Blog Posts by Robyn Tippins

  • YDN at She’s Geeky

    Last week, Havi and I attended She's Geeky along with Erin Malone, and my daughters, Cady and Grace Tippins. She's Geeky is styled along the lines of a typical unconference, with participants proposing a schedule of sessions at the start of the day.

    At our session, we showed participants how to play the Social Mania Game, a social patterns card game that allows you to build products, gain points for great features, and eventually 'pitch' your completed product to the player representing a VC. The game was fun, of course, but the feedback we got was the great benefit. Erin and Christian Crumlish created Social Mani to teach people about social patterns and as a complement to their book, Designing Social Interfaces. Since the game is still in beta, some of the suggestions made at She's Geeky may make it into future revisions.

    My Nerdy Kids

    Lynn Langit, Cady Tippins, Grace Tippins
    Photo credit: Duzins

    My favorite session, "How to teach kids to program," was taught by Lynn Langit, Developer

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  • Securing Web Extensibility

    In recent years, we've seen increased energy put into web extensibility platforms. These platforms let distributed developers collaborate to produce new kinds of interactive features on websites and in the web browser itself. Because these platforms frequently enable data-sharing between multiple distinct organizations, and often sit between two completely different security domains (desktop vs. web), the security and privacy issues that arise are complex and interesting. This post explores some of that complexity: both the current state of platforms that extend the web and their associated security challenges.

    State of the art

    Plugins, Extensions, and Mashups: A Primer

    The extension platforms of the web today exist at every level of the technology stack. First there are mashup platforms, which include Facebook Apps, Google Gadgets, and YAP Apps, built on Yahoo!'s Application Platform. All these platforms are abstractions that allow developers to embed content within a host site. Often this

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  • UK Yahoo! Application Platform Competition

    Last week saw the final judging for the UK’s first Yahoo! Application Platform competition, which took place at the beautiful Century Club in London. Over the last couple months, some of the most innovative brands and developers battled it out for a chance to have their app showcased on the Yahoo! UK homepage. There were some fantastic submissions, so a big thank you to everyone who took part! Each app was evaluated for its innovation, engaging user experience, and quick and reliable performance. The illustrious panel of judges included Murad Ahmed from The Times newspaper, and Christian Heilmann, Jennifer Davies, and Oli Van Bilsen from Yahoo!

    The evening was the culmination of two months hard graft by developers who worked tirelessly to make sure their app was ready in time. The competition was first announced back in November at a Yahoo! Developer Evening in London, attracting attention from developers across the UK who were keen to get their app hosted on the Yahoo! homepage and

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  • Presenting YDN To Local Highschoolers

    Students from two local high schools visited the Yahoo! Sunnyvale campus today to learn more about what we do and to understand how a few of us got to be here. I was lucky enough to get to be one of the presenters, so I shared my bizarre career path and what I do here at Yahoo!. I firmly believe that my position is the most fun one here, I mean how many people can say their main job is to just talk to amazing people and get to know them? The life of a Community Manager is almost always rosy.

    It was fun to be able to show them the Yahoo! Application Platform (YAP) as well. When I told them that we had a free hosting option and that they could monetize their apps as well, I could see the dreams of world domination brewing! The skill set of these junior developers was interesting too. Most of them were playing around with C++, but as far as traditional web languages go, their experience was limited to tinkering around with HTML.

    Disappointing to see was the low number of females

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  • January Events for YDN

    Happy New Year! We hope you’re well rested and are gearing up for 2010. We’re off to a busy start here at YDN. Here’s a quick look at the events we’re attending in the weeks ahead.

    Erik Eldridge is in San Diego this weekend. Today, Friday, January 15, he’s on the UCSD campus talking about the Yahoo! Application Platform, including brief descriptions of OpenSocial and the Caja secure JavaScript environment. Saturday and Sunday he’s off to BarCamp San Diego. There’s still time to register and Erik will be around to answer your questions on YAP, OpenSocial, and Caja. Lunch is on us!

    Robyn Tippins and Havi Hoffman will be at She’s Geeky, January 29-31, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA, with Erin Malone from Tangible UX, co-author of Designing Social Interfaces from Yahoo! Press. They’ll introduce the Social Mania Game that Erin created with co-author Christian Crumlish.

