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Quote to Note, Nay, Memorize from Yahoo

February 23, 2016

I read “Yahoo Forms Panel to Explore Strategic Options.” I looked past the notion that a committee can come up with options beyond sell this puppy. I did find a gem of a phrase in the write up. Here’s the keeper:

Mayer said in a statement, while emphasizing that everyone at Yahoo wanted to return the “iconic company to greatness”.

I like the notion of Yahoo as an icon. I think directories from the 1990s should be icons. The concept of greatness is a good one. My hunch is that revenue would be a help for whatever Yahoo is going to return to.

My thought is that the Yahooligans and the Xoogler look more like a business school case study for a course covering Touchstones in Internet Successes and Failures. I am debating whether Yahoo is a success or a failure. I have decided. Failure: Geocities, the Google GoTo Overture legal matter, the Semel reign, the CEO with sketchy credentials, the internal squabbling, et al.

Yep, let’s have a committee meeting. Great idea. Thank goodness I have IBM Watson to pick up the slack created by the silliness at Yahoo.

Stephen E Arnold, February 23, 2016

Yahoo Moves Undermine Content Is King Assertion

February 22, 2016

I don’t Yahoo. I did read a coven of content about the slimming down of the original content at Google’s neighbor, Yahoo. A representative write up is “If It’s Wednesday, It’s Layoffs Day at Yahoo: Today, Digital Magazines Get Hit.” The main thrust of this and the other writes up I worked through is that the Xoogler is amputating the arms and legs of its original content business.

Among the casualties are subsites or Web pages about food, travel, real estate, health, and others consumerish topics.

Based on my sample, determined by my fatigue with the Yahoo thing and the speed with which different articles on this subject rendered, is biased. I was able to formulate one notion; to wit:

Yahoo seems to be proving that content, as practiced by Yahoo, is not king.

I thought that content, particularly great content, would produce revenue. Apparently not. The Yahoo cuts suggest that content is not even a baron or an earl. Perhaps content is a wounded vassals? Are those cast out of the Yahoo serfs?

Stephen E Arnold, February 22, 2016

Xoogler to Xoogler: AOL Yahoo Strange Force

February 12, 2016

I read “Verizon Said to Enlist AOL CEO Armstrong to Explore Yahoo Deal.” The write up told me:

Verizon is looking to make its go90 streaming video service a source of new sales and profit. Yahoo, with more than 1 billion people using its e-mail, finance, sports and video sites, represents a prized asset to combine with AOL’s 2 million users and Verizon’s more than 112 million wireless subscribers. That kind of Web traffic, along with exclusive content, is just what Verizon needs to secure a foothold in video advertising against YouTube and Facebook serving a mobile phone-addicted generation.

Assume that this Xoogler to Xoogler force exists. My view is that Yahoo, like AOL, is an example of a once viable business. But now Yahoo can only exist as a tail fin or new set of rims for a larger vehicle.

Assume that Yahoo, like AOL, is an add on to a company with some Bell headism in its DNA. What companies will step forward to acquire more after market parts for their revenue vehicle?

As the economic squeeze persists, there will be more doodads and fandangles in the parts depot than buyers. A buyers’ market is under construction.

Stephen E Arnold, February 12, 2016

To Search the Dark Web

February 11, 2016

If you have wondered how, exactly, one searches for information on the Dark Web, take a gander at “The Best TOR Search Engines of 2016” at Cyberwarzone. Reporter CWZ writes:

“On the TOR network you can find various websites just like you find on the ‘normal web.’ The websites which are hosted on the TOR network are not indexed by search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo, but the search engines which are listed below, do index the TOR websites which are hosted via the TOR network. It is important to remember that you do need the TOR client on your device in order to access the TOR network, if you cannot use a TOR client on your device, you can use one of the free TOR gateways which are listed below in the web TOR providers tab.”

The article warns about malicious TOR clients, and strongly suggests readers download the client found at the official TOR website. Four search engines are listed— https://Ahmia.fi,  https://Onion.cab, https://onion.link/, and http://thehiddenwiki.org/.  CWZ also lists those  Web TOR gateways, through which one can connect to TOR services with a standard Web browser instead of using a TOR client. See the end of the article for that information.

