In 2005, MyBlogLog was the first real “community” platform that I can remember existing. Of course, blog communities existed prior to MyBlogLog, primarily in blog comments. But if you didn’t leave comments, no one knew about your existence (everyone knows most people don’t contribute content). MBL brought transparency to the faces of those reading specific blogs.
I remember meeting Eric and Todd over lunch near their Berkley office in late 2006 or spring of 2007 during one of my trips to see a close friend who lived in Santa Clara, and have kept in touch with both ever since. Upon meeting, it was instantly clear both understand and valued community like few do.
In 2011, Yahoo! decided to close the doors to MBL, and blog communities have largely not existed online since. Some of that is due to the fact many conversations that used to occur on blogs have shifted to Facebook and Twitter, but I firmly believe there is still an opportunity worth pursuing in the blog community area (surprised no one has done it with a redefined feedreader)
Given I’m a community builder at my core and run several of my own blogs, it’s no surprise the lack of a blog community platform such as MyBlogLog in today’s world saddens me. In some ways, Horizon (and Oh Hey World) is an attempt to bring the MBL dynamic back – and not just for blog communities, but for every trusted community. Communities start and end with people, and the faces behind communities today are always buried behind discussion boards, an email list, or in the depths of Twitter. That needs to change.