Two Yahoo! Curiosities

Two small things. First, this morning I was looking at the Yahoo homepage and saw a featured “story” with the headline: “What’s the rarest animal in the world?” I clicked on the image expecting an AP or other traditional news feature.

What I got instead was a question at Yahoo Answers:

This was strange and somewhat disorienting. I suppose Yahoo is using the homepage and this sort of approach to remind people about Answers.

I continue to believe that there’s unrealized opportunity with Answers in mobile and otherwise. This is really Yahoo’s home grown “social network,” which hasn’t been fully exploited. New sites such as Quora or Facebook’s forthcoming Q&A service potentially threaten to steal attention and eventually usage from Yahoo Answers.

Secondly, last night I was showing someone Yahoo’s Sketch-a-Search on my iPad — it’s an iPhone app — and I doubled the size to more clearly illustrate what you could do with it. Then I noticed for the first time that the app doesn’t use Yahoo’s own mapping property (soon to be supplied by Nokia/Navteq) but Google Maps instead:

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