Blog Posts by Robyn Tippins

  • Calling All DIY Environmentalists: Dream Up Ideas That Will Green Up Our Planet

    Each Earth Day, many of us pledge to do better in protecting our Earth. For a few weeks we take shorter showers, bring reusable bags for our grocery shopping, and turn off lights that aren't being used. Then, as weeks pass, these new habits fall away. Little things do matter, but it's hard to stay passionate about them, and it's easy to forget.

    But, what if you were passionate about a project because you dreamed it up? Do you have a product idea to make our lives a little easier and our planet a little greener? Submit your world-changing ideas to our Make-It-Green program, and your idea might turn into a real product. People whose ideas are chosen could receive $2500 and a share of the sales.

    What is Make-It-Green?
    Make-It-Green is about turning great ideas into actual products that improve people?s lives and help our planet. Yahoo! is looking for the best green products or do-it-yourself projects and we need your help. Submit your idea, and if it?s chosen, you could see your

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  • Ada Lovelace Day: Meet Carol Bartz

    When we first heard about Suw Charman-Anderson's initiative some months ago, Yahoo! Developer Network took the pledge to participate in Ada Lovelace day, "an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology." We just couldn't decide who we wanted to write about, so we posted three times today.

    Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) was the daughter of Lord Byron, though her passions centered more on mathematics than poetry. She wrote the first computer program for programming pioneer Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine. He called her the Enchantress of Numbers. She's lent her name to a programming language, has appeared as character or muse in various fictional works, and remains a role model for many geek girls.

    ada_1838.jpg

    Image credit: The Ada Picture Gallery

    For this final Ada Lovelace Day post, Kirti Velankar, a senior software engineer, and infrastructure lead for Yahoo!'s Women In Tech group, chose to spotlight our new CEO, Carol Bartz, a woman at the forefront of

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  • Hack U at the University of Michigan

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    GA Tech HackU
    Photo Credit: LaMenta3

    Yahoo! Developer Network and the crew from Hack U, will be heading to the University of Michigan, to take part in Thursday's Open Technology Night. This event takes place as part of a week-long program of coding workshops and tech talks that Yahoo! offers to computer science undergrads as a part of Hack U at the University of Michigan.

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    Paul Tarjan at GA Tech HackU
    Photo Credit: Christian Heilmann

    We'll will show you some developer tools and technologies that let you use Yahoo!'s platforms and scalability to build applications and more. We'll present an overview of YDN, the Yahoo! Query Language (YQL), and our Open Stack. All of this and dinner's on us!

    Tom Hughes-Croucher from YDN will be available in Michigan all week and would love to say "Hi." If you're a developer in the

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  • Report from BlogWorld Expo

    This pic totally looks like I'm part of Thriller, which is applicable as Vegas was pretty darn thrilling! I spent a few days in Sin City this weekend as a part of the blogger conference, BlogWorld Expo. Being one of the largest blogger-focused events of the year, BlogWorld took place in the Las Vegas Convention Center, though parties were held up and down the strip. Beyond the normal crazy/fun Vegas scene, I had fun speaking on two panels. The first one was mostly centered on monetization, with a particular emphasis on widgets. The other members of the panel were from Pheedo (Louis Moynihan), Disqus (Daniel Ha) and Lijit (Micah Baldwin, moderator). The other, centered on getting customer and executive buy-in for blog projects, included myself and several real social media gurus; Toby Bloomberg, Rich Brooks and Des Walsh (moderator).

    BlogWorld Expo 08 - Robyn Tippins
    Photo Credit Brad_Crooks

    Both panels were well received, if I say so myself ;). As much as I enjoyed participating and attending the other

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  • Developer Spotlight: Christian Heilmann

    Ever wanted to know what evangelism at the YDN is all about? I think Christian spells it out in the best way possible... It's all about meeting the needs of all your customers. Simple truth, but the *how* is what everyone is trying to answer.

    Here Christian speaks about his work in the UK and around the world, and about Scripting Enabled, a conference and hack day in London, England, which aims to break down the barriers between disabled users and the social web, while presenting hackers with real-world accessibility issues to solve. Scripting Enabled takes place September 19-20. More details on Upcoming.

