Yahoo’s “Community” of User Tools and Services

With today’s SearchDay article about the new “community-oriented” Yahoo Shopping feature, “Shoposphere,” Searchblog points to an interesting five page read from Business 2.0 titled, The Flickrization of Yahoo.

Key Passages:

?Flickr has changed so many lives. The number of friends I have has exploded,? enthuses Deborah Lattimore, an entrepreneur who owns a transcription service.

?I look at Flickr with envy,? [Jerry] Yang says. ?It feels like where the Web is going.?

To use Flickr is to belong to the culture of participation sweeping the Web — where you write your own blog, produce your own podcast, and post your personal photos for all to see. If this is where the Web is going, Yang wants to make sure Yahoo gets there first.

Thanks to a new generation of managers like Butterfield and Fake, Yahoo is starting to see how user-generated content, or ?social media,? is a key weapon in its war against Google (GOOG). That upstart in neighboring Mountain View may have a better reputation for search, it may dominate online advertising, and it may always win when it comes to machines and math.

It?s a strategy that comes right from the top. Social media ?is going to be a gigantic piece of what we do,? says Yahoo CEO Terry Semel. ?I don?t think old media is what people are going to spend most of their time doing on the Internet. This paradigm needs its own inventions, its own methods, its own way to go forward.?

Before it bought Flickr, Yahoo had just launched a fledgling social-networking service called Yahoo 360 that lets members write their own blogs. A few months earlier, the company had introduced the world of blogs to its members by adding the ability to subscribe to RSS feeds in My Yahoo. But the biggest change to Yahoo began in a New York hotel in November 2003.

For a good time, try sampling the 94,000 photos Flickr users have tagged with the word ?fun.?

Butterfield and Fake had several offers on the table for Flickr, reportedly including one from Google. Yahoo was their top pick. By March, [Bradley] Horowitz had persuaded his top brass to buy Flickr for an undisclosed sum, estimated to be around $30 million.

A good read.

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