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Difference between LJ & Vox?
LiveJournal: You can let anyone comment on your posts. If you don't want to allow anonymous comments, your friends can still sign in using OpenID, so they don't have to create an LJ account. And you can add them as Friends so they'll see your Friends Only posts.

Vox (the new service from the same company): Not so much.

It seems to me that Six Apart, who accepted a lot of funding for making Vox, have made it inferior... deliberately.

It may very well be better than MySpace, but it's clearly designed to compete by being yet another user lock-in service. A shame, but it's to be expected really. And to be fair, nearly everyone does it. Flickr is no better. (Flickr competitor Zooomr allows OpenID login.) Although technically you could use the Flickr API to get your data if you want to break free. Just as Flickr, MySpace, YouTube and others are doing, Vox is trying to be an appealing service that no one wants to leave... but failing that, will settle for being a service that is difficult to leave.

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Actually, in Vox we're fully supporting the Google Data APIs to extract whatever info you want from Vox, along with Feeds for everything so you can get your data in a simple, open format. And we'll be adding Open ID client support for commenting -- Vox is already an OpenID server.

Vox is basically just as open as LJ, especially since they both share a lot of the same technological underpinnings. We just wanted to start with a simpler Vox experience because its intended audience might not always be as savvy as LJ users, who are comfortable with more advanced options and want more meticulous customization.

We don't have an interest in user lock in -- in fact, when our co-founder Ben Trott spoke at the Web 2.0 conference, he specifically touted our export feature. Given that he spoke right after Google's CEO and earlier in the week than the heads of Yahoo, AOL, and Microsoft, I think it's pretty dramatic that he's the only one to really explicitly call out the idea, though Google did mention it.

Thanks for the reply and info about Vox's openess.

It's very interesting looking at how various web companies are competing. It's nice to hear that lock-in is not a Vox strategy, but you've certainly picked up some techniques from other companies like YouTube and MySpace; especially the neighborhood: there's always something to look at, something recommended, making it easy to get sucked into endless browsing. The nice difference is the ability to subscribe to feeds. I can't stand the arrogant "if you want to subscribe, JOIN USSS!" approach.

Anyway, I hope Vox is working well for Six Apart. More to the point, I hope it's not to late to pick up a heap of people who have not yet succumbed to MySpace.

Yeah, part of the lack of clarity here is because we haven't done a good enough job with docs yet -- I think that's just a function of the site being fairly young. We're beefing up the API documentation a lot in the months to come.

As far as picking up people from other services, I honestly don't think it's a zero sum game -- we're assuming people are still going to use those other services. They'll just want to do so in a place that gives them more control, and that's why things like YouTube are integrated into Vox. We've already publicly demonstrated bringing your Blogger or LiveJournal posts into Vox, too, and I think that'll be coming soon.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback; I'm happy any time someone gives us the chance to explain what we're doing. :)

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