Six Apart and Live Journal

I’m a little late to this, but the word is that Six Apart is buying LiveJournal. Congrats to the 6A and LJ teams! Big news, however you cut it. However, the question is: what exactly are they buying? LiveJournal has about 5.6 million accounts, but only about 2.4 million of these are active. That’s still pretty nice though, considering I imagine it’s about 24x what Typepad/Movable Type have now. Is it the technology? That’s already open source so they would have access to that anyway, and it’s Perl (which is 6A’s core competency) so I’m sure they could find they way around. (I wonder what will happen to the Open Source project after the dust has settled though?) That leads me to think it must be the people and engineers at LJ that 6A is after. Is this enough to position them against Microsoft and Google, as many have been suggesting?

98.6% of LiveJournal users don’t pay a thing, but that still gives 6A ~93,000 accounts paying $25/year. That revenue will be nice, especially since 6A has so many employees, but I don’t think it’s the coup most people are expecting. Remember the people who invested $10M in Six Apart are expecting it to be a quarter of a billion dollar business. It’ll be interesting to hear what the official word is on this, if and when an official word comes out. I’m probably missing something obvious. (And where is Yahoo in all of this? They better hurry up and buy someone too.)