Six Apart and Live Journal

I was emailing about this deal this morning with a fellow blogger.

My assertion was it’s a smart move, Six Apart gets a low end/free service to go along with Typepad which is the top high end service.

It’s also a defensive move to protect Six Apart from the free services taking the market.

It also drastically increases the number of bloggers who use Six Apart’s products and services.  It’s a move for share.

I don’t think the free services will take the market, but I think you need to have a free service to be viable long term.

I laid this out in the email.  And the reply I got back was  – Sure, but where’s the business model in all these free sites?  How can Six Apart recoup their investment in Live Journal?

I think there’s a big advertising opportunity on these free blog sites.  With contextual and behavioral targeting technologies, the traffic that these sites generate can be easily monetized.

But that isn’t Six Apart’s business today.  They’ll either have to develop it internally or partner with someone to bring that capability, or possibly both.

It will be interesting to see how this develops.  I think it was a smart move for both companies.