Category Archives: Yahoo

Vertical Social Networking

This is another one of those question posing posts. The question for this post is: Is Vertical Social Networking important? Or do we just need more fine-grained privacy controls?

welcome_3.gif vs. logo.gif

The question is one raised indirectly by Scott Gatz in his Keep Facebook Fun post.

I will freely admit that I’m a member of Friendster, MySpace, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Oh, and Yahoo 360, for good measure. I also will admit that I was sort of faced with the same issue as Scott when I started delving into Facebook after they launched The Platform. There are some people who are not my friends on Facebook because I’d consider them business associates or contacts, and for those people, I don’t really want them to know what level I’m on for the iLike Music Challenge. I don’t really care if they read my movie reviews, but I’m not sure if I want them to see all my Twitters (this is kind of a separate issue, but my Twitters are restricted to my “friends” on Twitter, but I think that all of my friends on Facebook can see them; yet another reason not to be friends with people you aren’t really friends with on Facebook).

But, instead of having two different social networks – one for “fun” and one for “business” – couldn’t I just have one social network that will allow me to place my friends/contacts into different groups with different levels of privacy?

Flickr actually does a pretty good job of this, allowing me to have Private (only me), Family, Friends, Family+Friends, and the more generic Contacts. But the privacy is really only 3 levels deep instead of a more desirable 4. I.e., My House, Walled Garden, Public. The Walled Garden is divided into two spaces, but it would be nice to have one addition level between Walled Garden and Public. There’s some photos that I wouldn’t mind sharing with my Contacts, but I don’t want to make them public to the world. So, they remain as Friends photos, and my Contacts don’t get to see them.

Of course, as I mentioned above, wouldn’t it better to let me designate what my groups are and which groups can see what? It would certainly be better for me! I know for a fact that it’s more difficult for the programmers on the other end. How do I know? Yahoo 360. (Just for good measure, remember)


I’ve tried sharing photos on Yahoo 360, but the permissions just don’t come out right. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that they let me create my own groups and put people in as many different groups as I want. Of course, if it really worked, that would be even better. But as far as I can tell, it’s still a little buggy. I’m pretty sure that no one else has tried this approach for that very reason. It’s always going to harder code and test.

But (but!) if someone could give people a social network where all the contacts are grouped into categories that are centered around the user, wouldn’t it essentially eliminate the need for any other social network? I believe it would.

Now go build it! I’d do it, but I’m working on my America’s Next Top Model fantasy game.


Nothing to Download

I’ve actually been sitting on this post for about 6 months – which is about how often I manage to post here, so you can kind of see how the process goes.

It wasn’t a revelation in the sense that it led to some insight or allowed me access to new knowledge, but I’m not sure how else to describe it…

something like this…

My wife: You can email me, or I’ll be on Gchat when I’m in my email.

Her friend: Yeah, it’s nice that you don’t have to download anything.

That’s it. Simple as that. Nothing to download.

Now, my wife and her friend (and her friends in general) are technologically savvy, but aren’t the techie type nor usually early adopters. I guess this is part of the genius of Google. It was a lot more obvious when they rewrote pretty much every rule that existed with the release of Gmail. And while the addition of GChat [ed: and now chat in Yahoo Mail] is certainly less revolutionary, it’s another indication of where this all is headed.

Of course, as far as I can tell right now, the advantage of GChat over chat in Yahoo Mail is that GChat saves all your chats for you. It even does that when you chat using the downloaded version of the client. Yahoo Messenger saves your chat history on your hard drive. Now that you can chat in Yahoo Mail, it would certainly make sense to update that. [ed: they might have done that already, but I haven’t opened up the thick client for YMessenger in a while – it’s all about Trilian as the thinnest thick client there is]

The addition of Yahoo Web Messenger adds another level of importance to the need for syncing that history. YWM will save your history to the web, so I’m not sure if YMail also does that now as well. I could probably test it, but I’m lazy.

Since I’m writing this post now and not 6 months ago, I do feel that it warrants a mention that YWM is done in Flash/Flex. Not Silverlight. Yes, Silverlight just hit beta this week. But with what those Metaliq guys have done with it already, it would seem that Yahoo could have done Web Messenger that way if they wanted.

And since I’m inviting fanatics from both sides just by putting the words in the post, I might as well link to one of my favorite posts ever from Eric Dolecki.

