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Yahoo's Ass Kicking Statue Controversy

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This was one of those, "should I skip it" decisions, but I did find it interesting. Phillip at Google Blogoscoped in Yahoo in Battle Mode summarizes how Yahoo's mail team was given a statue (yep, there's even a picture) for "kicking an enemy's ass." That would be Google's bottom being whacked, specifically.

Phillip then points to Google's Kevin Fox having long commentary on the statue. Kevin used to be at Yahoo, and he does a compare and contrast feeling that Google's about making better products while Yahoo's focused on "how to beat Google" and finds the competition goes too far with the statue's comparison to Britain fighting Nazi Germany.

The comments after Kevin's post go all over the place and are fun to read -- pro-Yahoo, anti-Yahoo, pro-Google, anti-Google. Phillip also points to two Yahoo employees who comment on the statue as well (Ryan Kennedy suggests a toned-down description for the statue; this employee prefers the "be humble" approach).

Yahoo's new email interface is way, way cool (double verified by checking with my wife, who is a regular user) -- but honestly, the old system was already kicking Google's butt for the simple fact that anyone could sign-up for it without getting someone to send you an invite or having to get text messaged a secret code. When Gmail's freely open to anyone, then let the weigh-up really take place.

Speaking of statues, how about Yahoo putting a little message on the Bob's Big Boy statue that Chris and I came across in one of the Yahoo buildings when visiting this summer. I'll see about getting the photo off Chris's phone -- I made him stand there and take it. But it looks just like this, except the hamburger was replaced with the Inktomi logo.

Bob's an old friend I remember well, from my days of visiting Inktomi. He was in the lobby, and I'd sit next to him waiting for someone to come meet me.

If memory serves, Inktomi founder Eric Brewer bought him to represent the serving/caching service that Inktomi used to provide. When Yahoo bought Inktomi, Bob came over -- and apparently was nearly tossed out until someone gave him a home.

He deserves a better home and maybe his own message devoted to the Yahoo web search team -- those from Inktomi, plus the AltaVista and FAST/AllTheWeb vets. They assembled a great product that directly rivals Google's core search results. Heck, put Bob out in the main entrance of Yahoo! Just make the message praising the efforts without dissing the competition, and I suppose everyone will be happy.


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