    Coming Up

    Here are a few of the places we'll be in February:

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  • Yahoo! Shopping API Announcement

    After careful consideration, we have decided to enter into a strategic partnership with PriceGrabber to power the Product Submit functionality of Yahoo! Shopping as of March 11, 2010. As a result of these changes, Yahoo! will no longer provide the Shopping Web Services API, including Shopping Results (the “Yahoo! Shopping Syndication Services”) to you as of March 11, 2010.

    If you wish to continue to display syndicated shopping results for products listed on Yahoo! Shopping, you must apply to PriceGrabber for shopping syndication services. Although they do not offer a free web services API, you can find out more about how to apply to their program here:

    It has been our privilege to provide you with Yahoo!’s shopping syndication product, and we hope to continue our relationship with you in other areas long into the future.

    The Yahoo! Shopping Team

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  • A Fond Farewell to 2009

    Since we're going quiet on the blog and on Twitter for the holidays, we decided to take a glance back at 2009. Looking back on a year is always bittersweet. Could we have done more? Did we reach all the people we wanted to reach? Did we really go to all those places?

    2009 was an amazing year, and we can’t help but be excited by all that happened. From Hack Days to Barcamps, big conferences to intimate developer gatherings, we took part in more than 130 amazing events!

    Below are just a few of the places we’ve gone. These events we’ve either managed and put on ourselves, or developer events that we’ve attended, usually thanks to your kind invitations. Both kinds of events brought us closer to you, and for that, we’re grateful. From all of us here at YDN, thanks for making 2009 so very special!

    Robyn Tippins
    Community Manager, YDN

    Follow us on Twitter

    Open Hack Days

    1. Open Hack Bangalore
    2. Open Hack London
    3. Open Hack St. Petersburg
    4. Open Hack Taiwan
    5. Open Hack NYC
    6. Open Hack SE Asia

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  • ReadWrite Web’s Real-Time Web Summit

    Last week on October 15 I attended The ReadWrite Real-Time Web Summit (try saying that three times fast), along with Tom Hughes-Croucher, and several other Yahoos from the Updates, Messenger and Search teams.

    Ironically, considering the subject matter of the summit, this was also the day Balloon Boy didn't take off into the air, and this 'real time' news story, breaking in front of our eyes on CNN, Yahoo!, and Twitter was a perfect illustration of both our need for immediate information and our annoyance with current delivery and discovery methods.

    Tom's session was about coming up with the concept of “Comet Tornado Reverse HTTP Proxy,” which provides a way to use Tornado to add real-time stuff to existing architecture. When Tom got back from his session, the Github guys were also talking about an implementation of his idea in NginX.

    The session that most interested me was one on Gender and the Real Time Web. As with most tech conferences, there were only a handful of women, and most

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  • Take Your Content to TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony and VIZIO through Yahoo! TV Widgets

    Want to reach millions of TV users in North America, Europe and Asia? Are you in love with developing JavaScript, yet sick of dealing with web browsers and the associated pain? Like to be on the bleeding edge of new technologies and stake your claim on the greatest new technology platform since the Apple iPhone?

    If any or all of these sound exciting to you, then listen up as developing TV Widgets is for you!

    The Yahoo! Connected TV Widget platform is available in a variety of consumer electronic devices, including flat panel TVs from Samsung, Sony, and LG Electronics with VIZIO and others coming soon! With Yahoo! TV Widgets, you can deliver new, interactive experiences to millions of TV users in North America, Europe and Asia.

    Yahoo! TV Widgets are extremely easy to develop. The TVs are all running Linux and using a specially modified version of the Yahoo! Widget Engine, a fifth generation application platform derived from the legendary Konfabulator desktop widget platform. We have

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  • Dishing on New PR + Social Media at SFSU

    Several months ago, I received a tweet from a follower, Shari Weiss, asking me to come speak to her class. A few days later, I visited San Francisco State University for the first time to share the story of how I went from parenthood to running a cloth diaper startup and how that unlikely trail led me to my role at the Yahoo! Developer Network, where I'm the community manager.

    Recently, I was invited to speak again at SFSU and had an opportunity to address another semester’s PR class. Shari’s class is definitely focused on PR, but deals specifically with the shifting sands we’re seeing as social media intersects with traditional public relations practices. New PR, as I see it, means messaging both proactively and reactively, and doing it quickly, where people hang out, and in as transparent a way as possible.

    While my visit was really to share my own funky story, I stuck around to view a few of the class’s presentations. Shari had her class go over several social sites, strategies,

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