UPDATE: So I appear to be using the wrong beta. Ignore the following review, and see this post here.
I’ve been playing with the beta of Yahoo! My Web today. My motives for doing so are quite interesting in themselves – I’ve been using Furl for my “personal” web bookmark management, and del.icio.us for work links (the ones that appear down the right hand side of this blog). I’ve found myself using Furl less and less, even though I like it and it’s easy to use. That’s probably more a function of my spending less time looking at “fun” stuff online and more time looking at “work” stuff (or maybe there’s just been a blurring between the two), but I thought I’d check out the Yahoo! version to see if it might encourage me to farm and categorise Web content a bit more.
On the first pass, I’d say it’s interesting – but nowhere near where it should be functionally. The “big idea” here is that I share some or all of my content with people I know, and that’s not such an original idea, though it is a big one. My Web certainly doesn’t make it easier for me to manage bookmarks than Furl does – in lots of ways, it’s actually more difficult (there’s no contextual menu, no Firefox plug-ins, etc. etc, but these will come). I had to install the egregious Yahoo! toolbar to get any kind of inline bookmarking juice.
The interface itself is very “pre-Ajax” in that I have to go through step-by-step forms to do things like share folders and rename them. More drag and drop will make the interface much easier to use. Making an individual folder public, for instance, and then subscribing to its feed, is almost ridiculously difficult.
Finally, there’s no tagging. This seems extraordinary, and would be a key differentiator to Furl if it existed. I have no sense of a wider community of My Web users, which I get through the tags on Flickr and del.icio.us. Given that Yahoo! now owns Furl, this seems like a bizarre omission. Surely the way for me to create a “content stream” of bookmarks, blog/360 posts and photos is through tags, isn’t it?
So an interesting start, but a looooong way to go. I’ll use it for a few days and see how it goes.