TECH TALK: The Future of Search: Yahoo 360

Yahoo 360 is a way to keep connected to friends with blogs, photos and more. It combines a personal portal with social networking. Charlene Li of Forrester Research had this to say after a preview of the service:

Central to the whole service is the concept that you want to communicate and connect with the people that you already know, rather than try to meet new people. To this end, your home page on the service shows the most recent content published by people within your network. This might be a blog post, a photo album, review, or an updated profile item. This page is constantly refreshed as the people in your network update the information on their spaces. This fundamental concept of linking people through their updated stuff is what makes Yahoo! 360 unique and inherently will drive usage of the service higher than traditional social networks. In essence, the content is being pushed to you by the service.

The profile page contains the usual features from social networking sites friends, profile, lists of things you like to do, where you work/went to school, and groups that you belong to on Yahoo! Groups. But it also excerpts content youve created that you want to share with your network. This includes not only a blog, but also photos from Yahoo! photos, reviews created on Yahoo! Local, and LAUNCHcast Stations.

The ability to leverage your network to get something done is what gives Y! 360 the real potential to become something even bigger. At the beta launch, users will have the ability to look narrow local business reviews by their network a recd from someone I know counts for a lot more. Of course, this assumes that people will start creating reviews (a clever way for Y! Local to jumpstart reviews on the service). In the future, I can imagine new modules for job searching, dating, travel planning (What hotel in Paris would you recommend?), car buyingthe list is extensive. Yahoo!s (as well as MSNs and AOLs) advantage is being a one stop shop in terms of leveraging your networks knowledge across multiple categories.

The last few years have seen the growth of do-it-yourself publishing on a large scale. Whether it is writing text or sharing photos, podcasts, screencasts and even videos, individuals and groups can now publish and share content easily on the Web. What hasnt changed significantly, though, is how reading (or viewing) takes place on the Web. While RSS aggregators have made headway, they still remain a niche. MyYahoo has been around for a long time, and now supports RSS. But fundamentally, what is needed is a new way to view the content. This is the direction I was heading in with the Information Dashboard.

Tomorrow: Information Dashboards Rationale

TECH TALK The Future of Search+T

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.