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Two colors of Play-doh

The hot rumor is that Six Apart is about to buy Live Journal. That strikes me as a fairly bad idea for a number of reasons, mostly technological — if you’re not going to get economies of scale from merging code bases, then you’re setting up Six Apart as a conglomerate, and frankly Six Apart just isn’t big enough to support two completely divergent code bases and/or development teams. But if you do intend to merge the code bases, wow, that’s a can of worms which (IMHO) would bring new feature development to a halt for six months to a year, minimum, on both sides of the fence.

Now would not be a good time to slow down new feature development, what with MSN getting into the blogging mix, WordPress picking up steam, and so on.

There are also cultural/marketing issues, in that Live Journal is a community rather than a service or a product. That can be overcome with good PR and communications. Assuming Six Apart learned from the uproar surrounding their pricing announcements earlier this year, they’ll be OK in that regard.

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