19 October 2009

Yahoo Meme: Minimalistic Microblogging Network

Yahoo Meme

What you read as the title of this post, its my very polite way of saying that Meme from Yahoo is a very scarce and under featured Microblogging Network. It also boggles my mind on the why of it.

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I.-Why it is so light on features?

I understand the need to start with something simple and then going from there.  But this is Yahoo. It is not like if they lacked resources or people to throw into this project.

Right now it is as featured Tumblr was back when it started. It even got less features than Posterous and Soup.io too. 

II.-Why it had to be created from scratch?

It may be news or a reminder to most. But Yahoo is the owner of MyBlogLog. Why Yahoo Meme didn’t tapped into that? If they wanted to create a Microblogging Network, They could have easily added it as a companion to MyBlogLog and also take the opportunity to give MyBlogLog a very needed update. It would have been proved a good call since it would have instantly gained lots of user and hell of a lot more press attention that way

III.- Why they promote it and market it so poorly?

Again, Hello Yahoo. You decided to spend 100 million dollars in a brand campaign to repair your image. Here is one of the reasons why it got so bad. You launch a new product without promoting it and without adding promotional addons of any kind.

Where are the Yahoo Meme Widgets, Badges, Buttons. Why you didn’t did a contest or sprung some promo swag around? Seriously, Why?  Add insult to the injury that you are a company that was KNOWN for such efforts in the past and now you have got yourself into a blunder of your own fault. Because of not doing that anymore.

A Look Into Yahoo Meme

 

Home

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(3 element streams, most notable one is the “just updated” sidebar that is semi real-time)

Dashboard

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(Just like the one in tumblr from where you share your memes and where you see all entries and comments in a single master stream)

Profile

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(Yes, the module at the top is all you get, My description is missing; But that is it. An odd thing is that while you can reply directly from asynchronous comment form, you cannot see the comment in a entry the same way or there is any indication that the entry got comments. The entry in question does got comments by the way, So you get the problem?)

People

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(Your only way to search for other users is to search with keywords and see whatever you can find. The people section will always show a rotating list of different Yahoo Meme featured members with the most followers)

Account

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         ( The 5 options you see are all the options you got for your information account) 

 

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(Only 6 themes to change the look of your Yahoo Meme, At least they are quite Purdy and Yahooish)

Invite

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( Continuing with the scarce theme, Yahoo decided to put up a form and then lets you manually write or copy & paste your friends E-mail addresses instead of the now quite standard E-mail contact importers you see in facebook, myspace, hi5, etc.)

Entry

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(You got to click into the entry to see the comments and when you do, They are marked as quotes to the entry instead of being in blog or microblog comment format)

Yahoo Meme Mobile

Liked a lot the Yahoo Meme Mobile web client. I find to be very well designed but for a minor set of quirks that i don’t like. The biggest one is that the Comments (that are not actual comments, but quotes) are showed like in the web version dashboard section(the master stream) and not like when viewing a entry. Something that makes it a little bit confusing as you need to pay more attention to where does things come from or what they are talking about.

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                                                           (Dashboard)

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                                                 (Comment form for an entry)

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                                             (Top 10 most popular entries)

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                                  (People Search and Featured Users Board)

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                                           (Mobile Profile User Stream)

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                                                 (Users you are following)

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                                                   (Users following you)

But it will let you see the mobile version in any desktop browser and it is a good extra option to browse and use the site very fast.

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And since it is not attached to any Mobile browser in particular, you can see it in Iphone, Windows Mobile, Android Symbian (S and N series), Maemo, etc. But also can use it in a SSB App Manager like Bubbles, Mozilla Prism or Chrome QLA (Quick Launch Application) Mode

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The Good

  • Extremely easy to use and navigate
  • Very pleasant design
  • Mostly Asynchronous (Loading without transitions)
  • Very good mobile web client
  • Mobile web client can be used on the desktop as a SSB app

The Bad

  • No Widgets
  • No Badges
  • No Buttons
  • Yahoo not promoting better the site
  • Yahoo not offering any integration for other Yahoo properties

The Ugly

  • Rushed API
  • Not fully consistent (Some parts are not asynchronous when they should, lacks several indicators)
  • Incredibly scarce in features compared to ALL competitors in its niche
  • Questionable product design choices (comments are not comments?, things loading in a master stream almost out of context?, )
  • Disappointing  Auto Link-Embedding support (Supported choices are mediocre at best)

Final Notes

Very few if almost nothing left to say. Yahoo Meme while very well designed, easy to use and being very fast, Feels so scarce in features that is suspicious. More when it don’t beats a single one of the site it is competing with, it don’t integrates better with Yahoo properties that make sense and it is not promoted or marketed correctly by a company that is spending 100 million dollars in a Brand image campaign. Yahoo Meme should be better than what it is given the company it is coming from and it easily could do so. Lets hope it does.

Linkage

Yahoo Meme 

Yahoo Meme Mobile



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