Saturday, December 10, 2005


Yahoo! acquired yesterday, proving once again that among the big 4, they are the one who actually "get it".

Joshua's announcement on was aptly titled "y.ah.oo!".

They couldn't have made a better choice of course. Despite its often-discussed shortcomings, and maybe somewhat because of them, has the liveliest, most vibrant and active community from the social bookmarking crowd. The gentleness track record that Yahoo demonstrated with Yahoozation of Flickr might help making sure that this community won't walk away.

Walking away should be a real concern - since switching from one social bookmarking service to another is very, very easy today.

Reminder: Yahoo introduced their own service, My Web 2.0, not so long ago. The service was not as successful as you'd expect, with "only 424K saved pages and about a quarter of that in tags". I said back then: "… might save a lot of time in those VC weekly investment committee meetings". I guess that was somewhat premature :)

It'd be interesting to see what will the result of this ongoing process - the Flickrization of Y.ah.oo!. One thing is sure - with so many tagged web objects, and, even more important, so much information on which users act as a de-facto authority on what's interesting, Yahoo!'s search engine should get quite a boost in the relevancy of its results.

Now that my photos are on Yahoo's Flickr and my bookmarks on Yahoo's, will Yahoo be able to get me - and, slightly more important, others :) - to move from typing "google" when I think web search to typing - hmm... what is the URL for Yahoo's search thingie? Maybe I should start memorizing it..

There is something poetic about this battle between the two giants, with one betting on algorithms and server farms, and the other betting on people.

A different way to look at it: Google is about empowering people through the machine. Yahoo is about empowering people through people, with the machine as an aggregator. Oh yeah, and Amazon, making an attempt at empowering the machine through people :)

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