Home Ex-My Yahoo Boss, Now Pageflakes CEO, Responds to My Yahoo Beta

Ex-My Yahoo Boss, Now Pageflakes CEO, Responds to My Yahoo Beta

I wondered how long it would take before Pageflakes
responded to the new-look My Yahoo beta, given that the sharing and ‘pages’
features in My Yahoo beta are very similar to what Pageflakes has already done.
Sure enough, the following quote by new Pageflakes CEO Dan Cohen was just
emailed my way. And actually Dan is uniquely qualified to discuss this, as
before becoming CEO of Pageflakes in January this year he was head
of MyYahoo
. Here is what he said:

“The new My Yahoo is a step forward but misses the mark. It is more
about Yahoo! and less about today’s users of the Web, who expect more from
their personalized page. Their new personalization feature steers you towards
Yahoo! services while restricting access to others like Google and MySpace.
The new version limits user choice because it isn’t open to developers.
Lastly, you can’t publish your personalized page on the web, or collaborate
on your page with others.”

What it comes down to is that Yahoo obviously has a huge store of content and
Web properties it can utilize in its personalized homepage. Whereas Pageflakes is one of
the ‘little guys’ (along with slightly bigger little guy Netvibes), so its
strengths and opportunities will be in opening up its platform and encouraging
use of content from all over the Web.

Also noteworthy is Steve
Rubel’s response
to My Yahoo Beta. Steve thinks that Yahoo has “abandoned the
geeks”. I see his point, which is that geeks usually prefer the early
adopter apps from Google and, yes, even Microsoft. Yahoo’s user base is huge and
very mainstream, so who can blame them for focusing on that. But actually I
think what the beta My Yahoo is doing is very much in tune with what geeks (like me)
want. Also Yahoo has done some neat geeky things of late, particularly with
Yahoo Pipes
. I don’t think they’ve abandoned the geeks, there’s still enough for
us to play with. But let’s face it, geeks are obviously not their biggest priority.

Update:Greg Linden picks up on the theme of personalization in the My Yahoo Beta, noting that it may also be applied to the Yahoo home page – i.e. both My Yahoo and yahoo.com “may soon adapt to your behavior and try to learn what you might want.”

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