Thursday, August 10, 2006
“And the difference between Vox and LiveJournal is … ?”
How is Vox different from … LiveJournal?
LiveJournal has grown to be an amazing community of fiercely independent bloggers. Over the past seven years, that community has developed in both its scope and its need for powerful customization. We think that Vox will be a great choice for bloggers looking for a more turnkey environment that balances community and privacy.
But notice how they don't actually answer the question. How does Vox differ from LiveJournal? Not even LiveJournal has an answer.
And both are owned by Six Apart.
So why would Six Apart offer yet another blogging/journaling service when they have Livejournal and Typepad? A couple of reasons. One, despite what they're saying, they're probably trying to buy into the MySpace realm of website while it's still a hot market to get into (“What's hot? MySpace. What's not? LiveJournal.”).
Two, anyone can snag the source code that runs LiveJournal and set up your own service (like DeadJournal or InsaneJournal—although both don't have the mindshare of LiveJournal). You can even download the code for Moveable Type (which is what they use for Typepad) and while you aren't exactly free to do anything with the code, you can still (with appropriate licensing) set up a comparable service (although I don't know of any off the top of my head). And there's still nothing from letting you download either codebases and doing your own personal thing with them. With Vox, I doubt you'll ever see the source code.
You don't get to see the code that runs Google. You don't get to see the code that runs MySpace. You don't get to see the code that runs Flickr. It seems that all the cool Web 2.0 kids are into services and not into sharing code (granted, you can use their services through a web based API they provide, but that's not the same as sharing the actual code).
Now, why don't you get to see the code to Vox? (and this is pure
speculation on my part—who knows? When they formally launch Vox they
might provide the source code, but I'm doubting it). Because I suspect that
Six Apart are planning on going public soon (reason three). They've been
vulture venture capitalists over the past few years,
building themselves up and my guess would be that the investors feels it's a
harder deal to go public when the core of your business, your product, is
available for free for anyone to set up competition using your own
I would not be surprised at all to hear Six Apart announce (at the same time, or shortly after, they announce Vox) they're planning on going public.
And that, in my opinion, is how Vox is different from LiveJournal.
Obligatory Cat Blogging
Spodie, curious as to what I was holding in my hands, leared the hard way what a “flash bulb” is.
He didn't like it very much.