As Jeremy has noted, microformats are slowly but profoundly moving the web to the open, data rich, info cornucopia we’ve all been dreaming about. Yahoo is clearly the leader as “Web 2.0 Stylist” and one wonders if Google is going to be left wondering what hit them as developers and users move increasingly towards the simple but data rich environments Yahoo’s been creating for some time.
I’m beginning to wonder if Yahoo’s challenge in increasing market share, and thus stock price, is counterintuitive. Yahoo has effectively matched Google in search quality and has created a LOT of excellent applications and rich APIs while Google has simply stuck to a few great basics like gmail and search.
Perhaps the choice is simply overwhelming people who are thus choosing to stick with Google’s search interface (still simpler than Yahoo’s). Malcolm Gladwell has noted that when presented with too many purchase options people actually may choose fewer items than if presented with a smaller number of options. Could Yahoo’s problem be that they simply are doing too GOOD of a job ushering in Web 2.0 ?
Update: When Jeremy over at Yahoo took me to task on this post I realized I’d not expressed myself clearly and it looked like I was talking about a search comparison. (I’m leaving the post intact since he references it with a lot of comments.) I was not talking about Yahoo vs Google in search as much as Yahoo vs Google in the many other 2.0 projects like Flickr, APIs, and social networking features where I think Yahoo is beating out Google but not getting enough credit for seeing the future of the internet more clearly than most.