MyBlogLog have been around for quite a while now and are gaining significant users in the blog world. Yahoo even bought them in January this year. They claim they turn your blog into a community and allow you to connect with fellow readers. This is a great idea in theory, but I feel that MyBlogLog falls considerably short of this goal. Here are the ‘missing pieces’ at MyBlogLog…
1: No real community! Yes, MyBlogLog allows you to join a blogs community, but there is one major problem. When you visit the MyBlogLog community, it doesn’t show recent comments and chats between members on this entry page. It offers no way of posting comments on the home page either. Surely this a major part of any online community. Please fix!
2: Bad first content. The first main content you see is the ‘latest content’. Which is basically just an RSS of the blog you just came from. When I go to MyBlogLog from a blog, where I just saw all the posts, why do I care about seeing all the blog posts again, so prominently? The first thing a community should see is comments and chat between the community owner, readers and members (see above). The blog posts should definitely be moved and take up less space.
3: Strange ‘tags’ section. What real purpose does this serve to the community reader, apart from helping classify individual MyBlogLog communities, so you can search it easier when you visit MyBlogLog.com? Surely once its been tagged a few times, its not going to change much. This feature should be placed much lower, not the first thing you see. Think of the user and what they want, not the developer making the website.
4: Lack of customization . All the MyBlogLogs have the same layout and color scheme (that green is pretty damn ugly). Did someone say ‘cookie cutter’? Give the owners the chance to change all this – take a look at Ning’s online communities. They do a great job of this and have over 5,500 communities now!
5: Too much ‘MyBlogLog’ brand promotion, and not enough branding for the actual community using it. Other community providers, like Ning even allow you to remove their logo from the community altogether!
6: They charge the owners. I find this crazy and probably really stunts their growth. They should do a revenue share on the adverts to make their money, they would get far more websites using their service. Ning are growing like crazy with this business model (and yes, I am a big fan of Ning, just in case you hadn’t realized).
7: Lack of good modules. There dont have useful community modules, like polls, photos and videos. All these are great community builders.
I was going to setup a MyBlogLog for my blog here, but after seeing all these issues, I think I might wait a while until they fix some of these problems. They have got a good user base already – so come on MyBlogLog, get your ‘community’ act together. Make use of some of Yahoo’s millions to make it complete!