By The Associated Press - Monday, May 20, 2013 - 0 Comments
SAN FRANCISCO – Yahoo is buying online blogging forum Tumblr for $1.1 billion as CEO Marissa Mayer tries to rejuvenate an Internet icon that had fallen behind the times.
The deal announced Monday represents Mayer’s boldest move yet since she left Google 10 months ago to lead Yahoo’s latest comeback attempt. It marks Yahoo’s most expensive acquisition since the Sunnyvale, Calif., company bought online search engine Overture a decade ago for $1.3 billion in cash and stock.
Yahoo is paying all cash for Tumblr, dipping into some of its remaining stash from a $7.6 billion windfall reaped last year from selling about half of its stake in Chinese Internet company Alibaba Holdings Group. Taking over Tumblr will devour about one-fifth of the $5.4 billion in cash that Yahoo had in its accounts at the end of March.
By The Canadian Press - Friday, May 17, 2013 at 8:58 PM - 0 Comments
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Yahoo may be on the verge of closing its biggest acquisition under CEO Marissa Mayer, as she tries to attract more traffic and advertising to the Internet company’s website.
The technology news site All Things D is reporting that Yahoo’s board will meet Sunday night to consider whether to approve a proposed $1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr, a popular online service for sharing stories, photos and other content.
The report from All Things D cited anonymous sources.
If Yahoo’s board signs off on the deal, it could be announced Monday.
In an invitation sent Friday, Yahoo Inc. promised to unveil “something special” Monday evening in New York. The event is being held in a Times Squares lounge located about two miles away from Tumblr’s headquarters.
Mayer will be there to make the announcement.
By Emily Senger - Friday, May 17, 2013 at 9:13 AM - 0 Comments
Would the hip blogging service help Marissa Mayer revive the company?
Yahoo could be in talks with the blogging site Tumblr to buy it for as much as $1 billion, at least according to speculation on tech websites.
All Things D quotes “sources close to the situation” who say Yahoo is eyeing Tumblr in an effort to attract the coveted younger 18-24 demographic and to add a cool-factor to its aging services.
Recently, Yahoo tried, and failed, to purchase the French video-sharing site Dailymotion under the direction of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. The Dailymotion deal was reportedly blocked by the French government, says the The Wall Street Journal, which didn’t want a U.S.-based company to own a 75 per cent share in the successful French video-sharing service.
Since Mayer took over the company, Yahoo has also reportedly been in talks with: Foursquare (for $800 million), Path ($2 billion), Pinterest, Zynga, Gdgt, Wavii and Media Ocean, notes Wired, which quotes a source close to Yahoo that says: “Literally they talk to everyone.”
It also notes that a Tumblr buy would be a risky one for the company. If the reported $1 billion asking price is correct, that would represent 1/4 of Yahoo’s cash on hand, reports Wired.
By The Associated Press - Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 7:49 AM - 0 Comments
SAN FRANCISCO – Microsoft has extended a guarantee that provides Yahoo with financial protection…
SAN FRANCISCO – Microsoft has extended a guarantee that provides Yahoo with financial protection as part of the two companies’ Internet search partnership.
An arrangement requiring Microsoft Corp. to pay Yahoo Inc. a minimum amount per search on Yahoo’s website expired March 31. That had raised concerns Yahoo might make less money from the Microsoft partnership.
Those worries eased Tuesday with a Yahoo regulatory filing that disclosed Microsoft is maintaining the revenue-per-search guarantee through March 2014.
By The Associated Press - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 8:14 PM - 0 Comments
SAN FRANCISCO – Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer emerged as the Internet company’s second highest…
SAN FRANCISCO – Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer emerged as the Internet company’s second highest paid executive during her first five-and-half months on the job.
Regulatory documents filed Tuesday revealed that Mayer received a pay package valued at $36.6 million last year. Most of the compensation consisted of stock awards that Mayer got in July when she left a job at Google to become Yahoo’s CEO.
Most of the components of Mayer’s pay had been previously disclosed.
It wasn’t previously known that Mayer ranked second on Yahoo Inc.’s pay scale last year
Henrique de Castro, another former Google Inc. executive who became Yahoo’s chief operating officer in November, got a package valued at $39.2 million.
