Here we are at the Web 2.0 Virtual Games and next up we have a fight to the death between the veteran collaboration tool, Mean Mr. Message Board and the upstart Bad Bad, Leroy Blog. This will be one for the record books folks… Before the action, let’s take a look at how these contenders got to this point… Mean Mr. Message Board has been around the block more than a few times. He traces his lineage to the very beginning of the virtual world, where he first enabled virtual collaboration. This experience has made him a standard, with a very wide fan base. Some say he’s outmoded and commoditized to the point that he’s not effective. To get here, he battled Wild Wacky Wiki and Long John Listserv. Bad Bad Leroy blog is hot-hot-hot these days with rapidly growing fan base. A relative rookie, the Leroy blog brings with him young talent and a deep selection of tools in his corner. Some say Leroy blog is overrated and we’ll see his bubble burst soon. To get here, he went head-to-head with Evil Email Newsletter and the formidable Dirty, Dirty Diary. This will be a test for the upstart. Here we go… DING DING Message board is clearly trying to dominate early by intimidating Leroy blog with his throngs of dedicated users. Group voice is his real advantage- you never know when a member is going to come in with a powerful blow. With so many authors, the Message Board corner is wide with experience. In talking to Leroy blog before the match, he sees the broad experience of the Message Board as a weakness he can exploit. We’re seeing that strategy come to life now as Leroy puts a laser like focus on his ability to look deeply into a single person’s world. He’s betting that his power lies in the ability to have access to the inner thoughts of individuals. Mean Mr. Message Board is looking strong in the early rounds. Before the match, he was convinced that the Leroy Blog’s biggest weakness is a reliance on one person. He stated “Give me a break, you can’t even have a discussion with the blog, how can anyone learn? Comments are silly and superfluous”. He’s pulling out the big guns now and showing the blog what a threaded discussion looks like. Oh man! The point counter-point structure of the message board has the blog looking weak. It’s looking bad for Leroy Blog; the message board’s ability to bring out group knowledge is looking insurmountable. What’s this? Leroy Blog seems to have a second wind! We might be seeing something here… In these late rounds, Leroy blog is showing new strength. Can you see that look in his eye? He is focused like I’ve never seen before. You can see that he’s relying on his ability to dig deep, focus and really take control of the match. Did you see who was in his corner between rounds? I saw RSS, Technorati, PubSub, Feedster, Blogpulse and other blogs all helping him rally. I really think this is going to get tough for Mean Mr. message Board. I was right, Message Board is looking a little confused. Because he relies on a group for direction, he’s losing focus. The message board is becoming a little scattered. He can’t seem to focus on the match because the users all have a say and they are sending conflicting messages. He really needs focus here. Bad Bad Leroy Blog is getting power from somewhere- this is quite a comeback. He has really taken control. I just received word from the Leroy’s corner that he’s about to drop a bomb that will finish off the message board, this will be interesting… Oh uh, Leroy has Mr. Message Board on the ropes, this doesn’t look good. He’s really wailing on him with a combination of his focus and some thing new. Unexpectedly, it’s something simple but powerful- he’s relying on simple hyperlinks from other blogs. Is this his secret weapon? Wow, these links ARE the secret weapon. They are enabling Leroy Blog to draw power from other blogs and making it possible to have conversations in new ways. The message board’s conversations are suddenly looking a little limited. It’s like the message board conversations can’t get visibility or power on an Internet-wide scale. OK, here we are in the final round and the Bad, Bad Leroy Blog is looking tougher than ever. Mean Mr. Message Board has come out swinging, but it’s the same strategy he’s had all night- reliance on a group. Meanwhile it looks like Leroy blog is about to… Wait- what’s this? It’s over! It’s OVER! Bad Bad Leroy Blog has defeated Mean Mr. Message Board in the final round. In the post-fight interview, here is what LeRoy Blog had to say: He’s a tough competitor and I have a ton of respect for Mr. Message Board. He has a lot going for him and he’ll always be around, especially supporting customers. He taught me a lot of what I know. When it really came down to it though, it was a combination of things that helped me win. First, it was the ability to focus and control the events. Then, it was open orientation and links to other blogs that helped me gain power in the late rounds. Mr. Message Board has a great set of users, but it’s a closed resource. I was able to draw power from the whole blog world; from people I don’t know even. I really want to thank the tools in my corner for making that power a reality. Big-ups to all the other blogs and blog tools out there. This one is for you!