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Yahoo

Yahoo Mail Reviews Coming In

Official reviews are coming in.

“The new interface is stunning in its simplicity and ease of use”

“The new Yahoo Mail is far superior to Gmail”

Categories
Yahoo

Yahoo Mail Beta

The former Oddpost team and many people on the Yahoo Mail team have been working overtime to launch the new Yahoo Mail to public beta users this week. It’s very exciting to see such a high quality product launch to one of the biggest audiences on the web. You can sign up to try it here (not sure how long it will take to get an invite). In the meantime, there are lots of good reviews popping up. One of my favorites so far is by Paul Kedrosky (who seems quite unimpeachable when it comes to product opinions – make sure you click through, he’s got one of the best review opening lines I’ve seen in a while).

Categories
Technology

Many Sidebars

So Google released Sidebar which is competitive with Konfabulator. What I find interesting about it is that they called it Sidebar. There is already a similar product called Desktop Sidebar. More importantly, Microsoft has been showing a similar feature as part of Vista, their next version of Windows, and they’ve been calling it Sidebar for ages as well. Obviously Google knows this. Are they using the same name as Microsoft to annoy them or is sidebar supposed to become a standard name for this kind of thing?

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Technology

RocKstar

It’s been a while, and I’ve been waiting for something important to blog: Rockstar: INXS rules! Just kidding (though Jordis is going to win).

But seriously, I’ve been working on a very exciting project: Yahoo’s acquisition of Pixoria, the makers of the amazing Konfabulator software. As of today, Konfabulator is part of Yahoo and available for free (it previously cost $20 per user). If you haven’t already, you have to try it out. Konfabulator lets you run awesome, beautiful mini-applications called Widgets on your desktop.

There are widgets to display weather reports, stock portfolios, kitty cat clocks, anything you want them to be. Widgets are very easy to make using XML and javascript. There are over 1000 of them at www.widgetgallery.com. Konfabulator was built by three very talented guys, Arlo Rose, Perry Clarke and Ed Voas. They are the latest testament to how a small group of engineers and designers can have a huge impact in Silicon Valley. The three of them will join my Developer Network team at Yahoo where they will continue to push the envelope of their widget platform and help widget developers from around the world create and distribute amazing widgets.

Jeffrey points to some early press coverage.

Categories
Yahoo

New Yahoo Mail Coming

The fruits of Yahoo’s acquisition of Oddpost are starting to emerge into public view. Yesterday, we offered a few people a sneak peak of a new version of Yahoo Mail that’s based on Oddpost’s technology. There’s some discussion on it on the web. I particularly like Ross’s commentary.

Comparisons between the new Yahoo Mail and Gmail will be inevitable. However, I think it’s important to point out that the two products are aimed at somewhat different audiences. Yahoo Mail serves well over 100 million mainstream internet users. Gmail is aimed at early adopters (and as far as I know has a couple million users).

I’m a little biased, but I think this new version of Yahoo Mail will have a significant impact on people’s use of web mail. It will accelerate the move away from desktop mail by making web mail so fast and convenient that most users will never look back.

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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.

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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.