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Sunday, February 4, 2007

Yahoo’s Brand Universes a Good Idea?
By Christoph Hörl

After testing the idea of Brand Universe since last October, Yahoo! recently anounced that they will launch six other similar websites. At the end of the year, there should be about 100.

The idea of Brand Universe is quite simple. Yahoo! offers a lot of different services, where users can publish content. The most famous one is Flickr, where millions of pictures are hosted. Now Yahoo! buys the rights of a brand like “Harry Potter” or “Wii” and launches a new website with special content to the topic. The content, which is published there, comes from the different services offered by Yahoo!.

“You can’t buy your way onto our list. We’re doing what makes sense for the users,” Yahoo’s Vince Broady said.

When I heard about the project, I thought it would be great, but there are some negative aspects. Firstly, Yahoo! republishes user-generated content. I don’t like the idea that Yahoo! takes photos, texts and other things which were produced by users of Yahoo! services and put them together under a certain topic. For sure, Yahoo! will earn a lot of money from advertising services on these Brand Universe websites. But would you like to see the photo you have uploaded to Flickr on another website?

The second thing is the selection of the sources of the content. Yahoo! won’t apply search algorithms to choose objectively, but they have an editorial team. I think searching and choosing automatically by computers works better and even faster than subjective selection.

Another aspect is that they don’t use the most important type of user-generated content – the weblogs.

What’s your opinion?


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