The Associated Press’ calculation counts salary, bonuses, perks and stock and options awarded to the executive during the year
By The Associated Press - Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 4:59 PM - 0 Comments
Seventeen-year-old says he’s thrilled to be working for ‘classic Internet company’
LONDON – At 17, he’s a tech whiz, he’s rich — and he can even offer some advice on how to raise your kids.
Teenage programmer Nick D’Aloisio’s decision to sell his news application Summly to Yahoo for what’s rumoured to be a massive payout has turned him into a media sensation. The sale caps a short but successful career at Apple Inc.’s vast app store, where hundreds of thousands of pieces of software compete for the attention of smartphone and tablet users.
In an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday, D’Aloisio said his computer skills were self-taught, explaining that he started by mastering movie-making software before tackling programming languages.
He said his parents were “very enthusiastic and supportive.” Asked what advice he’d give couples hoping to raise their own wunderkinds, he urged them to let their children explore their own paths — be it computer science or drama.
By macleans.ca - Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 6:28 AM - 0 Comments
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has added his voice to the debate on working…
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has added his voice to the debate on working from home.
“I’ve always said telecommuting is one of the dumber ideas I’ve ever heard,” the mayor said on his radio show Friday.
“Having a chat line is not the same as standing at the water cooler,” he said. “And standing at the water cooler is where you get a lot of ideas and information and it’s a euphemism for a lot of interpersonal dialogue.”
Bloomberg was weighing in on a discussion inspired by an internal HR memo at Yahoo that outlined new rules that will soon go into effect at the company. The memo showed up on the website allthingsd.com:
To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices. Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.
Yahoo later issued a public statement on its new policy: “This isn’t a broad industry view on working from home. This is about what is right for Yahoo right now.”
By macleans.ca - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 9:36 AM - 0 Comments
Yahoo issued a statement Tuesday afternoon after five days of controversy sparked by a…
Yahoo issued a statement Tuesday afternoon after five days of controversy sparked by a new policy saying that employees were no longer allowed to work from home.
In a memo leaked to tech blog All Things D, on Friday, Feb. 22, the company claimed “speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home,” and “We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.”
The memo about the new rules, which will take effect in June, irked many employees who pointed out that CEO Marissa Mayer worked from home in the days after her son was born. They also argued that the new rules won’t hurt Mayer herself: she had the means to install a nursery in her office.
After The New York Times ran a front-page story about the controversy, Yahoo finally responded with a comment. “This isn’t a broad industry view on working from home,” the statement said. “This is about what is right for Yahoo right now.”
By The Associated Press - Monday, January 28, 2013 at 11:53 PM - 0 Comments
SAN FRANCISCO – Yahoo got a little healthier during the last three months of…
SAN FRANCISCO – Yahoo got a little healthier during the last three months of 2012 as the long-suffering Internet company took advantage of higher ad prices and more money coming in from overseas investments to deliver numbers that exceeded analyst forecasts.
The results announced Monday covered Yahoo’s first full quarter under CEO Marissa Mayer. Yahoo Inc. lured Mayer away from Google Inc. in mid-July in its latest attempt to snap out of a funk that had depressed its revenue and stock price.
Although Yahoo still isn’t keeping pace with the overall growth of the Internet ad market, the company fared well enough during the fourth quarter to produce its first full-year gain in revenue since 2008. It was a scant increase: just $2.4 million higher than 2011′s total of nearly $5 billion.
Yahoo is now being run by its fifth permanent or interim CEO since 2008.
Mayer, 37, has raised hopes among investors and employees with her Google pedigree and her pledge to transform Yahoo’s website into a mesmerizing destination that attracts Web surfers and advertisers. During her first six months on the job, she has primarily focused on boosting employee morale and building better mobile and social-networking services so Yahoo can make more money from two of technology’s hottest trends.
“The future of Yahoo will be about innovation, execution and continued progress on a multi-year march toward growth, delighting users and driving shareholder value,” Mayer assured analysts in a Monday conference call.
