Yahoo has redesigned its homepage, on the same day it announced improved profits (thanks in large part to the painful cost cutting of the past few quarters). Quite directly, Yahoo says “This new launch represents the most significant change to our homepage since the company’s inception.”
That’s quite a statement. I’ve spent some time on the page, and I’m not sure it lives up to that billing. The big deal, in short, is Yahoo’s promotion of other sites that are not in Yahoo’s immediate family – Facebook, Myspace, and eBay made the permanent list of integrated suggestions – you can get your updates on a customized Yahoo page (no Twitter, sorry) – and the first splash I got suggested – quite randomly – This Old House and a few others.
The parts of the home page that are not customized are overwhelmingly LCD (lowest common denominator) – very celebrity focused, for example. What to do? That’s what binds us all, I guess.
I do think this is MyYahoo reborn and updated for the way the web works, but it can’t be so random in its suggestions (kinda like Twitter is in its suggested users). In short, it has to go all the way – it has to become the ultimate aggregator for the “rest of the web” if it’s going to work – and that means that the mass of Web users have to understand what that means. Given that most folks have no idea what an RSS reader is, and even more folks have no idea what TweetDeck is – this is going to be a challenge.However, Yahoo has a lot of data on what users are doing, and can tune those suggestions over time to create a good experience, should it chose to lean in there. But I like the direction. It strikes me as the right way to go.