MyBlogLog Features Should Be More Useful
The best part about MyBlogLog â€“ far and away â€“ is its widget, which allows you to see MyBlogLog members who have visited your site. You get to see their profile picture (or avatar, or whatever little colorful oddity they’ve chosen to represent themselves with) and their MBL username. Clicking on either takes you to their profile page on MBL, where you can read their bio, leave them a private or public message, and see what site or sites they author and visit them.
This core functionality is extraordinarily powerful. As a blogger it gives me tools to see what other bloggers who visit my site are up to, and contact them if I wish.
In terms of the MyBlogLog site itself, there are other features that are available, but I don’t personally find them all that useful. While I’ve praised MBL in the past for their stripped down and simple social networking model, I increasingly wish of late that I could do more with the on-site features that are available.
I’ll drop a caveat in here before I move on with my critique: there’s no doubt that MBL is still undergoing a major revamping because of its acquisition by Yahoo! (and in fact it was just announced that MBL co-founder Scott Rafer is moving on from the company). That said, here’s what I’d like to see happen:
* Friending: Right now, you can add friends, but there’s nothing to be done with them after you add them beyond having a stored collection of profiles. If I could organize them in ways that are of interest to me (sports bloggers, political bloggers, web 2.0 bloggers, that kind of thing) that would be more useful.
* Communities: This feature is about the most useless on MBL right now, but it has the potential to be great. You can add a website (which exist on MBL as a separate kind of “groups” profile) as a community, and again this simply exists as a way to see all the sites you’ve added as communities. You can post messages on the communities page, but that’s about it. Communities pages desperately need to be able to post a recent stories feed at the least, and then move on to adding features that empower its audience.
* RSS: The number one way to add value to MBL, in my view, is to add recent story feeds across the board, on both profile and community pages. Therefore every time I visit a new page on MBL, I can quickly get a sense of what the profile owner is interested in (which of course quickly tells you whether or not you want to invest more time in sticking around). Further, I’d love to be able to access the RSS feed right from the MBL page so that I can add sites that I’m interested in to my RSS reader.
* Direct communication: It’s nice that you can send people private messages, but it would be simply fantastic if MBL allowed you to create custom bulletin or newsletters. For example, there should be something like a “Get the latest news and information about Online Media Cultist, click here!” button on the OMC community page. Then, I could fire out news and notes about all OMC-related doings to the people on this list. Trust me, once people sign up for such a service, these “acquired customers” are extraordinarily valuable to bloggers.
* Add social bookmarking features: Bloggers who sign up for MBL are natural self-promoters. Along with recent story feeds, add the ability to submit and vote for stories on such places as Digg, Reddit, Netscape, Newsvine, or whatever people want.
* Metrics: MBL does provide stats on site traffic, but I don’t find it that useful. Site Meter works best for me because it tracks hourly, daily, and monthly traffic in real time. Perhaps if MBL provided much richer metrics features I would take interest, but this doesn’t seem to tie into the site’s core mission: allowing bloggers to self-promote and networking with one another.
I really do love MyBlogLog. I just wish there was more for me to do once I click over to the site from Online Media Cultist’s MBL widget.