Can Yahoo Mash Cut It?
As Jerry Yang’s 100 days draw to a close, predictions for Yahoo announcements have flown thick and fast over the last week:
- A Digg challenger
- Total openness & widgets
- Bebo-based social networking
- Yahoo-mail based social networking
Obviously, the last one hasn’t come true. (Okay, neither has the second to last one, but anyway.) Yahoo has unveiled its newest attempt at social networking: Mash.
My Yahoo Mash Profile
Entering invite-only beta over the weekend, Mash combines popular features from lots of other social networks, as Rafe Needlemen of CNET notes:
- As with MySpace, “Users can add their own backgrounds and color schemes to totally destroy the readability and speed of their pages. . . .There’s a twist with Mash, though: When viewing any profile, users can switch from the pimped out page (the “fugly” version) to a plain, clean page with a white background.”
- From Facebook, “a library of modules users can add to their pages.” These modules include RSS, Flickr, and of course, a “Mash Pet.” Exactly what we all needed from our social networks—more responsibilities.
Rafe continues, “There are already some interesting modules, though. I like the MyMashLog feature, which, like MyBlogLog (which Yahoo acquired), collects the names of everyone who visits your page.
- And like Wikipedia, “The most interesting part of the Mash model is that, by default, your friends can edit your pages. Not just write on your wall, but really get in there and rearrange vital organs. Someone added a custom RSS feed (Webware, of course) to my page, for example. I returned the favor by putting a picture of a Mars Attacks action figure on his background.”
Yahoo Mash Customized Profile
While certainly interesting, I can’t say that the novelty of easily defacing your friends’ (and “non”friends’) profiles will propel Mash to Facebook/MySpace heights.
I like that Yahoo has integrated Mash with at least one of its other offerings (MyBlogLog). Li Evans notes, however, that they have a long way to go in this respect:
- 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! . . .
- Fantasy Football League – Dude! It’s football season . . . , 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. . .
- 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.
So far, Mash looks to be solidly in beta. While it does have some unique features, I don’t see me abandoning my Facebook any time soon.