Obvious next killer step for MyBlogLog – powering social networks

I’m not in the practice of announcing new features on TechCrunch, however, I just got invited to make someone a contact on my TechCrunch community account and, heck, I didn’t even know I had a TechCrunch community account. But I do, as it is a co-branded version of my MyBlogLog member account. This is why MyBlogLog is worth anything Yahoo! paid for it. (This also may explain my obsession with the service.)

This may take a long time to sink in for many, but MyBlogLog is a social network quickly moving towards being a social networking platform. Listen up: If you try to box it into being a social network of bloggers, you’re really missing a major point. (However, the name “MyBlogLog” certainly conveys that impression.) If they allow individuals, companies, associations, etc., to co-brand (or, better, open their APIs) the existing membership, or, offer a version of the software to run private-label versions (professional association memberships, behind-the-firewall employee networks), they have the makings of a huge, huge deal. However, there are some obvious challenges they must overcome (I’ll skip many of those for now, as it would only encourage some to do stuff I fear.)

And, as their penetration scales, they will have those who argue that “identity” issues should dictate an open system for this type of potentially universal and transportable social network. And there are others who are trying to establish such platforms who will become very vocal when it becomes more apparent that MyBlogLog is gaining traction in their space.

One day, I think folks will look back and wonder why MyBlogLog was successful. Here’s my theory: In the way that allowing the “embedding” video on other sites was the key to YouTubes success, the “widgetizing” of a social network (how I display the “recent readers” roll on the righthand of this blog) was the key to MyBlogLog’s popularity. MyBlogLog allows me to “embed” their social network on my blog. That’s the cool part. Doesn’t seem like that big a deal, but it was the wow thing that tipped a point.

The TechCrunch version of my MyBlogLog.com profile page.:

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  • I think MyBlogLog is really rather wonderful and powerful too and appreciate your analysis that its the ‘widgetisation’ that has been key to it success. But, in the age of RSS it is a little counter-intuitive isn’t it?

    Could MyBlogLog resurrect the page view model, if indeed it ever died? I now have an incentive to visit rexblog.com – curiosity to see who else has visited and find out who they are and what they blog about.

    There’s also the delight of leaving a calling card which, might, just might prompt the smiling, moustachioed face of Mr Hammock to appear on my own blog, providing a brief moment of pseudo-validation.

    Psychologically it’s beautiful. Now that visiting blogs, rather than skimming feeds, is back in, we’d better all spruce up our web presence!

  • Rex Hammock

    Alex, I agree with you on power MyBlogLog has to pull me onto a site and out of my newsreader. I just visited your blog, by the way, so you can feel psuedo-validated. : )

  • I noticed, thanks 🙂

  • ya this really is a great example the net-squared, I have met so many people (including rafe) that I would never have had the pleasure to know, communicate with, and most important, be “influenced” by! social bookmarks are dead, long live mybloglog!
    ok maybe not but you get the my point! cheers all!

  • Thanks, Rex, for pointing out how MyBlogLog could move into this. Very thought-provoking! Now that you have me thinking about it, it does seem like a natural way of “widgetizing” community building. The explanation in the last paragraph is exceptionally clear. Thanks!

    By the way, I’m enjoying your photo-a-day project, too!