Tuesday, 20 February 2007

MyBlogLog, a Passing Fad?

If you spend any time reading blogs, you cannot help but have noticed the impact of MyBlogLog ("MBL") over the last couple of months. For example, you've probably noticed those "Recent Readers" widgets sitting in the margins of many blogs, including this one. However, there seem to be mixed feelings about MBL and whether it really is a useful service or just a passing craze.

For example, Darren "ProBlogger" Rowse just authored a post entitled, "MyBlogLog - Is It Adding Value?" in which he wrote:

I guess I'm also still a little confused about what MyBlogLog offers bloggers . . . I'm worried that in it's current form their communities could actually hurt the reputation of the blogs that they form around.
Yet other "A-List" bloggers such as John Chow have been actively pushing their MBL communities and John has even run a competition for which you had to join his community in order to be entered. A sure sign that he's keen to build up his MBL community membership.

Futhermore, MBL was recently purchased by Yahoo, Inc. and will soon be transitioning to using Yahoo IDs in order to log in.

What Does MBL Offer?

So what does MBL really offer? Well, in my opinion, the best thing that MBL offers is its stats and the best bit about the stats is the "What Readers Clicked" listing, which lists all of the hyperlinks on your blog that visitors clicked on, including AdSense ads, external hyperlinks, etc.

However, even though I really like the stats, there are other sources of such stats, especially where your visitors came from and what they viewed.

Contacts & Admirers
I like the fact that I can see what other MBL users have linked to me as a contact or an admirer. But does this really have any value apart from massaging my ego . . . and the egos of other MBL users? I suspect not. However, people like having their egos massaged (and I got quite a buzz to see someone as well-known as Jill Whalen adding herself as a contact!) so I guess there is some value here but it's an intangible value and not anything that will actually add to the value of your blog in any real sense.

Again, this merely shows a list of people who have joined your blog's community. This gives them a chance to network with each other and to have your ego massaged again. Yes, it gives you a way of networking with others that you might not have met elsewhere but I'm not convinced again that it offers any real value despite the John Chows of this world that are making such a point of promoting them.

Yes, MBL offers quite a bit of spam, both in the form of messages, requests to co-author blogs, spam images in the "Recent Readers" widget (including scripts to refresh pages so a person's icon remains in the listing all day) and so on. In fact, this last weekend witnessed a bit of an MBL spamming frenzy, which the MBL owners have since tried to take steps to prevent in future.


If it weren't for the stats, I would say that, at the moment, MBL offers more fluff than substance and it was the stats that really caused me to join. The only other real value that MBL offers is the value that has been placed on it by well-known bloggers who are both promoting it and using their services on their blogs. As for whether Yahoo will add any real value to MBL remains to be seen and I shall look on with interest to see how it develops over the coming months.

Technorati Tags:

No comments: