After only 3-4 months of general release, distributed social network MyBlogLog has been bought by Yahoo for an estimated $10-12M. This adds to Yahoo's collection of trendy Web 2.0 apps - they can pop the MyBlogLog folks in with Flickr and del.icio.us. When MyBlogLog initially came out in October 2006, I described it as "a kind of instant social networking system for bloggers". What surprised me was how fast this thing took off. But then after using it on my own blog for the last 2.5 months, I can see the attraction for both users and Yahoo.

For bloggers, MyBlogLog lets you literally see your readers - and it's amazing how much of a difference putting a face (or icon or avatar) to a reader is. It actually makes it a real community, because you begin to recognize and know people. There's also a homepage (actually two of them - a members and a community page) at your MyBlogLog account. Personally I haven't used the statistics data that MyBlogLog collects, but that too can be beneficial for bloggers.

Note that MyBlogLog is susceptible to gaming - I was told recently that it's possible to create a small script to enable companies or blogs to repeatedly stick their 48*48 pixel brand onto your faceroll. So Yahoo needs to watch out for this type of gaming.

As of now, MyBlogLog is mainly used by techie bloggers - but that's because it's such a new product and only early adopters have jumped on it. Which brings me to the benefits for the new owners...

Of course having a MyBlogLog-branded faceroll is also of great benefit to MyBlogLog, as it it pushes their brand all over the Internet... well, the blogosphere anyway. Yahoo has recognized another addictive web 2.0 app with network effects written all over it, so its plan will be to mainstream MyBlogLog and integrate it into services like Yahoo 360 (Yahoo's blogging platform). I'm sure there are also ways to utilize MyBlogLog on Yahoo properties like Flickr and some of its content properties (Yahoo Movies, Food, etc).

As Yahoo rolls out its own distributed network platform - slowly but surely - then MyBlogLog starts to become a useful bit of glue.