Investors seem convinced Mayer is headed in the right direction. Yahoo’s stock added 50 cents, or nearly 2.5 per cent, to $20.81 in extended trading. The shares are up by more than 30 per cent since Mayer joined the Sunnyvale, Calif., company.
Yahoo has been feeding the rally by using part of a $7.6 billion windfall that it received from selling half its stake in Chinese Internet company Alibaba Group. The company spent $1.5 billion buying back nearly 80 million of its shares at an average price of $18.24 in the fourth quarter. Buybacks help boost the stock price for remaining shareholders.
Mayer highlighted some of the company’s recent strides during the conference call. She said internal surveys show 95 per cent of Yahoo’s 11,500 employees are optimistic about the company’s future. Mayer also touted the potential of a recent redesign of Yahoo’s email, saying the number of daily users has increased by 10 per cent since the changes were unveiled last month.
Yet Mayer’s efforts haven’t made a huge difference in Yahoo’s ad sales — the company’s main way of making money.
For instance, during the final three months of last year, Yahoo’s ad revenue was $1.07 billion, roughly the same as a year earlier. By contrast, fourth-quarter ad revenue at Google surged by 19 per cent from the previous year. Another rival, Facebook Inc., is expected to post much stronger ad growth Wednesday when the Internet social-networking leader is scheduled to release its fourth-quarter report.
Overall, Yahoo’s fourth-quarter earnings dipped 8 per cent to $272 million, or 23 cents per share, down from $296 million, or 24 cents per share. The earnings would have been higher than the previous year, if not for a charge to close its South Korea operations and other one-time accounting items.
If not for those charges, Yahoo said it would have earned 32 cents per share. On that basis, Yahoo topped the average estimate of 27 cents per share among analysts surveyed by FactSet.
Yahoo’s fourth-quarter revenue increased 2 per cent from the previous year to $1.35 billion.
After subtracting advertising commissions, Yahoo’s fourth-quarter revenue stood at $1.22 billion — about $10 million above analyst forecasts.
Yahoo apparently isn’t expecting a big upturn this year. The company predicted its revenue, minus commissions, will range from $1.07 billion to $1.1 billion in the current quarter. That’s slightly below analysts’ average estimate of $1.12 billion.
In an encouraging sign, Yahoo’s average price for display advertising on its website during the fourth quarter rose 7 per cent from the previous year. Meanwhile, the average price for Yahoo’s search ads increased by 1 per cent from the previous year. This marked the first time that Yahoo has detailed the changes in its ad rates from the previous year. The fourth-quarter improvement could be an indication that advertisers believe Mayer’s changes are starting to pay off.
Yahoo still needs to work on increasing the volume of display advertising, which declined by 10 per cent from the previous year. The number of revenue-generating search ads, though, increased 11 per cent from the previous year. That improvement provided proof that Yahoo is harvesting better returns from its Internet-search partnership with Microsoft Corp. The alliance has allowed Yahoo to lower its expenses by relying on Microsoft’s technology for most of its search results, but the arrangement had been producing disappointing returns on the advertising front until recently.
Yahoo is still benefiting from its remaining holdings in Alibaba, as well as a roughly 35 per cent in Yahoo Japan. Yahoo’s fourth-quarter income from its investments increased 17 per cent from the previous year to nearly $149 million. Because of a lag in how Yahoo books income from international revenue, the company’s results still don’t fully reflect the reduced stake in Alibaba. That will occur this year, reducing Yahoo’s overseas earnings.
By macleans.ca - Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 7:50 AM - 0 Comments
Nokia files a lawsuit and Yahoo moves away from RIM
With its much-anticipated new smartphones still weeks from release, Research In Motion found itself under attack yet again last week. Rival Nokia filed a lawsuit against the BlackBerry maker after a Swedish arbitration panel ruled RIM was in breach of a key wireless patent. At the same time, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was widely quoted dissing RIM’s phones: “We literally are moving the company from BlackBerrys to smartphones,” said Mayer in an interview with Fortune.
Yet despite the bad press, things are suddenly looking up for the Waterloo, Ont.-based firm. Goldman Sachs recently raised its rating on RIM from “neutral” to “buy.” Market confidence has been quietly rising. National Bank and Jefferies have also boosted their outlooks. Over the past two months, RIM shares have risen 75 per cent, to over $11.
