MyBlogLog New Features – The Abusive and the Incomplete

Mass Mailing

I will leave the community of anyone who uses the mass broadcast feature

A few people have played around with it, fair enough, but this is going to be abused to hell.

What I should really do is mass mail links to promote Rich Schefren’s Ebok, but I would look on that as spam, even if technically you might have subscribed to my “mailing list” when you clicked the button to join my community… not!

Mass Mail

The mass mail feature is sending emails by default, and thus is subject to CAN-SPAM – if you send commercial messages you really should include your physical address or a P.O. box.

As Robyn says

Of course, some members may get a little message happy, but again, any spam moderation on this feature is up to you. Spam is in the eye of the beholder, or something like that, so if you are receiving spam, just leave the person’s community by clicking Leave Community on their community’s page.

The spammers will end up with a community of spammers not reading the messages. With spam being delivered by email, it is not in the eye of the beholder, but in the eye of the law.

I repeat
I will leave the community of anyone who uses the mass broadcast feature

Why isn’t there an option to turn off broadcast messages? (only)

Tagging of Content

Great… MyBlogLog now pick up all the tags from my content and display it along with a snippet.

MyBlogLog Tagging

So where would a click on “blogging tips” lead me?

Blogging Tips

There is some kind of weird cross-over happening where clicking on a tag in the content leads to a tag that represent bloggers, just like the tags in the section above.
If you haven’t tagged yourself for every topic your blog represents, you would effectively be driving traffic away from your blog.

I liked the idea (other than schmoe and the spam) that community members to tell other visitors what my blog was about, and it was interesting watching how people were using tagging to classify my site.

Tags from my content should lead to aggregated content from my blog, or possibly other blogs in my community – or even MyBlogLog as a whole.

Currently using tagging extensively in MyBlogLog drives traffic away with no reciprocal return of traffic, not even a trickle, unless you manually tag yourself.

There could at least have been some buttons added next to the tags in the content snippets to suggest adding them for the blog as well.

More on the MyBlogLog new features such as tagging and the messaging.

MyBlogLog have now introduced a suggestion board where people can suggest features. I am sorry but I have tried using the same suggestion board for Yahoo Pipes, and found it next to useless as there is no way to reach a consensus suggested by Wendy before the content just disappears. It is also almost impossible to monitor conversations, or discover if something is already suggested.
I made one suggestion for Yahoo Pipes and it was almost impossible to find my own suggestion a week later. That was among a geeky knowledgeable user base.

Now some people think I am full of crap talking about how insanely well a massive amount of tagging works, but please take a look at the number of indexed pages on Bumpzee, a network with 3000 members, and over 300,000 pages in the main Google index, and almost no supplemental results.

I love the fact that MyBlogLog is providing a listing of my content to improve the value of my MyBlogLog community page, but I would also like them to be storing an index of my content, and linking through to it with the tags, so that just like on my blog, the links help people find information (either on my blog or someone elses), and not just a link to a blogger profile, and their home page.

Update: Posts On the Issue

Meg slammed MBL and is also looking to leave the communities of spammers. It must be a real nightmare for people who don’t use an email client that stacks emails.

Rob thinks it sucks

When active supports who normally give constructive feedback are so vocal about something, you know something isn’t quite right.
The MBL team are going to be busy sorting this out Monday onwards

More MyBlogLog discussion on Avinash and he is compiling a list of all posts discussing the situation for the next few days so worth returning to.

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

Liked this post? Follow this blog to get more. Follow

Comments

  1. says

    The mass-mailing thing sucks, IMHO. I’ve left two comments on the official MyBlogLog blog. Let’s see if they approve the comments. I’m waiting to see the *unique* answer of these MBL folks.

    EVERYTIME, they’ve come up with a *solution that creates more trouble*. I read on their blog that everybody should leave the community who sends spam to them. WTH?! And who’ll care about the time that we spend in visiting a blog and joining its community?

