LinuxWorld has an interesting article by Brad Fitzpatrick, the author of LiveJournal.
"I didn't foresee any of these aspects of blogging when I launched LiveJournal.com in April 1999. In fact, I don't think the name "blogging" was even coined or in widespread use until the launch of Blogger.com later in the year. No, I started LiveJournal.com just to add another dynamic trinket to my already gaudy personal Web site."
One thing that makes the article interesting is the history lesson. Brad started LiveJournal as just a personal part of his Web site so his friends could post larger messages. In other words, a hacked-out message board. It was "hacked out during a two-hour break between classes for the sole purpose of leaving a sarcastic comment on a friend's post."
Brad made LiveJournal open source in 2001. LiveJournal is going strong still, with about 1.5 million accounts. LiveJournal provides free and fee based accounts for users.