Dave Winer is not happy with Yahoo over 360.
It’s a ghost town with 404’s all over for people who weren’t invited, the exact wrong thing to do on rollout day. The home page of the site is 404.
You know it was somewhat cute when Google did the invite-only thing with Gmail, but you could use it to communicate with people who didn’t use it. This software is broken for people who aren’t 360 users! And Orkut was invite-only too, and it’s as dead as can be now.
BTW, Yahoo doesn’t have its mojo back. What a crock. Their idea of hip is to copy everyone else, badly. Let the Flickr folks, who really do have mojo, show that the elephant can dance, just a little.
PS: Now the redesign of Yahoo Groups makes sense. They made it look like 360. And the pictures? Well, 360 shows pictures of people and groups. Now, too bad most of the groups don’t actually have pictures. Someone should have thought that through. Did they think 360 was going to be such a raging success that it would make all the groups want to add pictures? This is what happens when big corporations plan out grand strategies, checking their assumptions with focus groups (if they check them at all). Flickr on the other hand, proved every one of its ideas with users. We know which approach leads to usable software.
Now, Dave has been a little angry lately, but his points are all valid. First off, Yahoo needs to get rid of the 404s; they just convince people the site doesn’t work. How about a page that says “You need to be a registered user”. Second, get rid of the invites. Invites don’t create a stronger user community, they create a smaller user community. I want to get on and find people I know. I don’t have time to spam my friends with invites. If they think its cool, they shouldn’t have to find out who has an invite; they should be able to sign up. Why are you turning away potential, interested users?
I still think Yahoo has its mojo back. But 360, while more versatile, has made some usability mistakes. I’m working on a 360 page for myself (forgive the lame placeholders and pictures of my cat), finding all the kinks in the system, and posting them as I go along. If you’d like an invite, just ask.