Sheng Li (gmachine1729) wrote,
Sheng Li

What!? LiveJournal is actually owned by Russian company now? (and has been for a while)

Originally published at 狗和留美者不得入内. You can comment here or there.

I had noticed before that LiveJournal was more “Russian” than usual. Only today did I find out that it’s actually owned by a Russian company, hosted in Russia.

How did I find out? Well, it occurred to me that I might want to back up this blog more. Fault tolerance, high availability, single point of failure (SPOF), blah blah blah all those distributed systems buzzwords. I’m just one person. I could suddenly end up gone. WordPress could also potentially forcibly shut down this site.

So I asked somebody to possibly replicate some of the stuff on here on Sina. I did make another WordPress under the suggestion that me and a few others create a joint blog, but nothing’s come out of that. So yes, another WordPress helps too, but that’s not as diverse. Ideally, make a (I already have one, and have hardly anything on there) with version control and pull requests. I didn’t have the time/energy and plus there is value in concentrating and accumulating more into one place, as far as media goes.

Naturally, it occurred to me to find some Russian blogging platform. Since we have now this новая холодная война (new Cold War), it’s prudent to have some backup on the other side of the world, and Russia is better for internationalization than China. Russians, unlike Chinese, can actually fake white for God’s sake. A quick search led to me to LiveJournal, and then I was like, “WHAT!!!”

Which means the founder of LiveJournal, Brad Fitzpatrick, who’s not even 40, who I actually asked a question at a talk he gave created a media/blogging/internet company out of America and sold it out to Russia. (Actually he sold it to a company that eventually sold it out to Russia, so not exactly his fault.) Wiki says he’s now at Google as Staff Software Engineer (a high but not especially so level) working on the Go programming language. I wonder how he feels about the end result of his product.

That’s the thing about donations and founding companies. There’s no guarantee that there won’t eventually be people using your money or creation for something you really don’t like, and that there will be little that you can do about it. In America, a founder without the right connections/background/political skill can eventually get eaten alive by more powerful people and eventually marginalized or even forced out of the company he founded. ArmorUSA wrote that in America, even if an Asian founds a great company (like Yahoo, Disqus, Nvidia), because Asians are a rather politically powerless minority there, almost always eventually control of it is ceded to whites. Even with Quora, I saw they recently hired some female Indian Stanford MBA for a top exec position among others and I’m sure Adam D’Angelo doesn’t really get to call shots at the company anymore. You can also say that in China, it’s a virtual guarantee that if you found a company and it grows big, you might still have a ton of stock ownership over it, but politically, it more or less becomes a company of the state, with party secretaries installed, etc. But at least, it’s a guarantee that it’ll stay within China and be run by Chinese in China. (I don’t think there is any non-negligible risk now that China ends up getting run by pro-West puppets as was the case with Russia in the 90s.)

Last but not least, I’m looking for volunteers to replicate content on this site. Start a LiveJournal, another WordPress, a, a Sina, if you ever find an article or page you really like, copy paste the whole thing, add a link to the original, and publish. Somebody I know is already embarking on that, and we can eventually make it jointly managed by some group of people.

Tags: 互联网行业, 俄罗斯/россия, 软件

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