Yahoo! Unveils! Another! Social! Networking! Also-Ran!

Kick-starts Kickstart


Yahoo! has launched another social networking service that few people are likely to use.

Yesterday, the behind-the-times web portal unveiled something called Y! Kickstart, a service aimed at youngsters struggling to make a go of it in the real world.

"Yahoo! realized that new graduates and college students were in dire need of a way to build a professional network, but that existing solutions were either too tailored to seasoned professionals, or too geared towards communicating and keeping in touch with friends," a company spokeswoman told us. "Kickstart is a professional network designed to meet that need through a community of college students, recent grads, professionals, and alumni."

So the company thinks it's found a niche between LinkedIn and Facebook. It's taken LinkedIn-style business networking and applied it to the social-networking-obsessed youngsters who've fallen head over heels for Facebook.

Yes, Facebook is now open to internet users of all ages, bridging the student and business worlds, but Yahoo! is sure that it's ill-suited to post-college job hunting. "College students are amazingly well networked on Facebook," reads a blog post from Scott Gatz, Yahoo! senior director of advanced products, "but that network is about connecting with friends and is more appropriate for fun - in fact many students we talked to expressed frustration that 'old folks' were coming onto Facebook and forcing them to lock down their profiles or worse yet - clean up their act."

Yahoo! Kickstart Logo

Yes, it's called Y! Kickstart.

You can believe this argument if you like, but we can't see that many youngsters using Kickstart alongside Facebook - and whatever other services they're already obsessed with. The market is ridiculously crowded as it is - as Yahoo! learned with its previous attempt at social networking, the failed Yahoo! 360.

Clearly, Yahoo! isn't afraid to fail again. Kickstart follows the arrival of another post-360 Yahoo! social networking service: Mash, which is now in beta. "Social media and networks are an emerging space that will continue to evolve in the coming years," that spokeswoman told us. "As such, Yahoo! is continually testing services in the market, and monitoring customer responses."

Yahoo! Kickstart Promo

Yes, Yahoo! thinks Facebook is trivial.

At the moment, Kickstart is in "preview mode," as Yahoo! attempts to coax those "professionals and alumni" to sign up for the service. You see, the college kids aren't going to join unless they know they'll meet someone who can get them a job. Yahoo! says it will donate $25,000 to the university that signs up the most alumni.

Will the new service run social networking apps built with Google's new OpenSocial APIs? Who knows. Yahoo! has yet to join the OpenSocial movement, and when we asked the company whether it planned on joining, it gave us several paragraphs of stuff like this: "As a company, we support industry efforts to form standards bodies that drive and govern the development of common standards. We believe these types of efforts are beneficial to the industry as a whole and are committed to embracing standards that are valuable to the developer community."

Of course, OpenSocial is a meager attempt to combat Facebook's web app API, Facebook Platform. So it really doesn't matter if Yahoo! joins the movement or not. The bottom line is that Kickstart is an also-ran. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading
  • Conti: Russian-backed rulers of Costa Rican hacktocracy?
    Also, Chinese IT admin jailed for deleting database, and the NSA promises no more backdoors

    In brief The notorious Russian-aligned Conti ransomware gang has upped the ante in its attack against Costa Rica, threatening to overthrow the government if it doesn't pay a $20 million ransom. 

    Costa Rican president Rodrigo Chaves said that the country is effectively at war with the gang, who in April infiltrated the government's computer systems, gaining a foothold in 27 agencies at various government levels. The US State Department has offered a $15 million reward leading to the capture of Conti's leaders, who it said have made more than $150 million from 1,000+ victims.

    Conti claimed this week that it has insiders in the Costa Rican government, the AP reported, warning that "We are determined to overthrow the government by means of a cyber attack, we have already shown you all the strength and power, you have introduced an emergency." 

    Continue reading
  • China-linked Twisted Panda caught spying on Russian defense R&D
    Because Beijing isn't above covert ops to accomplish its five-year goals

    Chinese cyberspies targeted two Russian defense institutes and possibly another research facility in Belarus, according to Check Point Research.

    The new campaign, dubbed Twisted Panda, is part of a larger, state-sponsored espionage operation that has been ongoing for several months, if not nearly a year, according to the security shop.

    In a technical analysis, the researchers detail the various malicious stages and payloads of the campaign that used sanctions-related phishing emails to attack Russian entities, which are part of the state-owned defense conglomerate Rostec Corporation.

    Continue reading
  • FTC signals crackdown on ed-tech harvesting kid's data
    Trade watchdog, and President, reminds that COPPA can ban ya

    The US Federal Trade Commission on Thursday said it intends to take action against educational technology companies that unlawfully collect data from children using online educational services.

    In a policy statement, the agency said, "Children should not have to needlessly hand over their data and forfeit their privacy in order to do their schoolwork or participate in remote learning, especially given the wide and increasing adoption of ed tech tools."

    The agency says it will scrutinize educational service providers to ensure that they are meeting their legal obligations under COPPA, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.

    Continue reading
  • Mysterious firm seeks to buy majority stake in Arm China
    Chinese joint venture's ousted CEO tries to hang on - who will get control?

    The saga surrounding Arm's joint venture in China just took another intriguing turn: a mysterious firm named Lotcap Group claims it has signed a letter of intent to buy a 51 percent stake in Arm China from existing investors in the country.

    In a Chinese-language press release posted Wednesday, Lotcap said it has formed a subsidiary, Lotcap Fund, to buy a majority stake in the joint venture. However, reporting by one newspaper suggested that the investment firm still needs the approval of one significant investor to gain 51 percent control of Arm China.

    The development comes a couple of weeks after Arm China said that its former CEO, Allen Wu, was refusing once again to step down from his position, despite the company's board voting in late April to replace Wu with two co-chief executives. SoftBank Group, which owns 49 percent of the Chinese venture, has been trying to unentangle Arm China from Wu as the Japanese tech investment giant plans for an initial public offering of the British parent company.

    Continue reading
  • SmartNICs power the cloud, are enterprise datacenters next?
    High pricing, lack of software make smartNICs a tough sell, despite offload potential

    SmartNICs have the potential to accelerate enterprise workloads, but don't expect to see them bring hyperscale-class efficiency to most datacenters anytime soon, ZK Research's Zeus Kerravala told The Register.

    SmartNICs are widely deployed in cloud and hyperscale datacenters as a means to offload input/output (I/O) intensive network, security, and storage operations from the CPU, freeing it up to run revenue generating tenant workloads. Some more advanced chips even offload the hypervisor to further separate the infrastructure management layer from the rest of the server.

    Despite relative success in the cloud and a flurry of innovation from the still-limited vendor SmartNIC ecosystem, including Mellanox (Nvidia), Intel, Marvell, and Xilinx (AMD), Kerravala argues that the use cases for enterprise datacenters are unlikely to resemble those of the major hyperscalers, at least in the near term.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022