Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Yahoo! and the open movement

If Web1.0 was the reign of static sites and Web2.0 is the reign of social networks, Web3.0 may just be the reign of the mashup and widget, and Yahoo will be at the forefront of that change.

This was my key takeaway from a series of talks Yahoo Philippines held today at the National Sports Grill in Greenbelt.

Mashups and widgets involve major internet players like Yahoo and Google opening their applications to the general public. An example is Yahoo's BOSS (Build your Own Search Service) which gives developers access to the entire search index of Yahoo. Techcrunch has provided a very good timeline of Yahoo's open strategy, here. That actually uses a BOSS-derived product (customized in less than 30 seconds!) running a search of "Yahoo BOSS" in techcrunch.com

Check out the screenshot below for a sample site developed using BOSS.
Putting Yahoo in your site...
I am not a developer but I see the power of putting Yahoo apps in your websites. Customized Yahoo! news feed for my site filtered to my users' preferences, in-page Yahoo messenger, Yahoo! answers feed, there could be many things that can be done, and with my limited developer knowledge this barely touches the surface. What's better is we can also combine with other services. (For instance, I would like to see how Y! can work with a Popfly mashup, or combine Yahoo with Google/Skype/Twitter/Plurk/)

I accessed the Developer site of Yahoo at http://developer.yahoo.com and I was immediately pulled to the API documentations of its popular services like Answers, Flickr, delicious, and even the relatively new Fire Eagle. I would like to see some local Filipino sites leverage these... I may actually use some of these for an upcoming project I am working on.

Yahoo mentioned the need to become more active in social networks without necessarily stealing the traffic away from the networks. Instead, Yahoo would become more socially-oriented. Just what that exactly means, I am not sure. Can we check our social networks right from within Yahoo? Update our status in the networks using Yahoo apps? It's pretty much a wild world out there.

Right now, Yahoo mentioned it can only support having mashups with members of the OpenSocial movement, but will increase its scope in the future.

Digital marketing applications
We all know that Yahoo is very popular in the Philippines. Yahoo mail and messenger are staples of the Filipino internet lifestyle. Having these services within a branded site (of course, need to add that "special value-added service") will be beneficial for that brand, I think. I haven't seen executions of that style yet though.

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