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viernes, 18 de mayo de 2007

Yahoo's New Mission: It's About the People

Google's mission statement has long been "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." Last night, Yahoo! announced their new mission, "to connect people to their passions, communities, and the world’s knowledge." While Google emphasizes the data, Yahoo! will emphasize the people (the Google also recently debuted a new tagline: "Search, Ads and Apps," so maybe they're more about the money).

Last November, an internal memo at Yahoo! from SVP Brad Garlinghouse, dubbed the "Peanut Butter Manifesto" by the press, called on the company "to boldly and definitively declare what we are and what we are not." It seems that Yahoo! has decided that they're less about search, and more about community.

As part of the new realignment Yahoo! formed a new "Network Division," that puts "the majority of Yahoo!’s consumer-facing products," including Mail, Messenger, Groups, Bix, Flickr, Web Search, Answers, News & Information and Entertainment business units, the Yahoo.com home page and My Yahoo, under one roof. That appears to be pretty much everything.

One of the most interesting points in Yahoo!'s new vision is that they want to "leverage our assets to build the most relevant, comprehensive, dynamic, and open repository of knowledge and content on the Web." Yahoo's Executive Vice President, Jeff Weiner, who penned the announcement, emphasized that Yahoo! is excited about opening up their content to other web publishers. This is something that Yahoo! has already excelled at. The Yahoo! Developer Network offers comprehensive APIs for most of their services, and according to ProgrammableWeb, Yahoo! offers more APIs than Google, and is second among the large web properties in terms of mashups created using their technology and content.

"One of the things we’re most excited about is the concept of 'open,' and all of the potential we have yet to tap by opening up some of the most trafficked pages on Yahoo.com to the highest quality publishers on the Web, regardless of their size," says Weiner, promising more information soon. It will be interesting to see in what new ways Yahoo! plans to open their content.

Weiner says the reorganization of Yahoo! is complete, and indeed many of the things Garlinghouse called for in the "Peanut Butter Manifesto" have been done (despite Terry Semel's claim that the reorganization of Yahoo "wasn't all about peanut butter"). Some redundancies still exist in the Yahoo! network (Del.icio.us vs. MyWeb comes to mind), but the company appears to have endeavored to remove the major redundancies that pitted business units against one another. Google will continue to dominate in search for the foreseeable future, but will focusing on people be enough to get Yahoo! back on track? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.


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