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Bad News from Yahoo

michael posted more than 13 years ago | from the ya-who? dept.

News 197

Several people have submitted stories about the bad news that Yahoo released today (it seems appropriate to link to the story on their site). They appear to be having the same difficulty with ad revenue that is hitting everyone else. It's not a good time to be dependent on revenue from dot-coms that are themselves struggling to stay afloat.

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Nonsense (1)

alewando (854) | more than 13 years ago | (#377816)

The big will prosper and eat the small. Once the small are gone and
  1. the number of available locations for banner placements has shrunk and
  2. the aggregate eyeballs are focused on fewer pages
the few big remaining sites will be more prosperous than ever. Right now there's a whole lot of supply and not so much demand. The demand is growing (albeit more slowly than people imagined) and the supply is about to fall off precipitously.

People will not buy subscriptions unless they're for specialty services or bundles.

It just goes to show ... (2)

Jonathan (5011) | more than 13 years ago | (#377817)

that cross-time communication should not be relied on for investment advice. It is well known (see the documentary Frequency) that a major Yahoo stockholder received his information in this way.

What they need to do (1)

kettch (40676) | more than 13 years ago | (#377819)

What Yahoo!, and some of the other dot com's need to do in order to stay afloat is to diversify. Sure, yahoo has their hands in just about everything internet. but what they don't have is some offline bussiness. I'm sure that if they got involved with OEM's and got them polluted with Yahoo instant messenger. Or got some sort of Yahoo brand crap selling in stores.

Not that i care what happens to Yahoo, it annoys me. (just as long as they don't sell out to AOLTM)

Re:Oy! (1)

donglekey (124433) | more than 13 years ago | (#377826)

What's stopping you from starting your own web site 'reminicent of the old days'? I don't think that anyone has stopped other from doing what they want, so don't cry about what people are doing if it doesn't have to affect you. This isn't Microsoft trying to break standards and enforce proprietary protocols, if you don't like what a site is doing, don't go there. If you want something different, but it isn't there, you can bitch about it, or take it as an oppurtunity. You might say 'I don't have the time', but its all a matter of priorities. You can't whine about what others are or aren't doing if they aren't affecting what you or others are capable of.

Koogle (1)

ff (35380) | more than 13 years ago | (#377831)

Does anyone else find it funny that Yahoo's CEO's family name is Koogle? It's just too good. You know?

No more than 6 colors (1)

Felipe Hoffa (141801) | more than 13 years ago | (#377832)

Please!! Don't encourage them or even let the idea fall in their head. Have you seen a 256 color animated ad? It just takes years to download.

Personally (1)

jonnystiph (192687) | more than 13 years ago | (#377833)

I am just happy at the mere chance of never seeing or hearing those annoying Yahoo comercials with that damn yoddling...ACH!

Why ads suck (5)

theancient1 (134434) | more than 13 years ago | (#377834)

Most people don't like ads, so they get ingored. Why don't people like ads?
  • 90% of them look like they were slapped together in 2 minutes. A cheap-looking ad does not inspire confidence in the quality of the site behind the link. Every ad I remember clicking on looked like it was made by a professional graphic artist. Yes, computers are capable of displaying more than 16 colours.
  • No originality. Oh look, someone else is trying to make their ad look like a Windows dialog box. It was cool the first time, now I just ignore them.
  • Animated garbage to catch our attention. Whether they be dancing credit cards, animation in a fake windows dialog box, or just a flashing background -- almost all animation is there just to get my attention. Well, it works -- I say, "my god that's annoying", and scroll down the page without a second thought.
  • Misleading messages. Click the fast-moving object and win a prize! Okay, maybe this belongs under item 2, "no originality"
  • Unclear messages. A surprising number of ads don't give enough of an idea what you'll get by clicking. In the beginning, this was a marketing tactic -- "hmm, I wonder what this means... maybe I'll check it out." I admit, I did it myself. Now, it's so common, it's not worth our time to look at every obscure ad.
  • Dislike of interruption. Unlike traditional media, the internet is interactive. While surfing, I have a "plan", if you will. I know where I want to go next -- and it's not to that advertiser's web site. The ad has to be more interesting than the other content on the same page. It doesn't help that most ads cause the page I'm currently reading to disappear.
  • Lack of other interesting ads. If 98% of the ads aren't worth my attention, my eyes will be trained to automatically ignore the ad.
  • Untargeted ads. A corollary to the above, most of the ads I have zero interest in even if I did notice them. Online casinos, credit cards, some shareware program -- I'm not interested in any of these things.
  • Perception that ads are annoying. Corollary 2: popup windows, animated visual pollution, and the rest of the above -- all contributing to the notion that ads are a scurge that should be ignored.

