Whoa, I’m a little concerned right now. Today I received an e-mail that a friend created a profile for me on a new social networking service. The new service is Yahoo’s attempt at entering the MySpace and Facebook space, although it isn’t the company’s first. You do remember Yahoo! 360 don’t you?
Well the new service, Y! Mash, allows others to create profile pages for you that you then either approve, edit, or delete. And that’s the first reason I’m concerned. Do you really want a page sitting out there with your name on it, that you didn’t create yourself? And how long does the page stay up, if you don’t approve it? If you don’t approve the profile, then you don’t get to click around and see much of the other features.
The other features, are a mashup of sorts, just as the network’s moniker insinuates. There’s a little bit wicki — where you can decide whether others can edit content about you and add modules for you, and they can decide whether you can do the same for them in return. Then there’s a little bit Facebook — where you litter your profile with modules. There’s also something called “Pulse,” that acts a lot more like Facebook’s newsfeed — alerting you on updates made by your friends to their pages — than it does Plaxo Pulse, which creates a Web presence or lifelog, by allowing you to bring in feeds from multiple services that you use, to share with contacts in your address book. The Mash Blog has the rest of the lowdown on the service, which is still in beta on an invite only basis.
I, like many others I’d imagine, am none to keen on creating yet another Web profile, especially not one that appears to be more socially than business-or-career focused. (In that regard I’m an evangelist for social network portability.) Right now I’m not seeing a real branding benefit here either, but I do see where it could be fun. I think perhaps teenagers and college students have time for fun, but businesspeople on the other hand, need some other sort of social networking tool. And though I don’t want too be especially harsh on the service before it officially launches, I’m not betting that it’s meant to be more than what it currently appears to be.