Yesterday I decided to compare the three much talked about social networking and blog-indexing websites, namely: MyBlogLog, BlogCatalog & BlogRush. The purpose of this analytical study is to find out how far these sites can potentially help you in generating a healthy readership community for your own website/blog by budding & nurturing a society of your own on these sites, by monitoring the daily page views, public reach and popularity trends. I believe it will be interesting to know how well these social networking sites can help themselves to exist, and how well they can appeal to the wide range of audience they intend to serve so that we have an idea of who has the right potential, is reliable and usable and who is a waste!
I have used the Alexa rating of these websites (graphical trends) and my own experience with the individual services to arrive at some conclusions that are purely personal opinions and hence, I have pointed out the positive and negative points of these systems that affect the position at which each of them stands today.
Here are the graphs that have been generated on the basis the analytical data gathered by Alexa till 26th of December, 2007; drawn on a three year time-line.
To view even clearer graphs, Mozilla Firefox users can Right Click the images and click on View Image. You can alternatively generate these graphs at Alexa and view them over variable time line and adjustable size!
The graphs clearly depict the traffic, rank and popularity trends for the three social networking sites we are talking about. And so, say more than I can express in my words.
MyBlogLog and BlogCatalog seem to be the potential competitors in their field. Analyzing the daily page views graph we can see that MyBlogLog started to gain momentum in the earlier part of 2006 as it managed to stay in the news with regards to its expected takeover by Yahoo! The service, otherwise also offered pretty good features like the detailed site traffic statistics. No doubt it became popular among the blogger masses. MyBlogLog saw a huge spike in its daily reach and daily page views when it was taken over by Yahoo and offered as a Yahoo service. But the peaks in the graph soon started to level and slope downwards ever since, the whole of 2007. Meanwhile, BlogCatalog has been moving with a healthy steadiness low below MyBlogLog but has ever been rising gradually even with its own shortcomings in the system. Daily traffic rank trends and daily reach of BlogCatalog indicate that its not far from equalling its rival MyBlogLog or even surpassing it. BlogRush saw only a one time rise in its lifetime at the time of its launch, that I believe was because of the hyper-hype that was generated prior to its launch. BlogRush failed to cast its spell as it miserably failed to implement its vision properly; Something that I would term improper and ineffective tagging.
Why MyBlogLog is on a decline?
MyBlogLog has implemented a cap on the number of messages that can be exchanged by a member in 24 hours, and has killed the very essence of socializing, by restricting social interaction terming it a “spam preventive measure” to allow only 15 messages in 24 hours. Less than 1 message per hour certainly doesn’t sound a very good idea if you are talking about community management or using the term Social Networking! Any member who aims at building a community at a social networking site won’t be talking to only 10-12 people sending at the maximum 2-3 messages in 24 hours. Wisest use of these limited number of messages doesn’t sound anything near “cool” to me! And if they call it a spam prevention measure, I say “C’mon! We know how to use the delete button and how to report spam!”
Otherwise, the detailed site statistics, ability to send messages to your community are exclusive features that MyBlogLog has to offer. MyBlogLog doesn’t compulsorily require you to display a widget on your blog to authorize your blog. You can simply insert a tracking code in your blog’s template and that solves the purpose. I recommend you use this social network for nurturing a community of your own as it still offers a wide and bright prospect for development, in spite of its negativities.
BlogCatalog is doing a good job!
BlogCatalog is not free from all the evils but it has been consistently serving its purpose effectively. It has emerged successfully as a good social networking site. The interface is useful and easy to follow just as MyBlogLog and it is quite neat. You can create any number of groups centered around various discussions that might interest a section of audience that BlogCatalog entertains. Group Discussions in these groups is an exclusive feature. BlogCatalog lacks the ability to send a group message to all your group or neighborhood members but it allows free interaction among the members leaving an almost infinite scope of community development. The notification system does a very good job when someone adds you as a friend, when someone invites you to join a group or when someone joins your neighborhood. Community building at BlogCatalog is a fun to indulge in. The widget is similar to MyBlogLog to use on your blog. you can show off your recent readers, group members and group discussions through widgets. I highly recommend you use this social networking service for effective blog promotion.
BlogRush is clearly out of the game!
BlogRush has miserably failed in its attempt to appeal to the audience. Improper tagging and hence miscalculated exposure at irrelevant blogs, I believe, is what caused its downfall. After a one time hit with the audience, it has been hardly hit with failure with everyone dropping the idea of using it. I personally don’t recommend you to use this service unless you are doing some research work, experimenting or another acid test like this one.