Most people first notice MyBlogLog as the service behind the Recent Readers widget you see on various sidebars like the one over at TechCrunch, Yodel, or PassiveAggressiveNotes. Once you spend a little time with the service you’ll see that it’s a whole lot more. Yeah, we have stats. They’re basic but that’s the idea. Keep it short and sweet and give you a quick snapshot of the basics. Where your visitors came from, what they looked at, and where they went.
One feature that I feel is an overlooked gem is the “Hot in My Communities” area. On every person’s profile you’ll see this feature in the upper right hand corner. What’s here is a ranking of the ten most popular links from all the pages in your communities. For those that are not MyBlogLog users, communities are websites that you join during your travels across the web. You can either explicitly join a community or set a preference for the number of pages of a site you need to view before you are automatically joined (the default is 10). The idea is to keep the communities you join as you would a list of friends in a social networking site, ones that align with your interests. The Hot in My Communities feature is one reason why. We normalize this list against its overall traffic and popularity so that even if the site doesn’t get thousands of pageviews, if a link is “popping” on one of these sites, it’ll show up in your Hot in My Communities list.
This feature is really cool and acts like a little recommendation engine. You should see a mix of sites that you’ve already visited and links that are most likely going to be interesting because it’s what others that share your reading habits are visiting. If your My Communities area is like a bookshelf of sites you visit on a regular basis, then the Hot in My Communities are is like a dynamic list of pages that have been dog-eared for reference. While a visit to a site like Techmeme gives you a view of what’s hot for everyone, Hot in My Communities is a filtered view of what’s interesting based on sites that you follow. A personalized view.
Now that we have the integration of Yahoo IDs behind us the team has been going after some low-hanging fruit that we have wanted to get to for a long time. Today we released a feature that allows you to better manage your communities via the Hot in My Communities area. As you look through the list of links served up for your browsing pleasure, you’ll notice a question mark (?) next to each link. If you click on this link, you’ll get some information about which of your communities gave you this link. Just like you would manage your subscriptions in a feed reader, if you’re consistently getting irrelevant links within your list, you can chose to prune your Communities list and remove those that are not interesting to you. Conversely, if you are browsing someone else’s profile and you see a link you like, you can click through and join that community. Robyn has a nice write up on the feature over on the MyBlogLog log.