Xtech 2006: Jeffrey McManus – Building a Participation Platform at Yahoo!

Yahoo! wants to open up to third-party developers.

Building a developer ecosystem requires:

– providing compelling products for developers, including APIs, documentation and a community

– disseminate information

– provide support

Mash-ups, not a useful term, won’t be talking about mash-ups in a year’s time, because it’ll just be normal to mix two or more sources of data. although Yahoo! did adopt the motto ‘mash-up or shut up’.

Creating communities are important.

Has included photos in slides from Flickr, which is of course a Yahoo! property.


– Feb 05, search APIs. Made the APIs more openly available

– May 05, Developer RSS Index; Music Engine Plug-ins.

– Jun 05, simple maps API

– Aug 05, comparison shopping API

– Nov 05, Flash maps API; AJAX maps API. No reason not to do both, so did both.

– Dec 05, trip finder API; Javascript Developer Center, JSON support.

– Jan 06, Open-source Javascript UI library and design patterns library. Design patterns library is Creative Commons licensed.

– Feb 06, PHP developer center, serialised PHP support

– Apr 06, updated maps API

– May 06, updated Javascript UI library

Had dozens of developers in June 2005, and now up tens of thousands, because they have opened up and provided APIs that people want.

Maps mashups. For a lot of US locations, Yahoo! has better resolution maps than others. US is hard for mapping but great for satellite.

Demos a site showing Bay Area mash-up of public transport stops and Yahoo! map, but done with no coding, it’s all XML.

Sponsored walk map for Walk America, using Flash API and geoRSS. Also Running Maps, which allows you to plot your route and it tells you how long it takes to walk somewhere.

Rollyo, allows you to create customised searches amongst specific sites, as a ‘search roll’.

Flickr. Related Tag Browser, you type in a tag and it tells you which related tags have been used on recently uploaded photos. Also a Flickr friend network visualisation tool.

Yahoo! Widgets – tiny apps for your desktop. Used to be Konfabulator, and made the product free. Easy to create, and can crack open the widgets to see how they work.

Most third-party users of Yahoo! APIs do so under a non-commercial licence. Commercial exceptions are make on a one-off basis. Working to make it easier to obtain a commercial exception.

Note: I don’t think I’m going to blog all the really techie talks. If you want to see other people’s notes, then try PlanetXtech.

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