Yahoo has made another successful and smart social media acquisition in MyBlogLog which can now be added to their list of grassroots early adoption web 2.0 services such as Flickr & del.icio.us along with their current social media offerings in Yahoo Answers & Yahoo Local. MyBlogLog is an exciting acquisition by Yahoo as it may fill many holes within Yahoo’s FUSE (Find, Use, Share, and Expand) strategy and securing Yahoo’s positive reputation with the blogging community.
The following is an overview of MyBlogLog, the Yahoo Acquisition, and how Yahoo can improve upon MyBlogLog while using aspects of MyBlogLog to better current Yahoo offerings.
What is MyBlogLog?
MyBlogLog is a hybrid between a blog analytics solution and a social networking environment which has recently swept the blogging world by storm. A ‘MySpace for bloggers’, MyBlogLog lets registered members congregate around communities set up by those members or the blog owners themselves.
Bloggers can then add code to their site which does not only track analytics goodies such as referrals and outbound links, but also who is visiting your site (remember MyBlogLog users are registered) and what other blogs they read.
By doing so, it helps bloggers more or less profile their readers and also introduces other blogs which bloggers may want to connect with, contribute to, or comment upon in an effort to attract more like minded readers and subscribers to their own blogs.
Best of all, MyBlogLog puts a face behind the blogs and their readers with its signature Reader Roll, which adds more of a personal touch to any blog running it. Click on the name or pic of one of the readers and then the use is taken to their profile with blogs they read, communities they belong to, and a list of their contacts or friends. Some members even list their contact information or links to their own sites, Flickr photo streams or IM member names.
Being that MyBlogLog is part social network, blog authors can use the tool to reach out to their readers via the blog’s own community or sending messages on MyBlogLog … expanding the conversation beyond posting and comments.
Yahoo Acquires MyBlogLog
MyBlogLog has been the target of a Yahoo acquisition for months now and earlier in the week Yahoo confirmed that the rumors were true and they had purchased MyBlogLog.
This was a very smart acquisition by Yahoo as MyBlogLog can help expand some of their publisher offerings while giving Yahoo a new analytics tool, social network to build upon, and more connection with bloggers and blog readers.
Yahoo has, in the past, forged a very special relationship with bloggers that was built upon the foundation of blog tools like “Add to MyWeb” or “Add to MyYahoo” buttons, Flickr photostreams and blogging tools, and del.icio.us bookmarking for blogs. And oh yes, tagging (flickr & del.icio.us) , let’s not forget the importance of tagging, 2.0, blogs and Yahoo!
Furthermore, Yahoo’s cornerstone niche is its hub of user generated content in Yahoo Local reviews, Yahoo Local communities, ability to comment, rate & share Yahoo News stories, Yahoo Bookmarks and its and of course, Yahoo Answers – the Q&A search community which has taken social media & web 2.0 out of the Valley and into the heartland.
Chad Dickerson, Sr. Director of Yahoo! Developer Network adds:
At Yahoo!, we have a global community of over a half a billion users, and we’re always looking for ways to better connect the people in that community to each other and to the communities (large and small) that they care about. MyBlogLog helps us do this like never before. If blogging was originally about building a community and having a conversation with people in that community, then MyBlogLog provides the missing link that makes those connections more real.
Yes, best of all, MyBlogLog will help to enhance the way that Yahoo users connect with each other, and may become the nucleus of this community in a way that Yahoo! 360 has never become.
How Yahoo Should Use MyBlogLog
1. Social Networking & Start Page
Yahoo! 360 is their hybrid blog & social network tool which is very, shall we say, MySpace in usability but also includes Yahoo Local, reviews, RSS subscriptions, Yahoo Answers, Yahoo Photos and Yahoo Messenger integration.
I’ve always felt that Yahoo! 360 had a lot to offer and should, as its name suggests, become the center of the Yahoo universe (even past the point that MyYahoo has become), but has never really taken off due to lack of direction, outdated blogging interface, and poor marketing to Yahoo users.
Will MyBlogLog replace Yahoo 360? Probably not but Yahoo can learn from the simplicity of MyBlogLog’s social network, its grassroots growth, and build a much more user friendly social network around Yahoo 360. Then Yahoo should merge 360 into MyYahoo, which users are already friendly with, and drop the 360 name.
2. Search, Channel, Local & News Communities
I forsee the new MyYahoo interface as including the MyBlogLog community aspect within RSS subscriptions, Yahoo News stories, Yahoo Answers, Yahoo Local and expanding beyond MyYahoo into other channels including Yahoo Sports or Finance.
The MyBlogLog Reader Roll could be placed within these channels to help Yahoo users to connect with other like-minded members, share comments on Local or International news and find communities or blogs read by those other Yahoo users.
