Is MyBlogLog worth it?

MyBlogLog widget I’ve been using the MyBlogLog widget on my this blog for awhile now. I should have noted the day I installed it, but I didn’t. I’d probably say close to the two month mark, if I had to make a semi-educated guess. I’m at the point now where I’m wondering if it’s even worth it.

What is the point of MyBlogLog?

The point of MyBlogLog, as near as I can tell, is to help build your community of readers. The sidebar widget shows who has visited your blog recently, and let’s you click through to their site and see what they’re up to. You can even build a community of readers directly on MyBlogLog, though I’m not terribly sure what purpose that actually serves, other than ego inflation.

What benefits do I get from MyBlogLog?

Besides the aforementioned community building aspect, there’s always the promise of additional traffic. As people see your little gravatar on other people’s sidebars, as you browse around, perhaps they’ll click on it and pay you a visit. If they like your blog, maybe they’ll even stick around for awhile.

To back up this theory, I went through my logs and added up how many visitors I’ve gotten in the last two months from MyBlogLog. I was astounded at the number – and I have a feeling many of you may find similar numbers if you take a look. The total number of visitors referred to Green Llama by MyBlogLog in the last two months is 32. 17 in February, 15 to date in March.

What is the downside to MyBlogLog?

Well, we’ve taken a look at the upside to MyBlogLog, and the positives it brings to the table. Quite underwhelming to put it mildly. So, what are the negatives? Loading time and real estate. MyBlogLog is usually quick to load, but it has it’s issues sometimes. When the MyBlogLog servers are having problems, then my site loads painfully slowly, and that’s a problem. Perhaps even more pressing is the issue of screen real estate. There is only a finite amount of space on my blog. I prefer a relatively clean look; clutter is not a good thing to me. I don’t like things taking up space unless they serve a real, definitive purpose. Empty white space is better to me than a useless widget.

Is MyBlogLog worth it?

Well, no. I don’t think that it is. I have gotten very little tangible benefit from having MyBlogLog installed. Perhaps dozens or even hundreds of readers have wandered off my site to visit other MyBlogLog links, but I haven’t gotten the same in return. I’m going to take down MyBlogLog right now, as a matter of fact, and leave a big white space in it’s wake, until something new catches my eye. If nothing does, then I’ll enjoy a little less clutter, just the same.

21 Comments

  1. Cory OBrien said

    March 30 2007 @ 3:51 am

    The problem with MyBlogLog is that most of the users are also bloggers, so that the regular reader (who isn’t a blogger) doesn’t get any value out of the widget. It’s a good networking tool, but like you said, it takes up a lot of space for a little benefit.

  2. Leroy Brown said

    March 30 2007 @ 5:48 am

    That’s a good point – the non bloggers are probably like ‘wtf is this’ and just move on.
    I just hate the idea of wasted items on my blog.. I think I could probably cut a lot of clutter out of this site if I really put my mind to it.

    But overall, after taking out mybloglog, it doesn’t seem too bad.

  3. George said

    March 30 2007 @ 7:39 am

    I think it might make sense on a blog that has a strong blogging readership, like problogger or dailyblogtips. But on news sites and such I don’t think it makes sense.

  4. Leroy Brown said

    March 30 2007 @ 11:04 am

    Maybe that’s it George – I’d be curious to hear from one of those guys about how much traffic they’re getting from mybloglog. Darren or Daniel – you listening?

  5. George said

    March 30 2007 @ 12:12 pm

    Daniel doesn’t use the widget on his blog, but he probably gets decent traffic from it.

    Darren uses the widget on his blog, don’t know if it affects his traffic or not, everybody already knows about his blog, right?

  6. Eric Marcoullier said

    March 30 2007 @ 1:16 pm

    If you are looking at MyBlogLog primarily as a traffic driver, then I don’t blame you for removing it (regardless of how many people blog about all the traffic it brings them). Traffic generation is not what we’re about.

    MyBlogLog is about giving your readers the same visibility on the site that you enjoy as the author. It’s about getting a better idea who these people are, so that you can write more compelling content so that they stick around to read a second article and come back more frequently. Further, it’s about turning on the lights so that your users can see each other. They all come to your site, so they have at least one common interest — MyBlogLog enables them to learn from each other, discover new places to go and people to connect with.

    MyBlogLog is ultimately about paying it forward. Providing a service that may create more value for your users than it creates for you. But isn’t that what generates loyal readers?

  7. Shawn Knight said

    March 30 2007 @ 1:50 pm

    Yeah I have to disagree with this article. I have had MyBlogLog installed since nearly the beginning. It accounted for 11.11% of my traffic this month. Sure it’s not a large percent, but I’ll take it.

    I think it benefits both the readers and the author. As you mentioned, readers can see who else viewed the blog recently and may want to check out that persons blog too. Authors can see who has viewed their blog recently, which I think is really cool.

    I too don’t see much use for the community members in MyBlogLog, but eh, if its there, might as well take advantage of it. Readers will see that if you have a lot of community members, then it might be worth their effort to bookmark and join as well.

