Phil Sim

Web, media, PR and… footy

MyBlogLog will fizzle

10 million kudos to the guys behind MyBlogLog. They couldn’t have executed their startup any better and they’ve reaped the rewards!

But I don’t see Yahoo! making MyBlogLog fly. It’s the cool widget of the moment, but I see it as only an interim solution.

Logically, MyBlogLog COULD BE massive for Yahoo! The social networking stuff is nice, but not as nice as the user demographic information that it will enable the Internet giant to collect on MyBlogLog users. Imagine taking all that data about what sites your visiting, combine it with much of the intelligence you can mine out of the profile data users enter, and you’ve got about as much info on a user you could possibly want that would potentially enable you to serve up powerfully relevent advertising.

The question is will MyBlogLog be taken in that direction?? Will Yahoo! also tie into the puzzle delicious, flickr, myyahoo, yahoo search, yahoo toolbar data. They should be salivating at the prospect!

But people are likely to be far less comfortable turning that kind of data over to big Internet companies. I wasn’t too worried about the stats that MyBlogLog was collecting on me, after all what were they going to do with it? But am I worried about Yahoo! having that data? Maybe, and I hardly ever get caught up with privacy paranoia.

The next big problem with MyBlogLog is it’s not integated, where you really need integration and that’s first and foremost through the comments. How many MyBlogLog ‘Recent Readers’ have you click on? How many links have you followed from people who have left interesting comments? That’s where you need integration.

I was very interested in a comment Nic Cubrivolic left on my post regarding TechCrunch’s Forum.

What I would like to see is tighter integration between blogs, forums, social networks, etc. so that conversation on a topic taking place anywhere can all be bought together no matter what the source of the opinion is.

This is exactly what we need and MyBlogLog won’t be in a position to deliver it as a part of Yahoo! Yahoo! is clearly interested in bringing all MyBlogLog user’s under the Yahoo! identity management system just as Google is doing. But nothing based on a proprietary identity management system is every going to be able to deliver the kind of openess we need. Microsoft couldn’t achieve it with Passport/Hailstorm – there are just too many competitive issues at play for any single, big vendor to own that piece of the puzzle.

OpenID is the great hope and it would be wonderful to see that get some traction. If it did, then we can start talking about true distributed social networking.

I’ve already previously written a post about how I think WordPress can be a big player in the social networking space and it would be fabulous to see WordPress.com adopt OpenID as Technorati has. WordPress and SixApart would be wonderful OpenID hosts because your blog then potentially becomes your identity. If this ever happens then it might finally make distributed intelligence business models like edgeio take off.

For me, an open identity system just makes too much sense for it not to happen.

Filed under: Social Networking, Yahoo!

@philipsim on Twitter

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