Friday, July 22, 2005

My My Web

Posted by Phil Aaronson at 11:55 AM

My Web 2.0 Beta
Last week I sat in on a talk about some of the algorithms behind the new My Web Beta (since this blog has been taking a tech slant lately, I better come clean: I work for Yahoo! but was not involved with My Web). Neat stuff, but all the reliance on tagging and saving of searches makes me worry about the real utility of this release. I raised a question along these lines in the Q&A after the talk. Still, its such a neat idea, I'm glad its been tossed over the wall if for no other reason than to get some feedback.

But really I'd like to see less reliance on the act of tagging and saving of URLs to MyWeb. A nice alternative way to capture the same information would be with meta-data that can be posted. Most blog posts are really about something the author found or read online. So it follows that there should be a way to capture the story behind the post if you will. Perhaps a browser plug-in could package up what amounts to a chunk of the history file plus search query strings in an XML doc? OPML? Let me do a little editing, and attach it to my blog entry, with the hope that anyone could browse through it, and search engines could pick this up and attribute the sources accordingly.

Couple this with a nice way to upload a subscribed news feeds from NetNewsWire and you've all the elements pulled together, but in a more open way. Better page ranking, because you've got the ability to track conceptual links in addition to literal links. And trust lists, that are managed actively by the user already. Trust in this case taking on the meaning: rank the links from certain blogs (and the subsequent degrees of separation) more heavily than any others.

All that said, I've got to hand it to the My Web team for pulling together a nice beta with some really neat concepts under the covers. I hope we're just seeing the tip of the iceberg.


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