Return of the Prodigal Sun – Pt. II

Coyote Ugly

Baby when the lights go out
Every single word can not express, the love and tenderness
I’ll show you what it’s all about

When the Lights Go Out, FIVE 

So, Yahoo’s probably not going to be too happy about posting me as the first word in their link shout-out the other day. Why? Because, like the prodigal son (or Web 2.0 early adopting tech ship jumper) that I am, I’ve returned to Gmail. It’s not that Yahoo Mail isn’t good. It’s just a little Coyote Ugly (in the sense that I got drunk and went to bed with something that I thought was better looking that it really was). It’s certainly better than what they had before. I think people who have only had the experience of using Yahoo are going to be more happy with it than I was.

My reasons, as concisely as I can put them, are as follows:

  • Loading time. I said it was almost as fast as Gmail, but that is just long enough to make it, well, not as fast as Gmail.
  • No tags. I thought I wouldn’t miss “labels” (or would be able to go back to folders). I was wrong. The ability to add multiple labels to a single conversation has utility far beyond that of folders. And the ability to classify emails without actually moving them anywhere just compounds the usefulness.
  • Speaking of conversations… I have really only run into about 2 times in 2 years where having Gmail group my conversation threads together has caused a problem. Maybe people who use Gmail for their business might have more problems, but really, having emails from my wife grouped together because they have the subject of “hey” or “so…” isn’t all that bad when you consider the benefit of having all the Struts, JSF, Lazlo, etc… email lists grouped by topic. I know Thunderbird does this as well, and if I wanted a desktop-based email program, I’d probably choose Thunderbird. Grouping like that was practically visionary on the part of Google. I’m a little surprised that Yahoo doesn’t even offer the option in the new Beta.

There are several other things, like free POP access, free forwarding, the ability to send as though from a different email address, and – yes – relevant ads that don’t annoy the crap out of me. These are all small things that really only continue to tilt the thumb in favor of Gmail.

Maybe this post will help convince Manmohan Juyal that I am not the Yahoo Mail team.

The moment of Yahoo Mail Beta has arrived!

I was accepted into the Yahoo Mail Beta last night! I almost yelled out Yahoo! Except that it was late. And I was tired. I left the window open all night (even though it was cold outside), just so I could make sure it wasn't some sort of cruel dream. Sometimes known as a nightmare.

Behold! In the morning it was still there. And I love it. I think it increases the amount of memory that Firefox uses, but it is worth every byte.

I remember reading – oh so long ago – about how it seemed to take a really long time to load. Well, my friends, and people I've never met, it doesn't. I don't know if they cranked it up since the first people were accepted in, but I did some tests and it seemed to only take a little longer than Gmail does to load up all that Javascripty goodness. Sometimes it ran even faster than Gmail. I'm not going to post any numbers since it wasn't like I was doing scientific testing.

But, it is pretty. And it goes fast. And it comes with a keyboard shortcut for "Delete" (Google, are you paying attention?) I'm not sure about the RSS in my mailbox thing – at least not with the way they have it right now (sans folders/tags, differentiation of new vs. read, and a lack of "keep this one"-ability. And that's fine, since I have 2 good feedreaders as it is.

As an added bonus, it doesn't trap my keyboard the way the Yahoo Maps beta does.

Speaking of bonuses! It looks like WordPress has upgraded to the newest version of, well, WordPress. No more gruesome pop-up windows to handle links and HTML editing – it's all in the div's now!

Tag, you're it! , , ,

The Yahoo Kool-Aid

Just so we’re all on the same page here… I am drinking the Yahoo Kool-Aid. But I can quit any time I want.

Case in point: The new redesign of the home page. It’s lame. I saw a comment from someone somewhere saying that it needed to be more like Google’s page. I agree. Not so much to the extent that it needs to have no content on it (since Yahoo is trying to pretend like they’re a content/media provider), but in that it needs to load fast. I don’t just mean like 1-2 seconds fast (just now, on my T-449 line at work: My Yahoo: 2.65s, Yahoo: 1.352s, Google: 0.51s), I mean like, I fire up my browser at least 10 times a day (maybe more since Firefox has started grabbing 100+ MB of my RAM, and I have to shut it down to free up those resources for my localhost server), and I need to have it start like I was looking at about:blank. If the new Yahoo page can do that, and they pay me to use it, then I will be on the train sitting in the lounge car from here to Oregon.