If you’ve been following the MyBlogLog blog and read the entry on the latest changes, you’d notice that the interface has undergone a number of changes:
With the change, MyBlogLog has moved from being a blog aggregator to being a Web 2.0 content aggregator of sorts. It’s supposed to be able to pull in updates from twitter, myspace, jaiku, flikr, linkedin, etc (a total of 43 services) and present them in a “New With Me” tab.
Oh yeah…where all the information used to be presented in a simple screen with all content visible above the fold:
(An old MyBlogLog screen), the new interface means you’ll need to scroll down to look at the content…
There’s a chorus of “I hate it, can I switch to the classic (ie original) interface” and that reasonates with me somewhat.
Granted, MyBlogLog’s Ian Kennedy and the MBL development team have spent some time working on this, but I’m wondering if MBL users had been sufficiently polled to the changes…
Is it a case of Yahoo! developing what it THINKS its users want, or are the changes what MBL users have been clamoring for?
As one of the earlier MBL users, I’d looked at the service as a blogging service. I ignored the other add on stuff and the most useful elements were the “recent visitors” widget I’d put on my blog and the Pro Stats (a sort of lite analytics package for your blog).
So here is my wishlist:
- Let me fix my own space!: Give MBL users the ability to customize their profile, have it like a Squidoo lens where you can drag-and-drop modules.Â If the Web 2.0 widgets are not popular, just drop them. I hate digital clutter as much as the next users…
- Evangelize Before Conversion: This is something that Steve Jobs has done a smashing job with the iPods and iPhones. If you want to get something out there, go beyond just a mandatory install on the user’s interface, it will just p*ss people off… Why not do a series of tutorials, do an online launch, recruit internet celebs like iJustine AKA Justine Ezarik to promote the thing?
- Solicit Feedback: Although it’s great to have a corporate MyBlogLog blog, I don’t think a blog comments section is the best way to conduct a dialogue with your users, especially since Web 2.0 services live and die by their consumers (it’s social marketing, isn’t it?) Put up a vBulletin forum somewhere, conduct a focus group, make active use of your existing advisory group or set up a new one…
When I was interviewing dotcoms earlier in my journalism career, I was pretty shocked at the amount of navel gazing that many of these dotcoms were engaged in, their eyes weren’t on the road ahead at all. So while, it’s great to want to change the world with the latest and greatest…sometimes users just want something simple (like an easy to use spam reporting system, MyBlogLog, without having to go through the hoops of logging in and filling in multiple forms… A web usability study or focus group would take care of this…) and they’d be happy.
Yahoo! was and is one of the web’s pioneers in my eyes and part of their existing predicament has to do with failing to listen to it’s users feedback and a slowdown in innovation in the last couple of years.
I’ve switched to using facebook since late last year, but I think MBL still has a chance to capture mindshare if it takes active efforts to put it’s ears to the ground and move in the same direction as its users.