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Lance Robinson is a software engineer in Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, and surrounding areas. More about Lance.

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Hey Jeremy Zawodny, since you are working so hard to improve the Yahoo! Developer Network, how about making feeds that are useful to software developers?

Right now, if you look at the big list of Yahoo! RSS feeds, you've got a lot of things that are interesting for me to subscribe to in my feed reader. For example, I can subscribe to someone's delicious links, or flickr photos, or the Yahoo! Finance feed for a particular company. All great for me to read when I have time. So whats my problem?

My problem is that these feeds are readable by humans only - not terribly full of data that machines can make use of. Most of the Yahoo feeds are news feeds only, and not data feeds. They could be both. This data is what will really make your feeds valuable.

Take for example, the Yahoo! Finance feeds. Company news for a ticker symbol? Fine, great. Very nice reading during my lunch break. How about the high, low, current price, and other valuable data in their own dedicated elements inside the feed so that it can be easily parsed out by feed readers or by my own software?

Here are a couple example of Yahoo! feeds that are on the right track:

The Yahoo! Weather feed. Not only does it contain human readable data that my feed reader can display to me for reading, but it also contains special yweather prefixed pieces of data that I can use. Now *that* is truly useful.

The Upcoming.org feeds (like this one for my area) are nice, because again they're using a RSS 2.0 modules to provide more valuable data, such as geo coordinates and the venue name and address, event name, time, etc.

Update:  Read more details about Yahoo's data feeds.

Posted on Wednesday, August 16, 2006 8:04 AM Software , General | Back to top


Comments on this post: Yahoo feeds could be more useful

# re: Yahoo feeds could be more useful
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Oops, geotags got lost with a recent push. They're back now. :)
Left by Leonard on Aug 18, 2006 3:17 AM

# re: Yahoo feeds could be more useful
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Sweet! Thanks Leonard.
Left by Lance on Aug 18, 2006 6:20 AM

# re: Yahoo feeds could be more useful
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Yeah, I dig the Finance idea. Any others you can think of that I should add to the mytical list?
Left by Jeremy Zawodny on Aug 19, 2006 11:03 AM

# re: Yahoo feeds could be more useful
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I'll post a list of ideas.
Left by Lance on Aug 21, 2006 7:51 AM

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