    But that’s just my 2 cents heh

  8. George said

    March 30 2007 @ 2:03 pm

    Shawn makes a really good point. The widget does provide social proof, by showing that you have readers coming to your blog. In fact, when I first switched themes on my blog, I put in one of the widgets that showed tons of readers like the one on problogger, because I thought it offered good social proof. However, I changed back to the one that displays peoples names, and shows less people, because I like it a little better.

    Have a nice weekend Leroy.

  9. Garry Conn said

    March 30 2007 @ 5:45 pm

    Man,

    I am sorry to hear about the experience with MyBlogLog, unfortunately, I can’t say that I share the same. Maybe that would be fortunate then… ??

    Anyway, MyBlogLog is on most of my sites. I use the MyAvatar Widget and its great to have. I can’t speak for exact #’s and %’s but I am pretty successful with MyBlogLog. I gain quite a bit of traffic and regular readers from the site. Plus I love their traffic analysis. I actually pay the $3/month to have the premium service. I use Google Analytics, MyBlogLog stats, and Awstats which is installed package on my WHM.

  10. Garry Conn said

    March 30 2007 @ 5:46 pm

    Hey you captured one of my avatars on that screen shot! LOL!!! That’s cool…

    πŸ™‚

  11. Shawn Knight said

    March 30 2007 @ 5:49 pm

    LOL same here, my avatar is the bottom one in the screenshot πŸ™‚

  12. Cory OBrien said

    March 30 2007 @ 11:44 pm

    I’m in the middle.

  13. Simonne said

    March 31 2007 @ 8:01 am

    I still have MyBlogLog installed and I intend to keep it. It is not for the traffic, but for the pleasure to see who’s visiting my blog and how often. Sometimes I even click one one avatar, if it catches my eyes. By doing this, I discovered several great blogs which I now read everyday.

  14. Leroy Brown said

    March 31 2007 @ 9:27 am

    It seems I’m outnumbered on this one – interesting. I like the idea of “paying it forward” – a service that is more useful to the readers than it is to me. That’s a solid concept, and I never quite looked at it that way.

    I may have to reconsider and bring the Mybloglog widget back – I’m seeing it in a bit of a different light now.

  15. Garry Conn said

    March 31 2007 @ 10:27 am

    Leroy,

    You do what you feel is best for your site. I enjoy having the myavatars plugin so that I can see the faces of the people who comment on my posts. Some times you get a few spammers or avatars that are less to be desired, and I simply red X them. It’s pretty fun and I think people really enjoy having myavatars running on my site.

    The widget is pretty cool too. I have it in my sidebar. Without MyBlogLog I would still be crunching my #’s on reports… but having the widgets I can see who my regular viewers are (of course the ones that use MyBlogLog).

    I am happy visiting your site and reading your posts/comments either way… so you do what you feel is best!

    Best Regards,
    Garry Conn

  16. Zamri Nanyan said

    March 31 2007 @ 1:20 pm

    Hi everyone!

    For me, I look at MyBlogLog as a networking tool to get to know my blog readers. Yeah, I will lose traffic by sending some to their websites. Hopefully, I could gain loyalty from them in return if my blog content is good.

    Anyway, great to know you Leroy! It’s my first comment here. πŸ™‚

    Zamri Nanyan

  17. Andy said

    April 1 2007 @ 1:59 am

    Leroy, I am with Garry on this one. You should do whatever you think best is on your blog.

    To me, I think MBL has great value. I use it almost everyday to communicate with other bloggers and finding new blogs. I also like to see which fellow MBL members have visited my blog.

    Sure, it has some downside with the widget. But I don’t think the load time is that bad after all.

  18. Garry Conn said

    April 1 2007 @ 3:01 am

    You know, a few weeks to a month ago… it does seem that the MBL widget was slowing my site down a lot too. I don’t know what MBL did to change this, but today, it doesn’t really seem to be an issue.

  19. Eric Marcoullier said

    April 2 2007 @ 12:41 pm

    Garry — Shiny new Yahoo! boxes made the speed issues disappear.

  20. Leroy Brown said

    April 2 2007 @ 12:42 pm

    Zamri – Thanks for commenting, and feel free to stick around or subscribe – the conversations are getting pretty interesting over here.

    I think I’m going to bring back MBL next theme update. It seems like it’s a good feature for you guys – the readers. And that’s good enough in my book.

  21. Rian Brooklyn said

    May 6 2007 @ 6:15 pm

    The problem is that mybloglog has somewhat become like myspace. You get people adding you or giving you comments, not because they liked you site necessarily, but because they want their “gravatar” prominently displayed. Like Myspace, people get an ego boost the more “friends” they have. I recently turned off my sidebar, but left the tracking codes intact. I want to see the traffic fluctuations.

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GreenLlama

    Green Llama is a place to learn about making money online. Any ideas or walk-through's I have, I'll post here for your enjoyment. I also do product and online service reviews.

    However, I tend to run off on tangets quite often. I call this part of the site 'random crap'. Basically I'll go off and post about whatever I want, just to keep things interesting. Have fun and stay tuned.