Monday, October 22, 2007

Shifting emphasis over to other blog, maybe temporarily

First posted on my Yahoo 360 blog on Friday August 24, 2007 - 11:22am (CDT)

This blog will be going on a temporary hiatus of sorts. I'll leave it up as long as Yahoo allows me to leave it up, but until certain issues get resolved, I'm going to do my posting elsewhere, probably most on my journal over at Blogger (The Urban Backpacker's Quarterly). Rumors about the closing of Yahoo 360 are floating about, and these rumors seem to have some basis in fact. Maybe not a conclusive basis, but enough to warrant some concern. Consider, for example, this quote from an article about the Yahoo! Photos closing from TechShout

"In closing Photos, Yahoo is adopting a major tenant suggested in an internal memo by Brad Garlinghouse, a senior vice president at the company, which was leaked to the press in November. In an article dubbed the Peanut Butter Manifesto for his description of Yahoo being spread too thin, Garlinghouse called for a number of the company’s products to be eliminated as way to help revive growth and restore focus. There was no word whether Yahoo planned to close other products. In his memo, Garlinghouse had mentioned redundancies involving bookmark services and myWeb, and Yahoo Groups message boards and Yahoo 360 social network service, among others."

"Now, Joseph", somebody will probably write, "Techshout is just a website, and as you've said yourself, anybody can put anything he wants on a website". True, but this is very far from being an isolated report of rumors that Yahoo has to know are going to tend to induce a little panic in its user base on 360, because the relocation of a blog is going to result in far more upheaval for the user than the relocation of a few photos. Think of the links broken, the comments lost, the massive efforts that would merely go into cutting and pasting to code for the posts at the old blog into the archives at the new. Users have to be expected to have questions about such rumors, and what are they to think when their providers stubbornly refuse to answer those questions? When I wrote to the Yahoo 360 team to ask them about these rumors, the team did not respond to my query. Others have reported being stonewalled in the same way on their 360 blogs, and one can see, just by reading the comments on the Yahoo 360 team blog, that still others, in asking the simple question "is Yahoo 360 about to close" or variants on it, don't get replies from anybody other than fellow users.

One might well ask why the fellow users feel qualified to post on the subject, as not a one of them seems to work for Yahoo; the blind are volunteering to lead the nearsighted. As for Yahoo's refusal to say a word, they would have to be unusually clueless to not understand that, while in case like this one can remain silent, one can't possibly fail to answer the question being asked of one. Silence will be read as an affirmation, because if one could squash a false rumor that is starting to hurt one's business merely by having a few employees saying "it isn't true", why wouldn't one do so? The only reasonable user response, under such circumstances, is to assume the worst and act on that assumption until he has a factual basis for doing otherwise, especially when one can read reports about an upcoming Yahoo product called "mosh" that would push Yahoo 360 further in the direction of redundancy, like this one on TechCrunch.

I'm hoping that Yahoo 360 will stick around. If I'm given some real reason to believe that it will - and no, handholding from another user does not qualify - then I'll probably start posting to this blog again, but until then, I'll do what I can to minimize my prospective headaches, and that is going to include sending my next few posts to where they are least likely to evaporate. Namely: HERE.