Page creation from Yahoo! and Google

I've been playing around with the page creation tools on Google and Yahoo! today. This was mostly inspired by the fact that today is the first time (in about six months of trying) that I've managed to get into the Google Pages site without getting an error message of some kind... I guess these sites are intended to compete in the MySpace market, though I've no personal experience with MySpace so I can't say how they compare to that.

Anyway, Google Pages is built around a wiki principal with rich text editing. There is an option to edit the HTML directly, which I found I had to resort to several times when the buttons didn't really work - particularly when adding links or trying to make unordered lists. In fact, if I hadn't been able to edit the HTML myself I don't think I'd have got very far - which I expect is not what Google are aiming for, since the folk who are already comfortable editing HTML are unlikely to need an a WYSIWYG online page creator. On the plus side there was a wide selection of OK looking templates and the generated code is fairly clean. See my finished Google Pages page.

The Yahoo! 360° service is more structured the Google Pages service, more in a traditional portal style and built around blogging combined with the more traditional Yahoo! profile page. The goal of the service seems to be allowing you to easily aggregate content from around the web as well as link you to other Yahoo! 360° profiles you may be interested in. You can create your own blog and add RSS feeds to other blogs you are interested in, unfortunately I couldn't get the feeds to work at all - no error messages or anything, I pasted the URLs in and it seemed to accept them but no feeds appeared and the section continued to display the 'Click here to add feeds' message. The 'lists' feature works OK though, and allowed me to discover a whole host of other Yahoo! users who also like My Name is Earl. There are several different templates, but you're stuck with the basic portal structure whatever one you choose (if you don't have any content for the right column, for instance, you're just left with an empty white space), probably they don't want it to compete too directly with Geocities. See my finished Yahoo! 360° page.

Overall, the Yahoo! system was much easier to use and required no technical knowledge, but I personally prefer the extra freedom offered by Google Pages and I think that will see more use when it works properly.