Journal: News & Comment

Saturday, July 01, 2006
# 4:38:00 PM:

Jeremy Zawodny of Yahoo! at Gnomedex

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What's annoying about social networks and tools online? What can we do to fix it?

  • Good, Dave and Steve are warmed up now and ready for this discussion.
  • Here to represent Yahoo! about social software and social media.
  • "Bloggers love to bitch about things."
  • What are the problems with social software, what can we do to fix it?
  • Think about the need, make them less complicated, connect them so they're not all data islands.
  • Eric Rice: We talk about users, we don't talk about people.
  • Forget the terminology: it's really "I watched this, I downloaded that, I did this."
  • Do user testing, you'll be amazed.
  • We really don't know what normal people do when they sit in front of their computers.
  • Challenge yourselves to think beyond the screen and create innovative, usual ways of interacting with applications.
  • Three dimensions: the geographic dimension (don't forget Europe, Asia, Africa, South America), the time dimension (Office may be dying, but it's still here now), the scale dimension (build platform-like products that people can build niches on top of).
  • Technologies that change the world must deal with all of those dimensions.
  • You can easily proclaim something dead, but what will replace it?
  • Chris's dad uses a computer about 4 hours a day, mostly in Excel and Word, little time online.
  • Kaliya: we need to make the legal regime match what the technology enables, to protect people online the way they are protected at home.
  • The real reason Scoble left is he got too old.
  • But older people are a key demographic for online services.
  • Marc: we need a clear roadmap from Yahoo!
  • There are problems to resolve the old-school and new-school systems within Yahoo!
  • You bought all these companies, so what are you going to do?
  • Hard for people in this room to solve problems we don't know exist.
  • What are Gnomedexers going to do to reach the masses, rather than belly-butting egos?
  • Buzz: you can focus on the MySpace crowd who'll buy ringtones, or you can focus on the people with the money.
  • We're focusing on tools and engineering instead of context.
  • Understand what people need to do in their lives.
  • Step away from the computer once in awhile.


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