Got to hand it to Yahoo! They've implemented an item I've wished for in the blogging services of the major portals. In a post a few weeks ago titled "On the need for an Outlook for Blogs", I complained that Yahoo!'s beta blogging service called 360, had a walled garden approach, and wished they and others would start opening up to outside blogs that their users may have.
Is it fair to say that the "walled garden'' concept is finally and officially dead? Yahoo tells us tonight that users of their Yahoo 360 blogging/networking service can now publish content to their personal pages from other blogging or bookmarking services, such as LiveJournal or del.icio.us, using RSS. What is more, 360 users will still be able to alert friends and family members of new content on their 360 pages, even if the content is from somewhere else.
Wanting to make sure, I went and checked on the Yahoo! 360 site...sure enough, there it was:
For starters, "Feeds" -- the kind that make it easy to share your original web content, regardless of where it lives on the Web. Now you can bring it all onto your Yahoo! 360˚ page to share with family and friends. Display updated posts from your blogs (Live Journal, Typepad, Xanga, and Wordpress), your Netflix movie queue or movie recommendations, and much, much more. You'll find the new "Feeds" module by clicking "My Page."
So, I did just that, and added this blog as a feed onto my Yahoo! 360 blog, and it works.
I admit, not much to see there yet, other than the feed from this blog, but I may end up doing more there, especially if Yahoo! continues to implement some of the other items on my wish list.
Here are some of the other items on my wish list in my earlier post:
"There are seven key features that this "Outlook for Blogs" should have:
- It should be web based, not client software based. This way it's accessible via any PC, mobile device, phone, or other new internet-based gizmo that may come along down the pike.
- The next key feature, especially if the service is offered by any of the four portal horsemen (YAGM, in no particular order)...MAKE SURE the service is NON-PARTISAN from a portal point of view. It needs to work and play nice with the major offerings from all the blogging services.
- The user name to the "uber-blog" should be personalizable, accessible, from anywhere on the web and/or blog directories, if the user chooses. This is likely going to be their identity on the web, and a "personal-portal" for others to connect to them, again, if they so choose.
- Enable monetization mechanisms a la Adsense and Adwords to be managed on any of the external blogs and the uber-blog, again at the user's discretion.
- Provide the ability for RSS-type feeds for any sub-blog or the uber-blog.
- While we're at it, this "Outlook for Blogs" service should also allow the user to deal with user's Comments that the user posts on OTHER, external blogs. Specifically, the "comments" service should: (a) automatically keep track of the comments that the user posts on other blogs, along with the CONTEXT of the original post/s that the user is commenting on...and, (b) allow these comments and context posts to be either POSTED or DISPLAYED on the blog of the user's choice via the "Outlook for Blogs" interface.
- "Outlook for Blogs" should be search index crawlable...i.e., to facilitate, IF the user chooses, to have any and/or all of their choosing to be indexed on the various search engine index crawlers. This way, the content is accessible to the world, if so desired."
With yesterday's announcement, Yahoo! has provided items 2 and 5, which is more than the other blogging services from Microsoft, Google, etc. have done.
So Kudos to Yahoo! for listening to their customers. As Yahoo!'s Brody said:
"The change came about from listening to users of the new 360 service, which is still in beta. "Many users have created blogs on LiveJournal or Xanga or elsewhere, and we recognize that,'' Brody said. "We want people to be able to have that on 360 and share it with the connections they made on 360.''
This is cool, non-evil stuff...bravo...keep it up!
P.S. It's great to see one of the major portals starting to open their site...it'll be interesting to see if some of the non-portals like Amazon might follow suit...I had a hypothetical case on an Amazon blogging service here.