Archived entries for Yahoo!

How To: Find Your “Friend ID” for Yahoo! My Web 2.0

I was looking for the url that points to my links on Yahoo!’s MyWeb 2.0 social search and social bookmarking product. When I’m logged in, it shows a clean url, but if you’re not logged in as me that generic url wouldn’t take you to my links.

I’m sure there’s an easier way to find this “public url” for your links, but I had a hard time finding it just now. Here’s how you can do it relatively quickly:

  1. Remember one of your most-recent or unique tags (that you’ve used to save a bookmark to MyWeb)
  2. Log out of Yahoo!
  3. Go to the “Everyone’s Tags” page and do a search for your tag.
  4. In the results, find your name in the “Shared by” of a link with that tag. Click your name.
  5. Copy that url, it’s the public view of your MyWeb page. Here’s mine.

This process could be smoother, but it must be on the to-do list. Others get it right, like Y!360, Y!Calendar, del.icio.us and Flickr. They all use your username in the url of your page: http://360.yahoo.com/triz_n, http://calendar.yahoo.com/triz_n, http://del.icio.us/natekoechley, http://flickr.com/photos/natekoechley/.

By the way, have you claimed your MyWeb badge yet?

Never enter your contacts into your mobile phone again.

The folks over in Yahoo! Mobile have just launched a new product called Contacts Back-up. Can you guess what it does? It’s about time, if you ask me. I’ve always been suprised that the carriers didn’t use they their network to offer this service.

Now save your contacts from your mobile phone into your Yahoo! account.

  • Combine your contacts on your phone with those already in your Yahoo! Address Book.
  • Synchronize your phone contacts with your Yahoo! Address Book as often as you like.
  • Synchronize your calendar and tasks as well.

It’s only for Cingular and T-Mobile at the moment. (Grrr, annoying how everything in the mobile space is so often carrier-exclusive.)

How else will the always-on network connection of phones change the services offered by carriers, the orthodox web, and the interactions of both?

XForms 1.0 Second Preview Available for Firefox 1.5 Beta 2

In addition to the great DHTML Accessibility code available in Firefix 1.5 (currently in beta) that I wrote about earlier, Firefox 1.5 Beta 2 supports the second preview of XForms 1.0.

Micah Dubinko (blog) served as an editor and author of the XForms 1.0 W3C specification, has written many articles for XML.com, and I’m happy to say is a recent addition to the ever-growing Yahoo! team. He’s a smart guy, and I’ve already had many interesting converstations with him on everything from XForms, to the role of the W3c, to Microformats.

He’ll definitely be part of the post I’ve been meaning to write about about all the great people that I get to work with. It’s almost getting silly – brilliant new people are coming onboard around every day. There have always been great people here, but the influx of new energy and ideas is, of course, wonderful. Just today: Tom Coates.

Upcoming.org, Welcome to Yahoo!

The great news continues to flow. Just a few hours ago it was announced that Upcoming.org is now a member of the Yahoo family.

(I stole the “family” phrase from Upcoming.org’s own Andy Baio. I must admit, it’s great to hear people are as excited to join the work here as we are to already be doing it. There is great work going on here, and and it is a great place to work.)

For those that haven’t been playing with Upcoming yet, here’s their blurb:

Upcoming.org is a social event calendar, completely driven by people like you. Manage your events, share events with friends and family, and syndicate your calendar to your own site.

As a side note, I’ve been playing with Microformats for a few things at work. “Designed for humans first and machines second, microformats are a set of simple, open data formats built upon existing and widely adopted standards.” Upcoming.com was an early adopter of these semantic markup structures, so I’m excited to have the experience around now. Of all the types, “events” are the perfect use case for this emerging technology.

Read more about Yahoo!/Upcoming on the ysearchblog, or any of the Upcoming.com guys’ blogs: Andy Baio, Leonard Lin or Gordon Luk.

Yahoo! My Web improves Search

If you’re not using Yahoo!’s My Web yet, allow me to recommend it. The value of My Web is what it does to your experience on Search.

