Yahoo & the Future of MyBlogLog?

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Yahoo acquired the blogging analytics program and social network MyBlogLog in January which was a smart and exciting move on their behalf. But what are they doing with MyBlogLog now?

History of MyBlogLog

As a quick recap of MyBlogLog, the analytics program was grouped with a simple Social Networking offering which lets members upload their photos. Then, when blog owners run the MyBlogLog script, they can not only track their basic referrals and blog traffic, but also measure WHO visits their blogs, via MyBlogLog profiles.

But the defining point of MyBlogLog is the formation of communities and the MyBlogLog FaceRolls (ReaderRolls). The FaceRoll adds more of a personal touch to any blog running it by showing the last 5 to 10 readers and their avatar who visited the blog.

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.

Given its personalization and networking aspects for bloggers, MyBlogLog was an early darling of the blogging community (MyBlogLog Search Engine Journal Community), and although the service is still popular, if Yahoo! doesn’t make some changes soon, who’s to say it won’t become yesterday’s news?

The Future of MyBlogLog?

After Yahoo acquired MyBlogLog, there were some basic changes which addressed security issues, integration of Flickr images and load time of the FaceRoll widgets – but not much has changed with MyBlogLog.

Not to say that Yahoo has to overhaul the service, but updating MyBlogLog to a better service would be nice.

Yahoo has an excellent base in social media and Web 2.0, with Flickr, del.icio.us and Yahoo Answers… but they are missing the core offering which Ask.com jumped on two years ago and Google has set the market mold for … a blog & feed reader.

That’s the frustration with Yahoo. For every smart move they make of bringing in the thought leaders of early adoption technologies via high profile industry acquisitions, they seem to never follow through because of slow movement from within or the fear of creating something too advanced for the bulk of their registered members (although for some reason Yahoo! Widgets and Yahoo! Pipes hit the market quite rapidly).

Why then, can Yahoo not build something as easy as a feed reader? Why do they spend their time and expenses creating flashy MyYahoo homepages with limited feed integration technology when 80% of their employees could probably hack a very good Yahoo! Reader over the course of one day. And imagine what they could turn out over the course of one Hack Day!

Yahoo! MyBlogLog Reader

Enough ranting, the next logical step for MyBlogLog is the launching of a Blog Reader which is preprogrammed with the feeds of the blog communities we have already joined.

For example, I’ve been a member of MyBlogLog for about one year. I belong to 15 communities which are all run by blogs I enjoy reading on a daily basis.

Yahoo! launches their MyBlogLog reader and suddenly my Reader is propopulated with the blogs I enjoy, along with suggestions of other blogs which members of the communities I belong to and my MyBlogLog friends read.

I’d be easily hooked and would seriously, if the reader were done right, probably ditch the other feed reader services I belong to.

And it is to my understanding that MyBlogLog has this technology ready to roll, and has been sitting on it for a good while now. So they should Beta test it, make fixes, then Alpha launch it immediately.

Other Next Steps for MyBlogLog

Other obvious next steps for MyBlogLog are YPN integration so the same blog accounts which run MyBlogLog could also easily sign up with the Yahoo Publisher Network and run Yahoo ads or even show the faces of your friends who read blogs which are served in the Yahoo Search results (nevermind Yahoo Blog Search as that has evidently slipped into oblivion)…. Not to mention the opening of MyBlogLog Pro so all members could use or preview their analytics program and not just the ones who have paid already (whether that opening be limited, forever, or advertising funded).

David Dalka attended the SOBcon conference in Chicago yesterday where MyBlogLog Community Manager Robyn Tippins spoke about more upcoming changes, including the rebranding of MyBlogLog.

  1. The biggest news is that there will be a rebranding of MyBlogLog. The exact timing and new brand were not revealed. (YahooBlogLog or MyYahooLog? Time will tell.)
  2. A complete site redesign is on the way!
  3. A new “Widget 2.0? is coming with some hover features.
  4. Yahoo! is hard at work to remove the offensive photos so that MyBlogLog would be palatable to more conservative business blogs.
  5. Some sort of method to turn off your presence for some types of sites will be added.

So, it sounds like some changes are being made, but as a MyBlogLog user and Yahoo advocate, I’m a bit worried that the service will lose its fire and cool down a bit before the critical changes to make it better are made.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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