Duncan Riley> After much speculation and a couple of Asian variations to the theme, Yahoo! has finally made its first entry into the English speaking blog market with the recent beta launch of Yahoo! 360, which is billed as being a social networking/ blogging crossover.
The blogosphere is buzzing over the invitation only beta launch, and thanks to the generosity of Dave Winer I landed an invitation to check out all the fuss. I’d usually dissect any new product offering with a range of headings that walks readers through the process and what’s available, but I’m going to give this review the same depth as Yahoo! has given this product, which may make it my shortest review yet.
In short: I didn’t think there was a worse blogging tool than MSN Spaces until I discovered Yahoo! 360. If MSN Spaces is the McDonalds of the blogging world, then Yahoo! is pitching itself as KFC, and takes blandness to a new level.
But as always, I’ll qualify some of this. Firstly, I don’t really get internet “social networking” and I believe that its nothing more than a trendy fad. To me, “social networking” is going down to the pub on Friday nights and having a few drinks with friends, or attending the local Chamber of Commerce wine and cheese evening. In terms of blogging I see groups like any one of the new blogging associations popping up as a good point of reference as to what “networking” should be like. Indeed to some extent we network everytime we send an email to someone new or leave a comment at a blog. Logging into Yahoo! and seeing Dave Winer listed as a friend, whilst flattering, is a complete waste of time.
In terms of blogging Yahoo! provides blogging for those little kiddies that find MSN Spaces to difficult to understand. Virtually no customisable features (whereas at least to you add a few boxes in MSN) , no trackback that I can see, and all you get to add aside from posts is a little blog roll. That being said the brevity of choice is not reflected in a simplicity of navigation, which is absurdly complex for what it does, and needs a lot of work.
I did, rather profoundly though, get to leave a referral to others on what sort of person Dave Winer is. Lost for words (just for once) I let the world know I thought he was a “good bloke” when I meant to type in “blog god”
Yes, I suppose its in beta and has some pretty non-blog related bells and whistles, but if this is the best they can come up with, I’€™d suggest writing out that cheque to buy SixApart now. After all Yahoo! would get millions of instantaneous users and a some great blogware, but as an added bonus you’€™d also get staff who like to tell people like me off when I dare step out of line and write reviews like this.
Yahoo! 360 honestly? don’t waste your time.
(if you do want to waste your time however drop me an email and I’ll happy send an invitation!)