Why I Continue to NOT use Yahoo
From the very early days of the Internet, there was something messy to me about Yahoo’s approach with a directory of Web sites that felt inefficient and that the onus was on me to drill down until I finally discovered what I was looking for on their site. Their home page also always seemed incredibly cluttered…as though an accountant was in charge of design and efficiently using up every pixel of white space.
There are useful services like Yahoo Finance that I use daily. Yahoo News often is either sent to me by a friend or colleague and I frequently end up at a Yahoo page following a link. But sometimes I just want to be entertained or catch up on the news without any technology getting in the way.
This morning I’m up early and decided to find the video of the rats caught scurrying about a Taco Bell in New York City. Yahoo has the Associate Press story with associated video footage.
I click to open the video in Firefox on the Mac and wait….and wait…and wait. Just the commercial for NetFlix…no video of rats running around (and it never does play, by the way). Next I open Safari in case there’s a hiccup with the dozens of plug-ins I have running in Firefox. I wait…and wait…and wait…no video…ever.
I launch Parallels and fire up WindowsXP and go to the story. The NetFlix commercial plays and within seconds the video plays. I get to enjoy the appalling spectacle of rats in a restaurant and get to reminisce about the cockroaches I’ve watched climbing walls while trying to swallow my fast food in Manhattan.
Everything is current on the Mac including the Flip4Mac plugin that allows Windows Media to play in Mac’s Quicktime player. I used to have issues with CNN’s site playing video as well as my local CBS affiliate (which has just bypassed the issue altogether as their parent Viacom has chosen Flash video as its format) but they have taken a strategic, non-vendor-centric media delivery method that works and makes it easy for us, the user.
I’m not sure what Yahoo is or is trying to be. Buying Flickr; creating Yahoo Pipes; embracing virtually all the Internet-as-a-platform standards without trying to control them all like other media-wannabee tech companies we know; these are all incredibly smart moves. But if they can’t get drop-dead-basic stuff like video to play on ALL platforms without ANY hiccups, they have to stop pretending they’re a media company.
About Steve Borsch
Connecting the Dots Podcast
Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.