An odd choice for the name of Yahoo’s next social network. Certainly, I applaud Yahoo’s effort as the internet brand which years ago should have defined social networking by simply adding connectivity between its users. Today they launch Kickstart, a clear shot at the origin of Facebook, targeting college students and alumni.
If ever there was a point at which I yawn and get frustrated with having to set up yet another social network profile it is now (I know, you’re shocked that it hasn’t happened already). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to add/connect friends through a different Yahoo service: Email, Messenger, Answers, Y! 360 (social network #1 and still in beta), Y! Mash (social network #2), and now Kickstart (social network…. number… 3) The whole point of a social network is to connect folks within and throughout the experience yet not only has Yahoo! failed to create such synergy through a single “Yahoo” network but their silo’d business initiatives have almost simultaneously launched 3 different networks!
In case you are interested, here I am on Mash with some friends, 360 with a slightly larger network, and Kickstart… forget it (but it has a nice new photo of me!). Better yet? Connect with me on Y! IM as that is the most effective Yahoo! Social Network with all my friends in one place, the ability to share smileys, chat as a group, and even use webcams! How cool!
Yahoo’s social mess succeeds in shining a bright spotlight on the greatest challenge facing these models (MySpace, Facebook, Ya-huh? (Mash/360/Kickstart), etc.): they only work with everyone using the same platform. The latest hot topic: advertising through social networks, has a mountain of privacy issues, relevance questions (how is an analysis of my peers an indication of what I like??), and engagement challenges (I’m on a social network to do something and get out – I predict CPM’s as high as “My” personal webpages).
So, now Yahoo is going to kickstart (jump start?) their social graph. Well… Welcome to the party. Meet Google.
wow. what started as a quick post to vent my frustration with Yahoo’s 3rd network turned into a rant. Sorry about that.