Investors don’t expect RIM to shoot back to the top of the mobile industry when BlackBerry 10 arrives. But it has fallen so far in recent years that even a modest turnaround seems a safe bet that could yield results. “We now assess a 30 per cent chance of success for BB10 given positive early reviews, broad-based carrier support, attractive features and interest by carriers and consumers in broadening the field beyond Android/iOS,” said Goldman Sachs in its report.
By Anne Kingston - Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 11:20 AM - 0 Comments
Yahoo!’s new CEO is one to watch in 2013
When Yahoo! Inc. named Marissa Mayer as president and CEO in July 2012, it was a very big deal, corporately speaking. Yahoo! poaching the 37-year-old Google executive from its archrival was a major coup; in a press release, the company crowed that Mayer had helped launch “more than 100 features and products including image, book, and product search; toolbar; iGoogle; Google News; and Gmail—creating much of the look and feel of the Google user experience.” Possessed of a smart and sunny demeanour, Mayer was once a visible public face of the search-engine behemoth, famously interviewing Lady Gaga for a “Google goes Gaga” YouTube video in 2011. Much was riding on her ability to turn around the foundering $5-billion tech giant. News of her appointment, which makes her the youngest Fortune 500 company CEO, boded well: Yahoo! stock price rose 2.7 per cent.
Yet what occupied headlines was not Mayer’s stellar professional accomplishments, but her gynecological ones. When she was appointed, the CEO was six months pregnant with her first child (with husband Zack Bogue, a lawyer). When she returned to the executive suite weeks after delivering son Macallister, an inevitable firestorm of debate ensued—one that highlighted the double standard that still applies to mothers, but not fathers, in the top echelons of business. Continue…
By The Associated Press - Monday, October 1, 2012 at 7:10 PM - 0 Comments
SAN FRANCISCO – Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer gave birth to a boy late Sunday, shining a spotlight on her ability to steer the struggling Internet company in a new direction while adjusting to the challenges of being a first-time mother.
SAN FRANCISCO – Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer gave birth to a boy late Sunday, shining a spotlight on her ability to steer the struggling Internet company in a new direction while adjusting to the challenges of being a first-time mother.
The birth came a week ahead of the Oct. 7 due date that Mayer shared with the public in July. She announced her pregnancy on her social networking accounts just a few hours after Yahoo hired her as its third full-time CEO in less than a year.
The pregnancy news amplified the buzz about Mayer’s defection from Google Inc., where she spent 13 years as a key executive overseeing some of the services that helped to drag down Yahoo.
Yahoo’s decision to anoint a soon-to-be mom as its CEO was hailed as a breakthrough for women seeking to prove men aren’t the only ones who can balance a high-powered executive lifestyle and early parenthood.
The attention surrounding Mayer’s pregnancy and the birth of her child intensifies the pressure as she tries to engineer a long-awaited turnaround at one of the Internet’s best-known companies. Although Yahoo’s website remains one of the Internet’s top destinations, the company’s revenue has fallen in recent years. At the same time, it fell behind online search leader Google and online social networking leader Facebook Inc. in the race to build compelling services and sell more advertising.
The birth of Mayer’s boy comes three weeks before the CEO will share her blueprint for infusing Yahoo Inc. with new life. She plans to make her first extensive public remarks about her strategy in the company’s third-quarter earnings call scheduled for Oct. 22.
Mayer, 37, intends to work from home for a brief period while remaining involved in all key company decisions. She will return to her office at Yahoo’s Sunnyvale, Calif. headquarters in one to two weeks, company spokeswoman Anne Espiritu said.
No matter how much Mayer may have prepared for her baby’s arrival, she is likely to be surprised by some of the difficulties that torment working moms, predicted Kim Smith, a partner with Witt/Kieffer, an executive recruitment firm that has worked with other mothers who have time-consuming jobs.
“You can’t chart out what it’s like to be a mom,” Smith said. “The hardest thing to manage is the unforeseen physical and emotional demands that it places on you when you are striving to be in two places at exactly the same time.”
