Tag Archives: Yahoo!

Yahoo buys Tumblr. Keep calm and reblog on?

Yahoo buys Tumblr. Keep calm and reblog on?

Yahoo’s board has approved a $1.1 billion all-cash deal to buy Tumblr, a New York City-based technology company.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer tweeted that this is the first acquisition announced by an animated GIF and promised “not to screw it up,” keeping the team in place and offering support and integration, not re-invention. Yahoo famously acquired delicious, Flickr and Upworthy, amongst other hot online properties, only to let them moulder. Many users still haven’t forgiven Yahoo for its 2009 decision to close Geocities, an popular online community from the 1990s, without archiving it.

Tumblr CEO David Karp tumbled the news and sought to allay user concerns: “We’re not turning purple,” he wrote. “Our headquarters isn’t moving. Our team isn’t changing. Our roadmap isn’t changing. And our mission – to empower creators to make their best work and get it in front of the audience they deserve – certainly isn’t changing.”

$1.1 billion dollars is a lot of money for a (re)blogging network with tens of millions of users but scant revenue but it buys Yahoo a foothold in mobile social networking and, at least for the moment, many more young users — as long as the community doesn’t flee.

That’s likely one reason that both CEOs took such lengths to be reassuring this morning. Mayer joined Tumblr and has been posting cheeky animated GIFs that allude to seamier side of the social blogging service.

In the months ahead, Tumblr users will see more ads — “native ads” and dashboard ads from Yahoo’s ad network and perhaps in-line ads on the mobile app — much as Facebook users do. That’s no surprise, although finding the right mix of relevancy, frequency and intrusiveness for mobile advertising will be a delicate dance.
Mayer says that the two companies will work together to create “advertising opportunities that are seamless and enhance user experience.”

It will be interested to see if that means more sponsored posts and advertorial from “brand journalists” and corporate media writing for business tumblrs. John Battelle’s looks at on displays, streams and native advertising concludes that this move gives Yahoo “an asset that its branded display sales force can sell as sexy: native, content-driven advertising at scale.”

In an attention economy, ads need to be independently entertaining on their own to avoid the click away or being tuned out by the glazed, jaded eyes of young people exposed to an unprecedented bath of media before adulthood.

That’s a dynamic that WordPress founder Matt Mullenwag alluded to in a comment on his post on “Yahooblr“:

In an advertising business a lot of it comes down to attention: how much and where advertisers spend to get your attention usually lags 3-5 years from where people are actually spending their time, and when that gap closes it can be very impressive. Of course it doesn’t happen for free, there are lots of organizational changes needed to execute on that opportunity, and probably as many people screw it up as get it right.

I believe there is also an even-larger-than-advertising opportunity around subscriptions and products. The big shift from older forms of media is that people aren’t just passively consuming as they might in front of a TV, they’re creating. It’s a hobby and a passion, not a vice. In that context I think subscriptions are more aligned with users than advertising, and that’s the direction Automattic is pointed in.

The big question most technology pundits and business analysts will be asking today is whether this makes sense for Yahoo and puts them on a stronger course. The initial market reaction put Yahoo stock up nearly 1% at 11 AM.

On a personal note, I expect to keep tumbling, though I find WordPress to be a superior blogging platform. That said, my attention is spread across many different social platforms and media organizations, not to mention my inbox and iPhone.

If I’m confronted by too many ads on the Tumblr mobile app, I’m going to spend less time consuming and creating there. I’m sure I’m not alone.

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May 20, 2013 · 11:00 am

What’s next for del.icio.us? Not shutting down, says @Delicious

Yesterday, a leaked screenshot from an internal Yahoo! product meeting created widespread throughout much of the Web: delicious, the social bookmarking giant, appeared in the “sunset” category. There are petitions to save it, offers to buy it, a movement to to open source it and even a suggestion that it should be moved into the Library of Congress.

Marshall Kirkpatrick wrote a beautiful euology on ReadWriteWeb, RIP delicious: you were so beautiful to me.

A day later, delicious has responded. Spoiler: they’re not shutting down. The statement on what’s next for delicious from the blog is posted in full below.

Many of you have read the news stories about Delicious that began appearing yesterday. We’re genuinely sorry to have these stories appear with so little context for our loyal users. While we can’t answer each of your questions individually, we wanted to address what we can at this stage and we promise to keep you posted as future plans get finalized.

Is Delicious being shut down? And should I be worried about my data?

- No, we are not shutting down Delicious. While we have determined that there is not a strategic fit at Yahoo!, we believe there is a ideal home for Delicious outside of the company where it can be resourced to the level where it can be competitive.

What is Yahoo! going to do with Delicious?

- We’re actively thinking about the future of Delicious and we believe there is a home outside the company that would make more sense for the service and our users. We’re in the process of exploring a variety of options and talking to companies right now. And we’ll share our plans with you as soon as we can.

What if I want to get my bookmarks out of Delicious right away?

- As noted above, there’s no reason to panic. We are maintaining Delicious and encourage you to keep using it. That said, we have export options if you so choose. Additionally, many services provide the ability to import Delicious links and tags.

We can only imagine how upsetting the news coverage over the past 24 hours has been to many of you. Speaking for our team, we were very disappointed by the way that this appeared in the press. We’ll let you know more as things develop.
-cyeh · Chris

I’m looking forward to learning what happens next for delicious; there appear to be a number of options that might be palatable to long-time users, particularly the developer community. While my usage took a nose dive over the past two years, I’d like to be able to keep using my 2353 bookmarks there and the service in general.

I’m particularly curious about whether delicious could up in the Library of Congress. If billions of tweets are worth storing, why not this vast collection of collectively curated hyperlinks?

