You'll find here and there news about Yahoo's next service, My Web 2.0, a "social search product" as described by Jeremy Zawodny. For the official introduction, go read the announcement on Yahoo! Search Blog. For my unofficial quick review, just relax and sit back :)
Setting up My Web 2.0
My Web 2.0 main page is your regular search page, from which you can dig either the whole web, or your owned tagged bookmarks. Hmm… Is it me or is there a Flickrish pink "B" in MyWeb ? ;)
When setting up your account for the first time, you're politely asked if you want to install Yahoo's Toolbar, and if you want to import links from :
- your Yahoo Bookmarks (heh, I didn't even know I add some)
- your MSIE bookmarks. The cool thing is that it gets and stores your favorites from your disk in one click. Hmm, let's hope it's not fetching some private data as well :P The less cool thing is that there is nothing similar for Firefox.
- an RSS feed. It can be either a local feed (exported from your feed reader for example) or an online feed. You can for instance fetch your whole del.icio.us collection (http://del.icio.us/rss/Yournick) and it's stored with all the tags you've already used. Cool too.
Quick Tour in My Web 2.0
This is a pretty standard link collection : links, titles, descriptions, tags. But then comes a few more or less interesting features : you can restrict the visibility of your links (all, friends, you) and, that's cool, you keep a cached copy of your bookmarks. Stumbled upon a cool page long ago and now it's gone ? Fear no 404, you can keep a copy, just like Google's cached page but for your personnal use.
Caching pages has been a requested feature on del.icio.us for long now. I already can see a cool usage for My Web : keep it sync'ed (on a daily basis for example) with your del.icio.us account and let Yahoo cache your bookmarks for further reference if needed. Think of it as a del.icio.us backup with saved pages.
The main page has 3 tabs : Pages, Tags, Contacts. Pages (i.e. links, or bookmarks) and Tags and divided in three categories : yours, your community's, and everyone's links and tags. Of course, tags are presented in the now de facto standard and trendy cloud form.
Adding a link is done with the usual form where you fill in URL, title, description, tags and a few options (caching and privacy). The tag inputbox uses some sort of (Ajax based) assistant, but it's quite inefficient, slow, and lacks keywords. On this topic the best thing I've seen yet is the unmatched del.icio.us Add Link interface : it's quick, efficient, suggests relevant tags, and segregates your own tags from the public ones.
Editing an existing link is done with the same form : I wish they used inline editing within your main page, instead of having to open the form, edit things, save and watch your main page refresh. I guess this sort of Ajax improvements will be added later on, it's still in beta stage after all.
My Web 2.0 vs del.icio.us
Like del.icio.us, My Web lets you store bookmarks with tags and in a "social" manner : see others' bookmarks, copy them, share yours. The "bonus" that MW brings to this concept is that you can create your own link community : select a few Contacts who you know are experts in their domain, so you can copy their links thinking they will be top quality hand picked material.
For example, your friend Jim knows everything in PHP. Add him as a contact and let him share his relevant links tagged with PHP, Code tips, and so on.
Note that this feature could be easily integrated in del.icio.us : similarly to their Inbox feature, you could create as well your own list of del.icio.us users to specifically share items with them. Actually, I can bet this feature *will* be added to del.icio.us some day.
My Web 2.0 or del.icio.us ?
At the moment one thing is clear is my mind : del.icio.us has unbeattable clean and quick interfaces, and lets you add links with minimal efforts. Things are a bit slower on My Web and there is place for improvements there.
Sticking with del.icio.us, there is still something uber cool to do with MW : keeping it sync'ed with your del.icio.us account so you have a cached copy of all your links.
I think the Community stuff (selecting Contacts to share links with) can be a great idea, for example when you are collecting material on a particular topic you are working with friends on. Imagine a group of students working together on some subject, this would be the perfect way to share their links.
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