The baby boy and Mayer are doing “great,” according to Twitter post Monday morning by Mayer’s husband, Zack Bogue, a former lawyer turned Silicon Valley capitalist.
The couple hadn’t named the boy as of early Monday. Mayer took some time out early Monday to send out an email to some of her friends and colleagues soliciting suggestions for a name.
“She’s crowdsourcing suggestions for Baby Boy Bogue’s name!” tweeted New York University journalism professor and blogger Jeff Jarvis, one of the recipients of Mayer’s group email “How digital can you get?”
Although she has shared few specifics of her plans for Yahoo, Mayer has indicated she intends to ramp up spending to attract talented employees and burnish Yahoo’s products in an effort to keep Web surfers on the company’s website for longer periods of time. Analysts also believe she may pursue acquisitions with a portion of the $4.3 billion after-tax windfall that Yahoo is getting in exchange for selling half its stake in Chinese Internet company Alibaba Group.
At about the same time Mayer returns to the office, she will start working with a new chief financial officer, Ken Goldman, whose hiring was announced last week. He is replacing Tim Morse, a cost-cutting specialist who apparently no longer fit in with Mayer’s future plans for Yahoo.
Yahoo shares fell 15 cents to close at $15.83. The price has been hovering in $15 to $16 range since Mayer’s hiring.
By Angelina Chapin - Tuesday, August 14, 2012 at 11:37 AM - 0 Comments
The one-time star of the dot-com era tries to figure out what to be as it grows up
For Ted Mirsky, Yahoo! is a party trick. When his friends or co-workers are stumped by a question, the 27-year-old self-described “early adopter” from Ottawa often says: “Hold up, I’ll Yahoo! it,” and pulls out his phone. “Some people get it—and some people go, ‘Huh?! Don’t you use Google by now?’ ” says Mirsky. “It’s a go-to bit of mine.”
While not everyone would consider Yahoo! the butt of a joke—especially not the 700 million who use it worldwide each month to check their email or browse news headlines—Mirsky’s sarcastic gag hits on the company’s biggest problem: people don’t know what it does well. Google does search, Facebook does social networking, eBay does e-commerce. What about Yahoo!? Even former CEO Carol Bartz struggled with the question when hired in 2009. After talking to users worldwide she concluded it was people’s “home on the Internet,” a nebulous description that only confirmed the brand’s identity problem.
Surprisingly, the 18-year-old company still has a stubborn fan base that no doubt feels a mix of brand loyalty and resistance to change. Yahoo! is the No. 1 U.S. site by comScore in 10 content categories, with sports and finance the most popular. Its second-quarter earnings were announced in June and, despite a slide of 4.4 per cent from the year before, revenue is still $1.2 billion. The problem is the future—if the answer to Yahoo!’s identity crisis is that it’s a content company, it’s one that has not shown an ability to innovate. And without that, its continued prospects on the Internet look grim.
By David Newland - Wednesday, August 1, 2012 at 6:11 PM - 0 Comments
Who can resist the lure of a new email address?
I don’t remember what my first email address was. But I know what my latest is, and it ends with @outlook.com. That’s right: I’ve taken on a whole new Outlook. Not for any great technical reason, mind you. I just signed up for the latest web-based email service to come along because I wanted an inbox with nothing in it.
Microsoft’s new webmail service is a reboot of the venerable, badly outdated (but still dominant) Hotmail. It goes by the name Outlook, which many of us remember from the corporate version we’ve used at our workplaces for years. The new service has had good reviews, as rival Gmail, a Google product of which I’ve been a keen user, begins to sag under its own weight. But that wasn’t the selling feature, for me.
To be sure, the new web-based Outlook has a tidy design, and some features I may appreciate at some point. A million people have already signed up for it. This isn’t an endorsement, though. It’s a confession.
My first Internet session occurred over a 2400 baud modem, using something called “Kermit” to connect to a university server, taking over my home telephone line in the process. That was in about 1992. Since that time, I’ve had literally dozens of email addresses. Maybe a hundred or more. Crazy, right?
