You probably have noticed this blue box with avatars in it appearing on your favorite blogs for the last few months. At first you don’t notice this kind of widgets. Then you look a little bit what it’s all about. And then you join the community, which I did eventually.
This blog is not to describe what this service is : people did it months ago (an eternity) in a much better way than I could now. Rather, this post attempts to describe why this is an extremely clever Web 2.0 application.
A community there for the taking
Basically, MyBlogLog allows you to create your blog browsing identity : the MyBlogLog profile. Wherever you go (well at least wherever there is the MyBlogLog widget installed), you leave your clickprint. You can also define in this profile your blogs, communities, display the exchanged messages with other MyBlogLoggers, your contacts, etc ….
The first smart idea of MyBlogLog was when they identified the community. Tom Anderson knows this is a key thing when designing a Web 2.0 application. Rather than trying to build a community around a service, they just built a service around an existing community : the blogosphere.
This is so smart. They don’t have to take care of the dirty work of handling big piles of data for their community. Blog platforms do that for them. They just focus on profiles and linking them together, thanks to small widgets, dead easy to add to your blog page.
Addicted by numbers
Here comes Myspace. I use this service because I have a rock band. And this is a great tool to communicate around your band : you can put in there your songs, visual stuffs, videos (latter not from my band), etc …
I probably am wrong but, in my opinion, what makes Myspace so addictive (and therefore so successful) is not so much the ability to get connected to other people etc … But, rather, the possibility of creating an identity and to measure how successful this electronic identity is : number of friends, number of times the page has been viewed or the songs has been listened to etc …
In other words : the key thing in Myspace is not the multimedia stuff (pics, video, songs) but the numbers.
Alexander Bard the Swedish philosopher that came up with this new concept of Netocracy and the new society of informationalism, says in this interview (sorry it’s in french) something interesting regarding this e-identity :
The informationalist society is obsessed with identity more than with money (…). Knowing this, we need a new method that we will call sociometry to replace economy.
Myspace numbers are just what sociometry is all about. This is why I think it is so successful. You want your pages to be seen (in other word you want to be popular) ? Then use extensively the system : post comments, messages etc … Come in the Addiction.
My e-self was there
Back to MyBlogLog : they have identified a community and now they want it to be addicted. Here are the numbers back : MyBlogLog provides you with stats on your blogs and your MyBlogLog profile page.
You want your profile/blog to be seen more and more ?You want to be more and more popular and flatter your e-self ? Wander the blogosphere, leave comments on other MyBlogLog pages etc …, market your e-self : MyBlogLog does the account and can tell you afterwards.
Why would one get back to the meatspace after that ? This is so uncomfortable, so difficult to measure precisely how popular one is, how many friends one has, how many messages one gets etc …
This is a definite example of a successful Web 2.0 service. A simple idea (linking blogs together), with a clear community there for the taking and to be addicted with numbers. No wonder why Yahoo rushed to buy this start-up !
What do you as a blogger think of this service ? And your e-self ?
I like MyBlogLog, I’ve been using it from the early days. The different with raw statistics is that you can put a face on your readers. Even if people don’t leave a comment on your blog, you can go to MyBlogLog and know more about them and write a little personnal message.
Thus, MyBlogLog add you automatically to the community of website you visit often, making you part of the general discussion.
It’s more than great : it’s smart, lightweight, easy to use, great for networking and addictive. A real killer app !