Yahoo kicks off re-wiring project

Friday, April 25, 2008

Yahoo users will soon have one place where they can manage all the services they use on the popular website.

The company has begun a mammoth re-engineering project that will unify the disparate services Yahoo runs.

It hopes the project will transform the site into a vast social network where Yahoo users can quickly find and communicate with each other.

The project should also aims to make it easier for web developers to use Yahoo data and services for their own ends.

Monkey magic

"We are literally in the process of rewiring Yahoo from the inside out," said Ari Balogh, chief technology officer at Yahoo in a speech at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco.

By re-engineering its internal workings it hopes to tear down the walls between its web sites and services so each user only has to visit one place to view and manage everything they do at Yahoo.

Yahoo has built up its online presence using both home-grown services and by acquisitions. Recently it has bought photo-sharing site Flickr, bookmarking site and social calendar site Upcoming.

Mr Balogh said the changes would give users more control over how much information they share and make it much more straightforward to set up ad-hoc social networks with friends and family.

"We are not building another social network," said Mr Balogh. "We are building social into everything we do."

Charlene Li, vice president and senior analyst at Forrester, said: "My hat goes off to Yahoo that they have been able to execute this in a very difficult and stressful time for them on a strategy that I think is potentially very interesting."

One of the first results of the unification project is Search Monkey which opens up Yahoo's search technology to developers and users.

Yahoo is providing information so developers can call on the search engine and users can tune their sites to appear high up in keyword results.

The re-engineering project is part of a larger strategy, dubbed Y!OS (Yahoo Open Strategy) that is due to be unveiled in late 2008.

The announcement came two days before the expiration of a deadline set by Microsoft for Yahoo to agree to a merger. Microsoft has threatened to mount a hostile takeover if Yahoo refuses the offer or does not respond.

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