Yahoo buys yournamehere.com

by Mathew on November 17, 2006 · 15 comments

Maybe all of that criticism about how Google is winning the race and Yahoo is just sitting around with its thumb you-know-where has finally gotten to Terry Semel. Whatever it is, the middle part of the Google-Yahoo-Microsoft triumvirate seems to have awakened from its slumber and gotten out the cheque-book. Not only has it bought the online-contest site Bix, but it has also bought some Swedish mobile thingamajig, and now it has bought MyBlogLog (Update: According to TechCrunch, Yahoo and MyBlogLog have not done a deal yet, but are in discussions about an acquisition).

The MyBlogLog deal (if there is one) interests me most, if only because I have some familiarity with it. If you don’t know it, MyBlogLog is a tool that makes it easy to create communities around blogs — my community, or at least some of it, appears in the left-hand rail of my blog. That’s how I know that Zoli Erdos comes by from time to time (thanks Zoli) and that Marshall Kirkpatrick also drops by (thanks, Marshall) as does Howard Lindzon or “Bones,” (thanks, Howard) and Scott Karp of Publishing 2.0 (thanks Scott).

MyBlogLog actually started as a traffic-measurement tool, which counts clicks and then tells you when you hover over a link how many times that link has been clicked (you can choose either that or to see which is the top link, or 2nd-most clicked, etc.). Much like other traffic tools, you can see where people came to your blog from, how many visits per day and so on. The CEO of MyBlogLog is Scott Rafer, who used to work at Feedster.com.

mybloglog.gif

But it was the addition of the community that really pushed MyBlogLog in a new direction — a smart move, in my view. I wasn’t sure it would work, in part because I figured that many people like to surf anonymously, but it seems to have taken off in recent months. And there’s no question that adding the community features put a different spin on MyBlogLog that set it apart from the other analytical tool companies.

The big question, of course, is what the heck Yahoo is going to do with it — or with Bix or Kenet for that matter. What has it done with del.icio.us since it acquired it? Virtually nothing except move it to new servers and give it a few nips and tucks here and there, as far as I can tell. And what about Flickr.com? Same thing. You could argue that leaving them alone makes sense, but in that case why buy them?

Presumably there should be “synergies” there somewhere, but I have yet to see Yahoo taking advantage of any. Tony Hung over at Deep Jive Interests has some thoughts about what they might have in mind — let’s hope the folks at Yahoo are as smart as Tony is. Eric Jackson has written an open letter to Jerry Yang and David Filo about what he thinks Yahoo should do. And Brian Balfour of Zoominfo makes a good point about the MyBlogLog acquisition here.

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  • http://breakoutperformance.blogspot.com Eric Jackson

    Mathew: I enjoy your stuff. You\’ve transitioned well to tech from your days of covering the west.

    I think this news + the \”peanut butter manifesto\” is a sign that more changes are in the works. However, probably not fast enough. What is really required is a change at the top. I summarize why in this open letter to Jerry Yang and David Filo:

    Thanks,

    Eric

  • Mathew Ingram

    Thanks, Eric. Always nice to hear from a longtime reader :-)

    Your letter makes some interesting points. I wonder if anyone will
    pass it along at Yahoo HQ.

  • http://breakoutperformance.blogspot.com Eric Jackson

    We’ll see.

    Just out of curiosity, how long have you been writing for the Globe? It’s been at least since the mid-90s, right?

    Best wishes,

    Eric

  • Mathew Ingram

    Since 1994, yes. Shortly after that I became one of the first Globe and Mail employees to have one those newfangled “e-mail” addresses :-)

  • http://breakoutperformance.blogspot.com Eric Jackson

    Keep ragin’ against the machine! :)

    Eric

  • http://www.fridgebuzz.com Vanessa Williams

    Hey Mathew, I gotta say: I love MyBlogLog as a stats tracker for my blog, but… when they introduced the “community” thing, they TOTALLY lost me. I mean, I just don’t get it. I have no idea what it’s about. It seemed to me like a last ditch desperate attempt to cash in on the “social networking” thing that just didn’t make any sense. Obviously, I’m just missing something here, but I wish someone would clue me in! How do other users of MyBlogLog in any way constitute a meaningful “community”?

  • Mathew Ingram

    Thanks for the comment, Vanessa. I guess the question of whether it’s a “meaningful” community or not is up to each individual to decide, but like I tried to say in the post, I think it’s interesting to see who reads your blog regularly, who makes your blog one of their favourites, who adds you as a contact or whatever. And I often go and check out what other blogs people who add me to their contacts in MyBlogLog are readng, to see if there’s something out there I’m missing. Technorati does the same thing in some ways, or is trying to. Whether it’s meaningful or not is hard to say.

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  • http://topfivesextoys.com/?p=217 lelo elise

    thanks for the post

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