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MyBlogLog and Quest for building Community

Monday, January 08, 2007

MyBlogLog has proved to be one of the best amongst its social networking sites. It not only helps to increase your traffic but also your social circle. Being its member, you can easily contact other bloggers, ask them for help, comment on their blogs(which are easily findable), join their community or add them in contact.

It is a platform that provides opportunity to its members for building relationships both on professional and personal foregrounds. Being its member you have the privilege to contact elite bloggers within MyBlogLog circle. You also get to know which member visited your profile page or your blog. Use its widgets to you can show visitors on your site. With easy to use free Analytics which can be upgraded for only $5 a month, you can get live site stats.

How does MyBlogLog helps you as its member?

● Gets you, your blog presence irrespective of posts.
● Better personal relationship with your readers and to the authors of your favorite blogs.
● You don’t have to wait for time get your story come on top like most democratic sites such as Digg or optimize like hell for over months to get some really good traffic from search engines.
● So keys are keep participating in blogs, and My Blog Log keeps on giving new visitors
● If people find your blog interesting, they join your community.
● Some find you interesting add to their contacts, most often in return you are added in return as their contact in favors.
● Meeting and building relationship with really cool bloggers and have long terms with them
● Clearly a game for Blogging To Fame in full action.

With such a technology which makes you easily accessible, there is a higher award of social networking and the higher is the risk of Spamming. People want to increase their community and can apply various ways for that. They add you as their contacts, message you and ask you to join their community. May be that’s not all, they can actually bribe, with an iPod to do so. It is not bad to want your community to grow, but is it worth while? People who add you to contact and join your community just for reciprocal favors are hardly of benefit. Read Andy Beards post on MyBlogLog - Antisocial Behaviour?

Clear Spamming:

● ‘Cool Blog, Visit/Review mine’ messages to every blog’s profile with a view that some might visit your blog or join your community
● Joining every members community you come across without visiting His/Her Blog or Adding them as contacts.
● Leaving links in messages just to gain incoming links or traffic
● Sending Messages like I belong to a Giveaway Bank, a customer died who did not belong to earth, lets Share his money, contact me.

Some ethical ways of building community:

● Visiting other members blog and commenting on them
● Building relationships with other bloggers
● Making your blog interesting so that people come and join your community

Case Study 1-
TechCrunch.com and TheDJList.com
Page Rank at the time of this post:- 7 and 6 respectively
Members since- 19th October 2006 and 1st August 2006 respectively
Community Members at the time of this post- 2,318 and 3,534 respectively
Strategy- Own Branded Community with Useful and Interesting Content

Case Study 2-
Blaugh.com
Page rank at the time of this post:- 6
Members since- 13th July,2006
Community Members at the Time of this post- 406
Strategy- Interesting blog which uses Humor Hook

Case Study 3-
AVC.blogs.com
Page rank at the time of this post:- 7
Members since- 7th June,2006
Community Members at the Time of this post- 813
Strategy- Most decent updates of information for internet users without any self promotion.


Not so ethical:

Bribing people to join your community is not either spam nor ethical. The question I raise here- ‘Is it worth while?’ Giving away gifts or freebies is not what to be questioned here. It is correct for anybody to reward your blogs readers, but only readers. Lets call that Linkbaiting. The point is How correct is it on community owners part to give away a certain gift just to tempt people to join your community. Neither is community directly proportional to the traffic you receive neither to the amount of fan following.

Case Study 4:-
MarketingPilgrim.com
Page Rank at the time of this post- 6
Members since- 1st Dec,2006
Community Members at the Time of this post- 163
Strategy- Tempting readers to join community by giving away Zuke

I had been a regular visitor of this blog and Andy Beal is a good writer, but this actually created a turmoil of feelings. Its just not Andy who has done this but a lot many other sites. I hope Andy, you wont kill me on this one.

What will you call it- influencing members or manipulating them asking them to join community before even reading blog? What is the long term marketing strategy here? If your blog is good enough why lull someone to join you community?

My Conclusion-
People should join your community because you are good in your niche. Hold contests and quizzes, people love interacting. Make your blog interesting enough. The Morale is creating a fan following and winning loyal readership not increasing a mere number to show off how large your community is and pseudo popularity. The choice is again yours...

Update-
Jeremy Zawodny recently noticed and wrote a post on the marketing strategy of Andy Beal and wrote a post about it. Andy has a good blog and this act has stirred mixed emotions all over.

