As if we didn’t have enough already with both MyBlogLog and AutoRoll, a couple of social networking offerings for webloggers that I have talked about in the past here and over here, respectively, here we go with a third one that, of course, I had to give it a try and see how it would work. This time around this particular new tool is coming from the same group of folks who have put together the fine service of Elgg and it is called Explode!. There have been already a good bunch of folks already talking about it, but here you have a couple of reviews by Techcrunch (By Marshall Kirkpatrick), Steve O’Hear or the very same folks at Explode in case you would want to do some further reading.
Pretty much like you would do with MyBlogLog and AutoRoll, Explode! works in such a way that it would allow you to build up a social network with the readers of your weblog since you can add this offering as a widget to your weblog template and see how it builds up your own network of friends. You can basically search for folks who you think are already part of the application and you can add them to your own network. Or, alternatively, you can also browse through the directory to see if you recognise some of the different names and establish a connection with them.
However, one of my favourite features from the entire service and something that is essentially different from any other service is that you can search for contacts you would want to add not just searching for them or the networks they belong to, but based on the different tags they may have used for themselves. That is right, Explode! actually allows people to tag themselves when they actually create a profile. You get to add a one liner about who you are, and then you can add a number of different tags based on whatever you would want to share and how you would want people to find you. Then you can also add the link to your weblog so that folks know where you are coming from and you are ready to go.
As I said earlier on, you can add a widget to your weblog template and it actually takes about one minute to set up. One other nice thing, which I am sure is going to address the issues that have lately put MyBlogLog under some trouble, i.e. spam, is the fact that you can actually moderate your friendships with a number of different options, so you can say that you are always in control of what is actually happening. Nice one!
Finally, there are a couple of other handy features that would be worth while exploring further. First one is that you can get some really nice and handy stats about who visits your profile so that you can build up from there and also you have got a section for comments where people can drop a comment or two and work through your social network. These features are pretty similar to what MyBlogLog does as well, actually, but it is good to see that they would also add some value to this particular offering.
So that was it, folks. Just a quick introduction on some of the nice features put together thus far. Of course, and like I have mentioned above, so far I like what I have seen, thus I have decided that I will be giving it a try and going to test it out for a couple of weeks, like I am doing with AutoRoll at the moment. At that time I will then decide if I am going to stick around with it or not, but I must say that from what I have seen so far it looks like I may like it, after all. We shall see.
Again, if you would want to see how it works here is my profile. Here are my friends (Yes, I know, pretty empty at the moment, but hoping to build it up from there) and if you are reading this weblog entry from the RSS feed head over to elsua.net and you will be able to see Explode! running as another widget in the left column of this weblog template.