Dave Beckett's blog

Blogging the Company

2006-05-01 19:03

It's funny but I've never really got into blogging about my employer - Yahoo!. This is partially because there are things I can't say (let's call that Reason #1) but mostly because I'm mostly working on things that aren't reaching the public. The company has a policy about blogging too and that's also a consideration, so easier to just not say anything. Plus as my blog gets syndicated on Planet RDF and Planet XMLHack, I feel a little like I should keep on track. So although saying "Yahoo! thinks XML and RDF are really great" would cover that, it wouldn't be true since I don't speak for the company - see Reason #1. This doesn't seem to put off other Yahoo! employees that blog, and there are more of those than people realise.

Recently the Y! Cool Thing and Planet Yahoo! unofficial sites were launched by some of the engineers, since they know that there's lots of stuff Yahoo provides that doesn't get highlighted much, but there are actually lots more official and unofficial blogs tracking what we do/speculating wildly on what we do. Many of them are listed in the Y! Cool Thing sidebar which has right now 24 official blogs, pretty amazing, but not quite at the level of places like Microsoft's Channel 9 / MSDN or maybe Sun's blogs.sun.com. It's a matter of perception maybe, do people think of the Yahoo! company as a big, closed enterprise or are parts now more visible? Blogging the company from within is happening more and more.

So what brought on this introspection Dave? I'm glad you asked. Today we launched Yahoo! Tech (I didn't work on it myself) which is a brand new site for technology products to help you choose and use them, and has lots of of Web 2.0 (TM)(R)© features. It's the first big site in 5 years that the Yahoo! Media Group has launched, so one of the first to appear in the pervasive blog era. The site itself of course has expert bloggers called Tech Advisors, product reviews from users as well as from "professionals" and a lot more user generated content such as ratings, questions and answers etc. It's a rich site. The launch was timed as far as I know for midnight US east coast time 1st May, however it appeared in networked syndication systems (Technorati, Bloglines, ...) well before it arrived on paper and over the course of the day, has also been mentioned in the personal blogs from the engineers working on it, as they now pretty much have equal access to the new publishing world. In their own words:

Yahoo! Tech is live as of today.

Alex Moskalyuk

The site might be a result of an explosion at the web 2.0 factory, but it also totally accessable and usable on screen readers and cell phones. Heck, I even fired up lynx and the site works fine, thanks to Ted.

Jeff Boulter

I pictured Tech as a mix between Cnet and Netflix. A place where you could get the information you needed, but also feel like it was personlized just for you. I think we’ve done just that.

Ted Drake

I'm working with a great group of people, and it's been a real thrill to be the technical lead on a project this big.

Glen Campbell

There is more at the del.icio.us tag ytech where I've been recording some of the amusing mixture of wire stores, articles and blogs. This mashup of blogging a company also appears in the tech.memeorandum story (read soon before it disappears) and in blog searches such as Technorati, Google News or Yahoo News Blog Search (ours!)

Or you could always go read about it on paper...

At this point I'd insert a witty conclusion, but see Reason #1 :)