    They say that managing 918 communities is just too much for a single person. I say that I can manage reading 5000+ blogs in a week and I know too many others who track much more blogs than I do.

    IMO, they’ve built a pretty strong medium to promote spam over at MyBlogLog without providing us MBL members any single option to block the messages before they reach our profile pages.

    MBL is the first company that’s pissing me off everytime it releases a new feature.

  2. says

    I’m with you on this Andy and I will be leaving communities as well. I hope they provide an “opt out” quickly (I posted about this as well).

  3. says

    Yup agree with all of that too Andy, I used the thing this morning (naughty I know) and got feedback from Meg above, yet couldnt respond to her message, because their coding had decided that I’d exceeded my mesage limits!

    These guys obviously never used myspace and orkut and whatnot…

  4. says

    I might leave MyBlogLog completely if I start getting Mass Mail crap. 1- They could figure out a way to make it so the messages don’t come in email, they come to a private place in your profile, where you could ignore them and not clutter up your box. 2- The whole thing is anti-CANSPAm and they’re going to ruin it for those of us who do the whole double-optin, snail mail addy comply thing.

    There isn’t an amount of traffic or interactivity or community that is worth being spammed, not to me. I know I could just change to an email that I don’t use but that’s beside the point. Blah.

  5. says

    The mass-mailing issue gets particularly dicey when you consider that, on at least a few occasions, MyBlogLog has *automatically* added me to a Community just because I visited a site that was using their service.

    Does that mean what I think it means?

    Yikes.

    I haven’t received any untoward mass mailings yet, but it was sure thoughtful of MyBlogLog to add me to someone’s potential spam list without my knowledge or consent.

  6. says

    I actually have a reason to use the mass mailing. I switched over from blogspot to my own domain 2 weeks ago. Even though I posted on the blogspot about the transfer, I can see in my feeds that I’m still getting traffic on blogspot instead of Desty Online so I would consider sending a mass mailing to my community annoucing the move. Beyond that, yeah, there’s really no reason for the mass mailing feature. If enough readers want general annoucements, the creating of a newsletter would be a more considerate avenue.

    • says

      Actually that isn’t a reason.

      The 301 redirect that can be made from Blogspot would be followed by the feedreaders, so they will go to

      http://www.destyonline.com/whteverURLblogspotusesthesedaysforfeeds

      They will currently get a 401 error that it doesn’t exist

      Blogspot probably creates 2 or 3 different feeds, so you would see 2 or 3 error messages in your stats

      All you need to do is set up a 301 redirect in your .htaccess file from those old feeds to your new one.

      You then use the Feedsmith plugin to ensure that all feeds redirect to a Feedburner account, and you then have accurate feed stats for all the different feed requests.

  7. says

    While we are bashing MyBlogLog, check Eric Friends list.

    actually DO NOT CHECK IT
    DO NOT CLICK IT !
    DO NOT CLICK IT !

    Ok. if you want to crash your browser, go on , check it. I’ll leave the link just at the end of my comment, so you can crash your browser just after I finish my comment. :-)

    Seriously..that’s one of those page you should insert in the Guinness book of records.

    Eric Contacts

    • says

      Heh, 170,000+ members, I wonder how many are real

      I agree with the warning, I didn’t wait for the full page to load, and I have a 7Mbps connection

      • says

        Ummm, why are the title tags for the MLB avatars here in Spanish?? :-O Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

  8. says

    You just add the domain to blogger and it redirects, though there might still be a few bugs with it.

    What you then have to do is redirect that traffic coming to a page that doesn’t exist to a page that does.

  9. Layouts says

    i completely agree….spam (or advertising in general i guess) leaks into everything, but people should have a way to avoid it if they choose to

  10. says

    Andy,
    Thanks for the feedback. Meg had suggested an ‘opt out of mass messages’, so I’m sure we’ll discuss it on Monday. We’ll also talk about the tags that you mentioned.

    When we changed the layout of the community page, it really was intended to drive conversation and traffic back you the community owner’s blog. If the tags are not doing that, we need to put our heads together.

