Yahoo!’s Web 2.0 Strategy

The first workshop of the first day. I got into the room early and am right at the back in the corner... next to the power!! Why, oh why don't these conferences ever sort out the power? That's what comes of choosing a 150 year old building to host the conference, beautiful though it is. Onto the workshop...

Brief notes only...

First up is a set of slides describing Flickr's building blocks of participation which is very similar to our thinking at Talis:

  • user generated content - not licensed from providers but contributed by users
  • user organised content - tagging, categorising
  • user and publisher distributed content
  • user developed functionality - exposed api etc

The discussion moves onto tagging and how it gives social context particularly through the recent introduction of geocoding. A search for lighthouses shows photos around the coast and a search for route 66 shows that photos along that road on a map. Sort of infered semantics, but there's the obvious sloppiness inherent in this - probably ok if your only audience is humans.

Dimensions of participation...

  • WHAT: topic, tags, categories
  • WHEN: time, events, duration
  • WHO: identity, reputuation, relationships
  • WHERE: location, size, surface

It's interesting to see these being rediscovered in the web2.0 world, see Danny's work

The next presentation was on the Yahoo! brand and how it sits with user generated content. Yahoo see an evolution of the media from mass media through my media to we media. Marketing is one voice of many. You have to imagine the slide: A series of onion layers with friends and family at the center, then peers, experts, media and marketing at the outside. In one sense I imagine that the layers depict influencing relationships, and levels of trust. I'd be interested to expand this to show multiple centers, each person is influenced mostly by their own family and peers, but the experts and media affect us all.

Some description of Yahoo's "unique" DNA. A slide was shown which looks like a four column version of the parthenon. The roof is labelled "yahoo user experience", the four pillars are content, personalization, community and search and these rest on on: user profiles, preferences and ratings.

There was some discussion on brand partners and how difficult it is to align these with the use of user generated content. Lots of moral issues. Nikon did it by using APIs to pull in Flickr content and encourage people to tag and explore from a very heavily Nikon branded site.


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