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Social networks come and go, friendships remain

Remember MyBlogLog?

I must admit I'd almost forgotten about the network, even though I still have its widget on this blog.

But when news of the leaked memo from Yahoo broke this week, showing it as one of several products "to be sunsetted", I was reminded of how it once played an important part in getting to know new bloggers, or getting to know bloggers you vaguely knew of better.

At one point it helped tie blogging communities and communities of readers closer together. For my own part I can think of quite a few bloggers I initially hooked up with via the MyBlogLog widget, the network in itself, or followed closer because I saw they were reading my blog.

The great thing is that these are all people I now follow either on other networks or via my RSS-reader (yes, still use one of those).

Perhaps that shouldn't come as such a big surprise as this often happens in real life too.

Just after graduating, in 2002, I spent some time working in a local pub which has since been turned into a modern gastro pub /restaurant with little of the atmosphere left.

But the regulars have just moved to the pub across the road, and not much had changed, give or take a few deaths from old age, when I last visited in 2007. They were even discussing pretty much the same issues as when I used to work there, a feeling I sometimes get with blogging communities too.

In other words, the real and virtual worlds are often not so different as they are portrayed, though, with a bit of luck, online we get to download back-ups of the coversations we've had in the soon-to-be-defunct networks.

Oh, and I know this blog's been very quiet the last few months: it's only because at the end of the summer a lot of good things happened at the same time and I've felt a bit like being in a benevolent pressure cooker - if such a concept makes sense - since. More on that later though.

Update 20/12-10: Of course, if Delicious is closed too it's more of an issue (I've blogged about this in Norwegian here), but as it's easy to export your bookmarks I'm quite relaxed about waiting to see where my Delicious network is moving. At the moment, it looks like it'll be to Diigo.