Monday, November 06, 2006

Yahoo! Food -- What's on the Menu?

I love Yahoo! really, I do. I use My Yahoo! as my homepage. I use Yahoo! Movies for finding showtimes and reviews. Heck, I even I met my husband on Yahoo! Personals. Needless to say, I was excited to hear that Yahoo! was going to launch a food site. That is until I saw it.

The newly launched Yahoo! Food is like your kitchen after a party, it's a big mess and it's hard to decide what needs cleaning up first. For one thing, it's difficult to imagine they did any usability testing. There is so much going on that it is virtually impossible to navigate. Unlike on My Yahoo! there are no options for page layout customization or personalization, features that Yahoo! pioneered. This is a crowded playing field and Yahoo! has not provided the cool new Web 2.0 tools or services that could make it a leader in this area.

In trying to provide as much content as possible, they have unfortunately not given us much that is valuable, fresh or with any particular point of view. The repurposed content is often very stale and the new content? Pathetic. Case in point the Party in a Box article that suggests creating "party boxes" filled with essentials that you can keep in the closet and whip out for various occasions. The box should include customized contents so you can entertain at a moments notice. Into the box goes things like candles, napkins, glasses, platters, bowls, and centerpiece supplies. This is just a dumb idea. Keeping bowls and platters in a box in your closet in case folks drop by? I don't think so.

You'd think Yahoo! might have access to great personalities and they do. Sadly the content is available elsewhere. Do we really want MORE from Rachael Ray and Martha Stewart two of the most overexposed food personalities around? I muddled through the site trying to find something juicy and that's when I came across this celebrity advice from a sizzling interview with Morgan Freeman:

Best dinner party tips and tricks?

"My wife always has our parties catered--she's not one of these people who likes to spend all day in the kitchen."

Yahoo! I expected something tastier from you. Let me know when you're ready to overhaul the menu.