The big movement in web communities recently, or so says Time Magazine, has been user generated content. Whether it’s YouTube’s video extravaganza, blogging, or photo sharing from Flickr, the goal has been sharing information about yourself. But user generated content has an elder sibling which I have to confess to finding a bit more interesting — community created content. Forums have a long history of creating complex content through the interactions and information sharing behaviors of their members.
MyBlogLog has created a recent stir in the blogging communities by providing an easy way to connect bloggers with their own communities – essentially creating a community of blogs. This expansion of the two-way blogger/commenter relationship into a more three-dimensional interaction has a lot of potential. Brian Kelly (UK Web Focus) recently wrote (in a comment):
This is a good example of the benefits of a blog community – not only can blog readers find out about me and my interests, but I have a way of finding out more about my blog readers. And, as I’ve found in this case, readers who are interested in what I am blogging about might themselves blog on topics which interest me.
Not every reader of your blog will comment. Not every reader will have a MyBlogLog account. However, the interesting combination of readers and fellow bloggers creates a unique collaboration. Rather than having pure statistics – knowing you’ve been visited by 48 people, 65 percent of whom used Internet Explorer and so on, you have a small insertion of real human data in your statistics. MyBlogLog can tell you that this person actually visited your blog and that person admires you enough to have added you to their contacts.
Really, it’s pretty cool.