Holy crap this year started off with a bang! I’ve been lumbering in a post-holiday daze for the past couple of weeks but a quick succession of events snapped me out of it.

mybloglog.JPG Yahoo! acquires MyBlogLog – I’ve been using the service for quite some time now and have been singing it’s praises internally. The design leaves a little to be desired but that’s just superficial. At its core, is a gem of a concept. What better way to tap into the ego of your readers than to feature their face on your blogroll? If you’re a MyBlogLog user, you’ll see your face on the Recent Readers “faceroll” on the sidebar. Not seeing your face? Go sign up then. This service has a built-in user acquisition strategy.

I like the way their stats package is laid out as well. Left to Right you have:

  • Where Readers Came From (referral info)
  • What Readers Viewed (page view info)
  • What Readers Clicked (outgoing link)

As an added bonus you have a view of what other sites your members visited across the web as well as the other MyBlogLog communities that your members have joined so you get a real sense of your audience.

But the best part of this service is that it takes a very basic human instinct – curiosity – and spins it into a driver to build community in a very unobtrusive way. Once you join MyBlogLog you’ll find yourself getting automatically added to other MyBlogLog communities. No spamming your friends with yet another social network, no invite requests, it’s all transparent and driven by your behavior. The default is after 10 visits (this can be changed). What this means is that after showing up on someone else’s Faceroll 10 times, it’s assumed that you’re a frequent enough visitor that you don’t throwing your lot in with that community and your face showing up on that blog’s community page.

As you click around the community pages you’ll see faces you recognize or others that just look interesting. As my 4 year old daughter showed me, sometimes you just click on someone to see what they’re about. “Who’s that!” she said as we clicked on someone named Andi. Lo and behold – this afternoon as I write this, I recognize Andi’s avitar on my Faceroll – she saw that we stopped by and counter-clicked through to my site to see who the hell I was. If you’re reading this Andi, “Hi!”.

So hands down, the Faceroll thing is much easier to remember than looking at a random IP address or top level domains in your referal logs. It’s a great way to get to know your audience. The other great thing is that your visitors that are coming to you from MyBlogLog all have websites they claimed. You get to not only put a face to a visitor, you also get to see what they write about, what sites they like to visit, and who visits them. Of course this all means that to be an upstanding member of a community, you need to have a website that features MyBlogLog – goodbye inbox, we are now shifting the conversation over to comments & trackbacks. As MySpace taught us, no one sends email anymore, all casual conversation takes place on each other’s friends pages. MyBlogLog enables any website anywhere to become your own friends page – hello inbox 2.0!

Part of Yahoo’s mission statement is about helping people connect to their passions and communities and MyBlogLog falls right into that line. Welcome aboard Scott and congratulations Bradley and Chad for making this happen.

The other thing that happened? Apple just reinvented the cellphone. I’m off to Moscone this afternoon to check it out.