Culture clash

Culture clash

: Zephoria blogs, quite rightly, that there’s a culture clash brewing in the reported merger of SixApart and LiveJournal.

SixApart produces publishing tools. LiveJournal produces social tools. They each give birth to cultures, but as Clay Shirky taught me long ago, those cultures are very different.

Live Journal is a culture, not simply a product or commodity that can be bought. From an outsider’s perspective, it might appear as though they are similar properties – they are both blogging tools, right? Wrong.

Jump inside LJ culture. People who use LJ talk about their LJs, not their blogs. They mock bloggers who want to be pundits, journalists, experts. In essence, they mock the culture of bloggers that use Six Apart’s tools. During interviews with LJ/Xanga folks, i’ve been told that MovableType is for people with no friends, people who just talk to be heard, people who are trying too hard.

But then again, these are just tools that can be used for anything, even shopping lists. The better the tools, the more power they put in the hands of the people, the more surprised and delighted you’ll be with how the people use them.