Rael Dornfest points to the Netscape roots of the new My Yahoo. I can’t believe it took so long to implement the personalized open portal promise of sites such as OnePage or Octopus (at the time based on screen scraping), two companies which in the meantime have disappeared within AskJeeves and Sybase respectively.
I wrote on October 12, 2000:
"Now, as far as Yahoo! goes, here’s my theory. They might portray themselves as a media because most of their revenue is based on advertising, however their added value is not in the content itself but in its integration. MyYahoo is a lot more powerful than other customized portals.
Yahoo! tricked AOL into buying TW, followed by Vivendi diving into Universal (fast follower to the loser). What Yahoo! really wants is to become the biggest web app worldwide."
Well, in the meantime it looks like they went through a lot of soul searching, and I’m not sure they’re completely through that “let’s be Disney or Microsoft?” phase. It’s about time Yahoo, so don’t take another four years to expose your services through programming interfaces. If you want to be a platform player, you have to go all the way down to it, you can’t stop at the rendering layer.
08/24/05 update: Protopage.