SUP buys LiveJournal

Russian (or, Russian born) company SUP acquires LiveJournal blog service from Six Apart.  The two companies have been working together for the last six month or so, with SUP “taking care” of the Russian users of LiveJournal, which are an impressive 28% chunk of population.

How do I feel about this?  Here are some points from the top of my head, that will give you an idea:

  • I have an account with LiveJournal, but I don’t use it that much myself.  There are a few blogs there that I read, but this is not by any means a vital service for my web life.
  • I think that LiveJournal is lagging behind its competitors for some time now.  It needed a “push”.
  • I don’t think that SUP will be able to “push” it.  For a number of reasons.  (Russia lags in technological development and understanding.   SUP is company established by “an international management team”, not techies.  And so on.)
  • I don’t think that SUP (or any other Russian company for that matter) has enough trust to run a blogging service.  I think that many bloggers (especially political ones) will look for alternative services.
  • I have a feeling that monetization of LiveJournal will get a bit more aggressive in the nearest future.
  • I think that it’s time for a lot of people to take a look around and learn about other excellent blogging communities, such as for example.

Traces of digital revolution

The digital world is upon us.  Everybody knows it and nobody ever argues with it anymore.  But that’s too general.  What is actually changing?  What are the specific examples?   Today I came across one, while catching up with Slashdot news.  Here is a quote from the post:

 “An inspired professor at University of Washington-Bothell, Martha Groom, made an interesting pedagogical experiment. Instead of vilifying Wikipedia as some academics are prone to do, she assigned the students enrolled in her environmental history course to contribute articles. The result has proven “transformative” to her students. They were no longer spending their time writing for one reader, says Groom, but were doing work of consequence in a “peer reviewed” environment, which enhanced the quality of their output.”

If you read through the comments to the post, there are many insightful thoughts too.  Here is one of those that I liked (apart from the age criteria):

Wikipedia should be output, not input, for students past a certain age. It gets them used to writing for real people as opposed to just for getting graded, it gives them the experience of having their writing edited by people of varying abilities, and it gives them motivation for doing research. Another, easier, option would be to assign students to correct Wikipedia articles.

Another comment mentions that this is not by far the first time that this happens.  It conveniently links to the page with more examples of school and university projects.