Till You Make Your Choice,
Happy Blogging
Divya Uttam

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posted by Divya Uttam, 1:52 PM

20 Comments:

I've not killed anyone for days! ;-)

Thanks for your feedback. I'm hoping to raise awareness to MyBlogLog and the community I have there. As a blogger, I don't have a forum or other social platform, so this is a good way to build a community for the blog. You're right though, there is no telling how many will stick around after the contest is over, but at least they will have seen MP and had a chance to read it. :-)

commented by Anonymous Andy Beal, 3:22 PM  

For me, getting to see good quality 'blogs has been the biggest draw.

I comment on technology, but with a social slant.

Technology is nothing without the human aspect, so I seek out people who're 'blogging about tech' stuff, about tech' stuff that isn't working right, tech' stuff working better than they expected, new technology -- this is where I get my inspiration from.

This very article is a prime example...

commented by Blogger Wayne Smallman, 4:06 PM  

Thanks for the mention.

The thing that I like about Andy Beal's contest is that it is not aimed at the MyBlogLog community, but also at his own subscriber base encouraging more people to join MBL.

I have been comparing his appraoch with that of Shoemoney.

commented by Anonymous Andy Beard, 6:16 PM  

Your very right ..if we use MyBlogLog the right way.We Surely get Rewarded for it..I think 25% of my Blog readers are from MyBlogLog.. i have made contacts with a good number of People..
You are also a good Contact of Mine..
Thanks a lot...All this became possible because of you.

commented by Anonymous Rony John, 6:19 AM  

IMO there should be some quality maintained while using social networking sites.I do agree too the fact that there is lots of spamming when you use such social media.
To gain instant popularity and generate heavy traffic. I think these are sort term achievements and one cannot use them.People try to avoid such spam techniques.I always follow the the rule of KISS(Keep it short and Sweet) on forums, blogs and social networking
If every individual does things ethically then we can reduce spamming largely.Also I think there should be good rules that can prevent spammers in the first place . Bottom line is IF you have Diamonds with you you don't have to go selling for them.
I always believe in Quality rather than quantity.

commented by Blogger Dave, 7:31 AM  

Andy Thank You for taking it sportingly, but I still am of view that a contest thats interactive is better.

I have taken your appreciation as an advice, I'll be talking more about Technology related blogging from now on. Hope to see you regular here.

Whatever Shoemoney is doing is a totally different kind. If in comparison bribing someone to join community is better, does not change the fact that its still bribing.

Rony and Dave, thanks for agreeing with me. Quality has always won more hearts.

commented by Blogger Divya Uttam, 12:29 PM  

Very insightful Divya and I look forward to read you more!

commented by Blogger Tisha!, 12:33 PM  

Your evident dedication to quality is the reason for my loyalty to your blog.

However I believe that everyone should have the right to do what they want until they start hurting other people, as in the case of spam. Even if spamming acts in the MyBlogLog network is a very difficult issue to identify. And now that it has been bought by Yahoo, spam problem could become bigger if you consider that they have in mind to expand the potential user base significantly by allowing users to log in with their Yahoo IDs.

In my opinion it's more weighty spammming than that kind of bribing. Spam is pestering and illegal, while offering "presents" to visitor is not, but is immoral and also counterproductive. This is not good strategy for two reasons:
1) Do you think MyBlogLog users joining MarketPilgrim's community in order to win a Zune are really interested in MarketPilgrim blog? Well, no! Most of them will never read anything posted there.
2) While Andy Beal is augmenting visitors and clicks on advertisements, withal he's losing some (really) interested readers, which are the long-term investment for his blog. I think Zune contest could be an hard blow for blog reputation, even if I know it's just a game.

Again, content is the most important thing.

commented by Anonymous Franciov, 4:13 PM  

Hi Divya I enjoyed this very candid and thoughtful piece and agree with your conclusions. Hopefully folks will join our communities because we are good at what we do. Our purpose should be to create a blog interesting enough to bring folks back by to get the information they have come to expect and not just to increase our community numbers. Happy trails, MarkH

commented by Blogger MarkH, 4:41 PM  

I started blogging in October and joined MyBlogLog shortly there after. Your post described the features, function and benefits well. For an infant blogger, like myself the use of contacts and community has been of trmendous value. I have made many friends and have the opportunity to read exceptional blogs. The 2 aspects I like the most are the warm people involved and that particapation is fun.

commented by Blogger James, 6:31 AM  

Divya, you know I'm in agreement with most of what you have to say and you definitely practice what you preach. I'm not concerned about what Andy and Shoemoney are doing because unlike Andy B.(whose blog I read frequently and comment on) I don't feel it undermines the quality of MyBlogLog. It is for each of them to determine the value of their actions.

