10 Years That Rocked The World

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myshtern

Yellow Belt
http://www.ysearchblog.com/archives/000085.html

10 Years That Rocked The World

Yahoo! incorporated in 1995, the year I discovered the World Wide Web. That year, I made a decision that changed my life: I dared myself to use the Web to find a job on the Internet. I was a natural-born information junkie who could read, write, edit, and catalog--and fearlessly follow hyperlinks wherever they might lead.

I bought a fast Pentium running shiny new Windows 95. I got ISDN. I downloaded each new beta browser. In early 1996, I was hired to build a directory of web sites for one of Yahoo!'s now vanished competitors. I stepped into the fast-moving current, riding wave after wave of discovery, gathering a daily catch of tools and trinkets: image maps, javascripts, dancing widgets, canonical lists of nearly everything. I was getting paid to websurf!

In those days, we studied Yahoo! to see how directory was done. I walked the tree, and pondered colon classification and what it meant that Ranganathan was a Yahoo!. Web search scaled and evolved quickly to colonize the new info landscape, but the algorithms were young, and results were erratic and sometimes surprisingly irrelevant.

Yahoo! hired me on my third try, in 1998. The Web seemed vast, but finite. We still believed there was an end of the Internet. Then, as now, the Yahoo! Directory exemplified the value of informed human intervention, aggregating and organizing the best of the Web, creating choice out of chaos. And Yahoo! was fast, free, and fun, with invisible, reliable, leading-edge technology.

Over the past seven years, it's been a privilege to participate as Yahoo! and the Web grew up together. Through the tumultuous boom and bust years, search technology thrived. Yahoo! enjoyed a succession of relationships with great search providers. Then, more recently, we reinvented ourselves and launched Yahoo! Search Technology.

These days, search engine is a household word. The power of search has captured the public imagination and become essential in the lives of millions. And though we're continually innovating, we've just begun to explore the multi-faceted, multimedia knowledge exchange that becomes possible when search technologies mature and get smarter. Stay tuned.

And now it's time to celebrate. You're invited to Yahoo!'s 10th birthday party. There's even a present waiting for you there. Feeling nostalgic? Don't miss our amazing, entertaining web installation, Netrospective: 10 years, 100 moments of the Web. We'd love to hear from you.

Havi Hoffman
Yahoo! Editorial
 
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