Danah Boyd on Live Journal acquisition

Danah (who’s studied social networks and communities in great detail, for those who may not know): “LJ folks don’t see LJ as a tool, but a community. Bloggers may see the ethereal blogosphere as their community, but for LJers, it’s all about LJ. Aside from the ubergeek LJers, LJers don’t read non-LJs even though syndication is available. They post for their friends, comment excessively and constantly moderate who should have access to what.”
And: “My biggest concern is that a merger will stunt the cultural growth on LiveJournal that makes it so fascinating. My second concern is that Six Apart will not be prepared to deal with the userbase and will initiate practices that are more detrimental because of fear. [For example, what’s the best way to handle an LJ community dedicated to cutters trying to outdo each other via images?] It takes a resistance-based culture to support a community of resisters and Six Apart is by no means a resistance-minded company. My third concern is that LiveJournal will shift because of investor value.”
There is a terrific discussion going on in the comments–including this quote from Scott Rafer, Feedster CEO: “With the astonishing, yet probably conservative, blogging numbers that Pew announced Monday, 6A can afford to leave LJ as a separate community and have it evolve into a more direct competitor to MySpace.”