What I don't like is people adding every contact and commenting spam on the community page. You know things like "nice blog, come visit mine at ______." Really? Was my blog nice, what was nice about it, are you ever coming back again? No probably not.

I'm only interested in building a community that is actually reading my blog and of course commenting (rare for most of us). Yahoo will bring a bunch of the aforementioned spammers and I encourage all of us to immediately delete any of those comments so others don't see.

Let's support each other and work on building our own communities and leave the spamming to those losers that probably don't have anything of value to add anywhere.

commented by Anonymous David Temple, 10:28 AM  

Hello again, Divya, you were the first non-MyBlogLog employee to leave me a public message after I joined MyBlogLog, and it was very meaningful. Apparently I've been fortunate because my received messages so far have been very thoughtful... none of these "visit my blog" ones that others are mentioning.

I do wish there was a way to clear someone from the "My Admirers" queue if you don't want to add them as a contact. I've had some users add me as a contact, and when I visit their profile I see that they have hundreds of contacts and have no interests in common with me, thus they might just be a contact-collector, so I don't add them as one of my contacts. But they are there, every time I check my account, staring at me with smiling faces. I suppose I could add them to get them out of the "My Admirers" queue, then immediately delete them from my contacts, but that seems mean :-)

commented by Anonymous Noel, 2:51 PM  

People will always want to go one better than the other guy to get the attention. That's what the world of adverts is all about. Giving things away and doing something contriversial are two great ways to get attention. If you can do both you have great link bate.

Which you prove quite well I think.

In this case you also seem to have good comment bate.

As to contacts I added piles of people because they seemed interesting at the time but now I have too many to use that list at all. Same for communities whioch acts as a giant bookmark system for me.

The result is that I don't get to see half the good blogs half as often as I should like.

On a picky note "MyBlogLog has proved to be one of the best amongst its social networking sites."

"its"? "it's"? Is that what you ment? it "sort of" works but the meaning is unclear.

I have a few ideas that should make it easier for me to look at more sites and purge sites and contacts (and add them) but I need to do a lot more work yet on my (m)ACL project.

commented by Anonymous Lord Matt, 8:31 AM  

This was a great post and one that every new MyBlogLog member should be required to read.

commented by Blogger Marcus Sonsteby, 5:19 AM  

It is very interesting to find your blog. I was searching for quality blogs. Reading your blog gave me lot of information. I must visit you regularly. Such professional blogging is very rare. I think I came here by luck. I have experienced spamming and I am tired of it. All this internet gurus are real fakes. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

commented by Anonymous Mahesha, 5:15 PM  

I don't mind so much the spam-like comments at MyBlogLog as long as those sites give quality content I can use and learn from. Let's face it: One man's trash is another man's treasure.

That's what I love about blogging. Different folks present themselves out in the grand superhighway and there's always at least one person on earth who would find them interesting.

But Divvya has a point. It doesn't hurt to be extra vigilant of unscrupulous spammers.

commented by Blogger diversityworking, 8:35 AM  

Personally I don't see anything wrong with what Andy Beal did. It's not "manipulation" or "trickery", it's just marketing. He out up an offer, and if you want it then go for it.

A pretty smart move actually.

commented by Anonymous Gobala, 11:57 AM  

For me, the verdict is still out on mybloglog. I get readers from there but I have a really hard time finding blogs that I actually like. Maybe I'm just too picky.

I like this one, though. I'll stop by again.

commented by Blogger Brian, 9:00 PM  

This is interesting commentary on MyBlogLog.com. I've been a member since 01/22/07, and I find that it has definitely brought traffic to my blog. So far 10 mybloglog members have joined my community. There are 3 members that I am starting to interact with regularly. I'll have to interact with more of them to see if they desire to be loyal readers or not.

I agree with your points about bribing members into joining your community. I don't see the value in buying loyalty. I've not asked anyone to join mine thus far, and if I do, it will be approached with a simple request.

In addition to posting content worthy of readership, I plan to depend on the natural ebb and flow of traffic to my blog and to my profile page (which is how I discovered your visit) and other social networks to grow my reader base. Hopefully, as I grow as a blogger I will be able to use more sophisticated techniques to optimize for higher levels of traffic.

Anyway, thanks for the post, and for visiting my profile page.

Jose

commented by Anonymous Jose, 5:02 PM  

I like MyBlogLog - it reminds me a lot of Flickr with it's Easy Social Networking interaction & actually gives Bloggers a little more Human interaction or puts a Face on Blogs which for the most part can be Dead Zones - with Few Comments!

MBLog seems to be the First thing out there actually doing something Positive about this!!

Cheers! Billy ;))

commented by Blogger BillyWarhol, 10:01 PM  

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