    As far as the suggestion board goes, when I note in the backend that I’ve seen the message, it disappears from the queue. I certainly could stop noting that so that all of the messages stay, but at what point *should* they disappear? I’d love your feedback on this as we want this to be as useful as possible for all of you and for us. Thanks, great post as usual.

    • says

      I don’t know whether Meg commented on your blog before or after reading my post, but that isn’t anything I would ever pick straws over. In many things we are very like minded.
      Most of this post was written before you had even mentioned the messaging system on the blog.

      The moment I received a first message from Jonathan at smartwealthyrich.com I knew this was going to be a problem.

      That was just after 6pm PST yesterday.

      Tags need to point to content that is related which in turn point back to related profiles and blogs.
      I am not going to suggest you have to have followable external links from all the tag pages – Bumpzee does, Blogcatalog doesn’t but it would be good to have interrelated tagging all over the place.

      An alternative would be to have a Megite like aggregator for a tag.

      It is important to think that a blog could have 1000s of tags, and have only mentioned a topic once.

      You should be aggregating tags looking to have a weighted tag cloud for each blog in the future.

      Whether you have all the tag links indexed is a complicated issue, I write a lot about the SEO ways to use tagging, but it can be equally argued that it shouldn’t be indexed.

      I wouldn’t might some tag based feeds as well as I would like some way to grab a little content legally to make my tag pages more useful.

      I have written so many suggestions in the past, but not knowing what is coming down the track now 6 months after I suggested them, it is hard to even consider using the suggest board.
      Start at the beginning and work your way forward.
      http://andybeard.eu/tag/mybloglog/page/4

      The content is paged for now, but that will change in the future – supplemental results = lack of pagerank

      I just visited suggest and Yahoo Pipes.

      I made a suggestion there a while back, but there is no “my suggestions” feature to allow me to track, and the suggestion seems to have disappeared totally because you can no longer even find it on a search.

      Most of my “suggestions” are fairly geeky and your mass audience is either

      1. Not understand what I write, so not vote on it
      2. Vote for it just because it sounds good, even though they don’t understand what I am writing.

      Yahoo suggest doesn’t have the kind of interface suitable for a 3000 word post with 5 to 10 pictures to try to explain anything.

      The good news is that my “situation” with Blogcatalog doesn’t prevent me offering some advice though things in email stay private, as they have done with MBL in the past.

      I would however have to avoid discussing anything feature related in email as I notified Eric about a while back.

      The good news is I have only left 4 communities so far due to this, so an early post was pre-emptive.

  11. says

    Andy

    My first tip off about this situation was when I realised how many emails I was receiving. I actually came here to see if you’d posted anything about the new system, because I was pretty peeved. You hadn’t at that stage, so I went to the MyBlogLog blog and read the post about it. I then wrote my own post and the linked it back in the URL on my comment on the MBL post. I know Robyn looks out for this kind of feedback as she’s commented on my blog before.

    An hour or so later I saw your post come through on the feed reader. You’re quite right in saying that we often have a similar point of view – you just say it much more eloquently! But an opt out function seems to be the obvious solution to keep everyone happy.

  12. says

    Is there not an option on your profile that you can check that allows or disallows mass comments? If not perhaps there should be one.

  13. says

    Damn I hate this thing! when they made it live I got something like 110 e-mails in about 12 hours.. hate that! I will visit MBL less and less and less.. adding this mass spamming thing wasn’t a good move at all.

  14. says

    Wow, that’s one popular guy. I bet he knows them all personally too. :-D

    I’ve never liked MBL, but I hesitated in signing up for BlogCatalog because I feared I was being redundant. Boy am I glad I did. The community and features overall just seems leaps and bounds better than MyBlogLog, and it’s proven to be far far more helpful in helping me find likeminded bloggers.

    • says

      It is a bug in the latest version, last time I looked, of the plugin I use, MyAvatars.

      I could fix it, or maybe there is a fix, but I have been a little to busy to upgrade lots of things.

