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Wired smacks around Yahoo! over Google


AlooTechie put me on to this little slap-a-rama between Wired who claim Yahoo! could of won against Google in the early days and Wired pulls no punches, no sirree.

Here’s the Wired article and here’s Yahoo’s response.

The key to me was this paragraph:

Terry Semel — a legendary Hollywood dealmaker, a guy who didn’t even use email — had not come to Silicon Valley to meekly merge with the geeky boys of Google. He had come to turn Yahoo into the next great media giant. Which might explain why the face of the famously serene CEO was slowly turning the color of Yahoo’s purple logo, exclamation point included. “Five billion dollars, 7 billion, 10 billion. I don’t know what they’re really worth — and you don’t either,” he told his staff. “There’s no fucking way we’re going to do this!”

The key is not the fact that – Quel Shock! Horror! – someone in media has a potty mouth, but the bit about “a guy who didn’t even use email“. Now at least two people who read this blog on their feeder sat in a presentation with me where the head of a media giant (a baby giant, it is Australia after all); a well known guru with the title of Head of Digital Media (used to be New Media) made naff statements about “not understanding user generated content“”why do people bother uploading photos” “I don’t even use SMS on my phone” “I like to go home and watch TV and rarely use the PC” and … so on. And he’s not the only one in a senior strategic position at a portal company who has said such things. And now lets look at the CEO of Yahoo! *points at Terry Semel* Now ok, Wired made a prediction he would be gone by the end of 2007 and they are intending to make that happen, but there’s still a lesson to be learnt.

We see a lot of job advertisements with the criteria traditional media experience, or from a journalist/newspaper/tv background. Now nothing wrong with that per se, but when it becomes clear that the company is attempting to build a Web 2.0 experience based on a traditional model, well it just don’t work. Not in my world anyway. Not sure I”m being clear, but whacking this post up anyway. (It’s taking further the “At Yahoo, the marketers rule, and at Google the engineers rule. And for that, Yahoo is finally paying the price.”)

N.B. My mate Robbo tried to advertise with Yahoo but found it much more difficult than Adsense/Adwords. And, as word of mouth marketing goes, I trust him. Only on this issue though. 😛

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

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