The YDN team just added UED veteran Micah Laaker to the roster. He is now leading our user experience design efforts and brings with him some really interesting and valuable experience, not to mention a unique and comedic view on life and the Internet.
One of Micah's areas of focus is user identity. In fact, you may recognize Micah's name from the ACLU Pizza video that flew across the blogosphere in 2004. His own identity appears in many forms out there including some interesting recent listening beHavi Hoffmanor which, at the time of posting this, includes Whitesnake, Too $hort and Roxy Music. Hmmm, feeling nostalgic?
A little background...
Micah joined Yahoo! near the end of 2004. He has worked on My Yahoo! and the cross-network Personalization Platform team. His teams released upgrades to the RSS subscription mechanisms on My Yahoo!, News, and Mail; a persistent location experience; a network-wide Recent Activity component; RSS recommendations and alerts; and publisher tools for sharing and saving content.
In addition to the ACLU, Micah has worked with Island Def Jam Music Group, Disney Channel, Sprint PCS, Lockheed Martin, and Adobe Systems.
Micah's LinkedIn profile has more detail on his professional background. And his entertaining blog is at laaker.com. He posted an interview there that I gave him as a new member of the team. Here's one of his answers:
Q: What's the best invention in man's recorded history?
A: The newspaper. As a medium that cuts its cost-to-entry so as to provide the masses with vital information, critical thinking, and calls-to-action every day, the newspaper wins it hands down for me. I would rate books highly, as well as free hosting/publishing platforms (like Blogger and WordPress.com) for similar reasons. I also think very fondly of my Nintendo DS Lite; it's too early to tell on that one, though.