MyBlogLog was the first service to really bring the concept of distributed, cross domain services to mainstream bloggers. The list of companies they influenced is long and important - you can see elements of MBL in JS-Kit / Echo, Disqus, Google Friend Connect, Facebook Connect, The Facebook Fan Box Widget, and many more.
Many of us that followed MyBlogLog closely were disappointed that they chose to take a quick exit, selling out to Yahoo in early 2007. Though, who can blame them?
"MyBlogLog is the most interesting widget I ever used. I realized then that widgets were more than just showing content…. but introducing new functionality. My blog had become a (lightweight) social network.
"Tried to invest, had a signed agreement, but before we could execute, they sold to Yahoo. I don’t think they realized the potential of what MyBlogLog could become."
And here is a collection of quotes from SexyWidget about MyBlogLog from over the years:
On the innovation of not just building another social network (2006):
"At a time when it seems that everyone is looking to build a destination social network, MyBlogLog has found an intriguing angle – cobbling together all of the mini communities that exist in the blogosphere through the distributed provision of some basic social networking tools. There’s a lot of blogs out there that could benefit from some enhanced community. This is a big, useful idea."
On MBL providing value to both readers and publishers (2006):
"MyBlogLog is already providing clear value to both blog publishers and blog readers. Publishers benefit from enhanced community on their blog because properly executed, online community can complement content as a way to pull folks back to your site. Blog readers benefit, because the MyBlogLog service recognizes their presence and is a step towards putting them at a more equal footing with the blog owner."
On the value of swimming against the current (2006):
"When I think of the hundreds of destination site social networks (many of them funded) vying for visitors attention, and a look at the tiny handful of businesses trying to enhance community functionality for the millions of blogs out there, I see a big disconnect. If I were investing in these sorts of opportunities, I’d be a lot more interested in hearing about MyBlogLog’s plans that some “MySpace of ______” site."
On MyBlogLog's potential (2006):
"My sense is that MyBlogLog is on to something big. If you play this concept out a bit, and you imagine a scenario where MyBlogLog is capturing traffic and user data from thousands of a high traffic blogs, there are all kinds of revenue models and services that could emerge. They could facilitate introductions between people and blogs, blogs and blogs, and people and people. They could capture statistical benchmarks and best practice data for various segments of blogs. They could develop a blogosphere wide reputation management system. The possibilities are almost limitless."
On MBL's influence on the industry (2007):
"The promise of cross domain features with a single login is one of the most compelling aspects of the new generation of cross platform, cross domain web services. MyBlogLog is a “presence” feature – one that could be considered a spinoff of the popular “who’s online” feature on social networks. It works anywhere, and if you’re logged in to this feature on one domain with a MyBlogLog widget, you’re logged into all of them."
On MBL's massive backlink machine, and the missed destination site opportunity (2008)
"I was doing a little research on Yahoo Site Explorer on a widget provider that is claiming some pretty big traction (more on this later). In the process, I did a reality check of backlinks againstMyBlogLog. MyBlogLog is showing up as having more than 3.5M backlinks. Gulp. If these guys would build out a destination site with some landing pages that people actually search for (as opposed to MyBlogLog profile pages), they could turn a fire hose of organic search traffic on."
MyBlogLog lived fast and died young, but it certainly left its mark.
Here is a full list of my posts covering MyBlogLog:
MyBlogLog Widget - A Review (October, 2006)
The Promise of Distributed Social Networks (February, 2007)
On MyBlogLog, Cookies, and Resource Allocation (February, 2008)
MyBlogLog: Build out your Destination Site Already! (March, 2008)