August 27, 2007

What Is the Future Of MyBlogLog?

MyBlogLog offers an interesting service for bloggers aiming to find out who visits their pages, who is part of their blog's community, and also offers a directory service aimed to finding you new blogs to add to your own reading list.

In January, Yahoo! purchased MyBlogLog for $10 million, after months of speculation the site was for sale. Since that time, we haven't heard much. The company's blog shows the development team moved to Yahoo! in the middle of this year, despite some defections, and is looking to expand.

(Oddly enough, the site's e-mail listed for new target hires was the same gentleman who shortly thereafter wrote he was "pulling up stakes" and leaving, which doesn't bode well. But as we know, luckily, a service usually isn't one person deep.)

The biggest innovations from MyBlogLog this summer were the introduction of "Community Messaging", where a site owner could "blast" community members with a message directly to their own MyBlogLog pages, to alert them of news, poll them or simply gain feedback; the introduction of extensive tagging, and continued to work on efforts to weed out spam across the service.

I use MyBlogLog as a widget on this blog to see faces of visitors I know well, and I use my own MyBlogLog page to track site visit statistics, and to watch any day to day additions to the community, a small, but loyal, group. While I enjoy the service, I believe I'm either not using MyBlogLog to its fullest potential, or hope the service has many more updates to soon debut to keep it on the cutting edge.

First, I hope the service can recognize what it is not. It is not a social network, like Facebook. While they've erred on that side before, with the addition of Twitter status updates, for example, MyBlogLog is exactly what its name implies - it is My Blog's Log, not My Personal Log. As a result, the site should focus on information relevant to the blog as an entity - including statistics of visitors, and individuals, as well as most frequently read pages, most common incoming and outgoing links, as it does today.

Second, I hope it can focus. If it's to become one of my go-to site statistics hubs, it should have more than just one day's data available at one time, but should instead show trends for daily visits, pages, and even visitors. If it can track an individual in my community came to my page, there's no reason it can't flip on the Big Brother switch and show me how many times that one individual visited my site in the last 7, 30 or 90 days. In theory, MyBlogLog is tracking more data than does SiteMeter and even Google Analytics, and is sitting on a gold mine for individual bloggers here.

Third, as MyBlogLog shows me who is a member of my community, and has the option to show me what additional communities those members are part of, in theory, MyBlogLog could say, for instance, "You and Geekwhat have three communities in common," or taking it a step further, the site could show me who else out there shares many of my own communities. If I am a member of 34 communities, and ParisLemon is a member of 27 of those (I made that up), then those communities we don't share just might be of interest to the other. Using this theoretical search tool, I could also be able to find new people who just might be interested in and have the option to leave them a private message invitation.

MyBlogLog is an interesting service today. It could become a great service tomorrow, with just a few tweaks. Right now, given the site's gaining a bad name for spammers and faux IDs, combined with its low profile after the Yahoo! acquisition, I get the feeling they've stalled momentum. Is the service planning to expand to the fore, as it could, or instead, will it be folded into the Yahoo! behemoth, never to escape? Many bloggers await the answer.

(This post also will be sent to the community as a trial run of that service)

To join the community, click here. To join MyBlogLog, visit their site.