Re:Nonsense (2)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 13 years ago | (#377836)

Gee, sounds like every other media, doesn't it?


Re:The economics of banner revenues (4)

NetCurl (54699) | more than 13 years ago | (#377838)

I'm willing to bet Slashdot has a smaller number of employees than Yahoo. Yahoo's expenses are probably much greater. This is why all portals are going to start having trouble. The Internet is all about specialization in technology. Yahoo has tried to do too much.

not just anyone can make a banner ad (5)

Have Blue (616) | more than 13 years ago | (#377839)

Whether you like to admit it or not, advertising is a science (to a certain extent). There are things that work (psychology of color) and things that seem good but are wrong (grabbing attention with the blink tag). Banner ads are becoming much more aggressive, with the flashing and the fake error messages and the java applets and the monkey punching. If I see a banner ad that tries to get in my face and force me to look at it, I block that adserver (and their revenue). If I see a calm, nice-looking banner ad that actually informs me about the product, I leave it alone; hell I might even read or click it.

Yahoo and all the other struggling companies should try setting some standards for banners they will run. The banner industry is killing itself by failing to see that they are pushing the consumers away.

Make it worth something (2)

Y2K is bogus (7647) | more than 13 years ago | (#377840)

Yahoo's problem isn't that their ad banners aren't enough to pay the bills, it's that their service isn't worth paying for. Yahoo (the indexing service) is a really simplistic, yet largely ineffectual service. I can't remember the last time I used Yahoo, but I used google's search at least 5 times a day.

There is no 'Value Add' to what Yahoo provides. This doesn't count the companies that Yahoo bought. They have purchased a lot of companies in the past, integrated their offerings, yet Yahoo the index is still not worth paying for.

They need to switch from a 'attract eyeballs' revenue model to actually offering services people would pay for, and not services that are derivative parasites of the index (pay to rank).

The truth is that I made a Yahoo in an hour of programming PHP, but people can freely add categories themselves and add content to the categories. There is even a 'rank this item' community rating system that averages the individual votes.

In closing, I'm surprised that Yahoo has even lasted this long.

Re:Why ads suck (2)

AxelBoldt (1490) | more than 13 years ago | (#377848)

Ads, and not just banner ads, suck on a much more basic level: they are propaganda designed to trick me into doing something that I didn't want to do in the first place. I find that offensive. If I want to buy something, I'm perfectly able to research the available offerings and compare price/performance ratios.

I object to the "Buy more stuff and you'll be happy!!" message that's hammered into my brain without pause.


Re:The economics of banner revenues (1)

morpheus800e (245254) | more than 13 years ago | (#377849)

I didn't know that anyone used CP/M anymore....

Re:Oy! (1)

SupahVee (146778) | more than 13 years ago | (#377851)

That's true, I could start my own 'old sk00l' site about the good old days of the net. But that is not the the point.

The point is that it's sad the see that the Internet has been dumbed down so much by advertisers, dot-bombs, and people selling pet food on a web site, that one of the sites that was there from the beginning, helping everyone find there way around, is now a victim of all those investors who think the the only thing the net is good for is to make a buck.

