About That Name…

  • Posted August 30th, 2004 at 5:23 pm by Yahoo! Search
  • Categories: Meta

When this blog launched, several folks asked about the name. They read it as “why search blog?” and wondered why we picked such an odd name.

Well, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. At least in the engineering ranks, there are two ways that we name new products. But this really only applies to internal “products” and code names. Every product name that the world sees on yahoo.com is, of course, scrutinized by our dear friends in Marketing.

Method #1: Be Creative
Pick something you like and find a way to make it apply to whatever it is you are naming. Bonus points if it sounds plausible. An example of this was My Yahoo!. One of the core pieces of technology behind My Yahoo! is known internally as “Idaho.”

That’s right, Idaho. It has absolutely nothing to do with potatoes either. No, Idaho comes from the B-52′s. You see, they had this popular song called “Private Idaho” and My Yahoo! is all about giving each person his or her own personal start page — their own private Idaho.

There are examples like that all over the company: planets, Star Wars characters, and so on.

Method #2: Be Lazy
Those generally lacking in creative inspiration (in other words, “many of the engineers”) have taken to just sticking a “y” on the beginning of something and then declaring it “a Yahoo! thing.” Obviously, this requires no brainpower at all and results in a lot of similar sounding names.

I think you can see where the name ysearchblog came from now, can’t you? :-)

Jeremy Zawodny
Technical Yahoo!

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