      Some aspects of Blogcatalog are great – in some ways I am in split minds over the success of the forums because I would love people to be spending more time on each other’s blogs, and I fear some people spend too much time on the discussion forum.

      Forums are a great way of promoting your content, though if you have a blog about keeping goldfish, you might be better off promoting your blog on a forum about keeping goldfish.

  15. says

    Thanks for the response Andy. I wasn’t even sure my comment went through since it went bonkos when it took me to the CAPTCHA page (some invalid argument errors) You might want to check that.

    I appreciate your blog by the way. Lots of helpful advice about marketing, and you’re not afraid to be blunt about it either. :)

    • says

      Have you ever been to a political blog where they namby pamby about their point of view?

      I blog about similar topics to many people, but generally I try to think about something enough to have a constructive opinion whether I am paid for it or not.

      My readers still have to determine whether what I write is unbiased, but I help them in making that opinion with disclosure.

      I know in this niche most of the popular blogs currently write articles without a strong opinion, for me the articles are “grey”.

      It is possible to cover all the angles, for and against, and give a final opinion, but many avoid doing so.

      Lots of people also complain about the length of my articles, but that again means that I am targeting a totally different niche.

      I write the type of content I would like to read, and the blogs I am most active on write a similar type of content.

  16. says

    Oy. Thanks for writing about this. I hadn’t heard anything about any of these changes and I agree, the mass e-mail thing is sucky. I’m right there with you that I’ll leave any community that spams me. It’ll be interesting to see how this all shakes out.

    I’m looking forward to exploring more of your site – this is my first visit. It’s been useful so far! Thanks!

  17. says

    Andy I agree with you about the mass mailing, that is something that the user should be able to turn off by default. Hopefully they will get it straightened out before too many people leave.

  18. says

    I have made a commitment not to spam people using this community messaging system. You can do the same, and also show the little badge on your site to let people know you won’t spam them. I linked to your article about it in my post, too.

    Snoskred

    • says

      As far as I am concerned it is breaking CAN-SPAM and whatever other international laws to use it but I am not a lawyer.
      p.s. it is much easier to use trackback than running around commenting on blogs you have linked to.

      I said my piece, though due to my relationship with Blogcatalog, I don’t think it would be appropriate to go on a negative publicity campaign against a feature I expect to be dead and buried, or heavily modified in a couple of days.

      I have left 5 or 6 communities so far, though it is most likely I will end up autojoined to them again.

  19. says

    Hi Andy,

    I do agree with you about the community messaging. I can see it’s purpose if it was used for said purpose but people being people, it won’t be long before it’s massively abused. Too bad.

    I did use it once myself just to thank the members of my community for joining and stopping by the blog which is the kind of thing that it is supposed to be used for of course. And that’s the last time I’ll ever use it until they offer up an option to opt out and if they were smart about it, add on the options of “reply”, “report”, “spam”, “delete”, to each received community messages as they already have on individual messages.

    Of course, after I sent that “Thank you”, someone dropped out of my community and then I read your post(good one by the way). Figures.

  20. says

    Andy:
    Thanks for going into more depth about how to use MyBlogLog. This is helpful, because I was barely using it before for messages and certainly not for tags. Thanks for taking the time to explain.
    Chris

  21. says

    I actually need to do a followup on this post because MBL have fixed theirs.

    Blogcatalog’s version (I assume you are only looking at the mass broadcast) was in development well before MyBlogLog launched their mass broadcast.

    Sometimes people do think in similar directions, but with different implementations.

Trackbacks

  1. […] I do have to wonder (in my humble opinion) about the rather extreme choice of certain members who immediately decided to remove themselves from any community where the member in question used this mass mailing feature at all. One of these folks is Andy Beard as is plain to see from his blog post on this very subject. […]

  2. MyBlogLog: Enabling Spammers…

    The image at right is a sign of my commitment to not participate in the newest so-called “feature” of MyBlogLog – community messaging. It would be fine if it was just left at that, where messages from……