Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Yahoo 360º is Evil!!!

Am I the only person who thinks there's something wrong with Yahoo 360º? I'm not saying it's a bad concept as a social networking hub. In fact, Yahoo is in a great position to leverage their tools from photo sharing, avatars, blogging, sharing friends lists (social networking), website customization and potentially a lot more in the future. They were able to do this with an instant user base of millions of yahoo messenger users that have signed up for the beta. Not bad considering there are dozens of other sites that offer more or less the same service and have been in this game far longer than Yahoo. But that's not the reason why I do not like the idea. Turning something design for a certain purpose into something else entirely will certainly have repercussions.

There's a lot of things I don't like about 360º in a privacy point of view. I am in fact a 360º member but only because I don't know how to shut it off. I just deleted all my friend list (after discovering to my horror that some of my friends have very strange friends of their own profile-wise in 360). Receiving a note that so-and-so wants to be your 360º contact seems innocuous enough but this sharing of the friends list automatically without warning pissed me off. Sure that's the whole point of 360, being able to share your friends with other friends. I'd like to keep my friends list private thank you very much, just as I don't care who the friends of my friends are. If I wanted social networking I would have gotten a friendster account a long time ago or a MySpace account or from dozen other similar sites. I don't think some people knows just how much information they are sharing just by activating their 360 just judging from the... errr... “interesting” photos posted all over. If in the past people would think that the profile photos they use in Yahoo are viewable only by the people in their friends list, now that isn't the case anymore. It's viewable by anybody that knows the URL of the 360º profile of anybody in his friends list. The reason why I don't think some people know this is the proliferation of err... shall we say “indecent” profile photos all around 360º. I think that they never intended those photos to become viewable in the public space. After all, before 360º, these same photos was only seen by a select few. So what does a member of 360º to do? Well, If you really still want to use the service without any offensive content in your homepage, you can pick your "public" friends carefully with nice clean profiles and tell the rest that "I'm sorry I can't add you to my friends list because you are friends with people with indecent/bordering on the pornographic content". Call me a bit anal and a control freak but I don't want links and content that I have no control over. I'm even campaigning to friends and family members not to sign up. I personally think yahoo 360º is a can of worms that wasn't really properly thought through particularly on the impact on the existing user base. It's a shifting of paradigms from what it was initially designed to what they want it to be. The implication may not be as trivial as some would think.

It's a good thing that I have another yahoo ID where I have all my indecent pics... errr... you do understand I was joking right? Hehehe.

3 comments:

ö said...

oops, i thought i had told you this. the pics in the photo albums are viewable only by people you allow to view them. so if you set it to "friends" mode, and you can even choose a finer category for that, only those friends may view them. eventhough your friend's friends know your url, they won't be able to see those photos, because the setting requires them to log in and then 360 will not recognize them as your friends. i know this because i couldn't view an album uploaded even by a friend of mine, simply because she put the setting on the wrong category. the only stuff on 360 that you don't have control over, ie, that anyone who knows your url can see, are the ID photos and your friends list. you can exercise precautionary measures by not posting revealing photos in there. as for your friends, well they have to exercise their own measures to not gain unwanted friends. if you don't want strangers to know even who your friends are, then better mask yourself altogether behind some fantasy name and an equally outrageous avatar ;) it's a good exercise of human rights, hehe. no, i don't know myspace and i got a million invitations from friendster which i declined because i don't get to blog and rant there ;P i'm enjoying 360, and i like the name, sounds very exact :D

Anonymous said...

ahem, friendster do have a blog feature, but i never used it. i'd rather blog at blogger.com. Yahoo, Blogger rulz!

ö said...

oh it does? sorry, just shows that i didn't give it much attention - it appeared like a cluttered room to me ;P