360 Thoughts


Yeah, so I think most productivity at work is halted or at least heavily reduced today as people manage all their invites from the newly opened 360 Beta. (I just invited most everyone in my Yahoo IM list so that should be fun for all pretty soon.) Launching a new product here is a non-trivial exercise if you think about it. It's *Yahoo* so there's a bunch of design, usability and integration issues that need to be resolved as well as a level of security and scalability that most startups wouldn't worry about until a year after their product was in the public eye. So congrats to the 360 team for getting this bad boy out the door.

You can see my Y! 360 blog here: http://blog.360.yahoo.com/russell_beattie.

This is a "friendly" URL, by the way, which you have to turn on in the settings, otherwise the URLs are obfuscated so people can't see your Yahoo user ID unless you want them to. (It seems they're still working out the bugs on this, as my RSS feed doesn't reflect this settings change just yet. No worries, I'm sure it's coming).

So! Though I think the service is good, I'd be lying if I said I thought it was perfect. First, I wish there was more stress on *blogging*, as right now it seems more focused on networking and sharing. Obviously being a hardcore blogger, I see where that's the most value. I think something like the "blast" is confusing - people should be encouraged to write in their blog and the "blast" is their latest post! There also needs to be templating (which is probably the number one request). I really dislike how MSN Spaces did their customization (too complex for too little return), but there needs to be something to give a blog more personality. I guess it goes back again to how you expect users to use the service. I want it more "blog like" and that means being able to add more customization and personality.

Other than that complaint about the "focus" of 360, I think it's pretty neat. Here's the coolest bit about the service: If you've set up your mobile phone on Yahoo Mobile, 360 supports moblogging right out of the gate! I was REALLY happy to see this - I just tried it this morning and it works like a charm, even via MMS. This is pretty cool. I took a photo, chose to send it via MMS (so therefore no title), added some text at the bottom and sent it to my user_name@blogs.yahoo.com and it appeared in seconds, with a great default title as well. So cool and so easy. Just think about what's going to happen if/when Flickr is integrated into this system? It's going to be pretty great.

It's sort of hidden in the top menu right now, but there's a search form you can use to browse the people who are already using 360 by their distance from you. It's good to open up the results in tabs and see who's just "testing" the system and those who are starting to really use it. It'll be interesting as well to see other reviews as more bloggers (and "normal" people) get a chance to check it out.


P.S. Sorry - no invites unless I've met you in person, it's just too time consuming.

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