Bloggers unite! Yahoo! joins forces with MyBlogLog

MyBlogLog widgetThere once was a time when bloggers basically lived in silos of independent existence. Hunched over your keyboard, you checked your ego feeds every day, looked for inbound links, followed the various meme-tracking sites, and read who you thought was interesting. But aside from comments on a site, there wasn’t a real way to create a community from the faceless masses of blog readers. If your blog was a microphone, sometimes you wondered: "Is this thing on?"

All that has changed with MyBlogLog, the Orlando-based company that has quickly built a thriving social network of blog publishers and readers. You’ve probably heard the rumors and I’m here to confirm that Yahoo! has agreed to acquire the assets of MyBlogLog, and aside from loving the product and the team, we think this move complements Yahoo’s social media and community initiatives perfectly.

I know many of you are already avid fans of MyBlogLog (just do a search for "love mybloglog"), but for those of you who are new to the site, it gives readers the ability to create communities around the blogs they visit and connect with their favorite publishers more directly. Once you create a profile on MyBlogLog, you can associate your blogs to your profile, and other MyBlogLog users can join communities around your blogs. A cool widget lets you see the faces of your recent readers in real-time. To see MyBlogLog in action, just look at the "recent readers" widget on our sidebar.

At Yahoo!, we have a global community of over a half a billion users, and we're always looking for ways to better connect the people in that community to each other and to the communities (large and small) that they care about. MyBlogLog helps us do this like never before. If blogging was originally about building a community and having a conversation with people in that community, then MyBlogLog provides the missing link that makes those connections more real.

When I first saw MyBlogLog, I experienced one of those "Aha! This is really cool!" moments. When I put the widget code on my own blog and saw the first visitor stop by, I felt the same rush of connectedness that I felt when I got my first comment on Flickr. It makes sense then that MyBlogLog follows in a line of key acquisitions that includes Flickr and other leading social media sites like del.icio.us and Upcoming. Taken together, these vibrant web communities continue to provide Yahoo! with a deeper understanding of communities and user activity that reach beyond the Yahoo! network.

MyBlogLog is providing connections for me already — in the unexpected ways that make social environments on the Web so uniquely compelling. I was recently reading TechCrunch (a publisher with a vibrant MyBlogLog community) when I saw the face of a friend in their "recent readers" widget (small world!). I added him as a friend on my MyBlogLog member page and I got a nice "Hey, how have you been?" email from him in minutes. You might come across a friend (or make a new one) on the "recent readers" rolls on sites like ReadWriteWeb, Fred Wilson's A VC, or any of the thousands of blogs out there that have already plugged into the MyBlogLog community.

The community-building features of MyBlogLog demonstrate just one set of capabilities of the platform. Stats junkies like me will appreciate that MyBlogLog also offers analytics that give deeper insight about what pages are being visited. You can then choose to expose some of those analytics to your readers, like the Top 5 most-clicked links. Add in the community elements and what more do you need?

For you die hard fans wondering what will change to your beloved MyBlogLog — not to worry. We aren't planning on making any immediate changes to the MyBlogLog website, distribution or branding. We want to encourage the continued growth of the community and foster the innovation that has already made MyBlogLog an indispensable part of your life. In short, we want to make what you already love even better.

Since the company was founded in 2005, MyBlogLog has accomplished an incredible amount with its lean-and-mean team of five, led by CEO Scott Rafer and founders Eric Marcoullier and Todd Sampson. We’re proud to welcome them to the Yahoo! team, and more specifically, to the Yahoo! Developer Network group. We're looking forward to building even better social media opportunities. I'll see you around the Web.

Chad Dickerson
Sr. Director, Yahoo! Developer Network