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A Letter Fron Yahoo

I’m going to let you read my mail.

A few days ago, before the most recent blog they posted, I went to the Beta feedback page for Yahoo 360 and sent the team a message.

My message to the Yahoo 360 Team:

Yahoo 360 offers a unique combination of social networking and serious blogging without all the aural and visual assaults of MySpace and its ilk. MASH, on the other hand, is an insufficient substitute. It is lightweight, obviously geared toward kids (they have a deletion link that says “this is fugly”, for Pete’s sake), and doesn’t offer the substance of 360. Both products have their niches, I’m sure. I’m rather fond of Yahoo 360 and would hate to see it be discontinued.

I would like to see Yahoo take 360 seriously. For almost a year I have been trying to get my reviews on my 360 page to reappear. I cannot get my Flickr photostream to display. Yahoo has been completely unresponsive and unhelpful in resolving these problems.

The frequent delays in mail delivery are absurd. If the 360 mailbox won’t work, then simply link it to a regular Yahoo email inbox. Occasionally the wrong blog is displayed on people’s top pages. Quick comments disappear and reappear with alarming capriciousness. The time to load pages is agonizingly slow more often than not.

The fact that 360 has remained “Beta” for two years, and that these recurring problems aren’t being addressed, leads to the inevitable rumors that the service will be discontinued soon. Yahoo is doing itself a disservice by not supporting its own product.

If Yahoo wants to charge for premium services that might allow for Yahoo 360 to improve, it could make the whole thing more profitable. I’d be willing to pay for a more powerful blogging interface, for page counters that allowed me to see who was reading my blogs and not just how many people clicked on my top page, for controls that allowed me to set individual blog entries to private, “friends only” or public, for lists that are longer and more customizable, and for the ability to place links to the blogs of others on 360 on my top page. Unlimited RSS feeds would permit the last to be implemented.

Basically, Yahoo needs to either make a commitment to 360 or shut it down. One way or another, the issues will be resolved.

***

The Team responded shortly after posting its blog two days ago:

Hello Anne,

Thank you for writing to Yahoo! 360.

So you’ve heard Yahoo! 360 is closing? Well it’s true. After careful consideration, we have decided to close the Yahoo! 360 sites in early 2008. We always strive to provide you with the best services possible and we’ll be doing that throughout this transition.

We realize that you, our 360 consumers, have put a lot of effort into building sites and sharing these with your community. As we work to fully package migration options for your social network on the Yahoo! suite of services, Yahoo! 360 will remain an active vibrant site for your network of friends. We make the following three commitments:

– We will preserve your 360 blog content and community;
– We will put the right mechanisms in place to move your blog content;
– We will give you ample notification before this transition begins in early 2008.

We at Yahoo! remain dedicated to social networking and community building businesses worldwide. You’ll be hearing more details from us soon. In the meantime, more detailed information is available on our 360 Product Page at:

http://blog.360.yahoo.com/product_360

Note: If you have not checked in a while, please update your email information to ensure you receive all communications from Yahoo! 360. To update your email address, click My Account at the top of any Yahoo! 360 page. Verify your password, and click Edit next to Member Information to update your alternate email address(es), if necessary.

Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! 360.

Regards,

Kyle

Yahoo! 360 Customer Care

For assistance with all Yahoo! services, please visit:

http://help.yahoo.com/

New and Improved Yahoo! Mail – better than ever!

+++++++++++

There is hope. Yahoo may indeed make things better. While we prepare our contingency plans, let’s remember that we may not have to implement Plan B after all.

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October 18, 2007 - Posted by | Yahoo 360 | , ,

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