Hey, everyone! We got good news! Yahoo! just bought MyBlogLog! Yay! More power to them. I have been waiting to see what comes out of this. Finally, they are moving.
Hey, everyone! We got some well, not so good news… your profile pics might not appear in the MyBlogLog widgets in future when you visit your favorite sites! There are two reasons this happens…
Let us all learn how large corporates with a team of highly intelligent people can work together to destroy a fundamental part of a product and destroy its core value, while trumpeting the fact that it is a “new” feature. (Disclaimer: this is MY opinion and does not represent the ideas, opinions or technological truism of any cult, sect or any other gurus)
First, let us stop and think about why MyBlogLog is so preferred by bloggers compared to the many other widgets. SpicyPage comes to mind, as do BlogCatalog, BumpZee and several others that offer very similar looking widgets. Here is how it works:
- Login to MyBlogLog
- Close window without logging out
- Visit any site that has the MyBlogLog widget and your photo appears
Now, why would anyone want that? Well, because this is a fundamentally good idea. If others see you visiting a site that they visit, then you have a shared common interest. They click on your picture, go to your MyBlogLog profile, see which communities you join, visit YOUR site and so on. It starts a flow, a chain of event that not only generates traffic for you, but also creates a buzz around common likes/dislikes.
New Login “Expires”
I am not against Yahoo! forcing everyone to use their login id for MyBlogLog. In fact, it was expected and in a way, it does offer some integration benefits with their other services. No, my main quarrel is with the “Keep me signed in… ” part of the equation. You see, I only surf from one computer at home. I remain “logged in” all the time. When I visit my friends’ blogs, they all know I just came by because they see me appear in their widget. Now, I have to check every time to see if I do appear, because after 2 weeks, I will be logged out of MyBlogLog.
We are just having fun. I don’t need those James Bond, high security stuff. It’s just a blog to share ideas and thoughts and laugh at and with each other.
GIF no longer accepted
Now, here is another interesting thing that they have done which I think is really silly – they now no longer accept GIF files for images. How do I know? After going through the hoops to get linked up, I found that my pics disappeared. Then, when I tried to upload them again, then I realised, no GIF. JPG and PNG only. Yet again, another excellent user experience. I mean, what is so bad about GIFs? I checked. Comparing JPG, PNG and GIF formats, the differences were a few KBs. Sure, that might seem a lot if you had a 56K dial up modem. But if like Yahoo! was claiming “Fancy new image uploader for userpics (5MB image? No prob!)“, then I wonder why the phobia of GIF images? I mean, my 15KB JPEG image is certainly smaller than the original 32KB GIF. But I think that is about 0.3% of 5MB vs 0.6% of 5MB, hardly anything to cry over. And if the open sourced ImageMagick can handle all the various graphics format, I am seriously wondering what is the concern here.
This is just my ranting. But I have seen enough products designed by brilliant engineers, who wants to have the latest features, the best technology and the highest quality; but miss out on some of the other essentials. Sometimes, as fundamental as – does the user really need or want this “feature”?
With all due respects, I am sure Yahoo! is trying to give us all a better experience by integrating MyBlogLog and Yahoo’s services. I would say “trying” is a key word here. Sometimes, when you try too hard, and change some seemingly “small” things, the impact could be bigger than you anticipated.
[tags]MyBlogLog, Yahoo!, new login, security, blogging[/tags]