Yahoos Redesign Embraces RSS

 
 
By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-09-29 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Its updated My Yahoo service brings syndication feeds more fully into its content mix.

As part of its site revamp launched on Tuesday, Yahoo Inc. further embraced XML syndication technology by mixing feeds from Weblogs and other sites more prominently into its My Yahoo service. The Sunnyvale, Calif., company unveiled a beta of the next generation of its personalized home-page service that includes RSS (Really Simple Syndication) and Atom feeds as part of a search and directory feature for finding content to add to My Yahoo. Yahoo started an RSS beta service in January that allowed users to aggregate feeds on their My Yahoo pages, but it was segregated in a section dedicated to RSS.
The updated My Yahoo service, though, has changed its model for adding content onto personalized pages.
"Its a powerful concept to be able to get anything on your page," said Scott Gatz, Yahoos senior director of personalization products. "Rather than just the thousands of things that people are used to, how about we open it to the millions of RSS feeds out there?" Instead of navigating among specific content modules such as Yahoo News categories, users can customize My Yahoo by searching across 150,000 types of content coming from Yahoo as well as syndication feeds from external publishers, Gatz said. My Yahoo also highlights content in a directory and a section of "Editors Picks." The search index and directory also grows as users choose to manually add other RSS feeds through an option to subscribe by entering a feeds URL, Gatz said.
Yahoo expects to move the updated My Yahoo out of beta in the next few weeks, Gatz said. Yahoo is acting as a Web-based RSS aggregator. It centrally polls for feeds at varying intervals rather than each time users log in to their My Yahoo pages. Click here to read about how startup Bloglines has opened its Web-based aggregation service to desktop applications in order to address bandwidth issues. But beyond aggregation, the company is working with publishers. It began a program early in the year where Web publishers could include "Add to My Yahoo" links and buttons to their sites so users could automatically subscribe to feeds. Sites such as CBS MarketWatch, The New York Times, Forbes.com and Craigslist are using the links. Over the next couple months, "Add to My Yahoo" links will be added throughout the network of Yahoo sites, Gatz said. Already, the links are included in Yahoo News, where users can search for a topic such as elections and then, with one click, save the search for tracking through My Yahoo. "Were trying to make it so people can add content more closely to where they consume it," Gatz said. Yahoo also launched a new page, rss.yahoo.com, dedicated to explaining and answering questions about RSS for consumers and publishers. Check out eWEEK.coms Messaging & Collaboration Center at http://messaging.eweek.com for more on IM and other collaboration technologies.

Be sure to add our eWEEK.com messaging and collaboration news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page

 
 
 
 
Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for eWEEK.com, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for eWEEK.com. Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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