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The New News at Yahoo

Richard MacManus of Web 2.0 has some initial thoughts on the redesign of Yahoo News. More branding for the content providers, clever uses of collapsing menus so that it’s easier to flick between categories and top headlines from different sources, and a new "drill down" feature which lets you run a Y!Q search on words and phrases that have been enabled within articles. There’s even a cool little slideshow feature that lets you play the through the top photos of the day (I see now this is not a new feature but it’s cool nonetheless).

Yahoo’s editorial touch is evident as well with links to articles that have been pulled together to cover popular topics. Yahoo’s had these "Full Coverage" pages before but having them highlighted in the top right brings this feature to the fore. Links at the bottom of stories allow you to IM a story to someone and an interactive ranking system for each story no doubt feeds into the "Recommended Stories" section.

RSS junkies would be happy to hear that almost everything you can think of is RSS-enabled so you can bring your own slice of what you see into your reader.

I think I see Neil Budde’s vision taking place. Neil joined the Yahoo News team in November and was one of the original minds behind wsj.com. This is what happens when you give someone with editorial vision access to a team of talented engineers.

Online Journalism Review coverage of Yahoo News
Online Tour of Yahoo News

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Julia’s Special Day

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I took the morning off on Wednesday to take Julia to school for her “special day.” On this day, a parent stays with their child for the whole session and the child gets to sit up in front of the class next to the teacher and her parent and lead the activities for the day.

She has been going pre-school two days a week since we moved here and was very excited to show me her school. We sang Julia’s favorite songs (I finally learned the words to I’m a Little Teapot) and she was the line leader as we headed out to the playground. Later, we came in and ate a snack (sliced oranges and milk crackers) that Izumi prepared and picked up the artwork they had worked on earlier.

It was great to hang out with a room of three year-olds for a morning. I spent most of the free play time quizzing the kids on the various action figures that were in a bucket in the corner of the room. They knew them all – each of the Rugrat kids, various Star Wars characters, the members of the Incredible family, and of course the Disney animals. We also read a few books which they all enjoyed and was one way to quiet them down.

It’s always neat to see your daughter within a group of her peers. Julia’s on the quiet side, she keeps to herself a lot, pays attention to what’s going on and doesn’t get involved with the gossipy girls in the back of the class. But inside, you can see that she’s got lots of energy and is taking it all in like a sponge. Her teacher’s nickname for her is “Julia Jumping Bean” and when we went out to the playground you could see where that came from – everywhere we went, she was hoping around or up on her tippy toes.

Several times during the class, Julia would lean over to me and whisper, “Daddy, I like you very much!” I think she was pretty happy to have me there. Thanks for having me.