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June 23, 2006

Answers Grows Globally

Potentially lost in all the excitement last week was an announcement about our international expansion.

For months now, many of you have been wondering when Yahoo! Answers would be available in Spanish, French, and other languages. Well.... ask and ye shall receive!

We've expanded our international presence to nine additional markets and in five new languages. In addition to our existing sites in US, UK, Canada, Australia, and India, we now have Yahoo! Answers in: Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and Singapore.

In these newly launched markets, where the number of documents in the web index is simply not as large as the English-speaking markets, Yahoo! Answers is an especially powerful means of tapping into the global community to share and exchange knowledge and to change what it means to search.

Now go bust out your foreign language skills (or use the language translation feature of Yahoo! Toolbar), ask your questions and share your knowledge globally: Find out from Germans whether it's still possible to get tickets for the FIFA World Cup, get the Brazilian take on why their beloved Ronaldinho doesn't wear braces, or ask the French to find out what their recommendations are for a good mid-range Bordeaux.

As always, keep that feedback coming...

Lesley Kao
Sr. Product Manager, International Yahoo! Answers

P.S. In the meantime, Answerers of legal drinking age can help us celebrate the occasion by mixing up a cocktail we're calling, "The Best Answer" ... courtesy of one of our international Yahoo! product managers. The cocktail is lovely shade of green that matches our site and is quite delicious too!

"THE BEST ANSWER"

Ingredients:

4 parts vodka
4 parts vanilla vodka
4 parts Godiva white chocolate liqueur
2 parts heavy cream
1 part crème de menthe
Dark or white chocolate

Add the vodka, vanilla vodka, white chocolate liqueur, and cream to a shaker with ice, and shake vigorously until very cold. Strain into a chilled glass. Without emptying the shaker, add crème de menthe to the residue of the vodka/cream mixture and shake vigorously. Drizzle into glass; the mint will gradually sink to form a green layer at the bottom of the glass. Garnish the top with either shaved white chocolate (to mimic the Yahoo! Answers asterisk icon) or dark chocolate (to add a touch of the Yahoo! Answers Yamster mascot).

Enjoy!


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June 15, 2006

Answers, Badges, and Big Brains

I have to be honest. When Yahoo! Answers first came out, I really didn't know what to expect. Did the world need yet another place to ask questions online?

After writing Asking the Internet, I watched to see which way it would go. Now here we are six months later and Yahoo! Answers has far more of a following than I ever expected. Some of them gather in the Answerholics Anonymous group while others obsessively watch the leaderboard, hoping to climb the ranks.

This week we've been pouring more fuel on the fire...

Flash Badges

For a while now, we've offered simple cut-and-paste JavaScript badges that you can put on your own web site to, you know, show off what you know (or whish you knew). You never know when someone looking at one of your pages might know the answer to a nagging question.

We've heard from a lot of people that wanted to add a badge to their sites but didn't have the skills or access required to use them. And many sites simply don't allow third-party JavaScript. So to make life easier, we now offer Flash badges that work nearly anywhere, including TypePad, Blogger, and others. (MySpace and Yahoo! 360 support coming in a few days.) To get one of your own, start with the badge selector.

Nick recently announced the flash badge on the Yahoo! Answers blog, so you can read more of the story there.

Big Brains in New York

To celebrate the full launch of Yahoo! Answers (it's not beta anymore!), we've had a big promotion going on in New York City this week. As part of "Ask The Planet 2006", we constructed--I kid you not--a big brain in Times Square and packed it die-hard Yahoo! Answers users.

Since not all the smart people are in New York, we also have Flickr Photos and a live video feed.

Read more about it from Search Engine Watch and TechCrunch.

It wouldn't be a big bash without prizes and celebrities, right? Luckily, we've got both. Check the calendar of events to see who is involved when. You just might get to answer a question from Click and Clack (the Car Talk guys), Al Gore, or Stephen Hawking.

Jeremy Zawodny


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June 10, 2006

GOOOOAAAAL!

Is there any sporting event in the world more important than the FIFA World Cup football (that's "soccer" to Americans) championship tournament?

We think not. Weekends aside, it pains us greatly that the latest tournament - that began yesterday in Germany - will be played during the middle of the work day for those of us in the US. If you can't get away from work to watch a game at your local sports bar (or office cafeteria, thanks, Yahoo!), you can now get the latest on your team, scores, and schedules just by going to Yahoo! Search and typing a few words. Here are a few examples:

Say you want the latest news on your favorite team, Brazil. Just type:

FIFA Brazil

Maybe you want to see how Brazil's group (Group A) is shaping up. Just type:

FIFA Group A

Perhaps you want the latest scores. Just type:

FIFA scores

Or you just want to see what happened with the first match of the World Cup (Germany vs Costa Rica). Just type:

FIFA Germany v Costa Rica

And what about the latest match schedule, so you can head out to the bar in time:

FIFA schedule ("World Cup schedule" will work, too.)

But if you had to work, you can still catch the highlights.

FIFA highlights

Enjoy the World Cup!

Qinwei Gong, Weilin Ng, and Chris Tung
Soccer Shortcuts Specialists


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June 05, 2006

MyWeb Product Update

In this new update to MyWeb, we've packaged up your favorite features from version 2.0 into a brand new design. We're hoping you'll find it simpler to get around and discover great new pages.

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Among the new features:

  • "Top tags" and "interesting today" sections show what's hot in the system, and are great places to start if you're new (or just logged out).
  • Search across all public pages in the system, so if you're looking for the latest on punk rock or knitting, it's easy to find.
  • Export your MyWeb pages to any browser format you'd like, thank you very much!

Perhaps the most significant shift in this release has less to do with any one feature, but is simply the realization that social bookmarking is catching on with people with very diverse passions and interests. While the list of popular tags still has entries like "CSS" and "XML", the more Joshua, Stephen and I look through the data, the more it’s clear that these bookmarks are for Buddhists, and ambient music fans, and breakdancers. If you’re not any of these, give it a shot anyway… :-);

Head on over to the MyWeb blog for some tips on how to get the most from these new features.

Tom Chi
Product Lead


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June 02, 2006

Reaching the Weatherman at Yahoo! Search

At conferences, webmasters always ask me how they can connect with us here at Yahoo! Search.

I usually have the time to flash a slide that shows a list of URLs to different forms and services for webmaster support and webmaster feedback. I also talk about Site Explorer, which webmasters can use to explore the Yahoo! Search index. I know most people don’t have the time to write these down, and hope that the information is disseminated via presentations made available to conference attendees.

I’ve also promised to make this information available via the Yahoo! Searchblog.

Information about Yahoo! Search can be obtained via a very handy URL - http://help.yahoo.com/search. Memorize, bookmark, email or copy it, whatever works...

We’ve also added a new link to this page, Webmaster Resources. This includes the list of resources that I usually pop up on screen at conferences. The URL is http://help.yahoo.com/search/resources. Save it and tag it on del.icio.us or MyWeb, whatever works...

Oh - and as we mentioned, we’re retiring the old feedback email address and replacing it with a simple form. It is included in the webmaster resource list noted above, and the URL is http://help.yahoo.com/search/feedback.

We hope this will make it easier for you to get answers and provide feedback. Although you may not hear from us directly, we do pay attention and the product changes for the better based on it.

Thanks,
Rajat Mukherjee
Yahoo! Search


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