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Excite, Yahoo Debut Community Areas

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Excite, Yahoo Debut Community Areas

From The Search Engine Report
September 2, 1998

Not content with just offering home pages, Excite unveiled a beta version of its new communities service on August 17. The next day, Yahoo launched a similar service called Yahoo Clubs.

The idea behind both services is to allow users to create "communities" or identity areas that revolve around a particular topic. For example, a community might focus on a family, a business or even a television show.

At Excite, community areas can have their own calendar of events, photo albums, shared bookmarks, contact lists and discussion areas. Discussions can also be attached to objects in the community, such as an event or a photo.

There is also a great deal of control over who can join and participate in a community. A community can be open to anyone or only open by invitation. Privileges can also be assigned as to how members can build or change content within the community.

Unfortunately, the beta test status means you may have to wait to be able to create communities or join existing ones. In the meantime, an online tour offers the curious a look at what Excite is offering.

Over at Yahoo, its communities service is completely live. When you first enter the site, you'll find listings of club areas organized along the lines of the main Yahoo directory.

The community tool offerings are sparser than at Excite. The clubs don't have photo albums, shared calendars or contact lists. Like Excite, Yahoo offers shared link lists and message boards.

Clubs are either listed or unlisted. If listed, anyone can join them and participate. If unlisted, then only those you invite to the club location will participate.

Be warned, most of the clubs at Yahoo have one or two members, at the moment. That's not surprising, given that the service has just launched. You may also find yourself drilling down to find a club, only to discover that the category exists, but no actual club has been created.

Excite Communities
http://www.excite.com/communities/new/

Yahoo Clubs
http://clubs.yahoo.com/

Yahoo offers community building
News.com, Aug. 18, 1998
http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,25368,00.html

Details on the number of registered Yahoo users (18 million) and how Yahoo plans to set up opt-in mail promotions to take advantage of its new communities offerings.


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