Rose seems to think that Blogcatalog is just a MyBlogLog clone. I have just spent about 2 hours drawing up a list of the current differences between each service, that I believe is able demonstration that both services are being developed by a team that truly want to differentiate their offerings, though sometimes there is some healthy competitive overlap.
Some things Blogcatalog currently do different to MBL
- The front page heavily promotes and rotates bloggers, though one small section is for their supporters, most of it is free
- They introduced tags before I had even spoken to them, though they were somewhat limited.
- They were pulling in content snippets from blogs rather than just 3 titles before MBL
- Blog Reviews and voting widgets that control listings, in addition to how active you are control your rating and thus your placement
- Listings By Category
- Listings by Country
- Listings by User
- OPML for Communities you join
- Links to related blogs
- Links to related bloggers
- Ability to manually change the display order of your communities and friends (to show your best friends)
- Ability to report something as spam without using email
- Real tagging based on content linking to content (not fully implemented yet)
- The forums…
- The forum widgets
- Auto thumbnail refreshes
- Full contact details including a toll free phone number
- Tag based feeds
- Related tags
- Manual Inclusion (moderation by hand)
That doesn’t cover what Rose feels is copied, the main social features that are similar to many social networks with friends and communities, and the widgets… that is what I was referring to as being cloned in my original review of Blogcatalog.
MBL has a lot of unique features as well
- Tracking (huge)
- Auto join of sites you visit
- Most popular links in your communities
- Automatic display of your most frequently visited blogs
- A lot more additional social networks and more control over who sees them
- When they were just doing tracking, they used to have an affiliate program
- Until recently having a company blog was a unique feature
- As you have pointed out, legal documents, but so many sites don’t have it, though that isn’t an excuse – ask Techcrunch where their’s is?
- Tell A Friend
- New neighbors
- Thumbnail editing (when you first subscribe)
- WordPress.com support
- Myspace Support
- Owned by Yahoo and running on shiny new servers
- User generated tagging
- Suggestion Board
- Yahoo Groups Mailing List
- No advertising
- Avatars By Comments
- Click counters (really part of tracking)
Most of the above were present in Blogcatalog before I was giving them any help, and most of the advise was just re-emphasising things I had suggested to MBL and Bumpzee previously.
Don’t look at the number of points, as many of the MBL features are quite major differences, such as tracking, and some of the Blogcatalog features are interconnected.
As announced a few days ago, MyBlogLog have modified their mass broadcast feature so it is possible to opt out of email messages. Previously there was almost universal concern over abuse.
There are still some differences in execution – MBL broadcasts can be public or private. BC broadcasts are all private.
BC broadcasts include a group discussion thread for the broadcast message.
Eric is off to take a well deserved rest and spend some quality time with family.
Over the last 7 or 8 months I have had some fairly intense discussions with Eric, in both good times and a few stormy interludes, including one 2 hour chat on Skype once things had calmed down a little.
I sincerely wish him all the best for the future.
My Integrity Under Question?
Rose seems to think somehow I am being in some way biased towards Blogcatalog, or looking at them with… hmm… “rose tinted glasses” seems to be a suitable expression.
This is partially to do with my open disclosure that Blogcatalog have offered to give me some financial compensation for all the ideas I have been offering them for free, most of which I had also given to the MyBlogLog team in the past.
Tim Nash a while back at Hackday in London had a chance to actually get hands on with the MBL API and it will be interesting what people create with it.
Having an API is a logical progression for Blogcatalog as well.
It is actually quite strange that my integrity is somewhat under attack at the same time as Eric, probably the person I have interacted with the most at MBL is departing.
I know that Tod, John and Steve have also spent time reading my suggestions in the past, but most of my interaction was with Eric and Rafer in the early days.
I still have some historical connection with Robyn, as I was reading her blog well before she joined the MyBlogLog team, and she was reading mine.
The fact that I have some minor financial interest with Blogcatalog has in some ways prevented being able to help MyBlogLog more interactively which is a shame as lots of things had been discussed although they may not have come to fruition.
At the same time the long term success of Blogcatalog is heavily linked to that of MyBlogLog, to the extent that if MyBlogLog is highly successful, Blogcatalog will also have more success.
If anything I am inclined to promote all 3 competing services, MyBlogLog, Bumpzee, and Blogcatalog a lot more, and in equal amounts.
Just because one service has decided to give me some financial compensation doesn’t mean I am handcuffed from helping the others, and all email correspondence I have had with each site developer has remained strictly confidential.
I have deliberately not included Bumpzee in this comparison because it would just confuse things. In many ways Bumpzee is offering very similar features, but the implementation is very different.
“An incoming tide raises all ships”
As is always the case, things can still be overlooked even if you try to be as comprehensive as possible. I am adding things in bold to the bottom of the lists as I spot them.
If you can think of some things that I have missed that should be included, and aren’t covered by a more global point raised, please mention it in the comments and I will be glad to add it, and give you some link credit within the post.
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