Yahoo! has launched a new site for having their users vote on the new features. Yahoo! blog Yodel Anecdotal describes the feature as below:
When you find something broken on the Web, product folks at small web sites are usually easy to connect with. But visitors to sites with significant traffic usually have a tougher time lobbing input directly to site development teams about the good, the bad, and the screwed up. That’s changing for Yahoo! — we’ve brewed up a swanky new community-based recipe for collecting feedback that’s making its way across a number of our sites. It started with Yahoo! Autos and has proliferated across 14 other properties.
We call it a Suggestion Board — you can browse suggestions from other site visitors or post your own. Digg-style voting means we can quickly discover what’s most important to users. In addition to reading feedback from other users, you’ll find responses from Yahoo! employees about the issues. Product teams regularly read and take action on your feedback. Though we aren’t always going to immediately act on it, it’s incredibly helpful to us in making the best sites we can… and we’ve even been known to reward great suggestions with some Yahoo! schwag.
Check out the Suggestion Boards that are now live: Answers, Autos, Autos Custom, My Yahoo!, Pipes, Real Estate, Site Explorer, Travel, TV, Upcoming.org, Yahoo! Developer Network, and Yahoo! Developer Network Gallery.
There is a lot of Buzz around the blogosphere and Digg about the similarities between the Yahoo!’s and Digg’s model for voting. But beyond that I think this is a very clever way for Yahoo! to take a pulse of the users. I tend to think that Yahoo! Suggestion Board might be a better application of social voting then Digg like social bookmarking where voting tends to go in herds. One way Yahoo! can improve the product is by limiting the number of votes each user can make, thereby forcing them to be judicious. Another way to empower the community could be to commit to implementing 10% of the top user suggestions in the course of next release. (I guess I should post the suggestion at the suggestion board, suggestion board:-)). In fact, if you are a product manager at a big company, this kind of application could prove valuable in setting short term and long term product direction…Anybody working on that???