Monday, November 9, 2009

Might be time to bail on My Yahoo

For more than a decade I’ve been using Yahoo’s My Yahoo as my homepage. It’s the first thing I see when I launch my Web browser.
But recent glitches with the Web property and Yahoo’s neglect of it and other services have got me thinking about switching to Google or Microsoft for my homepage.
I once thought I’d be safe forever with Yahoo. I figured that I could trust the Internet giant for my e-mail, my homepage and other services. But Yahoo’s decision to delete users’ GeoCities personal Web pages last month, its abandoning of its search business and other services have me questioning that logic.
Yahoo once wanted to be the people’s on-ramp to the Internet. It was the starting point for all of your activity online. It would bring together news, entertainment, e-mail and other services for you on its My Yahoo homepage.
But as Internet users have shifted their focus from homepages to search engines, Yahoo has neglected My Yahoo.
Case in point: in July, Yahoo refreshed its Yahoo.com home page. It added integration with Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Gmail and some of its own services like Flickr and OMG! But it never added those features to My Yahoo.
Yahoo has neglected its My Yahoo service and hasn’t significantly revamped it in years.
Meanwhile, Microsoft unveiled a refreshed version of its MSN portal on Nov. 3. (See All Things Digital story here.)
My issues with My Yahoo came to a head last week when Reuters news modules quit working on the homepage. Instead of being empty, they showed up as duplicate versions of AP new modules I was already using.
So my homepage now has two big boxes of AP news for Top Stories and for Technology News. The same issues occur with Reuters World News and Entertainment modules. My Yahoo just replaces them with AP modules.
I e-mailed tech support at Yahoo and their reply was not encouraging.
The Yahoo customer care representative wrote:

I understand you are no longer able to view certain news content on your My Yahoo! page. I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.
We are aware of this problem that you are reporting. Please be assured that I've taken note of this and have passed along the details to our engineering team who is intently investigating the issue. Unfortunately, we don't have an estimated fix date, nor can we offer a workaround at this time.

Not very encouraging.

Above: Screenshot of the duplicate AP news entry glitch on My Yahoo page.

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