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Technology

Decentralization Podcast

Just listened to a great podcast by Dave Winer. He talks about the internet’s great ability to decentralize markets (eBay for p2p commerce, Expedia for travel, etc) and how RSS, blogging and podcasting are decentralizing the publishing business by offering low cost publishing channels to anyone with a computer and allowing us to route around newspapers and radio stations, the previous gatekeepers of publishing channels.

What struck me most about this is the relationship between decentralization and increased information flow. Every time we decentralize something, we end up on the receiving end of a lot more information. For example, we can now book airline tickets without going through a travel agent, but we’re also faced with lots of travel information to sort through. Similarly with RSS and blogging, we can get news directly from ‘real people’, but we’re faced with thousands of blog posts everyday to scan. This could be a bad thing (information overload) or a good one (Dave stipulates that humans are actually quite well suited to this type of information processing). In either case, it seems like a great opportunity for software developers. People seem to have an insatiable appetite for an ever increasing amount of information which the internet is glad to supply, but the software tools to process and interact with that information are still in their infancy. For example, RSS readers are still in their first generation and barely able to let us effectively interact with blogging content and already the next waves of content – photos, tags, geolocation data, etc – are building.

Categories
Technology

1 Million RSS Feeds

I learned last week that Yahoo publishes over 1 million RSS feeds (!), a summary of which can be found here. This includes about 800k feeds from public Yahoo Groups and about 60k company news feeds from Yahoo Finance, but it does not count the dynamically generated feeds from Yahoo News (scroll down to “Create your own RSS news feeds”). That’s a lot of data for consumers and developers to tap into.

BTW, here are some other places to tap into Yahoo: Music Engine plug-ins, Search APIs, Flickr APIs, Search Marketing advertiser APIs, Maps links.

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Technology

Konfabulator countdown

Konfabulator is counting down to their 2.0 release. Looks like their site will reveal some clues every day leading up to the release. Also, I just saw a very promising product that Adaptive Path is working on. Can’t wait to try it.

Categories
Technology

A New Project

I’ve taken on a new role at Yahoo, moving from the Mail team where I helped integrate Oddpost into Yahoo, to the Platform team where I will be working on expanding developer.yahoo.net. It’s a very exciting project. We’re in the process of opening Yahoo up to third party developers and expanding Yahoo’s reach from the traditional *.yahoo.com sites to Yahoo-enabled products across the web. More info will follow as we get closer to launching new things.