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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Yahoo! 360

Yahoo! are readying their assault on the world of blogging and social networking. At the moment it's in beta and they are doing the Gmail "Invite only" trick, so you can't just sign-up for an account. This is a shame as I'd like to at least experiment with the software. If anyone from Y! is listening, I'd love an invite, email me: yahooinvite.u.kiore@antichef.com. One thing they are doing that's, I believe, unfortunate is that you need to be logged on to Y! to even view blogs. Most of the blog directories and search engines won't like blogs that are password protected. Here's hoping that they reverse this decision soon, so I can report on it myself.

What others say

Michael Schuermann has reviewed the service.
The interface is very well designed. It works smoothly in both Firefox and Internet Explorer, and is very clean. In fact, it properly uses CSS and XHTML for it’s design. No tables used for layout as far as I could find.

The blogging tool is the centerpiece of the experience, and overall it’s pretty nice. The blog entry form is WYSIWYG, which will be a benefit to blogging newbies or others without HTML knowledge. However, there’s no spell checker that I could find. I would suggest that Yahoo add one ASAP, so that we’ll be spared from posts rife with misspelled words.

Tristan Louis says
The first thing that is apparent is that this is more than just a blogging package or social network one. From the name to the way one's web page is integrated with other parts of Yahoo!, it is clear that this is a longer term play with attempts at integration.

While some integration points are pretty solid (Yahoo! messenger, Yahoo! Launch, Yahoo! local, and the Yahoo! photo service seem well integrated), others are major misses. For example, why is it that this service has a different mailbox than my already existing Yahoo! mailbox? (and does that mean I now need to check mail in two accounts?) Going further, why are services like Yahoo profile and Geocities not integrated in this? It seems they would be natural integration point and yet they are nowhere to be seen. Last but not least is the main question about integration of my.yahoo and "My page" on this service. There should be another natural point of integration there, shouldn't there be?

[Update 10:31 AM 31 March] I've deleted a reference to copyright. Yahoo have explained that there was a technical mistake caused by a cut and paste from some existing code and that blog contents are copyright by their owners. See the first comment to this posting for more. I'm a software developer myself and I know that the purpose of a beta is to find and fix bugs. Yahoo! are doing just that.[/Update] Danah Boyd's summary
Anyhow, my general impression is that i'm wary, but i don't think that this is for me and i think it will be nice for the heavily integrated Yahoo user.
Marc Canter enthuses
Can't yah feel the vibe?

That's the sound of a 100,000 rushing into the next big thing - Yahoo 360. Over the coming days people's impressions will be revealed on this hybrid social network/blogging tool.

Just to be clear. This is what I call a DLA (digital lifestyle aggregator.) No they didn't get completely right- but it does successfully combine these two latest technology aspects - which each have been hailed as new 'spaces' (marketplaces, trends, what have you.)

1 comment:

Mike La Rotonda said...

How a cut-n-paste can ruin your day: A clarification and a fix for Yahoo! 360

The volume of response to the Yahoo! 360 beta has been unprecedented and we are excited to see so many people sending their feedback in the first days of our maiden voyage. Along the way folks have made lots of great suggestions, praised and panned the features, and found some problems in the beta – a small number of those have been urgent and we are acting on them immediately. An example is the accidental inclusion of a copyright notice in RSS Feeds.

The Yahoo 360 terms of service (TOS) read, in part:

“8. CONTENT SUBMITTED OR MADE AVAILABLE FOR INCLUSION ON THE SERVICE

Yahoo! does not claim ownership of Content you submit or make available for inclusion on the Service.”

But, the XML output from the 360 blog RSS feeds includes:

Copyright 2005, Yahoo!

The TOS is correct.
The copyright notice is, and always was, a bug.
Most likely it was included as the result of cut-n-paste from code we use elsewhere and imperfect testing.

The copyright notice bug will be fixed today and will no longer appear on Yahoo! 360 RSS feeds.

We are sorry for any confusion this caused.

If you want to send us your feedback directly you can do so here:
http://add.yahoo.com/fast/help/us/360/cgi_feedback

Thanks,
Mike La Rotonda
Sr. Product Manager, Yahoo! 360