In Defense of My Yahoo

Brad Feld talks today about what he believes is the coming irrelevance of My Yahoo, and presumably other portals. We talked about this the other day when I provided my initial defense of portals.

Like me, Brad has used his customized My Yahoo page for many years, primarily to track stock prices and news for the public companies he follows. He has decided that his My Yahoo page has become less useful because he no longer checks stock prices several times a day and because he feels like he’s missing newsworthy stories by relying on My Yahoo’s relatively static content.

As I said the other day, I still find My Yahoo very useful.


I don’t check my stock prices daily either, but I really like having my entire portfolio listed on the left side of My Yahoo page- right below the overall market charts and summaries. I use the headlines, business, sports and tech stories in the middle of the page as a newspaper substitute. And I like the weather and sports scores on the right side. I think you can get more information faster from My Yahoo than you can sifting through a bunch of RSS feeds (having a separate RSS feed for every stock I follow seems highly cumbersome to me). Plus, as Fred Wilson points out, you can easily add and intermix any crucial RSS feeds with the other news feeds on your My Yahoo page.

One thing I very much agree with Brad about is the overwhelming effect of trying to list the news stories for all of your stocks on your main My Yahoo page. It is absolutely overwhelming. I tried it briefly and then decided to move all of my stock news to a separate My Yahoo page- you can have several and navigation back and forth is easy via the drop down menu at the top right of the page. So now I have a second page called “Investing” where I display the stock news stories. That page is still a little overwhelming, so candidly I don’t use it that much. But the information is there when I want it and it keeps my main My Yahoo page uncluttered and more newspaper-like.

As an aside, I use Morningstar for my stock news tracking purposes. You can customize your email alert preferences to get one email per day with links to all news stories about the stocks in your portfolio. I find this to be the perfect solution.

So while I am a big user of RSS feeds, I don’t think they serve the same purpose as My Yahoo or any similar portal. RSS feeds aren’t a good substitute for the morning paper, whereas My Yahoo is. That’s why I’m still a big fan of My Yahoo.

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