Some Good News Out Of Sunnyvale: A Yahoo Product That Looks Cool (YHOO)

Remember when Yahoo did really cool and innovative stuff? It used to happen all the time. But here’s a blast from the past: An innovative scheme that lets developers and publishers customise Yahoo’s core search product to their liking.

Dubbed BOSS (Build Your Own Search Service), the program letsĀ  anyone use Yahoo’s search technology and index — and allows them to rank and present results however they want.

For example, Colorado-based Me.dium is using BOSS to create what it’s calling “Social Search” — which takes Yahoo’s results, then orders them based on the how many people are visiting the sites at a given time. That sounds interesting, although we can’t figure out why Me.dium would go out of its way to confuse users and bloggers by using a name Yahoo has already attached to a failed product.

Once the program leaves beta, anyone who uses BOSS will be required to use Yahoo search ads. But no one’s going to confuse this program’s impact on Yahoo’s financials with, say, the Google deal. In the old days, that’d be OK — Yahoo was in the position to try out neat concepts with long-term potential. But those days are long gone.

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