 

Cynthia Murrell, February 11, 2016

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Yahoo Is Not Playing Games

February 9, 2016

Years ago I had to review a Google pitch to Yahoo about games. The basic idea was that the Alphabet Google thing wanted to team up with Yahoo in the mobile and online game sector. Yahoo, as I recall, blew off their neighbor. Not surprising. The Alphabet Google thing and Yahoo had a legal do si do about the GoTo/Overture advertising notion. There was a settlement, and I think that the Yahooligans were not completely comfortable having their lunch eaten by those sports down the road.

Flash forward to 2016. The old Yahoo is still the old Yahoo. I think the company is for sale, but the Xoogler running the show won’t spill the beans. There are more opportunities than ever for the purple gang to find their future elsewhere.

I read “Yahoo Games Has Passed Away at Just 13” and learned that those games that once caught the fancy of Googzilla are no more. The write up informed me:

Yahoo Games, THE once-hopping online game hub best known for its simulacrum of classic board and card games, is shutting down. The news was buried amidst major changes for the company: As we reported Tuesday, Yahoo will lay off roughly 15 percent of the company, downsize across the board, and shutter many offerings, including its TV efforts.

One wonders what might have been if Yahoo and the Google got their act together and did a game deal. My hunch is that the answer is not much. Both companies believe that if they enter a niche, success is inevitable.

Yahoo and its stakeholders have learned how that has worked out. The Googlers are just now beginning to ponder the limits of there zero gravity approach to online revenue.

Net net: A good idea a decade ago won’t carry the water from the river to the well today. Yahoo may be moving down a path that Google will reluctantly follow.

Stephen E Arnold, February 9, 2016

Yahoo Says Adios to Argentina and Mexico

January 30, 2016

Years ago Yahoo pulled out of Denmark. Yahoo has trimmed its international operations over time. I read “In Latest Shakeup, Yahoo Quits Mexico, Argentina.” Several points in the write up caught my attention.

First, Yahoo is described as “troubled” by its local newspaper. The “real” journalists are wondering what the Yahooligans will do to reform themselves.

Second, I liked the characterization of the Argentina and Mexico operations as “not worth future investment.” There you go. Yahoo sees the land of gauchos and guacamole as lacking financial magnetism.

Third, the write up points out that Yahoo sees Brazil as a growth opportunity. Yahoo must know something about the Brazilian economy. I used to live in the country, and from what I hear some of cities are not likely to be friendly to folks dressed in purple. Brazil possesses more than 18 of the most dangerous cities in the world. And the Brazilian economy? Zipping right along. And the Zika.

Yahoo has great instincts. The revenues will surely follow.

Stephen E Arnold, January 30, 2016

Bing Goes Green, as in Dollar Bills and Brand New Logo

January 29, 2016

The article on Microsoft News titled Microsoft Releasing New Bing Logo Today briefly overviews the recent growth and profitability of the often mocked and overlooked search engine. Microsoft also updated Cortana lately, which is deeply connected to Bing search. So what will the new Bing logo look like? The article explains,

“In the new logo, Microsoft is switching its color scheme to green as it  “is easier to see over yellow” and “b” in now in upper case. This new version of the logo will be used across various Microsoft apps and services. Speaking to AdAge, Rik van der Kooi, Microsoft’s corporate VP of advertiser and publisher solutions said that Bing is the only search engine that is experiencing steady, consistent growth and have increased our share for 26 consecutive quarters.”

The article also points out that it is Bing powering Yahoo, AOL, Apple Siri and several other services, from behind the scenes. The green logo looks less like an imitation of Google, especially with the capitalization. Perhaps the new logo is meant to be easier on the eyes, but it is also certainly trying to keep up the positive attention Bing has been receiving lately as 1/3 of the search market.

Chelsea Kerwin, January 29, 2016

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Verizon: Hypothetically Thinking about Yahoo

January 28, 2016

I read “Yahoo! Rises on Pivotal Upgrade as Verizon Eyes Core Assets.” Much investment “news” relates to churn. You know when your financial advisor calls and suggests story A means buy or sell stock B. Churn. It keeps the commissions train running.

