Reasons why the social graph deserves to die

In a smart essay on the technical origins of today’s social networks, Pinboard founder Maciej Ceglowski explores the idea of why the social graph doesn’t work in the way we need — and explodes it in the process.

Jason Shellen Returns With Plinky

On Friday I caught up with Jason Shellen, one of the members of the original Blogger team. Following Google’s February 2003 acquisition of PyraLabs, the company behind Blogger, Shellen joined the search engine giant, working first on Blogger and later on other projects, including Google Reader.

In July 2007, he became a member of the ex-Googler club, joining Six Apart spinoff LiveJournal for a brief stint as VP of product development. He has since left that gig and is now focused on a new startup, Plinky, which doesn’t have a web site just yet. (Now there’s a Web 2.0 name if there ever was one!)

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Ex-E*TRADE CEO Goes Social With MOLI

Christos Cotsakos, former CEO of E*TRADE, the online brokerage firm that revolutionized stock trading in Web 1.0, will unveil his Web 2.0 company called MOLI tomorrow at DEMO. And surprise, surprise — it’s a social network! Yet Cotsakos is undetered by what is an arguably overcrowded space: In a briefing with GigaOM last week, he explained what distinguishes MOLI (the name stands for “money and living”) from others with market-leader advantages (Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn) — and why he believes users will gravitate to MOLI anyway.

“People say the market has already formed,” he said, “but the market never forms. It only forms and reforms. There is still room for a handful of unique brands in this space.” Cotsakos, who founded MOLI in 2003, has had plenty of time to refine the company’s business model to ensure it might be one of them. And although odds are usually stacked against late entrants, MOLI does offer some compelling features. Read More about Ex-E*TRADE CEO Goes Social With MOLI

SixApart Sells LiveJournal To A Russian Group

Less than three years after it acquired LiveJournal, San Francisco-based blogging software company, SixApart has decided to sell the business to a Russian group, SUP. SixApart is the company behind well known publishing platforms, TypePad and MoveableType. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The sale of LiveJournal shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. LiveJournal founder and lifeforce Brad Fitzpatrick recently left SixApart to pursue other opportunities. He currently works for Google.

In a statement, SixApart said that it will continue to represent LiveJournal to advertisers and partners for 12-months. SUP will establish a US operation to manage LiveJournal globally. SUP had licensed LiveJournal from SixApart in October 2006 permitting SUP to manage LiveJournal in Russia. The Russian LiveJournal community is second only to the U.S. in number of accounts. There are about 14 million Live Journal users. SUP now represents 28% of the total LiveJournal monthly audience.

I got in touch with Edward Shenderovich, Head of Strategic Development at SUP and asked him why his company decided to buy LiveJournal. He emailed this response.

We believe it’s a good business.  In the world now dominated by social networks, the role of a “community platform” holds a very special place.  We have some ideas about new functionality, new partnerships, and some interesting monetization opportunities.  We are very excited about the progress we had made in Russia in the last 6 months and look forward to replicate some of our success worldwide.