yahoo – Stay N Alive

The Marissa Mayer Era is All About Product

People keep saying Yahoo engineers and employees are going to feel less-likely to want to leave Yahoo now that +Marissa Mayer is the CEO. While I’m sure it will be a more comfortable environment, I would be worried right now if I worked there. Here’s why:

Yahoo needs a complete reboot.

If Marissa’s smart, she’ll kill just about everything except a few core projects the company is good at, and start over. Yahoo’s now the underdog, which means they need to move fast. They need to go back to startup mode. The mode Google was in when Marissa joined Google. They’ve got to be able to move faster, move better, and out-pace the likes of Google and Facebook as they move forward. They need a core focus as they do this.

For that reason I anticipate many employees being let go and Yahoo going back to core principles and values. Yahoo, more than anything needs to focus.

My Yahoo? Goodbye. Yahoo mail? Goodbye. Flickr? Goodbye. You can probably say most programs outside search, social, and perhaps mobile will go. Or, Yahoo will decide a different focus and get rid of everything that is not that. If they don’t, Yahoo won’t survive. They simply can’t, nor can they move fast enough right now to beat the competition. In many ways, this is what Google did with Google+ (but Google could afford not to need to lay anyone off in the process). I bet Marissa does the same at Yahoo, at even greater scale.

Marissa’s an expert at Product Management – that’s what she did at Google. This means she’ll pick a few products, iterate quickly, and move fast. Then, they’ll expand from there and adapt as they grow. At the moment Yahoo’s stuck in waterfall mode and Marissa’s the perfect person to get them out of that mess.

Posted originally on Google+.

Yahoo Launches SQL Interface to Twitter

Every time I switch to jQuery, Yahoo’s YUI libraries seem to keep luring me back.  Just yesterday, Yahoo added one more tool to its arsenal of YQL libraries that actually makes the Twitter API intuitive, giving me another reason yet to switch back to yui, or at least consider using Yahoo a little more as I develop tools for the Social Web.  The new YQL set of tables for Twitter enables any developer to use simple SQL-like queries to retrieve and post Twitter data.

For simple user queries, getting a user’s twitter profile data is as simple as something like “SELECT * FROM twitter.status WHERE id=’8036408424′;“.  To insert data, you simply need to provide the oauth consumer key and secret, along with the user’s oauth tokens and you can do things like post new status updates for the user, all in Javascript!  A subsequent call to post a user’s status would look like:

INSERT INTO twitter.status (status, oauth_consumer_key, oauth_consumer_secret, oauth_token, oauth_token_secret)
VALUES (‘tweeting from yql!’, ‘@your_consumer_key’, ‘@your_consumer_secret’, ‘@your_access_token’, ‘@your_access_secret’);

The cool thing about Yahoo’s YQL Twitter interface is I can also choose to only pull specific information out for the user.  I’m not quite sure the benefit this gives you considering Yahoo is probably still retrieving the entire subset of data from Twitter (you can’t pull specific pieces of data out of specific objects in the Twitter API), but at least it’s possible, something I’ve been craving from the Twitter API for quite awhile.  It is unclear if Yahoo is caching this data, and if so, it could provide some significant performance benefits, with Yahoo doing most of the work on their own backend.

Yahoo’s YQL puts them one level above Facebook’s own FQL query language for accessing Facebook data by enabling developers to not only access data like this for Twitter, but also other environments like Facebook as well.  Yahoo has an entire database of “community tables”, where, if specific APIs aren’t provided, the community can create their own tables to that interface and give developers immediate access to those APIs via a simple, standardized SQL interface to those platforms.

This type of API is exactly what I was looking for from the likes of Google’s Friend Connect APIs (and Google has still failed to provide) – a standardized platform where one single API gives me access to all the different APIs out there.  Now with standardized SQL I can access almost any API, and if that API doesn’t exist yet I can create my own interfaces into each API that, once created will also have access via that SQL interface.

Yahoo now has my attention with this launch.  The API has a web interface, where a call as simple HTTP GET to[query_params] returns an entire structure of XML data my application can access.  They provide a YUI Javascript interface into the table structure so you don’t need a backend if you don’t want one, and I get all this for all the APIs I interface with.

I will now be looking into the Yahoo APIs as I look to interface the limitless APIs available out there thanks to Yahoo’s focus on cross-platform integration of their YQL interface.  I like that Yahoo isn’t being selfish with this.  With YQL, Yahoo has finally created a glue that lets me access all the APIs I need to access as a Building Block Web brick builder.

Live Blogging the Web 2.0 Expo: Yahoo Announces Y! OS #web20expo

Picture 8.pngYahoo’s keynote proved very interesting. In it they announced a new technology they call, Y! OS. This technology is to be the beginning of a new Open, Social Strategy for Yahoo, and with the technology, as they term it, they are “Re-wiring Yahoo”.

Starting today, Yahoo is opening up the beta for their Search Monkey platform, which is to be a new way to organize and format search results. He showed some interesting formatting of search results with reviews, descriptions, etc.

According to them, Yahoo’s open strategy is about opening up all the properties of Yahoo. First of such will be an Application platform. They will be socializing all of their properites, unifying the user profiles, and integrating the ability to add “applications” across all Yahoo properties and apply Social properties to those applications.

According to Yahoo, they are “Not creating ‘yet another social network'”. Yahoo does not view “Social” as a destination. It should be an integrated environment. He showed some examples of integration within the Yahoo mail environment, showing a way to pop up messages most relevant to the individual through the Social Graph. Taking Yahoo portable will also be an integral part of this.

Yahoo says that later this year the first version of Y! OS will be delivered. This will include the beginning of Social Graph and Application Development platform, and an entirely new dimension of developing applications at Yahoo will become available.

This is huge news for Yahoo – it puts them up at par with Google and Facebook, and will change the way you use the internet as you know it. Expect to see more from Google along these lines in the future – I believe the iGoogle OpenSocial integration predicts this. With Yahoo as a part of the OpenSocial foundation, I expect them to integrate OpenSocial as part of this, and move to a fully social strategy. I’m very excited for this announcement and look forward to Y! OS to come into play at the end of this year.

Yahoo Joins OpenSocial, Google Announces OpenSocial Foundation

Today Yahoo announced that they are joining forces with the OpenSocial platform, and will be joining both Google and MySpace to build “The OpenSocial Foundation”. This new foundation “will seek to ensure that the technology behind OpenSocial remains implementable by all, freely and without restriction, in perpetuity.” It is modeled after the current industry-supported OpenID foundation. As an addition to that announcement, Google has released “” to promote the development of OpenSocial on a standard platform away from the Google environment.

Read more about it over at OpensocialNow!