Yahoo has launched a project called Sideline, a Twitter monitoring tool built on Adobe's AIR platform. The effort is notable for three primary reasons:
- Sideline shows how Yahoo can meld user interface and programming to create a multiplatform application.
- This approach could be a way to push Yahoo to desktops in the future. I'd gladly take parts of Yahoo Finance and just let them update in a desktop app.
- Twitter's future business model most likely resides with analytic capabilities for businesses. However, Yahoo shows that it's quite possible that a third party can analyze and surface Twitter activity better than Twitter can.
You won't find those three aforementioned items in Yahoo's post about Sideline. Sideline is really about the programming---a grand experiment in desktop applications and showing off the Yahoo user interface library. As a tool Sideline is pretty handy when it comes to monitoring Twitter use. Sideline is lurking heaven. However, you may want to change the update settings so it moves a little slower.
Fair enough, but if you connect the dots it's not a grand leap to picture Yahoo, Google and company increasingly playing around with desktop applications to become more intertwined in the day to day computing environment.