Yahoo is embarking on a new product designed to attract students to its service, Yahoo Slacker.
Announcing Yahoo! Slacker on the Yahoo Search Blog explains how the service will provide easy access to Cliff Notes and Dummies Books, for the student who can't be bothered to actually read source material. A special Local Slacker feature will map local pizza locations and has one-click ordering enabled.
An interesting feature, the Misspelling API, ensures that those who create term papers and report using Yahoo Slacker material can automatically have misspellings inserted into their pages, "to automate the removal of that too-perfect sheen from papers and presentations that might arouse suspicion in teachers and colleagues."
As always, searchers should remember that simply because you found something on the web -- even within Yahoo Slacker -- doesn't mean you have the right to reprint it as your own work. The repercussions of plagiarism can be quite serious, as shown this week. Yahoo said they are considering adding disclaimers and warnings to the service to highlight the fact, if they can get around to it and feel like it.
Site owners should also be aware that Yahoo is working on a system so that site owners can feed content the slacker spider may have missed. So if you have term papers for sale, you'll easily be able to get this material in front of Yahoo Slacker services. Ads will also be carried, so that if you don't get a guaranteed top listing, you can at least buy your way into first page visibility in the clearly-marked ad areas.