Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Is Yahoo! really the personal aggregator?

Sonny asked if Yahoo!'s personal search is the kind of personal aggregation I wrote about last week.

I just spent a few minutes playing with the service and, yes, it is some of what I was talking about. Certainly, it links a web search with an easy way to save and share your results (not just your results but also the sites you actually visited). The key, for me, is the ability to port in a variety of content -- emails, etc -- and not just have another way to share my bookmarks.

Related to this, in the comments on my earlier post Phil (hi, boss-man!) points out that

Seems to me that online privacy is always teetering on extinction. In fact much of the time I feel like that battle is already lost. But the idea of a company aggregating *everything* about my online experience, and the potential for what they could mine and sell related to me... well... that seems a bit too Orwellian for my tastes.

I didn't mean to imply that items would be aggregated/shared without my explicit consent. I would have to mark them for publication in some way.

The fact is, Google already knows a lot about me. Aggregating it onto a portal page only makes explicit the knowledge the company already holds.

Personally, I think that one part of privacy is creating and maintaining an indentity. And I think an online identity is one piece of that.

I have a draft of some thoughts about how this relates to nonprofits. More on that when I'm not fresh from vacation and facing a slew of emails and interesting links in bloglines.