MyYahoo! Tips for RSS Publishers


I had meetings in Salt Lake this morning, so I'm in the Salt Lake Public Library right now catching up on email and some reading. Its one of my favorite spots to hang out downtown. On the drive up, I listened to Scott Gatz's talk from Gnomedex on MyYahoo!. I learned a few things that I didn't know, so I thought I'd pass them on.

First, notice the "Add to MyYahoo!" button on the left hand column of this blog. Easy to do and easy for people to use. That's one big advantage that hosted feedreaders have: this is all just Web stuff. Here's the URL:

<a href="http://add.my.yahoo.com/rss?url=[your RSS URL here]">
 <img border=0 src="http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/my/addtomyyahoo2.gif">
</a>

Also, when Yahoo! comes by to slurp your RSS feed, the agent is called YahooFeedSeeker and it leaves statistics about your RSS feed and MyYahoo in your logs. Here's a recent entry from my logs:

66.218.65.53 - - [12/Nov/2004:03:44:42 -0700] "GET /rss.xml HTTP/1.0" 304 0
"-" "YahooFeedSeeker/1.0 (compatible; Mozilla 4.0; MSIE 5.5; 
http://my.yahoo.com/s/publishers.html; users 33; views 5314)"

Notice the users and views tags in the agent field. They give the number of MyYahoo! users who subscribe to that particular feed and how many views its had (not sure about what time period this is over--probably from the start).

There's also a FAQ for publishers, which I had a little trouble finding. The FAQ contains a few useful tidbits. For example, MyYahoo! has a ping API that allows Web sites to notify MyYahoo! when their content has been updated. There's an XML-RPC and a RESTful interface. This URL would notify MyYahoo! that this blog has been updated:

http://api.my.yahoo.com/rss/ping?u=http://www.windley.com/rss.xml

I happen to think that MyYahoo! opening up to RSS in a big way was a milestone event. Most companies would not be as open about allowing other content onto their system. Its a gamble for Yahoo! and one I hope pays off for them. Their willingness to play big and not create walled gardens of content says loads about their understanding of network effects.