MyBlogLog just pushed out a release which allows you to “claim” ownership of your MyBlogLog profile. It’s dead easy.
Nothing gets bloggers’ juices flowing better than a leaderboard. Today we launched a friendly little contest to see who can add the most users to their MyBlogLog community between now and the end of the month. Face it, we’ve all been there – how many friends do you have on MySpace? How many of Facebook? How many are following you on Twitter? Now’s your chance – tell your friends to join your blog’s community on MyBlogLog and if you end up on top, we’re offering a bevy of fabulous prizes to help you blog better.
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.
My 5 year old daughter just started Kindergarten this week and she asked me to explain to her exactly what I did at Yahoo so she could convey this to her class. She barely uses a computer so I was a bit challenged but then I remembered a great post by Susan Mernit that summed it up nicely.
When I describe my job to non-techie friends, I like to say it’s like being the executive chef in a big restaurant because as big piece of my job is deciding what to send out when, and another is to review and roll up all the possibilities and then recommend what we actually build and empower the teams that build it.
We’ve been washing the pots and pans for the past little while but once that’s done, the chefs are chomping at the bit to put out some great new stuff.
I’m really sorry to see Eric go. Being the "Tom of MyBlogLog" he was not only your first friend after signing up for MyBlogLog, his personality defined the community as only a co-founder can. I’ve only worked with Eric for a couple of months but it’s been a blast. Some things I’ll miss:
- whiteboard sessions, the man can’t think without a marker in his hand
- pointers to some internet meme that you’d never heard of (I’ll never be able to listen to Fallout Boy without laughing)
- random interjections of "dude" and "rock on" just to keep the serious types on their toes
- shorts & combat boots in the office, why not?
- that aging orange and black "They Might Be Giants" t-shirt
Robyn’s stepping into the "First Friend" role and while she’s a bit nervous, I know she’s going to do just fine. I’ll be posting more as the voice of the product along with Todd. I’m not Eric but hopefully I can keep things just as interesting in my own way.
UPDATE: Eric’s blogging over at www.marcoullier.com
We’re running pretty fast and have a whole slew of new features at MyBlogLog we are chomping at the bit to get out the door. We’re also about the quick and dirty, especially if it seems innovative and fresh. The video job posting above is part of that. It’s pretty obvious when you see this that we didn’t plan any of this and basically had these folks come in, grab what footage they could while we worked and then splice it all together into something decent.
I think it works. See the posting on standoutjobs.com for details.
Did my first post over on the MyBlogLog blog (that’s a mouthful!). I’ll be posting over there when it comes to product news but I’ll continue to provide pointers from here when it makes sense. Lots of great work going on that should see the light of day in the very near future – the team works at lightspeed!
Now that we’ve got shiny new servers we can start to tick things off the list that have been queued up while folks have been busy stringing cables and spinning up new disks. Earlier this week we re-worked the universal footer on the site and launched the MyBlogLog Suggestion Board.
The Suggestion Board was born out of one of Yahoo’s internal hack days where the folks over in Yahoo Autos wanted a quick and easy way for their users to tell them which new features they thought were the most important. Combining simple forum features with a simple thumbs up, thumbs down voting mechanism (all the rage these days) the team polished up their hack and now provide it as a platform service for any Yahoo property.
Suggestion Boards have been popping up all over the place and we’re pleased to have one for our community as well. Robyn’s got a great write up on how it works. If you’re a MyBlogLog user (if you’re not, sign up!) and have an idea for a new feature or just want to poke around and see what others have suggested and add your vote to their ideas, jump on in. The team loves to get feedback.
One final thing. There’s an easter egg hidden in the new footer on the site. See if you can find it.
Some of you already know but to bring the far flung readers up to date, as of a few weeks ago, I transferred to a new team at Yahoo. I’ve been holding off on writing about my job with MyBlogLog (they’re an acquisition we made back in January) as I’ve been taking it all in, getting settled, and getting a sense of how things work. Check out the “Recent Readers” box in the sidebar of this blog and sign up. It’s a pretty cool service (and is going to get even better!)
Now a few weeks in and I’m happy to say that this is the right place for me. The team here is amazing and they’re working on things right in line with my interests, a people-centric view of the web. So what is the team behind this people-driven service like?
Eric & Todd have known each other since 5th grade and work together as you would imagine two longtime friends would. Mostly a lot of good-natured ribbing with an occasional heated debate but in the end, a shared passion for turning out something amazing. Hanging out with them each day makes me wonder what my old friends from Essex, Connecticut are up to these days.
John & Steve have been working together for many years as well and because they sit back to back they pratically complete each other’s sentences when they’re collaborating over something. They built the latest tags release from conception to release in something like a week. Friggin’ rockstars.
Robyn was brought on as the community manager and has that rare talent for striking the right balance that helps the community thrive. Read her latest post on the MyBlogLog blog and you’ll see what I mean. She’s from Georgia so her accent immediately puts you at ease.
Chris just joined the team but has already re-jiggered our memcache and drafted an API which is looking real solid. If it’s fast, Chris is happy. He’s already made an impact and I can see he’s going to be a huge help as we scale and optimize.
We’re actively hiring kick-ass engineers who want to see their work used and recognized by millions. If you’d like to work with this crew and think you’re up to it, drop me a line in the comments.