In the "About Me" part of my Yahoo! 360° page I describe myself as
"a husband, a father, game player, and a pioneer of virtual worlds. For
more than 30 years, I've been connecting people with each other using
computers as the mediating technology..." Along the way, I've been sharing my experiences with
family, friends, and colleagues. Now, I get to tell you about
Yahoo! 360° -- a new model for online sharing that's easy and convenient for everybody.
During my years of online community building, I've seen many types of
social software emerge: email, chat, instant messaging, forums, groups,
multiplayer games, blogs, and twikis (to name a few).
Until now, most social software worked on a shared view, what
I'd call a we-centric model, where every participant sees the
same information as all the other participants. We all see the same posts
on a message board, the same conversation in a chat room. In effect,
communications are either public or private.
These days, as we publicly post more of our opinions, photos, and sensitive
information on the net, there's growing concern about spam and other threats
to our privacy. And there's a need for tools to help us manage real-world relationships that are becoming more and more digital. The time is right for me-centric community - a way
for you to get the information and connections you want, without giving
up control of your information. Yahoo! 360° lets you control not just
what you see but what others can see about you.
For example, I have different types of relationships -- friends, family, coworkers, IM buddies, mailing-list co-members, blog subscribers, etc. I want to share some of my info with some of these people, and some of it with others. Some stuff may not be appropriate or of interest to everybody.
On Yahoo! 360°, you can keep it simple and use the same settings for all your contacts, or you can decide how others experience you by grouping the people you know into me-centric communities (called categories). You set how different groups of people can contact you (via IM, email, blog comment, etc.), and you decide who can see your reviews, photos, and other personal stuff.
I've created categories for work (360° Team, Management) and personal
use (Family, Gamers, Alumni) -- it's easy for me to move people around,
or add them to multiple categories. The categories are invisible to
everyone but me. For example, my family can see my personal contact
info and photos, and my manager can check in and comment on my blog. :-)
We're extending the me-centric approach by integrating
your Yahoo! 360° identity controls with other Yahoo! services. For
example, you can choose to display your Yahoo! 360° nickname and
photo in your Groups. When you search on Yahoo! Local, the businesses with reviews written by your friends show up prominently.
The Yahoo! 360° team is excited about the official invitation-only beta starting today. Please sign up to be on our beta waiting list. We'll let you know when we open the beta to a larger audience.
Yahoo! Community Products Team