Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Yahoo’s New Strategy
Yahoo’s old founder and new boss, Jerry Yang, outlined where the company is heading now in a blog post
yesterday. The three key items he sees after talking things through with people in the company are:
- “Become the starting point for the most consumers.” Yahoo wants to be the default homepage to suit all the users needs, from email to search to news. By trying to deliver a one-size fits all approach to the Yahoo.com homepage, they leave out the kind of user who prefers a more light-weight search homepage, though.
- “Become the must-buy for advertisers.” Yahoo not only wants to better sell ads on their own sites, but also expand to other sites. The biggest competitor may be Google AdWords/ AdSense.
- “Deliver open, industry-leading platforms that attract the most publishers and developers.”
To Jerry, this means stuff like adding gadgets to the Yahoo homepage – already done for some time by Google. But this also seems to mean building more APIs to open up the data of Yahoo’s services... and in comparison to Google, there’s still a bit of a niche here. Google, who canceled their SOAP API support, is currently focusing most of its attention on client-side APIs which give only limited power to developers (and create accessibility barriers), and their server-side GData APIs are only available for some restricted services. Yahoo on the other hand has been focusing on offering simple REST (parametrized XML) services for many of their services, including web search, image search and so on.
In other recent Yahoo news, AP reports that the US Congress accuses a Yahoo executive to have been lying in the 2004 case of jailed Chinese journalist Shi Tao. According to the report, Yahoo last year said they were not involved in that case, but documents released earlier this year by the San Francisco-based Dui Hua Foundation say that Yahoo indeed received communication on the case from Beijing prior to Shi Tao’s jailing. Human Rights Watch (on a side-note, a website Google agreed to censor in China) previously wrote:
In its case against Shi Tao, the prosecution charged that he improperly took notes on [a party memorandum titled “A Notice Regarding Current Stabilizing Work"] as it was being discussed at an editorial meeting at the newspaper and then hours later sent an outline of its contents by email to be published in an overseas web forum under a pseudonym. Evidence presented during the trial included account verification information provided by Yahoo! Holdings (Hong Kong) Ltd., which linked the IP address used to send the email from Shi Tao’s personal Yahoo! email account to a computer located in the Contemporary Business News office.
According to HRW, the “press-only” memorandum that Shi Tao leaked to overseas “warned of activities by democracy activists around the fifteenth anniversary of the crackdown on the June 4 demonstrations, as well as the perennial threats posed by Falun Gong, the increasing number of mass incidents, and danger of harmful content on the Internet.”
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