I found the news that Pivotal Research has put a happy face on the Yahooligans’ ticker symbol. The write up said:

Yahoo! Inc. shares rallied as much as 2% during pre-market hours today, after Pivotal Research analyst Brian Weiser bumped its rating from Hold to Buy. The upward revision was made ahead of the company’s fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 (4QFY15) earnings, scheduled for next week.

Ah, ha, the Xoogler has the ship sailing in calm waters.

Here’s the tasty morsel:

According to recent rumors, Verizon Communications have launched an acquisition bid worth $8 billion for Yahoo’s core business. Pivotal Research analysts believe that the deal could have a positive impact on the company, as well as on Verizon, which intends to cement its presence in the digital advertising space.

I love rumors. Wait. I hear the whistle of the commission train now. Gotta run.

Stephen E Arnold, January 28, 2016

Is Yahoo Going the Way of AOL?

January 25, 2016

Yahoo hired former Googler Marissa Mayer as its new CEO to turn the company around.  The company is headed towards stormy waters again, which could leave only the ship’s hull.  Yahoo could sell its main operating business and all that would be left is Yahoo Japan, Alibaba shares, and $5 billion in cash.  Mayer would then get the boot, says South China Morning Post in the article, “Yahoo Destined For Tech Graveyard Due To Poor Choice In Chief Executive Officer.”

Yahoo has gone through five CEOs in the past decade and its current shares are trading well below value, making the company only worth at an estimated $2 billion.

Yahoo’s current problems began when the company was formed.  Founders Jerry Yang and David Filo were great inventors, but they were inexperienced running a company.  Yahoo failed to accept Microsoft’s offer and while it floundered, Google stole the search market.

“Determining the right kind of chief executive for a tech company at a particular stage of development represents the most frustrating and critical issue. The weakness of chief executives with a tech start-up or product background like Mayer is that they try to invent and innovate a large corporation out of a problem and into a breakthrough strategy.”

The article explains that Yahoo needed to be knocked down and then rebuilt from the ground up.  A huge movement like that requires more from a tech manager who is only used to positive growth, praise, and giving huge benefits to staff.

This points out that people with different talents are needed to manage a company as well as the importance of a diverse team with varied experience.   Some people are meant to invent and work in the tech field, others are meant to be business leaders.

 

Whitney Grace, January 25, 2016
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Management 101: Sensitivity to Staff

January 24, 2016

I read “Yahoo CEO Cruelly Instills Fear in Her Workforce with Ominous Joke: No Layoffs This Week.”

I love this approach to motivation. I remember hearing Charles Colson, the pre-reformation version, gentle reader, explain to me and others in the meeting the value of fear and intimidation. By golly, I perked up. We may have been contractors to the president’s science advisor, but I got the message. Let’s see. I think that was in the early 1970s. I was useful to my employer because my father and his brother had been fund raisers for Senator Dirksen and Congressman Michel. As a result, I found myself in some darned interesting opportunity spaces when I was in Washington, DC. I saw the “hearts and mind” wall art.

If you are not familiar with the pre reformation Mr. Colson, you might find this obituary helpful. I highlighted this passage:

Charles W. Colson, the Republican political operative who boasted that he would “walk over my own grandmother” to ensure the reelection of President Richard M. Nixon and went on to found a worldwide prison fellowship ministry after his conversion to evangelical Christianity.

The write up about the fascinating Yahoo and its Xoogler leader reported:

The backlash is mounting against Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer for a horrible joke she attempted to make recently at a companywide meeting, and now many in her presumably deflated workforce fear for their jobs. Mayer reportedly told the company that there will be “no layoffs… this week,” and although her comments were intended to be humorous, many who call the tech giant home are left wondering about their employment status within the company. “This is the reason employee morale is so low,” said one employee to the New York Post, who wished to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution.

Yep, humor works really well as a management mechanism. Nothing relaxes an individual like a reminder that the mortgage may go unpaid, one’s home life is disrupted, and one’s professional standing is decimated.

Good stuff. Mr. Colson would have approved. My recollection is that he liked to be a bit more colorful. You know. The grandmother thing was a nice rhetorical touch. Xoogler management 101, gentle reader. Think what one does in management 102.

Stephen E Arnold, January 23, 2016

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