Eric and the MyBlogLog guys made it official last week — Yahoo has acquired MyBlogLog. I couldn’t be happier for the whole crew over there including Eric, Todd, Scott, John, Steve and even the CloudSpace cheering squad. I’m especially proud of these Florida natives making such a loud and successful blogosphere impact.
Yahoo now has a powerful blog community/analytics platform in their quiver, but there’s a fork in the road. They can continue to grow organically in the blogosphere while the world catches up to face-aware browsing, or they can chart a bolder course that extends well beyond blogs.
I touched on this back in June when I first uncovered MyBlogLog because I was proactively looking for the uber-social network, that travels with you. MySpace, FaceBook, and the 1,000 dwarves are all domain-specific social networks that are powerful, but handicapped. The full potential of social networks exists across domains — allowing you to see/connect others in your network who researched the same vacation you’re researching, who bought the same camera you’re considering, friends to chat with about the video you’re streaming or friends who want to leverage group buying power for the latest FJ Cruiser.
At least three tweaks are needed to make this possible:
1) aggressive expansion of MBL/widgets beyond the blogosphere to research, commerce and entertainment sites;
2) social intelligence beyond just contacts and site visitors, allowing you to see who, specifically from your network, recently visited a site you’re at; and
3) a solid API to enable sites to build upon that awareness to unlock group buying, group research or other social network value that is absent from today’s domain-centric approaches.
This will take money and manpower, in parallel to letting MBL grow organically in the blogosphere. If Yahoo pulls it off aggressively instead of passively, however, it could be the social paradigm for all future surfing, media consumption and online commerce. Sound crazy? Maybe so, but if Yahoo/MyBlogLog doesn’t do it I’m looking for the entrepreneurs who will…