Yahoo is Irrelevant…and Beige

As an observer of internet and web innovation, a voracious user of hosted applications and ‘Web 2.0’ offerings, I’ve wondered for a long time about something: why have I never used Yahoo products and services in any way and still don’t?

Though I own some stock and been waiting for it to rise (fat chance now), it’s a company I’ve never believed in and one that’s irrelevant to my life. Most people I know don’t use Yahoo either and, out of the tens of thousands of pageviews per month on this blog, a tiny fraction come in from Yahoo….and I mean a tiny fraction (as a point of comparison, Google represents 63% of all referrals with the remainder coming in from blog or website links).

This irrelevancy is one reason why I didn’t care much as the Microsoft acquisition adventure was underway as well as after it had collapsed, though my few hundred shares increasing in value would’ve been nice.

My best guess on why that is can be summed up in one word: beige. In many ways a non-color, beige is the epitome of risk aversion, neutrality, and mass marketing that is the antithesis of where the web is headed. Today’s web is all about connection, personalization, participation and a Long Tail and Yahoo, trying to be everything-to-everybody in a mass media sort of way, doesn’t do any of that. 

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  1. PXLated on June 13, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Most people are beige. Yahoo is like AOL (once hot but turned beige too).

  2. Ken Kennedy on June 14, 2008 at 2:30 am

    They’ve done a good job with ancillary products like Flickr and (though admittedly, I don’t think has switched to Yahoo accounts), and some of the code projects like YUI. That being said, I agree; trying to do too much and spreading themselves too thin.

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About Steve Borsch

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Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.