Yahoo moves Mash from beta straight to post-omega

Last September, when Yahoo launched an invitation-only beta of something called Mash, CNet’s Rafe Needleman wrote, “Yahoo’s new social network, Mash, is appropriately named. It feels like a mash-up of Facebook, MySpace, and Wikipedia. It’s taken the best — or, at least, most popular — features from these services and put them together in a very compelling social service. I strongly doubt it will suffer the same fate of that other social network, the failing Yahoo 360.” Hey, even Tiger Woods hits one out of bounds now and then.

Today, Yahoo announced that Mash will be trashed as of Sept. 29 and advised whatever users it still had to clean out their personal goods before then. Meanwhile, Yahoo 360 limps on for now. “Yahoo Mash never really caught on, but it did have some loyal followers,” writes Jason Mick at Daily Tech. “Part of the problem was that the site did little to distinguish itself from the social networking crowd or attract young people. Its biggest feature was that instead of inviting your friends to join you could instead create profiles for them and then encourage them to adopt the profile and customize it. This kind of approach was perceived by some to be somewhat invasive.” And when it comes to social networks, as CNet’s Caroline McCarthy reminds us, unless you’re bringing something legitimately new and useful to the show, you might as well stay on the porch. “In the days of AOL People Connection, the novelty factor of creating a profile and giving yourself an identity online was enough. But a decade later, filling out an online profile is about as interesting as filing tax forms,” she writes. “If Yahoo, or any other aspiring Facebook rival, wants to take social networking seriously, it has to give its millions of users a reason to create profiles and connect with friends. Virtual pets that your friends can ‘snorgle’ are not a reason. Neither are drag-and-drop widgets — that’s something that could draw people to a personal home page service, not a social network.”


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