Yahoo has launched the beta version of its all-new aggregator service, Yahoo Buzz, to a chorus of general indifference, laughter and even outright mockery.
Given that the beta only went live yesterday, the jury is still out on whether Yahoo has any real chance of competing with rival services such as Digg and Reddit.
However, that hasn’t prevented a small army of web-watchers from speculating. The general consensus is that Yahoo Buzz has got about as much chance of competing with Digg as the Yahoo search engine has of overtaking Google.
What's wrong with Yahoo?
From our brief trawl of popular blogs and technology sites, it appears that most commentators really don’t hold out much hope for Buzz at all. As one especially cynical commentator notes: “If you want to know what's wrong with Yahoo, you probably don't have to look much further than this morning's launch of Yahoo Buzz.”
Or, as another equally forthright commentator from the social networking news site, Mashable, notes: “Buzz is just Yahoo catching up with the times; there’s little innovation or novelty here”. He’s got a point too: there really isn’t anything new on Yahoo Buzz that its rivals aren’t already doing.
In fact, it seems that the only real glimmer of hope in Yahoo’s aggregating gameplan is the fact that the most ‘Buzzed Up’ stories will get the chance to feature prominently on the main Yahoo homepage. In fact, as of yesterday, users clicking the ‘More Featured’ link on the main window of the page were already being directed to the Buzz homepage.
Human moderation on front-page content
Of course, this could lead to Yahoo Buzz falling victim to orchestrated traffic-driving scams designed to bolster advertising revenue – something that Digg itself has fallen victim to in the past. But as the IHT reports, in order to countenance this Yahoo plans to impose some form of human moderation on featured front-page content.
In other words, even if enough people were to 'Buzz' a third-party news story about how Yahoo shareholders are attempting to sue the company over its rebuttal of the mighty Microsoft dollar, there’s pretty much zero chance it would ever make the Yahoo front page.
True Web 2.0 democracy in action? We think not.