Chris Alden, CEO of blog-software maker Six Apart, understands his business so well that he posted his own internal memo before any pesky gossip bloggers could extract it from his loquacious employees. He's also sensible enough to admit that there's more to blame for the layoffs than the economy — like the integration of recent acquisitions. He also snuck in a well-disguised hint that the company is cash-flow positive. Well played, Chris! The company is laying off 8 percent of its 200-plus workforce, and shifting more resources into its services business. Cofounder Ben Trott is taking a bigger role running Six Apart's blog-hosting business. Alden and other top managers are taking a 15 percent paycut. The only disappointment: That the company didn't kill off Vox, its interminably boring free personal blogging service.
Digg cofounder Jay Adelson is now asked by the likes of Kara Swisher how he'd fix big media companies, as in this clip. But there was a time when he barely knew what to do with his own Internet startup, Equinix. That tale and more covers 54 out of 294 pages in Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good, Sarah Lacy's soon-to-be-released book about Web 2.0. The first page of the book's index, one of many to come:
Users of LiveJournal call it "defriending." As terrible as it sounds, defriending's not really that bad; it just means you're bored with someone and don't want to hear about their issues anymore. Or share yours with them. That, in essence, is what Six Apart, the San Francisco-based blog-software company, has decided to do with LiveJournal, the online community it acquired from Brad Fitzpatrick in 2005. Andrew Anker, Six Apart's vice president of
chopping the company into little bits for convenient and lucrative disposition corporate development, orchestrated the sale of LiveJournal to Sup, a Russian media company which already runs a localized version of the site. With the sale, Anker and the rest of Six Apart's team are letting LiveJournal know, as gently as they can, that they're just not interested in its problems.
Since acquiring LiveJournal in 2005, Six Apart has gotten little but grief from the blogging site. Now, at last, it's gotten some cash. The San Francisco-based blog-software company has sold LiveJournal to Sup, a Russian media concern. Ostensibly, the purchase of LiveJournal two years ago was meant to improve Six Apart's Web technology and accelerate its entry into ad-supported blog publishing. Instead?
We just heard an outlandish rumor: That San Francisco-based blogging company Six Apart, whose software powers many of the world's most popular blogs, considered splitting in two earlier this year, under former CEO Barak Berkowitz. But the company recently upgraded its CEO, replacing Berkowitz with executive Chris Alden, and a spinoff or sale is no longer on the table. By shedding its LiveJournal and Vox consumer blogging sites, Six Apart would have left behind enterprise blog service TypePad and the Movable Type software product — exactly the businesses new CEO Chris Alden ran before his promotion, which is likely why this old rumor is gaining fresh circulation.
It's a big year for Ben and Mena Trott, the husband-and-wife founders of Six Apart. The blog-software company was named after their six-days-apart birthdays; Mena just turned 30 yesterday, while Ben begins his fourth decade on Saturday. (Such a cradle-robber, that Mena.) Six Apart's board of directors just gave Mena the best present a founder could ask for — a new CEO, in the form of the eminently capable and blogging-savvy Chris Alden. Putting Alden, the former CEO of the Red Herring (back when it was an authority on tech, not its current incarnation) in charge should do much to clear up the company's bouts of less-than-transparent behavior. It's hard to top that kind of gift. So if you're in a generous mood, save it for the next generation of Trotts. The Trottlet, as some around the Six Apart office call Ben and Mena's next product release, is expected next month, according to their baby registry.
After Livejournal founder Brad Fitzpatrick left for greener, Googlier pastures, we told you to expect more drama from blogging software company Six Apart, and here's the latest installment. Barak Berkowitz, pictured, is out as CEO and will be replaced by Chris Alden, the former head of 6A's Professional Division and the person in charge of the recent Movable Type 4 upgrade. Alden came to Six Apart after last year's acquisition of feed reader company Rojo, a purchase which some saw more as a play to bring Alden to Six Apart than for the technology behind Rojo. As for Berkowitz, there is no word on his next professional move — a spokesperson for Six Apart said that he was taking a "well earned vacation" immediately following the handover and would then "explore new opportunities."