Re:The economics of banner revenues (2)

RandomPeon (230002) | more than 13 years ago | (#377853)

Interesting article... too bad the guy left out costs like development costs, paying for the content creation for the site, support, etc... All he looks at are bandwidth costs versus ad revenues.

Actually, my comment on Kuro5hin covered your point already. Read the frickin discussion!

Other than bandwith costs, costs don't grow linearly with the number of subscribers/viewers. I don't have to produce twice as much content if my audience doubles in size, and support costs probably won't double either - they'll increase, but unless the site's code doesn't scale, they shouldn't double. etc....

Of course, income shrinks linearly as you decrease the number of users - probably faster, if you read rusty's comments at Kuroshin. This where lots of dotcoms get screwed. They try and target a small market - but their personnel costs are on-par with a website with a much bigger audience.

Slashdot and Kuro5hin probably have the best business model possible, since they have little or no content creation costs - they expect CNet and ZDNet to provide it (Slashdot) or they expect the users to provide it (Kuro5hin).

Re:Slashdot Ads - How about a poll? (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 13 years ago | (#377854)

e) Hemos
I think that would be more appropriate, seeing as Hemos basically ran Slashdot's advertising before it was bought by

Re:An industry-wide shift... (1)

mini me (132455) | more than 13 years ago | (#377855)

Don't forget the payment you have to make just to post to this site!

Okay you might only have to pay to see the headlines but the comments about the story is what makes slashdot different and better than any other news service. If everyone had to pay $.1 or even $.01 to post, would you? It would sure cut down on the trolls (which might be worth it just for that) but we may miss some insightful posts as well.

Re:Good long-term for Tech Industry (5)

PD (9577) | more than 13 years ago | (#377856)

My favorite bad idea is They give out free keyboards with an extra row of buttons labelled "shopping" "games" "clothes" etc. The idea is that they get everyone to install their keyboards and a Windows driver, and whenever people want to buy something they will just hit the "shopping" key.

They keyboard has a regular PS2 connector, and it works great with Linux. It's slightly on the lightweight side, but as far as keyboards go, it doesn't have a bad typing feel.

Thanks,! So sorry about the sucky business plan!

Re:An industry-wide shift... (3)

Manaz (46799) | more than 13 years ago | (#377857)

Last is the possibility of internet "commercials". These would merely be much more immersive banner ads, similar to what is shown on TV now. Before accesing the site, the browser would first have to view a 30 second flash movie from a sponsor, for example.

The only problem with this sort of thing is that the majority of Internet users are *still* not hooked up to a broadband service - 30 second flash animations/commercials take a LONG time to download on a 56k modem - especially if they're of a significant size....

If I were on a modem, and a site decided to make me watch a 30 second flash advert before accessing the site, I'd be seriously considering finding an alternative site which offered the same sort of information/services....

Their Revenue Model Might Not Suck as Much If... (1)

Spud Zeppelin (13403) | more than 13 years ago | (#377858)

They could figure out how to un-fsck the Yahoo! mail accounts of a lot of us who have had Yahoo! mail accounts for years: Sometime in late August or early September, the Yahoo! mail accounts for a number of longtime users went BLAAAAT!, mine included. And their customer service people have been totally unresponsive. So they wonder why, for instance, they might have a hard time selling things like the premium features on their mail? Because those of us in their target market (people nearing mail quotas where we might consider PAYING for more space) CAN NO LONGER ACCESS OUR Yahoo! MAIL IN THE FIRST PLACE. Dah!?!!

It wouldn't surprise me if this were the case across the board, not just within mail: they've gotten so big, there is no individual accountability/culpability/contact within customer service... and therefore a lot of people/companies who they could be selling services to have become nothing but an eroded market.

So yes, banner ad revenues are part of the story -- but they may not be the WHOLE story.


Re:I've got a solution: (1)

NetCurl (54699) | more than 13 years ago | (#377859)

That's an interesting point. I wonder at what point content providers would refuse to run ads. What size is just too big?

