April 30, 2007 on 6:17 pm | In News | 111 Comments
I just wanted to take a moment to let you all know that we are listening. We read each and every comment that’s posted on the blog, so rest assured your concerns, suggestions, complaints are being heard. Unfortunately, we don’t always have the information at hand to respond to your comments, so your patience is appreciated. Here’s what we’ve got on the list of hot topics from our readers:
- What’s going on with the chat rooms and when will they improve?
- When is the new Yahoo! Messenger for Windows Vista coming out?
- When is the next version of Yahoo! Messenger for Mac coming out?
- Is Sarah Bacon a real person or a bot?
[Ok, that last has only been asked a few times, but that is one I can answer – yes I am a real person!]
We’re working on many of the topics that are discussed here on the blog, and I’m excited to keep you all informed as our product develops. Stay tuned – 2007 will be a busy year for Yahoo! Messenger and hopefully an exciting one for our users too.
Moving forward, we would appreciate it if you could please keep your comments on topic to the blog post. Off-topic comments will be removed. This will help make the blog more useful for all of our readers. And whenever possible, I will respond to your comments and questions.
April 27, 2007 on 8:19 am | In Features | 21 Comments
Have you ever seen the “A Day in the Life of…” photo book series? Photographers from around the world have 24 hours to shoot pictures of a certain theme, and the best photos are put in the final book. In my past work life, I worked on the America 24/7 book project which invited amateur photographers to participate.
Flickr, a global photo sharing community owned by Yahoo!, recently announced a similar event on their blog called “24 hours of Flickr”:
“To celebrate this global community, we invite you to join us in “24 Hours of Flickr” – a day-long global photo project. On May 5, 2007, grab your camera and whatever else you need, and chronicle your day in pictures. The group’s photos will be featured at Flickr events around the world this summer and in a companion book, which will contain a selection of photographs chosen from the group (more about this soon!).”
To participate, join the 24 Hours of Flickr group to get ready for the big day.
So, you may be asking, “What does this have to do with Yahoo! Messenger?” Aside from this being a great event that I wanted to make sure Messenger users knew about, it also gives me a chance to tell you about the Flickr plug-in.
Flickengr is a great little plug-in that shows you the latest photos that your Messenger friends have posted on Flickr. And if you have additional contacts that you’ve added through Flickr, their photos will rotate in as well. I’ve found it’s a great way to find out more about my friends (who knew my uncle had tried windsurfing??), plus the constant stream of new photos makes my desktop more interesting. The Flickengr plug-in and many others are available for the Windows version of Yahoo! Messenger (8.1).
If you participate in the 24 Hours of Flickr event on May 5, let us know by posting a link to your photos in a comment. Happy snapping!
April 20, 2007 on 1:19 pm | In Features | 30 Comments
Now that we have a blog, I get little tips all the time from Yahoo! Messenger team members. “Hey, did you know you can…”. Today’s tip is about modifying your Messenger conversation window. Some of us like clean, simple windows, others like to have all the bells and whistles close at hand. By default, almost all controls are exposed in the user interface, so I’ll describe how you can hide some parts.
When you click on the View menu at the top of the window, you have the option to hide certain parts of the interface. Uncheck the “Conversation toolbar” and the top strip with the Call, Plug-ins, Webcam etc. buttons will disappear. You can bring it back anytime by selecting “Conversation toolbar” again from the view menu. If you prefer it hidden, you can also use Alt + A commands to access those same features in the “Actions” menu.
In the “View” menu you can also hide/unhide the text formatting toolbar that sits down near the text entry box. I don’t use it often since Messenger supports universal bold (ctrl+b), italic (ctrl + i) and underline (ctrl + u) key commands. But if you’re a font or text color chameleon, you might find it easier to keep it visible.
And if you find your own Avatar / Display image is in the way (or your friend’s), just click the little friend icon () next to it to hide and unhide it. The same goes for the Audibles menu – if you like it open for easy access, just click the lips icon.
The best part is that any changes you make to your IM window are preserved as you open up new IM windows and even when you sign out and back in again.
April 17, 2007 on 9:17 am | In Mobile | 27 Comments
Last week Sandisk released their newest MP3 player, the Sansa Connect. The key to the Sansa Connect is that it’s a WiFi based player, keeping you connected to your music, friends and audio entertainment wherever you go.
When you’re in range of a wireless network, you can download music from Yahoo! Music Unlimited, share your music with friends over Yahoo! Messenger, and tune into Yahoo! Music LAUNCHcast Radio. When you’re no longer connected wirelessly, just switch over to My Library mode and listen to 4GB+ of your music that’s stored on the device.
The Yahoo! Messenger integration on the Sansa Connect is similar to the features in Yahoo! Music Jukebox. When you’re connected to a WiFi network, you can sign into Yahoo! Messenger and give online friends access to your Yahoo! Music playlists. And you can have your Yahoo! Messenger status display the song you’re listening to.
Check out the Yahoo! Music blog to find out more about this new Sandisk player. And here’s a comprehensive review from Gadgetaholic.com. Hopefully we’ll get one here in the Messenger offices soon so I can give the Yahoo! Messenger features a more thorough test drive. Stay tuned!
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April 13, 2007 on 6:01 pm | In Features | 71 Comments
In the mornings I’m “Waking Up”, around noon I’m into “Food”, and later in the day you might see me “Seeking Caffeine”. I love to use my Yahoo! Messenger status to let friends know what I’m up to. But did you know that your status message can also be a great way to share things you’re into like websites and music?
I’m an avid Yahoo! Music LAUNCHcast radio listener (via the Messenger LAUNCHcast plug-in). I’m proud to say that I’ve reached fanatic level as a result of rating songs on My Station (1,400 & counting!!). I figure this kind of music devotion deserves sharing so when I tune in to LAUNCHcast radio, I change my Messenger status to display the artist and song I’m listening to. By doing that, my friends see what I’m listening to and if they’re interested, they can click to tune in (if they don’t like my music, they can ridicule me). When other friends do the same, I find it’s a great way to discover new music and tune into their LAUNCHcast stations. Here’s what a LAUNCHcast status looks like:
I also use my status message to share websites that I think are interesting, funny or just plain weird. You can drop a web address right into your status and it will display as a clickable link to your friends. Or if you prefer to give more context to your link, you can include a phrase to describe it. Let’s say I want share the link to my favorite recipe source, Yahoo! Food. In the new status message window I enter “Hungry? http://food.yahoo.com/recipes/”. On my friends’ lists, I show up like this:
To change your status, click on the menu next to your name at the top of the Messenger window. Then choose “New Status Message…”. If you change your status a lot and use links, it helps to get a preview of what your status looks like to your friends. The easiest way to do this is to add yourself to your own contact list. Then when you change your status, you can see what it looks like to the rest of your friends.