Most good stories have tumultuous plot lines – the hero, after facing serious difficulties, weathers the storm to rise above the challenges to triumph in the end.
Yahoo’s acquisition of MyBlogLog feels like an inflexion point in a series of stories that I’ve been following over the past few months.
What’s unknown is the direction the story takes after this point.
It’s no secret that I have unrelenting love for Yahoo and their potential in the future.
That’s one story.
In fact, my excitement for MyBlogLog was rooted in my belief that it represented a critical feature of a decentralized social network.
That’s the second story.
When rumours of the purchase circulated in November, I sent the following note to a friend who had been in financing discussions with MBL:
Timing in life is everything. Would have been interested to see what could have been of mybloglog had it grown independently… will be fun to follow what it does (/doesn’t do) re. disconnected community under Yahoo.
And there’s my excitement and concern for the intersection of the stories. My mind’s uncertain how to interpret this.
On the one hand I’m excited for what Yahoo is doing/can do with what they’re building and collecting; however, on the other hand, with Yahoo’s purchase of MBL, I’m nervous that the path towards a decentralized social network has altered and lost a champion.
The optimist, and lover of Yahoo, in me wants to believe that “as Yahoo rolls out its own distributed network platform – slowly but surely – then MyBlogLog starts to become a useful bit of glue“.
The pessimist, and decentralized social network believer, in me painfully thinks that Yahoo won’t fully unlock MyBlogLog’s potential, posing a significant challenge to developments towards a decentralized social network.
It’s definitely an inflexion point for a number of stories that I’ve been following; let’s hope it trends upward and is simply a catalyst towards a happy ending for all of them. Either way, congratulations to the MBL guys, good luck with the journey, and enjoy the Dom!
[Written while listening for the first time to the excellent Roots album Game Theory]
Oh yeah – in other small news today Apple changed the game again WOAH.
Update: Tony, from Deep Jive Interests, lays out a well articulated (and optimistic!) view of the acquisition and describes it’s value to a decentralized social network:
MBL is a social network for blogs. Its the superstantial layer that can connect disparate and discrete thinkers, writers, and opinion makers across the blogosphere in a way that no other technology can
And, Mathew Ingram shares a less optimistic view questioning what Yahoo’s going to do with it now:
Their track record so far doesnâ€™t exactly fill me with optimism about how theyâ€™re going to make use of their new acquisition
[note: make sure you read the last paragraph and then Scott's comment to the post (!)]