The article appears to be a run-of-the-mill business news article: an online firm that specializes in hosting blogs has been acquired by a company that specializes in displaying advertisements on web sites. It would seem to be a marriage made in heaven.
There's just one problem: the "online firm that specializes in hosting blogs" is Six Apart, the company that owns TypePad which, in turn, has hosted Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter for the past six years as well as several other blogs that I write. In short, my hosting service has been acquired by a company that delivers advertising.
As stated in the New York Times article, "The deal... is intended to expand VideoEgg’s online advertising business beyond social networking, gaming and video sites, along with boosting its audience."
Six Apart was in financial difficulties about five years ago. There was some question whether or not the company would survive. Indeed, the company did survive and seemed to do so rather well. In fact, Six Apart even bought out its competitor, LiveJournal. It also introduced Vox, a password-protected alternative that allowed users to share their posts only with friends.
Six Apart eventually sold Live Journal in 2007. Earlier this month, it closed Vox without finding a buyer. The closing of Vox was widely suspected as a move to make Six Apart a more attractive acquisition target.
In August, Chris Alden, Six Apart’s chief executive, was reported to have said that his company was not “in the process of a merger.” Today, about six weeks later, the company announced that it is merging with VideoEgg. It seems that Mr. Alden lied to us. I find it interesting that today's announcement also mentions that Mr. Alden will be leaving the company.
The announcement assures the company's customers, including me, that the company will remain in operation and will continue to provide blogging services. I certainly hope so.
For the time being, I am not planning on any changes, but I will keep an eye on the services offered. If the services offered by the new company change in a direction that I do not like, I will move the newsletter to a different hosting service. This will cause some upheaval with domain names and all, but I want to make sure this newsletter remains available in a format that I approve.
In the meantime, I am making daily backups of all the articles and web pages here.