Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The newest contender

Whenever you come too late to a party, it can go two ways: The party is at its peak, it takes for you too long to get into it and join the festivities. You can leave disappointed and swear never to be late again.
Or the party is going great but your arrival adds value to the party and makes it an even more memorable event.

Yahoo! just arrived late to the party with their social networking product called Mash. Fairly surprising that it took them so long to join the party since they have all capabilities and properties (Answers, Flickr,, Answers, just to name a few) to enhance a social network and turn it into a monster party.

After signing up for Mash (it's still in beta) and exploring it for a while, I have the nagging suspicion that Yahoo! might have missed the peak and the party might be going on somewhere. A lot of features are missing (consistent RSS feeds, sparse outside development), it lacks interactivity and personalization options offered by the two big guns. It feels very sparse but not in a positive Craigslist kind of way.

Even though they might not be able to compete with Facebook and MySpace, Yahoo! has an enormous user base and Mash could possibly allow users to consolidate the profiles on MyYahoo, Flickr, etc.

The jury is still out on Mash. Yahoo has a long way to go to make it a remarkable experience. But they might have found a way to get Yahooligans return more frequently to Yahoo properties. With two big parties going on at the same time, Mash might be the ultimate block party.

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