MyBlogLog sent an email telling me about some new features that I really appreciate. It wasn’t a boastful press release disguised as an email. It was humble and about me. It acknowledged some snafu with Yahoo! IDs that I really couldn’t remember, but I liked that they are making an effort not to repeat mistakes. I agree, email is still a great way to talk to people.
The best thing about the letter is that Ian Kennedy, on behalf of MyBlogLog, is asking permission to change the terms of our relationship. Soon, it will be possible to mash up all the data I generate on other sites. Instead rolling out the feature and bragging about how great it is, they are letting me know ahead of time and assuring me they’ve considered that I might want to keep that data separate. Wow!
“Of course, we hope you’re excited about the broader distribution of everything you produce on the Web.”
Uhm, yeah! I think I’m more excited that you bothered to ask.
Contrast this to how Google dropped in “Friends shared items”. They reached into my Gmail address book and started taking up 100 pixels of vertical space in the sidebar. Now, I understood that every time I clicked to share a link, it was shared with the world. I wanted whoever cared to see the links I picked. I don’t think it’s an immoral thing. I wasn’t outraged like someone who has an entertaining podcast (rhymes with Geve Stillmor). Yet, I suddenly got the feeling tonight that in contrast, Google was rude.
The full text of the email follows. Would someone at Google check it out and what lessons could be learned?
It took a long time for word to get out about our changeover to Yahoo! IDs. Lesson learned. This time we’re reaching out to you via old-fashioned email.
In a couple weeks, we’ll be launching a new feature called New with Me. This feature will use the URLs on the Services tab of your MyBlogLog profile to aggregate your latest activity on sites such as Twitter, Last.fm, Digg, and YouTube. As a result, your profile page will look different – publicly available updates from the services you have listed will be merged with your existing information. Your latest Flickr photos, Last.fm tracks, and YouTube videos, will all be in one place. Updates from your contacts on MyBlogLog will be merged and available as well. Simply put, the New with Me feature will transform your static profile into a dynamic one.
MyBlogLog respects your privacy. We will aggregate and display only information that is publicly available. If you’re uncomfortable with MyBlogLog aggregating and displaying publicly available information from a particular service, you can remove that service from your profile at any time.
Of course, we hope you’re excited about the broader distribution of everything you produce on the Web. If you use any of the sites featured in the Services tab, you know the value of being able to display all your activity in one place.
Your MyBlogLog profile, About Me widget, and Email Signature were the first steps in distributing your Web identity. New with Me is the next, pulling together a unified picture of who you are on the distributed social Web. We have lots of cool things planned for this feature — I hope you’ll use it to help build the next generation of the Web.
For details, please check out our FAQ on this feature.
As always, check our blog for the latest news from us.
See you online!
Product Manager, MyBlogLog