Yahoo! debuts 360 degrees
As everyone's been discovering, Yahoo! has launched 360 degrees to the public, for a limited beta trial period. Jeremy Zawodny was kind enough to provide me an invite within a few minutes of sending him an email - thanks very much Jeremy!
Overall, I like the service a lot. It's got quite a clean “Yahoo-ish“ feel to it, with a particular focus on the social connectivity model done to such great effect in Flickr. In 360 degrees, they've gone one step further, with a number of points I really like:
- an ability to group friends by categories I name
- levels of privacy/exposure of information by levels of friend-indirection (e.g. let [ friends | friends of friends | friends of friends of friends ] see). Lucky they didn't go as far as 6 degrees of friends though, as everyone in the world might then be able to see things ... or maybe they did, and just used the shortcut “everyone“
- abilities to review what your site looks like to these different network connectivity levels.
The latter is a facility I'd love to have with Sytadel, though the complexity of our model of permissions would make this rather harder to accomplish.
Once again, I'm impressed that customised typed micro-content and dynamic page assembly is being done on this scale. Dynamic page assembly while checking security is hard to do really fast (we know - Sytadel does this for every page), and Yahoo have pulled it off from what I can see. Congratulations to the team who've put this together.
There are still some glitches - some of the profile display (e.g. places I've worked) doesn't look particularly pretty (floating commas separating whitespace) when fields are left blank, but these are small things to fix.
I'm really looking forward to growing integration between My Yahoo, 360 degrees, Flickr, and Yahoo messenger. Most of the pieces are in place, now it's a question of oiling the interplay.
Where will all this end up? I wonder if we're likely to head down the path of major battles (between Microsoft, Yahoo, and possibly Google) for ownership of our personal identity projections onto the web. Because presumably with ownership comes eyeballs for ads and other additional services. Let's hope that Yahoo's revitalised mojo will encourage it to continue to play open.