3. Yahoo Publisher Network
Out of all the Yahoo properties which I think will benefit from the MyBlogLog acquisition, I feel that YPN has the most to gain. Yahoo Publisher Network is their contextual advertising and publisher tool arm which is currently in beta and is now only being tested in the US market.
Yahoo Publisher Network offers a site or blog monetization system similar to Google AdSense and in my experiences testing it at Search Engine Journal, the system has shown similar CPM and ad dollar results as Google AdSense.
YPN has never really taken off and has been very selective about the sites which they approve for their network. One reason for the slow growth has been the overhaul of Yahoo Search Marketing and their new Panama system. Once YSM gets their act together, Yahoo Publisher Network should be ready to spread its wings, leave beta testing, and become aggressive in bringing in quality publishers and blogs into its system.
In MyBlogLog, YPN now as the perfect tools to connect with these bloggers and judge the quality of blogs based upon the readers of the blogs and their audience.
Furthermore, MyBlogLog brings a whole new aspect to the Yahoo Publisher Network service, analytics.
What better way to position YPN as the complete monetization and tracking system than offering top notch, yet basic, real time site or blog analytics which track referrals, RSS subscribers, outbound links, web hosting, advertisements clicked upon, possible heat mapping for ad placement testing, and publisher search, API, and mapping tools all into one service!
Such a well rounded offering would define Yahoo Publisher Network as the complete web publisher tool system.
MyBlogLog User Ideas on Yahoo & MyBlogLog
For the last round of suggestions and ideas on how Yahoo can better MyBlogLog and vice versa, I thought the best way to do so was to speak with search engine experts who are avid MyBlogLog and social networking users.
Bill Slawski of SEO by the SEA:
Bill Slawski touches upon some ways Yahoo could use MyBlogLog to better Yahoo Search and lends four changes he would like to see at MyBlogLog.
Yahoo appears to be developing a couple of different tracts for the exploration and use of social networks to create greater interactivity with the services they offer, and the information that they gather to fuel their search and other services.
I’ve been looking at some patents and papers from
Knowing something about social connections between webpages and page owners may provide Yahoo with some useful information.
As to changes to MyBlogLog, it would be great to see some additional ways to interact with people there.
1) Maybe give people a way to share bookmarks with their community members, or annotations.
2) Allow designation of family/friends for some contacts/community members, so that they can access some addition information (like in Del.icio.us).
3) Add some fields for profiles, instead of just leaving them free form.
4) Add some personal information management (PIM) capabilities to MyBlogLog, to enable people to make notes for some of their contacts.
Rhea Drysdale e-Commerce Analyst with Venus.com:
In regards to MyBlogLog, I see this being integrated with the 360 profile so people can easily “click to view my communities” and possibly an easy way to add their own 360 profile blogs to MyBlogLog. With the site itself I think there’s a possibility we’ll see user reviews and a rating system attached to each community. This can help give credibly to good blogs and serve as a way to weed out spam (possibly a tool for the search engine???).
One thing that’s completely out of left field (for me since I don’t know much about industry news) is the possibility of them launching their own analytics program. You just reported on MSN’s project, what’s to stop Yahoo from doing the same? MyBlogLog puts them one step ahead of the competition by adding a face to the traffic, which ties nicely into their MyYahoo theme.
Additionally, I can see MyBlogLog communities popping up on the SERPs similar to Yahoo! Answers with “These Blogs Relate to Your Search Query” or something to that extent.
Garrett French, Social Media Marketing Expert
I see MyBlogLog as the missing overt social networking link between bloggers. It’s very smart, and a very smart purchase for Yahoo… I mean – it fits nicely with their other purchases I’m not sure it will cut that peanut butter 😉
So Yahoo now has all the tools that bloggers need to interconnect, host photos, and distribute their favorite content… now they’ve just got to create a question feed for appropriate contextually related blogs so that bloggers can answer questions on their sites and get a link from a Yahoo answers page.
Cameron Olthuis of Advantage Consulting Services:
Well first of all I think there’s a number of things that MyBlogLog needs to improve on. For example,… It’s a pain to socialize on MyBlogLog and that’s something I think they need to improve on.
I don’t really think Yahoo needs to do too much integration. I think if they allowed you to import delicious bookmarks and flickr pics that would be a good start. So for example, I could display that last 10 items I’ve bookmarked on my MyBlogLog page, same with flickr photos.
CK Chung (Kid Disco) of SEODisco:
A more comprehensive analytics offering would be nice. They should take advantage of Performancing’s recent puss-out. Seeing as Flickr and Del.ishi.zzy are still separate entities, I don’t see too much integration going on. Other than that, a global login wouldn’t be a bad idea.
How do you think Yahoo should implement MyBlogLog into their Yahoo Network? And do you feel that Yahoo could better MyBlogLog by enhancing its current service?
Please feel free to leave a comment below.