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Yahoo! to buy MyBlogLog

an image of the Yahoo! logoAs a fairly regular reader of TechCrunch, I kept seeing this Recent Reader list popping up. Curiosity got the better of me, and in the last week of December I signed up to MyBlogLog, the provider of the aforementioned list.

Since then, I’m happy to say that MyBlogLog has been a pretty good investment, one that’s helped me and my ‘blog in several direct and indirect ways. No sooner had I signed up when news broke of Yahoo! eyeing MyBlogLog as a potential buy.

This got me thinking.

What would happen if Yahoo! bought MyBlogLog? What would this acquisition mean? What would Yahoo! do with MyBlogLog?

Meanwhile, over on Francesco Iovine’s ‘blog, he asks what will happen now that Yahoo! are committed to buying MyBlogLog? So I posted a comment:

“I think when you look at the other social stuff that Yahoo! have, then all kinds of things become possible.

What about your Yahoo! page, linking in with your MyBlogLog [profile?]

Along with adding your Communities and other peoples Communities to Del.icio.us.

Along with adding your Contacts to your Yahoo! Messenger accounts.

Along with tying in your information ‘blog to your Yahoo! Answers account.

Then what about offering all of this as Mashups to include in your ‘blog.

Believe, there’s no end of things that can be done, here…”

And there’s me forgetting Flickr! But once you set your mind to the question, all kinds of stuff springs to mind.

Preguntas, preguntas de las preguntas siempre…

However, to my dismay, my thoughts had already been committed to the web in an excellent Search Engine Journal article, which is worth the read, and where I attempted to post a comment:

“Excellent article .. which has sort of stolen some of my thunder! But not all.

I think that if you look at Yahoo! and Google in a years time and try to compare them like-for-like, it’ll be meaningless.

It’s clear that Yahoo! are differentiating themselves by going after the social stuff and conceding [some] part of search to Google, while instead focusing on niche search, such as the in-car stuff recently talked about…”

Anyway, I managed to forge on, somehow. But, as usual, there were questions, questions, always questions.

OK, first of all, there are problems with MyBlogLog, the more serious of which is spamming. As the popularity of MyBlogLog grows, so does the problem of unsolicited connections, profile visits, ‘blog visits et cetera. So what to do?

“With the site itself I think there’s a possibility we’ll see user reviews and a rating system attached to each community. This can help give credibly to good blogs and serve as a way to weed out spam.”

Which is a neat fix, assuming people are both vigilant and often enough in their rating of Communities.

So we have Yahoo! buying MyBlogLog, and it’s obvious to anyone that Yahoo! are going to want a some ROI, which offers an obvious door to advertising.

Some might not want this, some might not care. Some might even want a share of the revenue, if the advertising is within their community.

Little is known at this stage what will happen, so we’ll have to wait and see what Yahoo! decides to do in that regard.

Taking things to the next level

If you look around MyBlogLog, you’ll find some Communities sporting skins, such as the TechCrunch Community, for example. If you read the MyBlogLog blurb, this is a feature in progress, but is due to be available to all, eventually.

This is especially excellent news for someone like me because it’s a key way of differentiating what I have from everyone else.

Not everyone will use this feature, and some that do will make a right old mess of it, so it’s going to be the likes of me that make it work and build strength of brand around an already growing MyBlogLog Community.

At the bottom of just about every ‘blog article you read, you’ll see the regimented list of social bookmarking buttons, from the likes of Digg, Reddit, Del.icio.us, Ma.gnolia et al.

So there we see the hand of Yahoo! already at work with their recently-purchase of Del.icio.us, albeit silently.

I don’t think there’s a direct need for Yahoo! to get their finger prints all over everything, I think they have enough stuff going on to allow people to casually tie all of these properties together as Mashups and let people get on with ‘bloggging.

All that Yahoo! really has to do is make it possible to casually tie all of these things together.

So once you start to think about sharing your Del.icio.us bookmarks, your Flickr photos, your Yahoo! Answers archive, linking this is in with some kind of PIM tool that makes your personal details accessible to Yahoo! Messenger, linked through to your Yahoo! 360 account, the possibilities are just endless.

Then there’s linking through the Friends & Family aspects of Yahoo! to MyBlogLog, which could be done quite seamlessly, further enforcing the sense of community. I think you can see Yahoo! pulling away from being the search platform and becoming more the social platform, instead.

Oh, aren’t Microsoft trying to do the same thing with MSN? They’ve been quiet, recently.

In related news…

According to Softpedia, us Mac users are due another updated Yahoo! Messenger Beta:

“Yahoo! Messenger is a popular instant messaging client and protocol that is also free of charge and can be used with a generic
‘Yahoo! ID’ … The current stable version for the Mac is Yahoo! Messenger 2.5.3, released way back in 2003, and it has drastically fewer features than its Windows counterpart.

According to Matthew Skyrm, Director of Product Management for Yahoo! Messenger, the yet unreleased beta of Yahoo! Messenger for Mac will include voice chat, tabbed message windows, message logging and archiving, Spotlight integration, Web cam support, asynchronous IMs, Phone in and out integration through Yahoo Voice and more.”

Sounds good to me!

Recommended reading

By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

2 replies on “Yahoo! to buy MyBlogLog”

The only thing that is sure is that we have to wait long to see tangible changes. Consider what has been done with del.icio.us or Flickr since Yahoo acquired them. Maybe you could list some new features in Flickr, but what about del.icio.us?

Yeah, that’s a good point.

In fact, it’s a point raised in one of the articles I list at the end…

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