At first glance, most see similarities between My Web and del.icio.us. It’s true, My Web contains a full featured social bookmarking service, complete with tags and RSS-love.

But My Web is much more than that: My Web is relevant search. Human-verified search. Better search.

Here’s a screen shot of a Yahoo! Search results page for javascript, with My Web enabled.

Y! My Web SERP

Over on Flickr, I’ve extensively annotated that screenshot. In short, it shows the following:

  • Of the about 265,000,000 results for javascript, 1,569 have the unique distinction of being personally saved and annotated by people in my community.
  • For each link, My Web shows who and how many people saved it, what they said about it, and if they’re currently online.
  • Lower on the page, the normal search results are enhanced and show which links have been saved by either me or my community, and any notes I may have made about the link.
  • For every result, there’s an quick way for me to save it to My Web. Thanks to the goodness of some AJAX DHTML, clicking Save brings up an on-page editor that lets me annotate and save the link without leaving or refreshing the page.
  • (As a bonus, Yahoo! Search also tells me if the site in question has an RSS feed, and if so gives me access to the XML feed, and a one-click “Add to My Yahoo!” link.)

In addition to an improved SERP, My Web also offers what I’ll call the “Browse” view (screenshot below, again annotated). The Browse View lets you surf the data in interesting and useful ways. There are three objects you can explore: Pages, Tags and Contacts. Pages are my favorite, exposing tons of interesting and relevant links. You can scope your exploration to My Pages, My Community’s Pages, or Everyone’s Pages. I spend most of my time on the My Community page, since these are the people I’m most interested in, who’s interests I care about, and who’s expertise I value. If Jeremy comments on MySQL, I know it’s a quality link. If Douglas Crockford saves a link on Javascript, I know it’s a must-read.

The pages — links — are arranged chronologically, with the most recently saved toward the top of the page. (You can sort by popularity, title or URL too.) The most common tags in my community are listed on the left. Clicking one limits the pages to those with that tag. Selecting multiple tags is an AND operation, so I can quickly see all My Communities links that deal with “CSS” + “Hacks”.

Y! My Web - Contact Page

I actually have this My Community page (not Jeremy’s page as in the screenshot above) set as my browser homepage. Each time I look at this page, I’m seeing the web sites my friends and colleagues have recently deemed worthy. I see high quality, fresh links, and get insight into what coworkers are thinking about at this very moment. More than once I’ve pinged somebody on IM to talk about something they just saved. It’s great for staying in-the-know.

There’s much more to My Web — invites, cached pages, a sweet API, RSS feeds for each facet, optional search history, tag clouds — but the two I described are the most important to me. I’ll let you discover the rest on your own, that’s half the fun, right?

If you want more information, there’s no place better than the official My Web blog or FAQ. Of you could read what Michael Nguyen, Yahoo!’s Jeremy Zawodny, or the blogosphere had to say.

Be on the lookout for new features all the time. In the last few weeks, the team has improved the auto-complete tagging features and the RSS feeds, and provided slick inline editing capabilities. 2.0 is lightyears better that the 1.0 product, and it’s getting even better every few days.

Have you tried it? What do you think? How do you use it? What features are most important to you?

PS: If you’re interested, it’s API is ready and waiting.

Yahoo! Instant Search (Instant Answer?)

Wow, this is slick. Before you’re even done typing, your answer is there in front of you. Don’t bother hitting “Search” or reaching for your mouse. No page refresh, just your answer, instantly.

(Plus, it’s a nice use of AJAX to improve the user experience.)

Instantly find the weather
Instantly check scores
Instantly check stocks
Instantly map an address
Instantly eat
Instantly convert

It works for a bunch of other “shortcuts” too, and I’m sure the list is ever-growing. Let me know if you have a good idea for a new one.

What do you think about this feature? Seems like a vastly more delightful user experience to me.

(Once again, Charlene Li has the scoop.)



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