I hate to say it guys, but all these wishy washy wish lists that appeared today really don’t give MyBlogLog the credit they truly deserve, or really explore the potential of MyBlogLog. Andy Beal has a few useful ideas. Shoemoney also has a list, but I am not going to link to him as he prefers invective to cover up his spamming activities. In fact Shoemoney’s list seems to be an attempt to control the problems his community marketing tactics initially encouraged.
Quite simply, if you market with spam, don’t complain about it when the tables are turned. I don’t get many spam comments, and those that leave spam get blocked. I also have sufficient tracking in place to easily spot anyone abusing MyBlogLog in other ways.
There are other “spam” methods that haven’t actually been discussed, such as creating communities for popular blogs as a traffic funnel.
Anyone monitoring how “well” (cough Danny) Shoemoney is doing should take a look at Darren Rouse – his community was always growing faster than that of Shoemoney without even trying, even when he didn’t have the widget on his site. Darren in many ways has a community rather than a fan club, though as his email pointed out today, he is not sure what can be done with it.
How To Really Improve MyBlogLog
What I am writing here isn’t actually new, it is based upon a comment I left a few weeks ago on Nick Wilson’s Personal Blog.
My ideas are based around giving real “meaning” to the communities you join. Many are using MyBlogLog as a browsing aid – an alternative or supplement to using a Feed Reader. There are some useful characteristics such as “Hot In Your Communities”, and “What My Members Clicked on Other Sites Today”, though honestly the data isn’t highly useful yet, even for a pro subscription.
Give Purpose To Communities
Did you join a community because you like it and want to visit it again, or just to have your image listed on theirs? Most of the communities I joined also ended up in my feed reader, although it is a lot of content to manage.
Some of the communities I joined with an “eye to the future” – often they are the communities of some of my readers who are slightly “off topic” for my daily reading, but I am still interested in what they are writing. Every day you read about some people clearing out their feed readers. With all this content being pushed at us in RSS feeds, it is hard to cope sometimes with the overload, and getting any work done.
Assuming within MyBlogLog you have a list of the communities you like or want to read, and also their RSS feeds, it would be fairly straight forward to use that data constructively.
It is important to recognise that it is easier in many ways to join a MyBlogLog community than to subscribe to an RSS feed.
Stage1 – OPML File
Just a simple thing, compile an OPML file automatically from the sites you have selected. Have it stored at a fixed location, so that it is easier to use in other applications.
Stage2 – Personal Memes
Totally remove the “”Hot In Your Communities” section and add a new tab which is a meme tracker based upon the communities you have joined.
One of the problems with RSS and information overload is that if everyone adopted heavy use of RSS, they wouldn’t get any work done. Some people think shared feeds might be an answer. I don’t like shared feeds from a legal / ethical perspective, at least not full content sharing. Shared Feed overload and massive duplicate content is also a problem, even if you subscribe to only a few other shared feeds.
Megite already offer custom memes based on OPML, and licensing of some kind. I am not sure what the server load would be like for 50,000 members, but the level of stickiness could easily be monetized. A YouTube approach could also be worth thinking about – to hell with bandwidth costs, it is about market share and increasing adoption.
Yahoo have a whole load of new niche communities they could easily promote inside MyBlogLog as well.
You recall reading something on a blog, but you can’t remember where – Yahoo could easily build custom search engines based on the OPML. Options to search only the blogs you like, or also a wider look at searching blogs your community like as well. This could become a new way to do relevant blog search without the spam.
RSS Reader / Start Page
Somehow linked into the meme tracker, so that you can read the latest posts from a blog you selected.
Using Tag Data
By picking up tag data from posts, it would be possible to introduce tag based memes that offer more than what is currently available from tag based search engines who currently only provide a “river” view for a particular tag.
I am not sure what to do here – I think it is something that will evolve as communities become more meaningful, who you add as a contact and what functions are enabled by doing so will be enhanced, maybe associated with the commenting features.
If someone leaves a comment, just like a contact form I want the information included in the email sent to me, and an easy way to accept or reject it.
Contact discussions need to be threaded in some way within a central interface.
Provide a variety of contact widgets and surveys you can include on your blog.
Even More Widgets
Yep, I want a widget based on the feeds from my community, and also a hot in my community based on the personal meme.
There is already improved tracking out there for people who care to look
Plugins For Comments
Isn’t WordPress great – this plugin is on my todo list
If it doesn’t suit exactly what you are looking for, hack the code or get someone else to do it for you.
By integrating services and making MyBlogLog a useful tool, spam activities will become marginalised. Contact lists would be reduced to those that want to mutually keep in contact, and communities will be the blogs you want to read, not where you want to promote your site.
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