Tags: MyBlogLog, Jack Vinson, MiramarMike, Sergio Nascimento, David Gurteen, Nancy White, Dave Snowden, Jay Cross, Euan Semple, Jon Husband, Harol Jarche, Stephen Downes, Flickr, LinkedIn, Del.cio.us, Second Life, Skype, Go Stats, Metablogging, Social Networking, Social Computing, social software, Web2.0, Knowledge Management, KM, Collaboration, Communities, Communities of Interest, CoIs, Community Building
I am sure that you may have seen this already, but just in case, there have been quite a few folks who have been commenting on a recent weblog post that I created around one social computing offering in the weblogging space that I have been trying out lately and which I have grown to be very fond of: MyBlogLog. That is right. In MyBlogLog – A Proper Community around Your Weblog and 5 Reasons Why You Would Want to Install It I actually mentioned five different reasons on why knowledge workers would want to check out MyBlogLog to help them improve their social networks, amongst other things.
However, folks like Jack or Mike are actually wondering how I am actually making use of this particular offering myself. Basically, how I take advantage of this particular social computing tool in order to help me build up further my social networks. So I thought I would create a follow up weblog post where I will share with you all nine different immediate benefits I am getting from my extensive use of MyBlogLog. So without much further ado here you have got some of the main benefits I am getting from this application:
1. Find out some more about the audience of this weblog: Pretty much like Sergio Nascimento mentions already, I get to use MyBlogLog in order to find out who some of my readers are (Those who are also making use of this particular offering). I do know that there are a number of folks who read my weblog on a regular basis, based on the comments shared or IM or e-mails. However, I know as well that there is another group of folks who do read my weblog posts, but who prefer to actually keep a low profile, for whatever the reason. So with MyBlogLog I get to know those; who they are, where they come from, what their own weblogs are, those other folks who read from their weblogs, etc. etc.
So with MyBlogLog I am finding out a whole lot more of the folks who visit elsua.net and it helps me have a much better overview of who visits and stops over for a while. Regular statistics services in most cases do not offer this kind of extended data of your readership.
2. Find out other webloggers with similar interests: That is right, with this particular offering I have been able to find other KMers who also get to weblog about KM related topics, but that for one reason or another I haven’t been able to bump into their weblogs. Now, I check the main Web site a couple of times a day and I find the list of the most recent visitors. From there onwards I check out their profiles and those of their weblogs and those who are recurrent visitors and who weblog about the topics I am interested do get added into my blogroll. So in the last couple of weeks that I have been using it I have added already about 10 to 12 weblogs that are now part of my daily RSS reads.
Thus, as you can see, I am making use of it to help build up my own blogroll, because you can never have enough weblogs to read on the topics you are also passionate about. That is the whole point from social networks, if you ask me.
3. Find out about some other weblogs by digging further into their own communities: Yes, apart from helping me build my own blogroll from the folks who get to visit over here quite often I also get an opportunity to find out some more about their own weblogs and communities and therefore I get plenty of chances to build up my network(s) based on theirs. Take, for instance, the example from David Gurteen. His MyBlogLog profile gives you a good overview of other folks interested in KM, for example. From there onwards you can see how one of his community members is Nancy White (Her profile is here), who has got some other famous KMers like Dave Snowden (David has got him as well as a community member. Even Euan Semple is showing up in there!) or Jon Husband or Learning leaders like Jay Cross, Harold Jarche or Stephen Downes and the list goes on and on and on.
And before you know it, you find out yourself using that two, three, four, five or six degrees separation to build up your social network, and your blogroll, with very little hassle and with tremendous added value.
4. Identify common communities from my visitors: One key aspect of bumping into different folks, who read of my weblog and from their own weblogs and their communities, is that you keep finding out how folks who are part of your community are also folks who belong to other communities and before you realise it, you get a chance to create multiple complex relationships between communities because they share some of the community membership. This, on its own, is very helpful if you would want to get introduced to that other community by being able to send whiteboard messages to spark some further discussions and establish initial contacts. I have actually been introduced to a couple of communities that way. And from there discover some other interesting and relevant discussions that I probably would not have been able to in the first place.
5. Find out more about my readership with their extended contact details: That is right. I am not sure if this would be applicable to other folks but those folks who are into Knowledge Management have always got the tendency to fill in their profiles quite extensively all over the places they get to engage with. Just because of that, while checking different profiles I have been able to add a few contacts to my Skype contact list, or find out about their e-mail address or their preferred IM clients, their different profiles from other offerings like Flickr, LinkedIn, del.icio.us, Second Life avatar name(s) etc. etc.
I am not sure what you think about this, but considering that quite a few people actually takes the time to provide a bit of information details you actually get to know some more about them without necessarily having to ask for those. Nifty !
6. A picture is worth a 1.000 words: This is actually one of the main benefits I get from MyBlogLog. To be able to not only find out about my visitors, but to actually have a picture of what they look like or, if they prefer to use an avatar, to actually find out some more about them based on that image. It is incredibly powerful to be able to see the picture of those who follow you, because, you never know, you may be able to bump into them at some point and it is always a good thing to recognise them. Don’t you think?
I know that some people would not feel comfortable with having a picture available out there for others to see, but I am thinking that if you have taken the time to put one up in your weblog it wouldn’t matter too much to let other weblogs you visit what you look like.
7. Have quick conversations with those who read off my weblog: That is right. Some times I would get visitors who read off my weblog entries but do not leave comments because they may be on a hurry, or not have enough to say on the topic to add further on to it, or just simply because they have been diverted into whatever else. However, I am finding out that they keep leaving messages on the whiteboard from MyBlogLog. Some of them related to different weblog posts I have created, others on something that may not have anything to do with my weblog, but that it is still interesting as it helps build community and such.
Thus being able to get notifications of those whiteboard messages is actually quite handy, because it avoids cluttering your own weblog template and at the same time it is all placed into a single point of entry. Quite nice, if you ask me, since you, too, can also follow those public conversations. The private ones are just that, private.
8. Find out other communities and other webloggers who may not even get to visit my weblog: That is correct. In an effort to help build up new connections and conversations MyBlogLog also allows you to search not only for other communities of interest to you, but also other community members. So, even if I wouldn’t have any readers coming to my weblog I would still be able to build up a good social network by searching for other communities whose topics may be worth while following up on or find out about other members who I can find out just by looking them up.
That way, you get to build up your own social network making it as big and relevant as you may see fit for your own purposes. That is why mine keeps growing further and further …
9. And, finally, although I am not using that capability myself at the moment, the ability to keep track of some stats. I am actually making use of GoStats, but the fact that MyBlogLog allows you to keep track of some of those stats is probably also a good thing. Perhaps whenever I get tired of GoStats I will give it a try. Worth while remembering that the option is there.
And that would be it, folks. I thought I would be creating a weblog entry with five different benefits from making extensive use of MyBlogLog and in the end I came up with nine. And I bet that there would be other interesting uses of such a fine offering as this one. And I would surely be glad to hear about them. How do you actually make use of MyBlogLog? Does it meet your needs? If not, why not?