Hanging Out at the Yahoo! Tenthouse

Xzibit, CES 2006 Rapper Xzibit at the Yahoo! house

Well I had a good visit with Yahoo! yesterday and already blogged yesterday afternoon about Go TV. Go TV certainly is one of the more interesting announcements here at CES and it will be intersting watching Yahoo over the course of the next few years as they offer a service to compete with Media Center, TiVo and the cable and satellite operators. Yahoo! certainly has a lot of things going for them not the least of which are a vast amount of microcontent with Yahoo! video and things like Flickr. It will be interesting to me to see how they deal with the whole HDTV issue. It seems like their lineup is really strong but getting HDTV content into their software via CableCARD or satellite remains to be seen. This is something I’ll definitely be trying out though.

Nicole Ritchie, CES 2006 Nicole Ritchie

Yahoo! basically has a tenthouse set up with different celebrities each having their own decorated rooms showing off Yahoo! technology. For the living room they have Ellen DeGeneres, for the garage rapper Xzibit, for the Spa, Jeremy Pivens and for the bedroom Nicole Richie. The celebrities made appearances at the Yahoo! tent house to show off in their various rooms. An interesting marketing angle getting the celebrities in on it and all. I didn’t get to see Ellen or Jeremy, but my only comment on the whole celebrity thing is that Nicole Richie needs to eat. That girl is about ready to blow away and that just is not healthy. But this isn’t the place to talk about the weight or lack thereof of waif celebrities so back to the technology.

I basically was not all that impressed by most of what I saw in the Yahoo! house other than Go TV. Yahoo! also has plug ins for Media Center and TiVo that are interesting as plug ins and the Widgets which I’ve already played with at home were kind of cool. Personally I’m less interested in spending money on Yahoo! Music and the mobile stuff just doesn’t really excite me — but that’s probably more because my laptop comes with me everywhere and other than short text messages I HATE writing things on my phone without a keyboard. Yahoo! is doing a lot more with Yahoo! messenger with mobile though and that was mildly interesting.

Heather Champ, CES 2006
Heather Champ

Much more interesting to me than the Yahoo! house and the celebrities that were hanging out in it though was and catching up with a much far better local and longtail celebrity, Heather Champ from Flickr. Heather is a great photographer, photoblogger and works as the Community Manager at Flickr. We more or less spent about an hour just chatting away about cameras, film vs. digital, printing, Flickr, JPG magazine, etc. etc. All stuff that is much much more interesting to me than anything Yahoo! had up it’s sleeze.

I talked with Heather about the recent speed increases that we’ve seen on Flickr and she echoed what Stewart had said previously that they’ve done a major significant harder upgrade that should make us all a lot happier. She said it’s been hard upgrading Flickr while at the same time experiencing massive growth. The day after New Year’s day was the biggest single day Flickr has ever had and the growth does not appear to be slowing. This is great news. Heather also said that now that the upgrade is done that they can get back to the business of adding new features of which she assured me there is a long list of feature enhancements that we should be seeing in the future. Nothing like making what is almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world even that much better.

Derek Powazek
, Heather’s husband who works for Technorati also flew in yesterday and I ran into the two of them coincidently at the Paris Hotel. As a reminder, if you have not already yet done so, be sure to submit your photo to JPG’s next issue which has a theme of “Photography is Not a Crime.” I’m hoping to catch up more at the Yahoo! house with Derek and Heather today.

Deborah Lattimore in the Go TV Demo

Oh and it was fun in the house seeing Flickr pal Deborah Lattimore’s photo show up when they were demoing Go TV doing a random slide show from Flickr’s interestingness stream.

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