I was very much looking forward to Yahoo's announcement Monday at the TechCrunch 40 conference. Especially after reading a report that Brad Stone of the New York Times had inadvertently gotten invited into Yahoo's new, supersecret social network, Mash (or Mosh) rumor of which had previously surfaced on the TechCrunch blog.
Yahoo will indeed demo a social network at TechCrunch 40, a spokesperson told me on the record. But not the FaceBook killer we're all waiting for. Rather, we'll see Yahoo Teachers, a site designed for grade school instructors that Yahoo has already talked about and for which there is already an official video demo. That's it. No big unveiling.
I'm not saying that Teachers won't be an important product for teachers, and, presumably, their students. The system should let teachers connect with each other to develop lesson plans, and it has a bookmark and content grabber called the Gobbler that is supposed to make it easy to create worksheets and handouts. Gobbler is rigorous about bringing content citations along with the content itself, I'm told. We don't want teachers inadvertently plagiarizing, after all. The product also has a database of state-by-state educational standards, and has tools for helping teachers make sure their lessons meet those standards.
The product will be free, and Yahoo hopes to launch it late this year or early next.
It looks promising. But I really want to hear more noise from Yahoo in the social network area.
Update: Yahoo is finally beginning to roll out Mash.