By Li Evans
Yahoo!'s 2nd attempt at social networking, Yahoo! Mash, has taken off with full steam this weekend. Across my Twitter I kept seeing people asking for Yahoo! Mash invites all weekend. I had gotten a few a couple days ago, but didn't start digging around till Alex sent me one.
Notice I said this is Yahoo!'s 2nd attempt at this social networking site space? Yahoo! has Yahoo! 360, that's it's first attempt. It's pretty popular with the messenger audience - I know this because I've had a Yahoo!360 account for a heck of a long time (in social media time) and the folks who I have as friends - 90% of them come from my instant messaging clique of friends.
Yahoo! Mash, I have to say I'm a bit disappointed. Yes, it's a beta, but I think I was expecting much more from Yahoo! in this anticipated beta. This is sort of like Yahoo's trying to be a cool "Facebook-like" alternative to the MySpace crowd. I just keep coming back to question - Do We Really Need Another Social Networking Site?
Yahoo! - if you are going to own this Social Marketing space, why aren't you putting your best foot forward? This is incredibly lacking, I expected to see cool widgets from your other social media acquisitions integrated into this beta from the get go. All I get is a Flickr module? Wow, that's just lame. There's about 15 to 20 modules - be warned some of these broke my page (granted these are 3rd party created).
However, beyond the 3rd party apps, I'd expect for something you've released would have had at least some of your top modules have integration to your other great services - like the following:
- De.licio.us Integration - have a module for your top bookmarks to share them
- Yahoo! Videos - integrate your accounts for the videos you upload
- Yahoo! Answers - this is likely your strongest product, why in the world you didn't create a module for this is beyond me!
- MyBlogLog - Great product, your widget is on thousands of blog, why can't I have widget for here too?
- Fantasy Football League - Dude! It's football season (if y'all didn't know I'm a rabid Eagles fan), Fantasy Leagues are HUGE! People could integrate these into their Mash profile and brag at how great a fantasy football team they have (or cry... in my case I'd cry, I'm not good at Fantasy Football)
- Any Sports Fantasy Leagues you have - NHL soon starts, NASCAR is now down to its "Chase", but a whole new season starts in February, and I'm sure there's NBA fantasy leagues and what about all those college sports?
- Integrate some kind of Blogging RSS feature that actually works and doesn't cause me to break the page (see error screen shot below). Cute dog though.
- Make it easy to integrate what I have in Yahoo! 360, either combine the profile, or import in what I have there and delete the old one.
- Make it easy to integrate what I have in "MyYahoo", either combine the profile or import in what I have there.
- Make it easy to access my Yahoo Mail (and Messenger). If there's one thing I like about using your other Yahoo properties, its that usually in 1 click, I can easily access my Yahoo! email account - I can't do that with Mash.
- Integrate Yahoo! Games - Allow a module to see how well you do on the games you play. Many of my friends play your free games, and brag about how good they are. Mash would allow them to boast the scores, while promoting this property
- Integrate Yahoo! Groups - Whatever forums I like, allow me to integrate my most recent posts in Yahoo! Groups.
All of these things are Yahoo! based programs, properties and applications. These should have come standard, who better than your own programmers to make sure these things work and function properly. Look to the community to adapt your API and create modules like they currently are (Twitter and YouTube are two nice examples).
Honestly, I'm pretty disappointed in this offering. I don't really see a reason to use this social network in favor of Facebook, or to switch from Yahoo!360. I'll keep checking back to see what's updated and offered, but I'm not moving off of what's already working for me, for something this "Beta".