Tag Archives: Oddpost

After del.icio.us, a Directory of Other Things Yahoo! Should Buy

The Loose Wire Yahoo Blessing continues, as del.icio.us gets bought by y.ah.oo!. From Joshua Schacter’s blog:

We’re proud to announce that del.icio.us has joined the Yahoo! family. Together we’ll continue to improve how people discover, remember and share on the Internet, with a big emphasis on the power of community. We’re excited to be working with the Yahoo! Search team – they definitely get social systems and their potential to change the web. (We’re also excited to be joining our fraternal twin Flickr!)

Congratulations, Joshua. A lot of people still don’t seem to get del.icio.us; I’m glad Yahoo! does. As Jeremy Zawodny of Yahoo! Search puts it:

And just like we’ve done with Flickr, we plan to give del.icio.us the resources, support, and room it needs to continue growing the service and community. Finally, don’t be surprised if you see My Web and del.icio.us borrow a few ideas from each other in the future.

It’s probably good news for del.icio.us, but there are those who think the touch of Yahoo! isn’t always as light as it could be. For my part I’m smugly totting up the services I’ve tried to champion over the years that have ended up getting bought by Yahoo! There was oddpost; Upcoming; Bloomba; Konfabulator and Flickr. Of course, lots of other people loved these products too, but it’s uncanny how I get excited about something and then Yahoo! wanders in and buys it.

So here are a few other things I like:

  • Text Monkey: Easily clean copied text
  • blummy: Great bookmarklet aggregator
  • MSGTAG – MessageTag: Email receipt alert
  • Klips: you got Konfabulator; buy the rest
  • Anagram: Translates copied text into Contact, Calendar, Task, and Note items for Outlook, Palm etc
  • Multiplicity: Control all your computers from one keyboard n mouse
  • TiddlyWikis: they’re not for sale but they’re great
  • ActiveWords: Do everything without leaving the keyboard
  • 37Signals: The whole Writeboard, Basecamp, Tadalist thing
  • Flock: great browser, good way to pull all Yahoo!’s juicy new bits together (thanks, Tom)
  • clipmarks: don’t save bookmarks, save clipmarks
  • MyInfo: free-form information organizer

Thassall for now.

Yahoo! Follows Loose Wire Advice, Buys Konfabulator

You probably knew this, but the Blessing of Loose Wire strikes again: Yahoo! buys Konfabulator, a widget manufacturer I wrote about in a recent column:

Yahoo! has bought Konfabulator, the software that brought widgets to the Mac and latterly to Windows.

Apple has since developed its own widget environment, Dashboard, and integrated it into the latest version of OS X. It was assumed that Konfabulator would quietly die; instead the developers brought out a Windows version good enough to attract the attention of the Internet search giant.

Widgets are small, floating applications that give access to specific information or tools, and provide easy and quick access to Web-based data without needing to resort to a browser. Popular widgets include weather and stock trackers and a yellow pages search.

Yahoo! are expected to use the technology to make it easier to access its services and, like Apple, is keen for developers to build their own widgets.

‘We are lowering the bar and letting people do a lot more with our material,’ said Toni Schneider, vice president of the company’s developer network.

Avid readers (hi, Mum!) may recall that as soon as I wrote a column about oddPost it was bought by Yahoo!. Then, shortly after I wrote about the email program Bloomba, they bought that. If they like I can suggest some other purchases…

Yahoo! Buys Bloomba

Yahoo! has bought Stata Labs, the guys behind Bloomba an excellent email program that is more of a database.

In a statement the company said they “intend to continue supporting Stata Labs’ existing customers for one year from the date of product purchase”. They said that while there is no word on what Yahoo! will do with Bloomba, there will be no more sales of the program, and folks who bought Bloomba within the last thirty days are eligible for a full refund.

As Reuters points out in a story on the purchase, Microsoft recently bought Lookout, a plugin that allows users to better search Outlook. Given that Bloomba has been described (pre-Gmail) as the Google of email, you might get an idea where this is all going. The big game in town seems to be to offer some sort of product that allows folk to get a better grip on searching their emails, contacts, what-have-you. Bloomba did a pretty good job of that.

And don’t forget that Yahoo! bought OddPost a few months back. Oddpost wraps email, RSS and other stuff into a kind of web-based email program. Neat stuff, although since Yahoo! bought it I’ve not heard anything more of it. Would be sad to see all this great stuff somehow get lost. And since I’ve recommended both products to readers in the past, should I and others be more wary about raving about stuff that gets sold off and subsequently disappears?

Yahoo Grabs Oddpost

I hate people who quote themselves, but here goes: A few months back I wrote in my column about how “eventually, RSS will replace e-mail. Or rather, it will dovetail with e-mail so that it appears in the same place, in the same program, so you can read Aunt Edna’s newsletter as well as the news feed of your favourite football team.” I also mentioned a great little program/service called Oddpost, which I said came closest to this ideal: “One great example of this is Oddpost, a subscription e-mail service that folds nearly all of what I’ve just outlined into one place, from RSS feeds to your Web mail accounts.”

Well, for once it seems I may have not been too far off the mark. Last week Yahoo! bought Oddpost for an undisclosed sum. The folks at Oddpost write that “from this day forward, we’ll be working on a new, advanced Yahoo! Mail product (one that, in press release terms, might be described as “a powerful combination of our award-winning web application technology with the world’s #1 Internet brand and email service”)”.

Unfortunately new users won’t be able to sign up for Oddpost in the meantime, but this represents a significant move for the whole merger of Blogs/email/RSS. In part, of course, it’s Yahoo playing desperate catch-up with Google over Gmail and search. But it may end up as more than that. As Iam Bumpa puts it: “This is about RIAs (rich internet apps), integrated web services and open standards being fused with productivity software, micro-content and social networking and offered as hosted experiences.” In short, putting lots of different bits and pieces in one place that you can really control, and access from anywhere. Think of it as MyYahoo! but one that doesn’t look like something out of the mid 1990s.