Could this be the world's most awkward photograph? On the left, Brad Fitzpatrick, founder of Livejournal, the online diary site, and still a key exec at the company that bought him out, San Francisco's Six Apart. Also at last night's party in San Francisco's South of Market district, on the right of the snap, Artur Bergman, a colleague who had a widely-known affair with Fitzpatrick's wife. Correction: former colleague, and former wife.
Valleywag heard rumors about the Livejournal love triangle months ago, and forgot about them, until yesterday's other Six Apart news. Topic number one at the party, at the 111 Minna gallery, for a new Six Apart partnership: the recent exposure of confidential personal information, including social security numbers, of Fitzpatrick and other key execs, as well as the blog publishing company's investors. It was inevitable that some in the gossipy Livejournal community would assume a connection between the leak, which the company has blamed on internet "griefers", and Bergman, who has many hacker friends.
The Swedish engineer denies any involvement in the breach. And Barak Berkowitz, Six Apart's chief executive, describes the company's relationship with Bergmann — who is on disability after an operation to remove a benign tumor from his ribcage — as "amicable". Which is the point that I presume yesterday's public show for the cameras, however strained, was intended to underline.