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MyBlogLog Additions Not Tested with All Users

The first new thing to appear on my radar today is MyBlogLog’s new tagging system that I didn’t ask for. This is coming on the heels of the Twitter add-on I didn’t ask for either. I’m one of the stubborn user personas they aren’t aware of yet. I know this because to get to any task that matters to me, I have to scroll down the page and wait for it to appear.

For usability, it’s never a good thing to put everything I don’t want or care about above the page fold. Did they do any user testing before throwing this out for those of us who paid for the service? In true Google-like fashion, MyBlogLog and many other popular sites like them, simply change things around, put them up and count all the articles and blog posts that cover their new toy. Angering customers and site visitors is fantastic publicity.

This new tagging system MyBlogLog added takes up a big block of space on the page. This is to leave room for the expected droves of people who want to play the game of tag. Your fellow members classify your blog. They can report you for spam by calling you “schmoe” and there’s nothing you can do about it. MyBlogLog tracks all the “schmoe” tags, investigates their account and then will “take the appropriate action.” So, if you have any enemies, too bad. Be prepared to defend yourself, even if you’re innocent.

MyBlogLog members have little say in this. You can’t turn it off, exactly. You can make tags public or private. You can let everyone tag you or just friends. For those who love to have an opinion on their neighbor, they’ll love this. In addition, site owners can see who tagged them. This just sets up more reasons to kill my self esteem because nobody has tagged me yet, and then I remember I was all powerful and strong in my own identity and don’t need to be tagged to know what others think.

Aside from the grumpy things that bug me, it has a redeeming fun spot. This is the “Hot Member” tag. MyBlogLog writes that they’ll track Hot Members every week and “let you all know about one of them.”. We strong in our identity blog owners don’t necessarily need this but heck, do me anyway.

There’s a page that lets you see who was tagged by community or member. You may be able to exclude your profile or blog from it in settings by remaining private or viewed by your friends.

I’d like to know this for sure, because if I feel like being naughty, I’d like to know I can act up in the privacy of my own blog that used to be something whose destiny and reputation I had control over.

Apparently I need to get hip with the program.


  1. June 5, 2007    

    Kim, a couple clarifications. First off, you can turn off tagging entirely for your personal profile in your profile settings. It’s “everyone”, “contacts” and “no one”.

    You’re right in that you can’t turn off tagging for your site, but you can hide tags, which means that they stay hidden no matter how many tag you with a specific tag.

    As for the Schmoe tag, rest assured that we’re not going to indiscriminately blow away users based upon a single tag. Hell, we won’t blow away a user based upon a dozen tags. They are a helpful way for the community to help police itself by pointing out troublemakers. If we don’t see a problem, you’re safe. If we do see a problem, we’ll send you a note and all should be well.

    Sorry you don’t like the new site layout. Rest assured that the layout will change soon enough and maybe you’ll like the new one a bit more :)

  2. June 6, 2007    

    Eric, what a pleasure that you stopped by! Thank you for all clarifications. Funnily enough, since I wrote this, I’ve gotten used to it (another user behavior). I still hate to scroll but there are different ways to view one’s Bloglines, which is another factor and may help make it more adaptable.

    What will impress me and keep me interested is a company that listens to its users and strives to make their creation work better and better.

    You’ve got that one down :)

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