A couple of years ago I linked this blog to a community site called Blogfrog. It provided discussion forums where you could discuss family history in general, or ask questions that were unrelated to any particular post on this blog. You could click on the logo down the right sidebar, and join in discussions. Only no one ever did.
I thought it might be a replacement for MyBlogLog, which performed a useful function, but then was taken over by Yahoo! and then closed down. There was another such site, called BlogCatalog, which is still there (you can see it down the left sidebar), but it was revamped by some whizzkid who had no idea of what it was supposed to do, and it became dysfunctional. Blogfrog looked as though it might develop into something useful, but it hasn’t, and now the people who run it have decided to close it down.
According to the letter sent out by the people running the show:
We recognize that bloggers and their audiences are expanding their engagement beyond blogs to include more socially-driven content. In addition to engaging on blogs, readers increasingly want to also engage on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter and community owners are responding by building their audience, content and revenue there as well.
To support this evolution, we are discontinuing the community platform to focus our efforts on our influencer marketing platform. This means communities will no longer be available after May 31st, 2013.
Do they seriously think that anyone believes weasel statements like “To support this evolution, we are discontinuing…”
Having annnounced just that they are going to discontinue it, they then say: “Remember, BlogFrog is STILL your product, we’re just building it for you.”
In what version of the English language does “discontinuing” mean “building”?
I thought I’d try Blogfrog on this blog to see if it would develop into something useful, and if it did, I might extend it to my other blogs. But it never did develop into anything useful. Instead they say this:
If you are not already a member of the Influencer Circle and are interested in working with brands, please join by completing our application form…
Working with brands?
Brands of what?
There are brands of motor cars, brands of ironing boards, brands of lawnmowers. I can understand someone being interested in lawnmowers, and thus being interested in brands of lawnmowers. But being interested in brands, unassociated with any product or device? That’s weird.
This letter from Blogfrog really does seem to encapsulate everything that is wrong with Western society, focusing on all the wrong things. It’s a weird sense of values — community is nothing, marketing is all.