When I started looking around for blogs, there was blog.com, blogspace.com, blogger.com. That was about it. Not much there and most of them were copies of each other. I needed a blog for my online Druid journal, as a part of my studies in the ODU.
Now, there are all kinds of blogs. LiveJournal, DeadJournal, GreatestJournal, blogsphere.com, blogger, WordPress, Movable Type and all kinds of other programs, all with ONE goal, to make it easy for a person to put their thoughts up online so a bunch of people can read what they are thinking.
Now EVERYONE wants to get into the act. Why? Because it’s trendy. It’s cool. It’s what is supposed to happen. Never mind that the same format for blogs has been repeated over and over and over again, nevermind that the really original ideas have been done already. Let’s ignore the fact that it’s the same basic software that does the same thing.
All we have to do is get those people in and make them use our system.
Becuase now Yahoo! has developed a system called “360Â°” available at http://360.yahoo.com/.
My question is “why?” They have a good system with the newsfeeds, with the content they already have, with the things the can feed to the customizable pages they already have. They even have a decent search engine. But now they have to have a blog system too? For heaven’s sake, WHY!?!?!?!
The only reason I can find is that they are desperate to pull users back from LiveJournal, Google and other such competitors. So they write their own propritary software hoping that it’s unique enough to allow one to do everything they could concievably want to do, and thereby making Yahoo! a one stop shop.
Now, I’ll be the VERY first one to admit that if you come out with a new way of doing things, truly innovative (and I’m talking on the front end, where the user sees it, not in the backend or the code) then come out with your own software. But when Livejournal and Deadjournal and Greatestjournal ALL look alike except for the ads, I fail to see why I should sign up for a DeadJournal account in addition to the one I have on LiveJournal. There is no reason to do so. It’s only ONE more place I have to go to do what I need to do. There is only so much venting and getting it off my chest I can do. I can’t do it on 40 different systems, not without looking like I am trying to get attention and have a pity party.
Yes, I moved from blogspot to WordPress here on my own system. Why? Because I want to control my site. I can’t stand when content is sent to my site by a third party that I know nothing about, and blogspot kept sending advertisments to me on my site through their code. Plus it was a pain in the backside to log onto five different systems to update the narrative of my life. And I don’t want the archives of my life being deleted by someone else, either by accident or design.
Now, I acknowledge that blogspot (and through them Google) have a right to make money. It’s hard to decide which of several online companies to give my dollar to and where to buy from. But I don’t think the way to go about it is to become like every other portal service out there (AOL and MSN come to mind) and start looking like them so much that lawsuits of copyright infringment are threatened. No, make ONE service kickass and keep improving it.
Google has the best search engine out there, bar none. Heck, Yahoo and MSN have been known to use Google Search on their sites in the past. But while Google has done more and more to improve their search capabilities, and while they have definately made improvements to email (with their G-Mail service (and if you want an invite, just comment and let me know)), but by trying to be everything to everyone, they are going to fail at something, and then that’s the ballgame.
Pick something. Specialization may be for insects, but I bet that having a specialized product will do far more for your corporate product and profits than generalizing to the point of looking like every other site that offers the same service. Having a kickass search engine and being able to serve newsreaders and a kick butt email service will do far more than looking like Yahoo!. Yahoo!, stay with the IMs, the NewsFeeds about the world news, the content that I have on my front page. MSN, just stay in lockstep with Micro$oft and leave us alone. And don’t try to add a blog into your matrix.
It may just be the straw that broke the camel’s back.