Yahoo buys MyBlogLog — but why?

Okay, so Yahoo finally fronted the cash (reportedly about $10-million) for MyBlogLog, the viral social network that a couple of guys started awhile back and that has been growing by leaps and bounds according to Alexaholic. As you can find out from any of the bazillion posts on Techmeme this morning, there was a rumour back in November of such a deal, but nothing came of it.

That explains the nervousness with which people posted yesterday morning about another acquisition report, this time from a blog called Marketing Shift — which put up a post, and then just as quickly pulled it down. Om Malik posted something and then retracted it, but last night got to retract the retraction, after getting confirmation from his buddy Scott Rafer, the CEO.

My favourite part of this story, as told by Om, is that the two co-founders of the company are friends from elementary school, and that they raised zero — yes, zero — dollars in financing from angels or VCs (of course, it helped that Scott probably brought in some money from his previous stint at Feedster Note Scott’s comment below). Now that is a Web 2.0 story.


This is great for the MyBlogLog guys, and as I have written before I am a big fan of the application. I like the way it connects people who read different blogs, including mine. I like looking at the pictures of who has been reading, and then clicking on the pictures to see who that person is and whether they have a blog. That is social networking, pure and simple.

My only lingering question is: what the heck is Yahoo going to do with it? Their track record so far doesn’t exactly fill me with optimism about how they’re going to make use of their new acquisition. Don’t get me wrong — I like the fact that they haven’t screwed up Flickr or, both of which I am a huge fan of. But that doesn’t mean that owning them makes a lot of sense either.

How have they been integrated or made Yahoo better? The short answer is that they haven’t (my friend Stowe Boyd is similarly puzzled). Maybe Yahoo has a master plan that I haven’t been able to figure out — but I’m not betting on it. Tony Hung has some thoughts about what the company should do with it over at Deep Jive Interests. And Don Dodge does the math and decides Yahoo overpaid.

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