  • Hackers, Unite!

    Yahoo!'s gearing up for Open Hack 2008 and we want YOU to be here!
    It'll be a time of craziness mingled with head-down hacking, and if
    that sounds like your cup-of-tea, request an invite at www.hackday.org.
    If you really want to be selected, tell us that you are prepared to
    hack. As always, hackers are given top priority!

    We're still keeping some of the deets on the down-low, but rest
    assured we'll bend over backwards to make it the best hack event we've
    ever put on. If you don't want to make the trek to Silicon Valley,
    please help us get the word out by placing this badge on your blog.

    hackday2008

    Just copy and paste the following code:

    Robyn Tippins
    Community Manager, YDN

    Robyn Tippins at yahoo-inc.com

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  • I Gotta Have More Cowbell!

    We're working hard to increase the value (ie cowbell) that YDN can offer; our beautiful redesign is part of that effort. Along those lines, I want to introduce you to our latest offering, message boards. (struggling here not to include the obnoxious blink tag)

    Picture 1

    If you haven't been online since 1995, message boards are tools that people use to connect with each other. They differ from social networks in that they are useful. ;) We like them because they allow us to brag about how hip, retro and old skool we are here at YDN. Yo!

    Anyhoo, we're super excited about our new message boards and we really hope you like them. Also, as a heads up, we're not removing our existing Yahoo! Groups anytime soon, and possibly not ever, because we understand that some people like email better and some would rather have the organization and structure that a board offers.

    So, if you don't mind, we'd like you to come in, introduce yourself, and talk amongst yourselves. We covet your feedback!

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  • Yahoo! Local API Adds “Search Along A Driving Route” Functionality

    Today we are releasing a new version of the Yahoo! Local API (V3), that gives developers a key new feature – the ability to search for convenient points of interest for a given user defined route. For example, as you are driving from San Francisco to Sacramento, you could search for a Starbucks or for a hardware store. This new API functionality is already in use by our partner, Dash Navigation, who announced its availability for their Internet-connected GPS navigation system on June 30.

    To make this new feature possible, we have added a new API parameter, “route”, that is a series of latitude/longitude coordinates. The first pair of coordinates is the starting point, and the final pair of coordinates is the ending point. The value of the route parameter is defined as follows:

    lat1 long1,lat2 long2,...,latn longn

    Here is an example of a simple route from San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf to the Ferry Building. Note that latitudes and longitudes are separated by

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  • London SearchMonkey Developer Evening a Great Success

    This Wednesday, Yahoo!'s London-based SearchMonkeys hosted a evening to show the developer community just how ridiculously easy it is to build enhancements to their Yahoo! Search results using Search Monkey. Even though we were up against one of Radiohead's concerts, and a Girl Geek Dinner, some fifty people came along to monkey around with us in the loft space of a lovely rambling building just off Covent Garden in London.

    We were lucky to have Paul Tarjan, the Chief Technical Monkey from America along to give an overview of the inner workings of SearchMonkey. This was followed by Neil Crosby (that's me!) giving a live demo to show just how simple SearchMonkey makes enhancing your search results. Thankfully, the Internet stayed up, and the demos went without a hitch.

    After the talks, the floor was opened for questions, and then people got down to the important task of eating pizza and making monkeys. Walking around the room, it was clear that people had interesting ideas about

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  • Online community unconference a hit

    I got to spend last Wednesday hob-nobbing with 250 social media and community nerds at the second Online Community UnConference held at the Computer Science Museum in Mountain View. The people involved in community management tend to be uber social, and just as it seems, they love to talk. In fact, the board filled up with sessions in minutes. I've never been to an unconference that filled up the session board that fast!

    Yahoo! was well represented, with a number of current community managers and alumni. Heather Champ, Community Manager of Flickr and Derek Powazek from Fray spoke about the bad times all communities cycle through. Their topic, "Worst Case Scenarios: What To Do When Things Go Terribly Wrong", was a great reminder. When you think of community management, especially in the beginning, it seems all beer and roses (I hate wine). I don't think many of us think of the bad until it happens. Things can and often do go wrong in this sector, and getting blindsided is never

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