Blogcatalog is slowly becoming much more than a just a blog directory and is making strides to differentiate itself from MyBlogLog and other Blog Social Networks and widgets.
Some of the things being added are almost invisible, others are much more visible and hint at how a site can leverage partnerships with other communities to broaden their reach, and provide simple feature additions that just make a site more sticky.
I just saw the strangest search query “cancel blogcatalog account”, in my stats.
If you really want to delete a listing, you can use the contact form though why would any sane person want to instruct a PR7 site to delete their links? There are options in the profile to switch off things like email notifications and return your use of Blogcatalog to being purely a directory.
XML-RPC Ping Server
A couple of weeks ago BlogCatalog added a XML-RPC server, allowing you to ping your content updates, in the same way you might ping Technorati.
Whilst it still needs a little work to cover all blog configurations, Blogcatalog also have various forms of search and tagging mechanisms.
You can just add http://rpc.blogcatalog.com/ to your ping list
The BlogCatalog discussion boards are thriving, with many of the threads exceeding 500 individual entries.
I have no idea how many new threads are being started daily, but it could well be 100+ and it is rare for a new thread to have less than 20 comments.
It is quite overwhelming, I am amazed so many people manage to keep up with the conversations and still have time for some blogging.
Social Network Integration
Not so long ago BlogCatalog added the ability to include links to your profiles on other social networks, social news site, and bookmarking sites.
I am aware that lots of other sites include similar features, including MyBlogLog who has had this for a very long time, but it is still a useful service that helps people build up a meaningful profile on other sites.
You might notice that there is a Mybloglog logo among the many others – they are not scared of their largest competitor which is an admirable trait.
Continuing on the theme…
Bloggers Choice Award’s Integration
With the date moved for the Blogger’s Choice Awards to November, there is a lot more time for newer bloggers to establish an audience and to gain a few votes and Blogcatalog has proven to be a great source of exposure.
They have just added integration with the Blogger’s choice awards. A link is created to the voting page, and you can choose which category that voting page is in.
The voting button is featured quite prominently on the main blog profile.
The announcement in the forums was:-
Starting today you can now add your Blogger’s Choice Awards voting badge to your Blog Listing page. BlogCatalog and Blogger’s Choice Awards have teamed up to give your blogs the attention that they deserve. So if you have been nominated for a Bloggers Choice Award add your badge now and watch the votes roll in!
Blogcatalog and the Bloggers Choice Awards run by PayPerPost is a very good match for some co-marketing. I am glad something came of it after some of the nudging I gave Tony from Blogcatalog, though I have no idea of the details.
I am constantly being asked which of the 3 services brings me most traffic, and it largely depends on participation.
- I have a large Mybloglog community, and they generally have more (in total) active members – when I spend time reading new blogs, I tend to get more traffic – the same is true if you get rotated into the hot communities for 24 hours – I am constantly hovering on the edge of the top50 communities, in fact a few times I have seen that I have more community members than blogs in the top50 – maybe the top50 is only refreshed occasionally and filtered
- On Bumpzee I manage one of the largest communities, my No Nofollow / Dofollow Community and I have one of the highest traffic blogs with active “bumpers”, which certainly has a high influence on traffic.
- Blogcatalog I was previously one of the highest rated blogs, if not the highest, though that has certainly dropped off a little in recent weeks – I haven’t spent a lot of time “friending” and joining communities so it was bound to happen
Referrals in the last 30 days
316 Mybloglog Referrals
134 Blogcatalog Referrals (220+ previous month)
623 Bumpzee Referrals
503 Google Reader Referrals (and I have 472 subscribers using Google Reader)
I know those figures don’t compare to social media traffic, but those are readers who visit your blog to read your content. Stumbleupon sent me 1000 visitors yesterday, but only a small percentage became subscribers, or even stayed beyond the 2 second or 10 second barrier.
If I spent more time on the Blogcatalog forum, or in discussions on Bumpzee, I am sure my referrals would be much higher, and the same would probably be true of MyBlogLog if it had something more than a messaging system.
Live Alexa Stats
I thought it would be interesting to show MyBlogLog, Bumpzee and Blogcatalog side-by-side on Alexa. They all have similar users, so in this case it is probably quite accurate.
For some reason I couldn’t get a live Alexa chart to work, not sure if that is a WordPress security fix
I think the differences in each site are quite complex, and in many ways each is favoured by a different kind of blogger and bloggers in different niches. One thing that is certain, based upon the Alexa charts is that MyBlogLog growth has slowed.
Neither Bumpzee nor Blogcatalog have had a huge amount of big media coverage.
I did see one mention of Blogcatalog on Mashable, and Andy Beal picked up one of my posts a while back.
Shoemoney has covered Bumpzee a couple of times and has the voting widget.
For viral marketing, both sites are doing extremely well.
Specific Disclosure: I have been providing a lot of free ideas and feedback both publicly and in private to the 3 main (imho) competitors in this niche, MyBlogLog, Bumpzee, and Blogcatalog, and all 3 would probably look on me as one of their largest supporters, in spirit if not in traffic (I can’t compete with Techcrunch).
With Blogcatalog I have to note that the arrangements are now slightly more formal in a consultancy capacity from which I may receive financial compensation