Yahoo! Releases New Hack-Turned-Products

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Yahoo!, which we all know is in recovery mode right now with the return of founder Jerry Yang as CEO, released two new products today. Apart from the fact that they’re new products and damn good ones, what’s interesting about them is that they weren’t born in some team meeting with people in business suits wondering how they can be “innovative” (note the speech marks) and make the next million pageviews, but at Yahoo! Hack Days with talented, able and passionate hackers going at it for fun.

If you work for a large company, you will know how hard it is to get your idea — which you may think is the best in the world — across to peers and as a final product. These seem to have made their way through the corporate mumbo-jumbo, so let’s see have a look.

MapMixer

MapMixerMapMixer is a really neat new tool which allows you to upload a map of yours to Yahoo! — whether it’s one of your University campus, your office building, city guide, country in a different season, anything, and align it with the geographical location on Yahoo! Maps. The tool is then able to turn your map into a zoomable, dragable “thing,” which you can share with friends, have people comment on, and of course, embed it anywhere as an iFrame.

Shop by ColorYahoo! Shopping

This is more of a feature, but a neat one thereof. Shop by Color presents you with a 56-color palette when you’re browsing through Yahoo! Shopping and lets you narrow down your search by any of these colors. While this may not seem like a truly ground-breaking thing, it’s a very useful tool for online shoppers. Plus, the Ajax rollover effect makes it seem like something is popping out of your screen, too. 😉

Yahoo!, starting a few months before Jerry Yang’s return, has been slowly gaining credit in the developer community. They’ve done everything from Hack Days to a Mashup Creator, and all this by a company which doesn’t claim to be a technology company but a media company. Surely, more of these hack-products are likely to come now that a mark has been set, and I’m really eager to see them. Make more cool stuff, Yahoo.


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