Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Syndication 'Celebrity Deathmatch?'--Yahoo! Versus Google

Taking inventory of what they've done in the syndication and social media space, it's clear the folks at Yahoo! have no intention of throwing in the towel in the fight with Google for social media dominance.


In a December post, I commented on two 'rapid-fire' announcements from Yahoo!: the Del.icio.us acquisition and the integration deal with Six Apart.

I started to look into all of the syndication-related announcements from Yahoo! and fast found more than one a month occurring over the year that was 2005.

I contacted a recent then acquaintance (and now friend), Havi Hoffman, who bears the title of 'Catalyst' in Influencer Marketing at Yahoo!, and she was gracious enough to work with the Yahoo! PR folks to come up with Yahoo!'s RSS Timeline for 2003 through 2005.

Here we go:

Yahoo!’s RSS Timeline

2003
August
- Yahoo! News begins publishing RSS feeds

2004
January
- My Yahoo! launches first RSS beta module

February
- Yahoo! offers “Add to My Yahoo!” buttons for publishers

Summer
- Leading publishers offer “Add to My Yahoo!” buttons on their websites

September
- Yahoo! redesigns My Yahoo! around RSS

2005
January
- Yahoo! announces Media RSS specification for industry review

February
- Yahoo! Toolbar adds “+” button that appears when a consumer browses to an RSS-enabled Web page

March
- Yahoo! offers RSS feeds from My Yahoo! on mobile phones

April
- Yahoo! News adds “My Sources” for feeds related to specific news topics

May
- Yahoo! launches Publisher’s Guide to RSS resource
- Apple Computer adds My Yahoo! RSS widget to new desktop dashboard

June
- Yahoo! acquires blo.gs RSS pinging service to ensure up-to-the-second content on Yahoo!

July
- Yahoo! 360 adds feeds module so consumers can display personal RSS content on their page

August
- Yahoo! Local launches RSS feeds for local recommendations or events and redesigns Yahoo! Maps with GeoRSS capabilities

September
- Multimedia RSS is enabled on My Yahoo! for photos, audio and video

October
- Yahoo! Podcasts launches to help people easily find and listen to audio RSS feeds
- Yahoo! adds RSS blog results to Yahoo! News Search

November
- Yahoo! Publisher’s Network helps participants place ads in RSS feeds
- Yahoo! Mail adds RSS feeds to the new Yahoo! Mail Beta
- Yahoo! Alerts provides RSS feed alerts via mobile, IM or e-mail

December
- Yahoo! Podcasts creates “My Subscriptions” RSS feeds

This is an impressive list, and it doesn't even include the two announcements cited in my afore-mentioned December post.

Yet to me, most impressive is the almost logarithmic rate of growth in the announcements--one in 2003, four in 2004, and 16 in 2005. I don't know if they can keep up the same pace (64 in 2006), but one thing is clear... Yahoo! isn't just gonna roll over and let the folks at Google have their way with all things social media.

This has, and should remain, a very interesting space for us to watch and participate in. Thanks, Havi, for running this down for us.

Nice work, Yahoo!

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