I’m a pretty big fan of Mybloglog and I really like using it, but I see some significant problems that may end up spelling its demise if the MBL/Yahoo crew don’t make the necessary changes soon enough.
1. Security issues – Shoemoney has covered two of them and I’m sure more exist. One is a flaw that lets anyone hijack your “top 5 links” to enter in their own spammy keyword-laced links. Another is a way that uses a MyBlogLog cookie exploit to make people seem like they author websites (when they in reality do not). To me, the entire cookie-based system has some worrying implications beyond this, but I won’t get into that here.
2. “The Myspace problem” – I think bloggers are far less tolerant of visual garbage than the “MySpace crowd”. Currently MyBlogLog allows animated gifs as avatars and has no apparent file size limits. Here’s an example of an avatar that is not only distracting, but weighs in at 735 Kb – That’s huge! That will slow down the loading time of any blog where that member visits. MyBlogLog either needs to disallow animated gif’s altogether or allow publishers to select an option that allows them to prevent animated gifs from showing.
3. Spam – I’ve seen a lot more “racy” photos crop up thoughout the web as people are catching onto the “sex sells” method. These are photos of beautiful (and “under-dressed”) women that seldom have anything to do with the actual visiting member. This spam issue is also closely related to #1 and #2 above and even though it may not be perceived as harmful by some – I think it degrades the original purpose of MyBlogLog and introduces too much noise into the system. If it goes on unchecked, it might erode the way people perceive the system over time.
If MyBlogLog does not address these and any other problems soon after they arise , they may end up becoming the next Friendster.
Update: Seems like a lot of prominent bloggers are talking about comment spam, author hacks, and other My Blog Log issues today – John Chow, Darren Rowse, Danny Sullivan. This is a huge issue for MBL – they better get into reputation management mode, plug the holes, and respond to every one of these posts before this starts to snowball. As of this morning MBL’s blog says they’ve fixed the co-author problem – which is good to see – but what about the other issues?