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Filed under social bookmarking, technology

@Google visits Boston at Cambridge Meetup

Google Mug | Chrome color?

Google Mug | Chrome color?

I stumbled into Adam Lasnik in Harvest Coop in Central Square in Cambridge, Mass. last night on my way to Google’s first official Boston Meetup and asked him if he knew where Enormous Room might. I knew I was in the right general spot but hadn’t been there in a while. Plus, his fleece read “Google” on it.

I think asking Adam where something was may actually count as “googling” something in person.

And, true to his role as Google’s Search Evangelist, Adam was quite helpful.

I walked over and up to Enormous Room with him as his two other Google compatriots finished a snack.

Since I followed him, that may count as using a human version of Google Maps.

After a snagged a tasty “Blue Bear” at the bar, I started circulating and meeting the crowd of local entrepreneurs, webmasters, analysts, marketers, writers, IT pros and other Cambridge tech mavens. Good times.

Eventually, the Google organizer for the event, Nate Tyler, welcomed the packed room to the evening and then turned it over to Adam. He took questions submitted online using Google’s own moderator tool. (See all the archived questions here). Adam mentioned that Google itself uses the tool every Friday to collect questions internally. Great insight into corporate culture.

I tweeted the following posts during the presentation:

When the Q&A ended, the Google guys unexpected asked “Who is digiphile?” and noted I’d been busy on Twitter. They offered me a t-shirt or a mug. I went with the latter (above.

I met many new people, caught up with the local social media crowd that had traveled out west at SXSW in Austin and generally enjoyed the turnout.

Tom Lewis (@tomdog) was on-hand recording videos. He and I have been following one another on Twitter for many months but this was our first meetup “IRL” (in real life) — always satisfying to put a face to a name.

Tom recorded the following video from the event:
Bostonist @ Boston's First Official Google Meetup from Tom Lewis on Vimeo.

Note to self: As I mentioned to him earlier today, I need to remove the word “value” from my personal spoken lexicon and look into the lens more. The light on the HD video camera he brought was, unfortunately, bright enough to make that uncomfortable.

Tom blogged about the Google Meetup much more extensively at Bostonist:
Bostonist @ Google’s Boston Meetup

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Filed under photography, podcast, social media, technology, Twitter, video

What’s the value of Stumbleupon?

stumbleupon2A new online friend, Dave Atkins, asked recently what the value of Stumblupon was. “Who has time to randomly browse web for interesting things?” I’ve been thinking of that too. After all, there are dozens of social bookmarks or social news submission networks around the Web. You can see the best — or at least the most popular — over at popurls.com. Digg, delicious, Reddit, Yahoo! Buzz, Truemors, Newsvine, Metafilter, Slashdot — all the usual suspects plus many of the world’s top blogs and newspapers.

When I saw what Marshall Kirkpatrick had written StumbleUpon Hits 7 Million Users, Quietly 50% Bigger Than Twitter” at ReadWriteWeb, however, clarity of utility of the service came quickly. Here’s how he put it:

What’s got a button to push, knows how to make money while changing the world and is read all over? StumbleUpon! The social discovery network [is] like Pandora for webpages and videos.”

Needless to say, that got my attention. Twitter’s business model is one of the great speculative exercises of our time — well, at least in the hothouse garden of the social media world. Mark D. Drapeau‘s thoughts on Twitter’s vision offer considerable insight concerning the possibilities for the popular microblogging service. As Marshall notes, however, Stumbleupon has several things going for it that Twitter does not quite enjoy, at least to date.

  1. Stumbleupon has its own Firefox plugin and Toolbar. While there are many addons that allow you to add a Twitter bookmarklet to your browser, to date Twitter does not provide one itself. Small potatoes compared to the next three.
  2. Stumble upon is a social discovery service. As Marshall wrote, it’s ‘like Pandora for websites and videos.” This resonates with me on a fundamental level. I’ve chosen who I follow on Twitter carefully; my network brings me news I care about constantly, especially when I ask questions about specific subjects. Stumbleupon, however, adds an algorithm and 7 million other clickers to the challenge of finding more content for me. That’s incredibly powerful. I adore Pandora — and my stations continue to get better at tuning music to my interests. So if the parallel holds true, there’s every reason to keep “stumbling” while I “tweet” away.
  3. Stumbleupon is profitable. According to Marshall, “Advertisers pay a few pennies to have their pages inserted into the Stumble streams of relevant users and those ads are silently voted on just like any other page. Silicon Alley Insider estimates the company was making $10 million each year as of this Fall.” If Twitter monetizes the realtime search at search.twitter.com, maybe they’ll get there too.
  4. Stumbleupon delivers massive amounts of traffic. I can vouch for that. When tweeted about my last post, Online J.R.R.Tolkien Translators and Font Converters, I earned a few dozen clicks and a retweet or two from friends like Shava. When one of those people Stumbled the post, however, I immediately began receiving a river of visitors to the blog (relative to normal traffic, anyway).

In sum, that’s all powerful. And it’s all occurred without much notice. So here’s my answer to Dave’s question: Stumbleupon has some power when one person uses it to bookmark sites and explore the Web that way. Like delicious or Twitter, however, the service shines when all of those clicks are analyzed and used to rate content on the Web. We’re all deluged with increasing amounts of information online; the websites that matter to me are the ones that help me make sense of it all. I haven’t been using Stumbleupon at all in 2009. I suspect Marshall’s post may change that. Who knows? Maybe I’ll stumble across you. You can find digiphile on Stumbleupon here.

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Filed under blogging, personal, social bookmarking, Twitter