More On Yahoo & Its Own Programming


It’s Not TV, It’s Yahoo
from the New York Times is another look at Yahoo’s
moves to provide its own programming. The opening anecdote is key. Yahoo media
chief Lloyd Braun "fumed" that Yahoo News was only offering "a white page filled
with links to other sites on the web" during the troubled Discovery space
shuttle mission rather than something original of its own.

I wrote
before of the
challenge this type of approach poses to Yahoo. Create your own programming, and
people may not trust you’re going to point them elsewhere. Indeed, that type of
pointing IS programming and worked to bring people to Google in droves back when
search engines
became
portals
and decided they needed to have "channels" and their own content.

I don’t know which way it will pan out, of course. Soon
after Braun came aboard and
talked about
Yahoo’s vertical areas as "channels," I wasn’t impressed that he didn’t seem to
know the past history with search of that metaphor. But the closing quote in
today’s New York Times article suggests he does see the difficult balancing act:

"People want the freedom to do exactly what they want
to do," he said. "But they also like to be programmed to and reminded of the
different things that exist. Yahoo is in a position to do both of those."

I can certainly agree with this. There are definitely
times when going beyond the algorithmic organization of information, some human
programming, is helpful.

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