After several weeks of rumors, Yahoo has officially announced it has agreed to purchase the MyBlogLog service. I’ve used the service for several weeks on my personal blog Daggle and the Daily SearchCast and found it pretty compelling. I’ve just added it now to Search Engine Land. It allows you to easily let anyone join and see your "blog community." You’ll find some discussion of the sale via Techmeme here and here. Below, I’ll cover more on the basics of how it works from blog surfer and blog owner perspective.
I’ll use myself as an example. I signed up back in November, giving me a profile page you’ll see here. That page lists My Communities, blogs that I say I’m a part of. By default, if I go to a blog that is running MyBlogLog code and view more than 10 pages, I’ll be made a member of that community automatically. At the moment, I’ve actually set this so I join communities manually.
Probably the coolest thing about MyBlogLog is that when you go to a blog running the code — and if you’re a member — then you’ll see yourself show up in the "widget" or member box that people typically run. I’ve just added the code to Search Engine Land, and here’s how it looks with us:
As a member, you can also claim your blog as an author. Visit my profile page, and you’ll see the four sites I’ve now claimed (and you can join those communities as well):
- The Ichthyosaurs Blog (yes, it’s mine — see here for more on that)
- Daily SearchCast
- Search Engine Land
Earlier I said that Daggle and Daily SearchCast were using the MyBlogLog code. I hadn’t put it up on Search Engine Land for a couple of reasons. First, putting the code up means that MyBlogLog will understand everything that’s going on within your web site. So if you don’t want them knowing your top pages, visitors and so on, don’t use the code. It’s not required to have a community. But without it, it’s harder to build that community. You certainly can’t display the faces of your members without it.
Now that I’m sharing our stats publicly, such as with yesterday’s big report, I’m not so worried about MyBlogLog having more insight into the site. But the other downside is that rather than having a community with MyBlogLog’s branding, I wanted one with my own branding.
TechCrunch has this, as you can see here. Before we launched, I’d sent a message in November to MyBlogLog asking about doing the same. At the time, there was actually information on requesting cobranding communities like this. I never heard back, nor can I find this as being offered anymore. Maybe it was dropped or maybe they dropped the ball.
I’m still going to try and get the cobranding thing going, if that’s available. But in the meantime, I’ve added the MyBlogLog code to Search Engine Land. Becoming part of Yahoo is only going to raise the importance of being in MyBlogLog for any site owner.
Getting your blog going is easy. There’s an Add A Site page to use. As part of this, you can pick your own URL display name. IE, every community (unless cobranded) will have this URL:
See that YOURNAMEHERE part? That’s replaced with whatever name you choose. This is one reason to sign-up now. Once someone uses that name, it’s gone. Get the name you want if only to ensure others can’t take it from you.
After you sign-up, you’ll be given the tracking code to install. Then it’s customization time. Find the community from your profile page, and you’ll see options to such as to show the faces next to comments for Typepad, Moveable Type or WordPress users. This is slick. Adding the code means that anyone signed up with MyBlogLog should have their faces show up next to their comments on our blog. I say should because for the sites I’ve registered, I’m told the service is "requested, awaiting admin’s action" with no guidance as whether that’s something MyBlogLog is supposed to be following up on or if I haven’t configured something correctly.
You also have the ability to update your site’s screenshot. I was disappointed at first that MyBlogLog just didn’t automatically pick these up the way it should have done when I enrolled three of my sites months ago. I had to manually make a screenshot and upload it.
At that time, Search Engine Land had its prelaunch design. The screenshot has stayed that way since we changed. That required me to go in an manually update once again today. Far better if the service just dynamically kept track of your home page and updated it automatically. Of course, one advantage is that you can customize your home page look for the screenshot better than with an automated snapshot.
You’ll also see a Get Widgets option for each of your sites. This allows you to customize the look of the MyBlogLog box that goes on your pages by color, number of readers displayed and so on. If you understand some coding, you can do even further customization.
That’s the basic overview. I haven’t gotten into the stats that the service can provide, simply because I haven’t played with them much. I already have a stats solution, so they haven’t been that much of interest. Looking now, it’s pretty neat that I can see other sites that my members are visiting, like this:
There’s also the ability to log what people are clicking on. Do that, and you can show the world how popular any of your links are. I’ve switched this on for the next day or so, just to play with it more.
Hey — don’t forget, join the Search Engine Land community!