Yahoo My Web Powerful and Provocative
Right on the heels of Google’s My Search History, Yahoo! Launches a better, simplified version of its earlier Web search personalization tool “My Search”—now called My Web. A considerable advance over Yahoo!’s previous “My Search,” it’s more “robust” (I hate using that term) than Google’s simpler My Search History tool. But as good as this is, it’s probably still too involved for mass adoption.
My Web records users’ search history and allows them to save individual Web pages found in search results or any Web site in a browser with a single click—a “save to My Web” icon can be loaded into the Yahoo! toolbar or browser toolbars. My Web saves both the link and an image of the page so that if the page ultimately disappears, users still retain an image of the page. Pages and folders can be easily organized and emailed or shared via RSS feed (and soon on Yahoo! 360).
This is really like an alternative desktop for the Internet, though it’s not desktop search, which should be integrated into this. (All the privacy concerns with Google’s My Search History equally pertain to this, although, as with Google’s tool, history may be cleared.)
Back to my comment that it is too “involved” (meaning complex) for the mainstream user. Don’t get me wrong, this is a big big advancement over what Yahoo! was offering before and I will be using this going forward—I had no interest in the earlier version. But as improved as it is, it’s still not quite mainstream.
Maybe Yahoo! should have a segmented personalization strategy: My Yahoo for the masses and My Web for those who want more capabilities.
We’ve got My Web, Yahoo! 360, My Yahoo!, IM, Mail, and more. One might ask: where is all this headed?
Maybe Yahoo! is ultimately closing in on a meta Internet-dashboard of sorts. While hints of that concept appear to be behind Yahoo! 360, that ambition may be a kind of Platonic ideal that cannot be realized in practice. Even so, Yahoo! is very busy developing some pretty interesting tools and will figure out ways to integrate many of them in compelling ways for users.