Everything that is offered in My Yahoo should be offered as a Web Service
Jeremy Zawodny asks what web services users and developers want from Yahoo.
My answer is simple. Everything that is offered in My Yahoo should be offered as a Web Service.
The vision of My Yahoo was a single personalized location for all information flows on the Web. Well it was actually all flows on Yahoo, but in those days Yahoo was aiming to become all the Web.
Today, RSS aggregation is starting to fulfill the vision. Even My Yahoo has embraced this. Yet there exists a deep source of information on My Yahoo for which aggregators have no source — stock quotes, weather, sports, movie listings, tv, ski report, etc etc etc.
My Yahoo has personalized and centralized these flows into a single system. All that’s needed is to present these modules in Web Service views — in SOAP, XMLRPC, RESTful, and RSS. This would be straightforward technically. I’ve already experimented with it via screen scraping in myy2rss (currently “down for repairs”).
The tricky part is .. how do you make a business out of it?
Another thing: The backend to My Yahoo is .. the user database. The Yahoo user database is one of the largest, if not the largest, databases around. Single sign on was a hot topic a couple years ago, and Microsoft scared everyone with their proposal. Yahoo should offer the Yahoo login as a single sign on service. The specs are out there, waiting for an implementation. There’s definitely a business in this; The tricky part here is .. do people trust Yahoo enough with such an essential service.