MyBlogLog: Readers Network Around Their Favorite Blogs

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MyBlogLog is a social networking system for blog readers to connect and learn about each other around their favorite blogs – and for blog publishers to access detailed information about their readers. Founded in March of 2005, the site relaunched this morning and took its social networking features out of beta stage. The company says it is currently serving 4000 live blog-based communities.

MyBlogLog was founded by Fox-acquired IGN cofounder Eric Marcoullier and Todd Sampson. The CEO is now Scott Rafer, former CEO of Feedster and current chairman of WINKsite.

The service lets users associate themselves with their favorite blogs, build a profile page about themselves and send internal messages. By default MyBlogLog users join the community of a site using MyBlogLog after ten visits to that site, but you can increase that number or require manual joining. Blog publishers can show a badge on their site with pictures of the most recent MyBlogLog members to visit the site and can display the five most popular outbound links from their blog on the blog community page. Click on any of our readers’ pictures at the bottom of this post and you can see what an individual’s page looks like. Thanks for reading everyone!

MyBlogLog says it helps break down the hierarchy that forms when everyone knows about a blog’s author but none of the readers know eachother. Here’s the CrunchNetworks community.

There’s currently no advertising on the site but MyBlogLog sells subscriptions to click analytics for $3 per month or $25 per year. Analytics leveraging user demographics are the next level things can be taken, the company told me. That’s something that the big social networking sites are already able to use, why shouldn’t bloggers? CEO Scott Rafer told me that there are currently about 1000 subscribers to the company’s premium analytics service.

The list of sites using MyBlogLog is quite interesting. It includes all the blogs from USA Today, Gawker and Rosie.com. The company has deployed close to 100 million profile cookies, signed up 14 thousand blogs in their first year and more than 1000 blogs currently display MyBlogLog widgets. I asked and Rafer says the company is pressing to be Attention Trust compliant as quickly as possible, that’s important for a site like this. It’s a service that is easy and fun enough to use that it could build a large number of users.

After some more thought, I feel like I should ad the following to this post: It’s a little creepy to think that just because I’ve joined the community around one Gawker blog, MyBlogLog knows every other URL I visit on the web. They really need to take tangible steps to demonstrate trustworthiness with that information – and I need ultimately to be in control of the data. The Attention Trust recorder, for example, gives me a simple browser button to click when I want to turn off recording the URLs I visit. I know that any one of the many cookies I’ve got on my browser could be reporting back to anyone about anything, but it would be good for MyBlogLog to make a good faith effort in regards to this.

I really like the look and feel of MyBlogLog. In some ways they are reminiscent of StumbleUpon (our coverage) and they perform a similar function to Bordee, a URL anchored message board tool we profiled last month.

MyBlogLog has a strong executive team, a compelling user experience and a smart business model. Aside from the privacy concerns (in a world with almost zero privacy in general), I think this a service that’s hard not to like.

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