
- Victory SA is an interactive media, production and creative agency which devises and delivers online marketing campaigns for leading Russian and international brands.
SUP has established partnerships with businesses across the globe, including Last.fm, Yahoo!, and The Times.
What are the financial terms of the acquisition?
Both SUP and Six Apart are bound by confidentiality provisions which do not allow them to reveal the financial terms.
What was SUP's relationship to LJ before acquiring it?
SUP established a licensing partnership with Six Apart in October 2006, under which SUP provided support and marketing for LiveJournal users in the Russian segment of LiveJournal worldwide. During this partnership SUP and Six Apart worked in close collaboration to develop a new range of services for Russian-speaking users of LiveJournal.
The Sale of LiveJournal
Why is SUP buying LJ?
SUP believes that LJ is one of the web's strongest communities. SUP also believes in the business opportunity LJ offers. As the role of social networking and blogs becomes more significant in society, SUP feels that a service with a history as rich as that of LJ has a very bright future.
Why is Six Apart selling LJ?
With this sale LJ will have increased resources to grow and succeed while Six Apart will focus its resources on its core businesses: Movable Type, TypePad, and Vox. Having worked with SUP for a year, since the two companies partnered in October 2006, it believes that SUP has a passion for LJ as well as great skill in managing the service. These things, together with the capital which SUP plans to invest in LiveJournal, make them the perfect company to continue providing a rich experience to LJ users all over the world.
Next Steps for LiveJournal, Inc.
Why is this a good deal for LJ users?
Both SUP and Six Apart believe that LiveJournal users will benefit from this deal. SUP's goal is to nurture and support the community, and SUP's experience in Russia shows that they know how to make it work. The number of visitors and accounts in Russia has nearly doubled since SUP began managing the Cyrillic segment of LiveJournal in October 2006. While each community and geography may have different needs, SUP can expand the principles it has followed in Russia across the globe: giving users better features, responding to their concerns, strengthening communities, and working with offline content and marketing partners.
What happens to Six Apart employees working on LJ?
Six Apart employees who work exclusively on LJ have been transferred to LiveJournal, Inc.
Is this acquisition effective immediately?
LiveJournal, Inc. will manage the platform and employ the staff immediately, though Six Apart will continue to provide some support to LiveJournal, Inc. during a transition period. Six Apart's support will include hosting, advertizing sales, and some other operational functions. During the transition period, SUP and Six Apart will work in partnership to transfer all relevant aspects of the business to a new LiveJournal management team.
Will LiveJournal be hiring new staff?
Yes, LiveJournal, Inc. intends to build a new senior management team, expand its development team, and significantly bolster its product development and marketing departments. If you are interested in coming on board, please see SUP's website at http://www.sup.com/en/.
Will LiveJournal have a new product strategy?
LiveJournal, Inc. has a number of concrete goals which it intends to meet in the first 100 days following the acquisition. These plans focus on three core areas: usability - e.g, improving navigation; socialization and discovery - e.g. messaging and friend search; and general technical upgrades - e.g. improving speed of the site. Along with these tasks the new team will be fixing existing problems identified by the users.
LiveJournal Advisory Board
What is the LiveJournal Advisory Board?
This is a new group which will oversee issues relating to privacy, user policy and security. It will be independent of the LiveJournal, Inc. management team and will be able to represent users on specific issues. It will include two members from the LiveJournal community who will be elected by the users.
Will Brad Fitzpatrick be involved?
Brad has joined the LiveJournal Advisory Board.
Will LJ's policies around the Terms of Service and Abuse policies change?
LiveJournal, Inc. recognizes that there are a number of outstanding issues in terms of content and user rights which need to be resolved. Prior to the new management team coming on board, LiveJournal will create a community to solicit feedback and urge members to raise their concerns. LiveJournal hopes to have many of these issues sorted out as part of its 100 day plan.
Will my personal information remain in the USA?
Yes. LiveJournal, Inc. is an American company based in California and is subject to the laws of the state of California, USA. All relevant state and federal regulations will apply.
What assurances do I have that my data will not be stolen or misused?
The LiveJournal, Inc. technical department will follow all relevant industry standard security measures to ensure that sensitive information remains encrypted or intact. The technical department will be comprised of Six Apart and SUP developers that have worked on the LiveJournal code over the last 12 months.
What improvements has SUP made to LJ since it acquired the Russian license?
Here is a flavor of SUP's technical progress. SUP has released over 100 patches to the LiveJournal code base to fix bugs. It has added new features and removed some limitations; integrated the service with a host of leading media and online platforms; launched a ratings and navigation platform which provides a constantly updated digest of all that is new, interesting and popular in the community; and created completely new functionality offered to mobile users of LJ.
I have some ideas on how to improve LiveJournal, Inc. Who can I talk to?
You should start by posting comments in the new community we created to discuss the acquisition and the future of LiveJournal: lj_2008
Who will collect Paid account fees?
LiveJournal, Inc. will collect Paid account fees.
What are LiveJournal, Inc.'s plans with respect to LJ open source initiatives?
LJ has made significant contributions to the open source community and will continue to honor these commitments.