Yahoo 360 looks solid; not perfect, but pretty good. Should be good for ‘moblogging,’ which has built-in support. Since everyone else is writing about it, I’ll pass. Despite Yahoo 360′s buzz, Yub is more entertaining. I stumbled across it Friday afternoon, thanks to Signal vs. Noise, and have been back several times already. It’s packed so full of cheezy marketing speak and bad UI, it’s the perfect Goofus to Yahoo’s Gallant. The comments at Signal vs. Noise are well worth a read. Some points:
- First, there’s way too much ‘cute’ here. While a little bit of whimsy is a good thing – LiveJournal’s goat, del.icio.us‘ domain name, Google’s ‘I’m feeling lucky’ button – this site drips with it in every corner. It’s too much. Please, lose it – especially the bit on how to use the name as a verb. You can’t force this and shouldn’t try.
- This site’s ultimate reason for being is to drive sales. So why is the product search box super tiny and hidden off to the right of the header or way down the page?
- I can’t figure out how to use the site without resorting to the help section. When I pop open the ‘tour,’ it has seven steps. My fridge is closer than seven steps. If you simply must do a tour, keep it to three steps max.
- The sign-up page, a most critical page, is more confusing than it needs to be. Why is the ‘last name’ field counterintuitively above the ‘first name’? Why is ‘birthday’ written ‘bday’? Why is the username field called ‘yubtag: (username)’? Why not just call it a username?
- On signing up, you’re confronted with a ten-step program for optimizing your profile. Ten steps! People get over alcoholism in ten steps.
With design like that, it’s no wonder most of the limited commentary on Yub has been negative. That said, I don’t think the site will be a complete failure. The creators might actually be on to something. By combining the aspects of a dating site, a shopping site, and an affiliate-style rewards program – members get 1% of whatever other members buy through their member page – Yub’s created a very curious social dynamic. Combine the free Friendfinder-style dating tools with the potential to get paid and I think you’ll attract the type of young person eager to capitalize off their looks. Without strict editorial control, I bet Yub’s going to get clogged with this sort of thing pretty quickly:
“Hi! Thanks for coming to my page! I’d love to send you more of the pictures I’ve taken with my girlfriends, but because I get so many requests I’m only sending them to people who buy at least $50.00 of products through my page. So buy some CDs and see a little more of me. (P.S. Buy something really big through my page, and I’ll send you something really special.)”
It seems like a pretty obvious equation to me: Dating tools + affiliate payments = profit-motivated sleaze. They’ll probably end up driving a ton of sales.