Those who work online will easily accept that figure: add up multiple workplaces and organizations, many of which offered several addresses (@macleans and @rogers, for example). Throw in the personal email addresses, some of which come free with ISP offerings and others of which are web-based: I’ve had Hotmail, Yahoo!, Sympatico and Gmail addresses, each in its time. Not to mention the addresses that come with computers, phones, and other assorted online-enabled equipment.
I’ve also had several email addresses for my own website (info, bookings, webmaster, etc.) and others for every .com I’ve owned. Not to mention the handles I’ve created so I could run multiple, separate blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds for various groups, interests and entities. I’ve had email addresses whose only purpose was to post sound files to my blog. Somewhere I have a list of emails I created for fictional characters. I even blogged as my cat for a while. Well, who hasn’t?
All this might lead you to wonder why I guy like me needs another address. The answer is as depressing as it is simple: the other ones are full. Virtually every email address I’ve ever used day-to-day has become a virtual version of a hoarder’s basement, overflowing with crap that I can’t get rid of, continually threatening to overwhelm, if not destroy me.
Of course I don’t use them all anymore. Remember the Simpsons episode where Springfield is so full of trash, the whole town has to move down the highway? That’s the approach I take. I’ve literally abandoned past email addresses that were brimming with back-and-forths, overflowing with data, loaded with contacts—all in pursuit of the mythical “inbox zero.”
Some will tell you there are other ways to get there. File your correspondence carefully; delete regularly. Unsubscribe from things. Use your spam filter.
I try. Honest, I do. But it’s like trying to hold back the tide. On an ordinary day I get well over a hundred emails at my personal address alone. My Gmail at the moment contains more than 16,000 inbound messages. And I feel like I just cleaned it up.
So I signed up for a new Outlook address, thank you very much, Microsoft. It’s free (supported, as Gmail is, by contextual ads, although with some tweaks based on common complaints from Gmail users). It has some decent-looking features. And it’s always a good idea to camp on the address you want, just in case.
But mostly I love my new Outlook address because it’s pristine.
Please don’t email me there.
By Richard Warnica - Monday, May 14, 2012 at 11:07 AM - 0 Comments
Internet giant Yahoo lost its fourth CEO in five years—and its second in less…
Internet giant Yahoo lost its fourth CEO in five years—and its second in less than 12 months—Sunday after Scott Thompson, under fire for a fudged resume, left the company.
From the Globe:
Early this month, New York-based hedge fund investment firm Third Point LLC, which owns almost 6 per cent of Yahoo, alleged Mr. Thompson had falsely claimed he earned a computer science degree from Stonehill College. In fact, the former eBay executive earned an accounting degree from the school. Mr. Thompson has claimed he did not file the erroneous information, which had nonetheless made its way into regulatory filings. Third Point has long criticized Yahoo’s board and the company’s largely futile efforts to return to growth.
Had Yahoo’s management shown any signs of turning the company around, they may have been able to withstand Third Point’s criticism. But the company has largely been unable to make much money off its popular websites, especially in the face of stiff competition from Google and Facebook in the online ad market. Once valued at more than $100 (U.S.) at the height of the tech boom 12 years ago, Yahoo shares have hovered between $12 and $18 for almost four years, with no signs of a turnaround.
These days, getting hired as a Yahoo CEO is a bit like getting a gig as the drummer for Spinal Tap, wrote Nicholas Thompson in the New Yorker. Carol Bartz, Scott Thompson’s predecessor, lasted just three years in the post. But whether a new body can really turn the flagging company around is an open question. Online, it’s a thin line between behemoth and afterthought. And while Yahoo was one a giant, so too was Geocities. And look what happened there.
In 1998, at the height of the dot-com bubble, GeoCities went public, becoming a billion-dollar company in a matter of hours. The following year, Yahoo paid an incredible US$4.6 billion in stock for it; news of the sale made the Wall Street Journal’s front page. “I thought Yahoo was a good home for GeoCities,” (founder Dave) Bohnett says. “They had the resources to take advantage of the brand.” Indeed, with roughly 3.5 million Web pages hosted there in the late 1990s, GeoCities was a trafﬁc magnet. But despite the crowds who ﬂocked to it, monetizing the site was another question.
