Amazing Yahoo! stuff that nobody knows about.

Since starting to work at Yahoo!, I’ve learned that there are a lot of really innovative things going on here. I’ve also realized that the outside world doesn’t know about any of them. They get lost in the shuffle, and that’s a shame.

To do my own tiny part to remedy this problem, I’m going to go through some of the Yahoo! sites I’ve found that I think more people should know about.

1. **Yahoo! Mindset** is revolutionary idea. This demo has been around for a while, but Yahoo! is reluctant to build it into the main search experience. Why this is, I’ll never understand. What you can do here is filter your search results by your “mindset”. If you’re looking to buy something, you can push the slider towards the shopping end of the spectrum and you’ll see commercial results. If you’re looking to learn something you can push the slider towards the research end of the spectrum and all that “buy this!” and “50% off” crap will go away, leaving you with Wikipedia articles and other useful information. It’s pretty cool. For a good example search, try looking for shoes and then pushing the slider to either side.

2. **This Local Events Browser** is **awesome**. I’m pretty sure I’m the only person on the planet that knows about it though because it’s buried deep in the Y! developer network maps api section. It’s a mashup between Y! Maps and Y! Local. The implementation is very solid and it’s a great way to find out about what there is to do in your area. (you can quickly change your location by clicking on the city name, the default is San Francisco, this one feature is a bit hard to find imho). I had no idea that Y! Local contained such a wealth of information, but this mashup exposes it very, very nicely. Make sure you try dragging the map around.

3. **Yahoo! Site explorer**, which I’ve written about before, is a great way for web developers to browse around the Y! search index for their site and see what is and is not being indexed. Very useful, especially as Yahoo’s search traffic continues to increase. For a nice, little tutorial, check out this 2 minute guide to Y! Site Explorer.

4. **Farechase** is one of the best ways to look for travel bargains online. This was an Israeli startup bought by Yahoo! a little over a year ago. The AJAX here is some of the most impressive that you’ll find anywhere on the net. It’s so well done that many non-technical people may not even notice that it’s happening. Great deals, cool interface, check it out.

5. **Yahoo! Answers** is clearly the coolest new thing on the internet. It’s a paradigm changer. This is just a shameless plug for the project I’ve been working on. There aren’t any lack of promotion problems here, the site is just very new. ;)

6. **Yahoo! Buzz Index** is a great way to find out what’s hot or not, or what’s wired or tired, or whatever you’re interested in. Google releases their Zeitgeist once or twice a year, but Yahoo! makes this information available every day. It’s nice to explore and you can glean some pretty interesting information about recent trends and news.

7. **The Yahoo! Notepad** is one of those ultra-simple but ultra-useful ideas. What we have here is a place to keep text. It’s tied to your Yahoo! id, so you can access it everywhere. It’s a good place to jot down ideas, notes, directions, quotes, whatever. I actually thought of this independently a while back when I created breasy.com (click on the little notepad icon in the top right corner when you’re logged in). There’s a nice widget that lets you really easily edit items in your notepad too.

8. **Weather RSS** – You can get some pretty detailed weather information here via RSS. This is great for you RSS junkies or you web portal developers that want to show free weather data on your site.

9. **Yahoo Search On Mobile**. Did you know that you can text message pretty much anything to YAHOO (92466) and get search and local results back? You could enter “[restaurant name] san francisco” and you’d get the address back. Or “weather [zipcode]” and get your current weather forecast back. For a complete list of shortcuts you can use, go here or text message “shortcuts” to 92466. Others include D for definitions, W for weather, and Q for stock quotes.

10. Last but not least is **Yahoo! Next**. The reason that many people don’t know about most of the sites I’ve listed here is that they don’t know about Y! Next. This is the place where Yahoo! links to all the latest betas and research projects and provides a forum for discussion. It’s a great way to keep up with the latest and greatest. So, go check it out and make sure to subscribe to the RSS feed.

Ok, that’s it. I’m all out of kool aid.

3 Responses to “Amazing Yahoo! stuff that nobody knows about.”

  1. wei Says:

    thank you ! i know a lot of about yahoo from you.

  2. Udi’s Spot » Archive » Y! Cool Thing Says:

    […] problem? To do my part, I wrote a little post here on Udi’s Spot detailing some of my favorite Yahoo! discoveries. I’m sure about 10 people sa […]

  3. Ardith Says:

    It sounds like you’re creating problems yourself by trying to solve this issue instead of looking at why their is a problem in the first place