To poke Yahoo! or not

yahoo masthead archive.org may 8 1999

A recent analysis by Bear Stearns (BS) recommends that Yahoo! adopt a social networking (hmm, sound familiar in the local context?) by buying Facebook. One of my favourite Web 2.0 characteristics is that comment to a feature is regularly more illuminating than the feature itself, and in this case its true again; roll the good comments please:

  • BS has questionable statistics, showing that the 35-54 age demographic as being the biggest social networkers. This is intuitively inaccurate ( ever seen the over 30s groups on FB?).
  • Yahoo! Has all the social networking tools it will ever need. It had them in the 90s already. They cant see the wood for the trees, and good suggestions include merging them all into one powerful app, not 20 different ones (cf FB).
  • Yahoo! Should not buy FB, unless it will do so only to remove a competitor. It should rather go back to its roots, or rummage around its dev shed and bring all its toys out and reengineer them for Web 2.0.

Yahoo!, WTF? You were the web for many years, synonomous with search, free mail and free hosting. I was hooked from 1999. Sure, I got mad when Yahoo! shut down my account after 6 months of inactivity and when my girlfriend dropped me via Yahoo! mail, but you were like the rock band one grows up with at 13 who can never do wrong.

PS: I’ve registered for another account and am giving Yahoo! another chance. They have the brains, for one. Its surreal writing about Yahoo!s fortunes as I did the same for my dissertation in 1999 when Yahoo! stood for everything the web could be.

About Derek

My key interests are online investor relations, websites, social media, enterprise 2.0 and intranets, and XBRL. Speak to me if you need a solution in any of these disciplines, or follow my knowledge links on this site and others. Find me on Twitter, LinkedIn or in recent conversations.