Just visit my.yahoo.com and sign in with a Yahoo ID to get started. To populate your sign-in page, Yahoo makes it easy to choose from among subjects such as Health and Fitness, Shopping, and Science, or to pick from its list of services and multimedia content. Top RSS feeds include the New York Times, the BBC, and quirky stuff, such as Awful Plastic Surgery. You can add News, Entertainment, Sports, and Money packages of content prepicked by Yahoo. To grab niche news, blogs, or Yahoo Groups updates on, say, knitting, just enter knitting in the Find Content field and click the Add badge. Netvibes, by contrast, requires that you know the XML or ATOM address of a site before adding its feed.
My Yahoo offers more colors and design themes than its rivals, though we found many themes garish. You can add a kitten, a holiday motif, a camouflage pattern, or another background to please your visual palate. My Yahoo's interface offers plenty of white space--maybe too much, and it tends to pile content far down the screen, forcing you to scroll more than with a compact, tabbed layout such as that of Google Home, Windows Live.com, and Netvibes. Both My Yahoo and Live.com suffer a banner ad atop the page.
Yahoo innovated early in the home page space by helping users to create a personal sign-in site chock full of feeds, without needing to know a lick about RSS (Really Simple Syndication). However, Google Home and Netvibes have surpassed My Yahoo in flexibility and user friendliness. My Yahoo's endless scrolling makes it clumsy to move modules to the bottom of the page. Also awkward, creating a page takes you to a new screen. You can't just add a tab and tuck content behind it, as Netvibes, Google Home, and Windows Live.com allow.
Rather than dragging and dropping stuff on your page from the start, à la Netvibes, you can control where items appear within your desired two- or three-column My Yahoo layout during setup. In our tests, however, the Change Layout page wouldn't let us move individual items between columns--very awkward. It was frustrating that we couldn't drag content between columns. On the other hand, this arrangement could be more intuitive for people who are less savvy to the dynamic dragging-and-dropping of Web 2.0 services such as Netvibes. On the bright side, Yahoo's text is larger, and you can just mouse over a headline for a little pop-up explainer.