SAN FRANCISCO -- Web 2.0 Expo -- At
this morning's keynote session at the Web 2.0 Expo, Ari Balogh, CTO! of Yahoo!, made
some announcements about his employer's current and pending plans for the coming year
to open up and add across-the-board social capabilities.
The first step in the process is the beta launch of "Search Monkey" -- a set of open-source tools
allowing users to build apps, generating innovation around search engine
results pages. "We want to let developers do whatever mashup that makes
sense to make search results more relevant for the user," said Balogh.
"[Search monkey] gets the user from 'to-do' to 'done' that much more
But, for Yahoo, openness will not
stop there, said Balogh: "Yahoo's open strategy is about opening up all
properties in Yahoo." This includes opening up both its
application platform and social platform.
The application platform, he said,
is a mechanism by which Yahoo gives consumers a choice, lets them protect their data,
and gives them a single place for managing applications. "There's tremendous potential for creativity here for people to create fun and useful
applications in terms of getting work done across the day. Literally,
we'll be able to allow consumers to put applications on their front page
developed by developers outside of Yahoo."
But fun 'n' frolics are only half the equation,
said Balogh. The other half is the social platform, which will allow users to
"unify all profiles throughout Yahoo."
In talking about the social aspect, however, Balogh made it a point to make
one thing clear: "We are not creating yet another social network. We are
going to rewire the entire Yahoo experience to make it social in every
dimension." Making a strict distinction between Yahoo's idea of sociability and social networking sites, like Facebook, he added, "We experimented with social for a while. We
don't think of social as the destination. We think of social as the
Balogh demonstrated that the social graph will let users personalize an email home page, for example, to enable pop up messages to alert them to email messages they likely care more about, based on their close, online relationships. "The same idea [applies] on the front page," he said, demonstrating that users could rewire their event streams to show updates of interest from on and off Yahoo.
"All the work across Yahoo is being done to rewire
properties to create social experience and open up APIs in a consistent way... To make consumer experience at Yahoo social throughout."
The innovation and the energy is there for Yahoo to open up in a way we haven't seen before, and it ties into the company's recent promise for semantic search -- but with a potential Microsoft acquisition looming, can we count on Yahoo to see this all the way through?
— Nicole Ferraro, Site Editor, Internet Evolution