Monday, September 27, 2004

All new My Yahoo

My Yahoo is doing a live beta of their redesign. As a long time fan and user of My Yahoo, I was eager to check it out.

Other than UI twiddles like different fonts, looks like it's integration of RSS with My Yahoo (providing a lot more content) and customization on steroids.

It's pretty interesting that Yahoo is trying to turn My Yahoo into an RSS reader but, unfortunately, it isn't a very good RSS reader, at least not compared to Bloglines. I have both set up, but I find My Yahoo to be so slow to update and so cumbersome to use that I rarely bother with it. I'm not sure turning My Yahoo into an RSS reader is a good idea, at least not in the current state of the product.

Even worse, I'm really not sure more content and more customization are what My Yahoo needs. For example, after upgrading to the beta UI, try clicking on the "Add Content" buttons at the bottom of the page. You're given a directory of content with what appears to be thousands of largely undifferentiated widgets to add, most of them RSS feeds. Browse, search, even try looking at "popular" content or "editor's picks", and you'll get hundreds of items to review. Completely overwhelming.

Given that My Yahoo's biggest hurdle is that most people don't bother to customize the page, I don't see how an overwhelming and confusing blast of content helps matters. The site should focus on helping me find what I want. Recommend content. Filter content. Show me a few good choices. Help me.
See also Cory Kleinschmidt's review of the My Yahoo beta on Traffick.

See also my earlier posts about customization vs. personalization, suggestions for a Yahoo home page redesign, and a review of Bloglines.

Update: Jeremy Zawodny claims the new My Yahoo "brings RSS to the masses", asserts it's super easy to use, and argues comparisons with Bloglines aren't valid. Just about the opposite of everything I just said. Odd that we disagree so completely.

1 comment:

Thomas Hawk said...

The new my yahoo service only works if you are a non-paid customer. If you happen to be a paid customer using the SBC my yahoo! then the upgrade path is not available to you at this time. Seems ironic to me that the free service gets this nice option while the paid service has to wait.