Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Y! 360 vs Y! Mash

Yahoo! Mash just completed its first month of existence outside of Yahoo! I have to say that one of the most eye-opening experiences for me has been the comments from the Y! 360 community and how passionate and loyal they are to 360.

I'm not exactly sure how the rumor started or why people assume that Mash is a replacement for 360, but the comments on the various boards are filled with how Mash is not 360 and they are absolutely right. Mash is NOT 360. A key feature of 360 is blogging and Mash doesn't currently offer any blogging functionality. I appreciate the comments by the 360 community because as developers we're happy to know that people use and like what we build, but before people get too hung up on whether 360 is being shut down please first just consider how different the two products are.

What the two does share is the idea that users are connected to each other in some way, aka the "social graph", and it's probably this element that causes people to link 360 to Mash. It's probably the same reason that people accuse Mash of trying to copy MySpace and Facebook. In reality, there are hundreds of "social networking" sites out there that it's almost becoming a standard type of application like word processors or audio players. Within this class of applications, there are basic functionalities that is expected such as a friends list. Not having a friends list in any "social network site" is like a word processor that doesn't let you enter text or open a file. At the same time just because two applications can both open files doesn't mean they are trying to copy each other.

In the end, I hope that the 360 community continue to vocal about what they want to see happen with 360 and at the same time let Mash, a different product, develop into something useful.

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