Friday, May 25, 2007

day 11 : In which I discover something I had all along

I've had a yahoo address for a long time. Ever since I got aggravated with hotmail over something and snapped straight over to their nearest competitor, like you do. At the time, Yahoo came with Geocities, and I built a site in odd half-hours, skill-building, like you do. And, good grief, it's still there! Nothing is ever forgotten online, is it?

At the time there was crude interactivity via guest books (remember those?) but I turned all that shit off. Even though a trickle of people have come to me from that site over the years (including being BoingBoinged over some mildly rude toy photos --proof that you never can tell what other people will find interesting) it wasn't a place for interaction or social aggregation. It was about display.

But given as how I've been blasted with various messages about how Yahoo is "embracing the web 2.0 concept" every time I've tried to log in to my email during the last quarter (and no, I still haven't managed to upgrade to the new mail -- the advert reload click is just too annoying) it's no surprise to discover that there's a blog buried in there. Quite deep, and no crowing about it yet; meet Yahoo 360, Beta.

It looks very smooth and modern, the feed aggregator is handy and it integrates smoothly with Yahoo's most shiny toy, Flickr. [Edit: Comments suggest that I may be wrong about that -- I didn't try to do much with it.] Although it'd be kind of embarassing if it didn't. Oh, and from the look of it Yahoo messenger is intended to run in the sidebar, although I don't really message, not since that time I got overexcited and started breaking things. So I don't know if that works.

I have a contact before I've finished building my profile, and it is actually someone I vaguely know. Although whether that was some sort of automatic thing or involved personal volition is open to debate, as no social interaction follows.

Apart from that aggravating ad banner at the top, it is quite pleasant and seamless to use. It loads quickly, which for someone used to Livejournal's endless lagging is refreshing, but probably only points to scale of use rather than effectiveness of programming. If Yahoo 360 was struggling under DDOS attacks and 185, 493 posts a day, it might well have similar problems.

Still, not really doing anything anywhere else isn't doing. I go look for people and the discovery that the search is based on geographical area, sex and age, following which you get to browse a lot of photos, tips me off as to what this place is actually for. Oh. Oh my. Thank goodness the photo I reached for first had me looking rough, nasty and several years out of date.

Verdict: I like the frog, but will probably flee as the IM hook-up scene isn't for me.


Jo said...

I am hugely grateful to you for doing this research, which I kind of feel i should be doing myself but which I really can't bear to do. So grateful that I *will* come round and look at your pipes v soon.
However I do feel that 'Jeremy D' is not a moniker that suits you. It has a whiff of the floppy fringe and turned up collar polo shirt about it, somehow.

Wendell said...

Y!360 does not work well with Flickr (though it always seems hopeful at first). It's widget poor as well. But I still like it. It's a semi-gated community which serves one of my purposes (a tool for supporting adults working on their basic literacy and computer skills - like you and me, I guess). Whether it's private or under-used is a question. It has the nice same-log-in spillover that gives users access to other Y! tools like notepad, briefcase, etc. There's a little bit of hacking/customizing you can do (though Y! prefers EI to Firefox). Not a bad blog & photo posting, social networking tool... though obviously plowed under by Facebook's popularity.

I never got Geocities to work - something about their java(?) tools and my Win98 on dial-up.

Jeremy Dennis said...

Cheers for the clarification wendell -- I'll add a note to that effect. Do you find keeping a blog can be a driver for improving literacy skills? It seems like a no-brainer (everyone my age was told to keep diaries, after all) but I'd be interested in knowing any specific helps/problems you've found.

Jeremy Dennis said...

P.S. (to Jo) Yes! Pipes! And my fringe won't flop even if I grow it past my nose. I know, I tried in the 80s ;)