Sunday, March 3, 2013

Goodbye, Yahoo avatars, you won’t be missed

Yahoo is killing off a bunch more services to focus on the ones that matter. The struggling Web portal has routinely killed off services in recent years that haven’t caught on or died from neglect.
I understand why Yahoo is doing this. It needs to devote its resources to the areas where it can have the most impact and generate the greatest returns. I hope those areas include Yahoo Mail, My Yahoo, Yahoo Finance and Flickr, all services that I use and enjoy.
But when Yahoo terminates a service, it needs to give users good options to preserve their data. Too much information is lost when Internet services die.
I had a lot of photos and information on GeoCities when Yahoo pulled the plug on the blogging service in 2009. At the time, I downloaded the photos and HTML data to a folder, which sits untouched in my PC. I would have preferred a way to transfer that data to another blogging service and keep it online.
On April 1, Yahoo is killing seven more services. They include Yahoo Avatars, Yahoo Clues, Yahoo App Search, Yahoo Sports IQ, the Yahoo Message Boards website, Yahoo Updates API and the Yahoo app for BlackBerry.
I won’t miss those services, since I didn’t use them. I did create a Yahoo avatar at one time, but I found it to be pretty stupid. My Yahoo avatar didn’t look much like me, was very cartoony and had creepy blinking eyes.
Yahoo is letting users download their avatars, but only as tiny JPG or PNG image files. WTF?
Like I was saying, Yahoo needs to give users good options to save their personal data. Why can’t users download images of their Yahoo avatars that are larger than a postage stamp? Come on, Yahoo.
I created the image above by stitching together eight close-up shots of my Yahoo avatar.

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