Yahoo’s New Front Page and Shortcuts
I know this kinda stuff has to happen, but it makes me very sad. Yahoo has a new front page. Go look at it. It’s at http://www.yahoo.com. See anything odd about the page? The odd thing I see is that the pointer to the directory is crammed all the way down at the bottom. It’s a heck of a step from 1996, as you can see in this old Archive shot .
For many years, Yahoo has been more than a directory. Lately they’ve really turned Yahoo Local into something good. Their news has been great for a long time, and with the addition of RSS-feeds and keyword-specific RSS feeds they’ve gotten better. And they’ve got a lot of other properties.
But I’m sorry and upset to see the directory take such a back seat. The Web needs, I strongly believe, a good searchable subject index. There is a class of general searching that it’s difficult to do well in a full-text search engine, that works very well in a searchable subject index like Yahoo. Searchable subject indexes are also wonderfully browsable and make it easy to find related groups of information. You CAN find those groups on full-text engines, but it’s more difficult.
Yahoo was it, for a long time. Then their directory started to get a little moldy, but it was still pretty good. And now I’m afraid with such a small amount of front page space that they’re not going to devote much attention or resources to it. Which would be crying, crying shame.
Meanwhile, Yahoo is got a couple of things I am feeling pretty good about. Check out their page of shortcuts for their Web search, which covers everything from news to weather reports to traffic to patents, zip codes, etc. It’s at http://tools.search.yahoo.com/shortcuts/ . Hey Soople people, how about a Yoople?