In 2009, Yahoo shut Geocities down. Today the name is like a joke from another Internet era. One wonders whether Yahoo itself is destined for a similar fate.
By macleans.ca - Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 5:30 PM - 0 Comments
Jerry Yang steps down as ‘chiefYahoo’ and leaves board of directors
Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang resigned from the company in a surprise announcement on Tuesday afternoon. The unexpected move comes just two weeks after the struggling company hired Scott Thompson, formerly of PayPal, as its new CEO. Yang is giving up his title as “chief Yahoo” and stepping down from the company’s board of directors, of which he’s been a member since helping to found the company in 1995. In 2008, Yang controversially declined a US$47.5 billion takeover offer by Microsoft. Yahoo is currently negotiating the sale of its stakes in China’s Alibaba Group and Yahoo Japan.
By Richard Warnica - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 11:20 AM - 0 Comments
For months after independence, the country remained a non-entity on online maps
Sudan, once Africa’s largest country, gained independence in 1956. It has been breaking apart, in one way or another, almost every day since. This summer, the two largest parts of the country finally split for good. After decades of bloody civil war, South Sudan became its own nation on July 9. Recognition for the fledgling oil giant was swift, at least in some circles. The United Nations and the African Union accepted South Sudan’s membership without delay. But another, arguably equally powerful body, lagged a little behind. For months after independence, South Sudan remained a non-entity on Google Maps. Other online cartographers, including Yahoo and Bing, also ignored the new state.
Those slights didn’t sit well with John Tanza Mabusu, a South Sudanese native who works as a journalist in Washington. This summer, Mabusu started an online petition to try to pressure the digital firms into recognizing his homeland. “My people of South Sudan have endured 50 years of bitter conflict,” Mabusu wrote. Google, for one, responded swiftly. By late September, South Sudan was appearing on its eponymous site. The other tech giants, though, have yet to recognize the change. But after waiting decades for a country, one imagines the people of South Sudan can live with a little online lag.
By Chris Sorensen - Friday, September 30, 2011 at 9:00 AM - 4 Comments
Will its increasingly complex website be its undoing?
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of social networking giant Facebook, stepped onstage at a developers’ conference in San Francisco last week and, probably unwittingly, launched into his best Steve Jobs impression. Wearing jeans, sneakers and a grey T-shirt (the Apple Inc. chair favours black turtlenecks, but you get the idea), Zuckerberg took the wraps off a host of new Facebook features while peppering the presentation with Jobs-isms—“really easy” yet “so powerful”—that emphasized just how intuitive and exciting everything about the overhauled Facebook would be.
Except that none of the new features unveiled appear to be either—at least not at first blush. Once a relatively spartan piece of online real estate, users’ profile pages will now display a comprehensive “timeline” of their lives, curated in part by Facebook’s software and by users themselves, while a new window shows exactly what everyone in your network is doing at any given moment (Stephanie likes Peter’s status update, Lisa commented on her photo, Steve is friends with Sharon . . . and so on). Zuckerberg called it a place to monitor “lightweight” activity that threatens to bog down the main news feed, which will now consist entirely of material that is deliberately posted by a user’s friends.
Turns out there’s a reason Facebook decided to create a dedicated space for all of these auto-updates: it plans to unleash a torrent of them on its users. The company is planning to throw TV, streaming music and other online media services into the mix so that users can see, in real time, what songs their friends are listening to, which TV shows they’re watching and what news stories they are reading—and soon, no doubt, where they’re shopping. “What’s even more interesting and exciting than getting people signed up is all the things that are possible by having these connections in place,” said Zuckerberg, who suggested that Facebook and its partners will “rethink some industries.”
By Erica Alini - Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 9:05 AM - 1 Comment
Google is taking on industry rivals in the race to bring television online
People have been debating the value of YouTube for years. Some predicted Google wasted billions on something that could never make money. If recent rumours are true, the naysayers may soon be eating their words. The search-engine behemoth has apparently stepped up its efforts to deliver an alternative to cable television. The company is competing against Amazon, Yahoo and Dish Network to acquire Hulu, the online video site owned by Walt Disney, News Corp. and NBC Universal. Google’s initial offer far surpassed those of the other bidders, according to AllThingsD, a technology news website. This could be part of Google’s strategy for acquiring original video content to upload to YouTube, speculated Business Insider, a business blog, which also quoted two anonymous industry sources saying the tech giant is spending as much as $500 million shopping around for premium titles to boost its online video offering. Google also recently bought Motorola Mobility Holdings, which, among other things, makes cable set-top boxes, devices that allow users to access the Web via TV sets.
