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February 15, 2009 / Upnishad

Yahoo Go – Why nobody knows about it ?

I have always wondered why Yahoo products don’t get the response and appreciation they deserve while Google always steal the show with their relatively mediocre (feature restricted) logo images

Look at the number of Yahoo services. Most of them have very less visibility as compared to their Google counterpart. ReadWriteWeb posted an interesting article about what Yahoo should do to survive. But what pains me the most is the less attention given to some excellent services offered by Yahoo.

Let me list some excellent Yahoo products that deserve more appreciation than they have got so far.

1. Yahoo Go : Yahoo! Go is a slick mobile application designed for Yahoo users. Access Yahoo! Mail, Flickr photos, Local Maps & Business Listings, Web Search, News, Weather and favorite feeds from your mobile. This little mobile application provides everything under Yahoo. Its awesome interface and usability amazes me. There is no other application which provides so many important services. Quite frankly, I had not heard of Yahoo Go! till a few days back. There was too much, almost unnecessary, noise about a mediocre and utterly useless application Google Latitude. Its very difficult to separate substance from the noise.

2. Yahoo Pipes : Many services were inspired (and got more publicity) from this fascinating innovation from Yahoo! The main problem with Pipes is that its very complicated for an absolute beginner. Look at how Yahoo describes it…”Pipes is a powerful composition tool to aggregate, manipulate, and mashup content from around the web…grab the output of any Pipes as RSS, JSON, KML, and other formats…” – this definitely makes very little sense to a grandmother. Still, the service and its interface is really easy to use and can produce excellent mash-ups.

and we have Yahoo! answers, Yahoo! maps, Yahoo! news, Yahoo! groups, 360 (is it dead already ?), GeoCities (old school, never upgraded to catch Web 2.0’s attention), Buzz (?), Widgets (did not leverage the Konfabulator’s userbase – too heavy for desktop widgets)…the list can seriously go on and on.

So what is wrong with Yahoo! services ? very little.

a. Too much advertising, clutter, etc to hide the interface. Too much noise in the interface.

b. Too much color. Google is successful with stark white background and RGB interface. Seriously, purple buttons is so 1992.

c. Timing. Yahoo! launches their services along with Google.

d. Yahoo! is not a cult like Google. Yahoo! has not got hold of the silicon valley cult-creators.

There is nothing wrong with Yahoo! services. They are excellent and works like a charm. Just that Yahoo! needs to capture global imagination.

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