List of Yahoo!’s Social Properties

Today Yahoo! announced that it is acquiring Tumblr . This marks a revival of Yahoo’s efforts to get into the social space. This inspired me to look back on the history of Yahoo’s social efforts. The following is listed in chronological order by when Yahoo! acquired/launched the property:

Flickr (March 2005 to Present)
Yahoo! acquired Flickr to get into the photo sharing business, and Flickr later replaced Yahoo! Photos as it did not make sense to have two Photos properties for Yahoo!. Flickr is still going strong today, ranked as the 82nd most popular website in the world according to Alexa.

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Safari is now available on Windows

Today Apple announced that it is releasing Safari for Windows. This is certainly a welcome news for the Windows community, as most of the prevalent browsers for Windows, namely IE, Firefox, and Opera, all suffer some type of performance shortcomings.

I downloaded Safari 3 Beta for Windows and started playing with it. Overall, the browsing experience is pleasant, browser speed was quick as advertised, and Apple’s renowned user interface did not disappoint. I did run into one issue, though, and that was I was unable to enter Chinese characters. Unfortunately for me, that means in the short run, I will need to stick with one of the current browsers.

It will be interesting to see how this announcement shakes up the browser market share. As I have been posting here in TopCat Blog, Safari’s market share has ranged between 0.6% to 0.8% during the past 9 months. One can expect that this number will increase in the coming months, as more and more Windows users discover Safari. My guess is that Safari will grow significantly at the expense of IE, and Firefox’s market share will become flat, as new defectors of IE will now likely turn to Safari.

Google Buying Feedburner for $100 M

Techcrunch reported that Google is close to buying Feedburner for $100 M. This deal has been rumored for a while now, but today Techcrunch said definitely that a deal will happen.

What does this mean? The comment board at Technorati is already buzzing with the possibility of seeing Adsense ads in Feedburner feeds in the not-to-distant future. Additionally, it is very likely that there will be some kind of integration between Google Reader and Feedburner.

I also think that this will help Google Blog Search to include more blogs in its index. Furthermore, other blogging service sites, most notably Technorati, will probably feel the need to quickly partner up with someone else. A Google-Technorati marriage is also possible, although it’s not as obvious as the Google-Feedburner marriage, where there is little overlap between the two.

Google shows what’s hot in near real-time

Today, Google announced Google Hot Trends, a feature within the Google Trends tool. If you go to Google Trends right now, you’ll find a “Today’s Hot Trends” section, which lists the 10 top hot queries on Google (now only limited to the US site). At the daily level, Google will also show the top 100 top queries.

Two things I found interesting about this service are:

1. Google is telling us, in a near real-time fashion, what’s hot in the world. I am sure savvy webmasters will soon be able to take this information and use it to drive traffic to their sites.

2. If you go into each hot query, you’ll find a “discuss with others” link, which links to Google Groups, and appears to be a play at the Communities space. I do agree that looking at a “what’s hot” list would generate a lot of discussion, so this is a good idea by Google. At the same time, I don’t see a lot of threads there, so it remains to be seen whether this component will be a success.

Please, Use UTF-8 Encoding

As internet communities grow, the lines between different languages are blurred. No longer are communities geared towards any particular language, but communities are likely to be consisting of many different languages.

Where am I going with this? Well, I have been noticing that some of the Web 2.0 sites are not yet using UTF-8 encoding. As a result, it is difficult for people in double-byte countries to use such services. An example is BlogCatalog. If you look at the source code of that site, you’ll see that the site is using character set iso-8859-1, which is for single-byte languages only. Being a blog listing service, this essentially means that they have precluded blogs from countries using double-byte languages from being listed, and it will be very difficult for them to attract visitors from countries using double-byte languages.

If you are an enterpreneur planning on launch the next great Web 2.0 site, do yourself and everyone else a favor: encode your site in UTF-8 (that’s the unicode standard most often seen). Better yet, make sure the functionalities you offer work in other languages. This way, everyone in the world can use your great site.