It’s all proof that the technology giant is gearing up to battle rivals like Netflix and Apple in the race to reinvent television. Its most formidable weapon, industry watchers agree, is YouTube’s unrivalled popularity.
By Kate Lunau - Monday, September 19, 2011 at 10:40 AM - 1 Comment
Before being fired from Yahoo, Bartz was the only female CEO of a top tech firm
Following her dismissal as Yahoo’s chief executive officer last week, Carol Bartz—who was unceremoniously fired over the phone—didn’t go quietly. Barely a day after she was sent packing, Bartz gave an interview to Fortune, calling the company directors “doofuses.” (She may have to pay for those remarks; her contract had a non-disparagement clause.) Even if Bartz wasn’t well-liked, some lamented her departure: now that she’s gone, there are no female CEOs left at major Silicon Valley firms.
Of course, it isn’t just the tech sector that suffers a dearth of women. Among Fortune 500 companies, women now hold just 2.8 per cent of CEO roles, according to Catalyst, a non-profit think tank. Bartz’s firing sparked debate over whether her treatment was sexist, with industry observers describing her as overly blunt and aggressive. Yahoo’s moribund shares rallied at her departure.
By Alex Ballingall - Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 9:10 AM - 0 Comments
Once an online colossus, AOL is trying to become a modern media company
A decade ago, AOL was one of the most promising firms in the online world. Tens of millions of North American users relied on its dial-up Internet access services and came to know its trademark greeting, “You’ve got mail!” Today, its future appears murky as the former giant tries to claw back into the fold as a major Internet presence.
The company took a walloping on the stock market last week when its shares fell almost 26 per cent, hitting their lowest point since AOL ended its disastrous merger with Time Warner in December 2009. The sell-off occurred after it released second-quarter earnings, which showed total revenues were down eight per cent over last year. In response to the hit in share value, the company approved a scheme to buy up US$250 million of its own shares.
The market shellacking was a major blow for a company that’s been fighting for the past year to reinvent itself as a new media firm. It bought the news website the Huffington Post for US$315 million in February and the tech website TechCrunch last year. After installing Arianna Huffington as the head of its new Huffington Post Media Group, AOL opened several new websites—17 during the last quarter alone. AOL now boasts nearly 10 million unique visitors to its websites every month. That’s more than the New York Times, according to the company’s CEO, Tim Armstrong.
By Kate Lunau - Thursday, September 3, 2009 at 11:20 AM - 8 Comments
Yahoo paid billions for it, then killed it. What went wrong?
As Facebook, Twitter and MySpace duke it out for Internet supremacy, another once-mighty Web giant is quietly shutting down: on Oct. 26, Yahoo’s GeoCities, a free Web hosting service, will be no more. Hailed as the Facebook of its time, GeoCities was once the third most visited site on the Web. Today, it’s all but forgotten, and only a handful of diehards will mourn the company’s passing. Yet its fascinating trajectory provides a valuable lesson for social media sites built on GeoCities’ foundations: it’s not enough to build a critical mass of users, insiders say—if you can’t make money from them, you will die.
Founded in 1994 by David Bohnett, GeoCities allowed users to create personal websites, for free. “We had templates, so people could do it in a matter of minutes,” Bohnett says. By making self-publishing on the Web more efﬁcient, GeoCities “established the viability of user-generated content,” paving the way for Facebook and others. Pages were clumped into communities of interest: Hollywood stood for entertainment, for example, and Wall Street for ﬁnance. It was a model Bohnett believed would appeal to advertisers, and it was an immediate hit with Internet users. “I’d get an email every time someone signed up,” Bohnett recalls. With each one, his email client would make a pinging noise. “We were getting up to 10 sign-ups a second. It got to be so many, I had to turn it off.” Continue…