I'm a big fan of MyBlogLog, a simple and barebones social networking community that wields considerable power through its use of widgets and its appeal to the innate desire of bloggers to promote themselves.
A quick signup process gives bloggers a simple MyBlogLog profile where they can add sites that they author or co-author. Site members can then add other people as contacts or associate themselves as fans of site communities. Every member profile and site community profile has a widget that shows the thumbnail profile picture of site members who have recently visited.
That's where things get interesting, and viral. Widget code allows bloggers to place widgets on their "outside" blogs, allowing site authors and visitors to see the profile pictures of recent visitors. From there, it's an easy step to click on profile pictures, add new contacts, leave new messages (messages can be left privately or publicly on MyBlogLog). This is a simple, elegant, and powerful way to get bloggers talking to and connecting with one another, and will soon be a must-have keeper widget on blogger real estate.
Yahoo! appears to agree with this assessment as it recently acquired MyBlogLog for the reported sum of $10 million. The speculation surrounding this acquisition included questions about how Yahoo! would utilize and integrate its growing list of "web 2.0" properties.
We're now starting to see the beginning of what Yahoo! may be planning for MyBlogLog's future. The MyBlogLog Blog announced yesterday that Flickr features are now integrated with MyBlogLog profiles. The coolest part about the new tool is that all MyBlogLoggers are required to do is to click a button called "Click Here to Automatically Show Your Recent Flickr Photos" and the newest additions are constantly updated to the profile page.
I think Yahoo! senses that they have a real winner on their hands here, and will subtly nudge MyBlogLog into a position where it will be the defacto "MySpace for Bloggers." And that could just be the beginning.
Could a del.icio.us integration be next?
Update: Check out Mashable's coverage here.