Re:The economics of banner revenues (4)

Rombuu (22914) | more than 13 years ago | (#377860)

Interesting article... too bad the guy left out costs like development costs, paying for the content creation for the site, support, etc... All he looks at are bandwidth costs versus ad revenues.

I don't think all these .coms are having problems becuse they can't afford bandwidth, they can, they just can't afford bandwidth and employees.

demographics 101 (2)

Johann (4817) | more than 13 years ago | (#377861)

Reading the Kuro5hin (what does 'Kuro5hin' mean, anyway?) article, it sounds to me like he has mathematically described the concept of demographics. It appears that other media have figured out how ad rates change based on demographics.

For example, a daily newspaper or a prime-time network televsion show is 'fat' whereas most magazines and cable shows are 'thin'.

Related to the Yahoo! announcement, it sounds like Yahoo needs to be thin but has purchased so much content that it is actually fat.
"In the land of the brave and the free, we defend our freedom with the GNU GPL."

Re:Good long-term for Tech Industry (1)

ex pope john (312896) | more than 13 years ago | (#377867)

Do you think a man with $10million sits down at a table and says OK, lets find some trendy thing to invest in, forget viable, forget getting our money back, just get us into the next happnin thang. Well maybe a couple of jerks, but as a general rule I don't think so. So tell us, what are the rules do deciding how realistic a business is that has not existed before.

No cheating now. You can't use any success story from history. its gotta be new though it can be a new way of doing an old thing.

Re:Good long-term for Tech Industry (3)

acroyear (5882) | more than 13 years ago | (#377870)

The trouble is two-fold -- one: yahoo needed to be the one-stop anywhere page ( where x element-of everything) in order to hold enough "eyes" to even come close to making an internet profit. This incorporated building or buying whatever they needed (becoming the portal monolith that they are, out-lasting all others). In this, they succeeded; I consider yahoo the best of the horizontal portals, with (usually) the best integration model in terms of having access to personalized factors in the "my" portal section.

Now in buying they did what some consider to be a "good" thing: in acquiring a number of otherwise failing .coms (egroups being the biggest example).

Now we have problem two -- yahoo's own potential for failure (nothing they did distinguished themselves from any other "dot-com") takes out all those other acquisitions with it. If yahoo reaches a point of shutdown, egroups and many others go with it. THIS would greatly affect the public's perception of the internet. People have gotten used to certain services, and the loss of services that were regularly used is something that may end up devestating the 'net in the public eye (much less wall street); just look at how great the magnitude of complaints was when deja went.

So now we have our delimna -- how do these services (not the shopping stuff, but the stuff the 'net was made for -- communication and information exchange, via mailing lists) survive when there is no decent business model to pay for it? These things are too big to be run by "volunteers" anymore.

One successful model is O'Reilly's. Yes, their new "" pages are advertising based, but for the most part the advertising is for products they know their audience wants -- O'Reilly's books. Their advertising is mostly internal, directing their "web" readers to become "paper" readers. The o'reillynet stuff becomes a donation, strictly for brand recognition.

IBM's developerworks and alphaworks function the same way -- show people IBM's coding quality and they'll come to IBM for commercial work as well. Sun wanted the same impact from Java, but early on, with "javasoft", they distanced the Java work a bit too much (for some; not enough for others).

Therefore, Yahoo's only ultimate form of survival is to get someone else to buy them out, and have the site supported by advertising that's mostly oriented to the buyer. This means the buyer can not, in themselves, be an advertising-based site. It has to be something "real", from the old-economy.

Of course, that's just my opinion...I could be utterly full of shit... ;-)

Re:Oy! (1)

donglekey (124433) | more than 13 years ago | (#377871)

yeah, food over mail, that doesn't work. I understand the nostalgia value, but I guess my point is that all is not lost. It might be a challenge to find good sites, but nothing is restricting the same small community, high quality, stuff from being there. Actually if you think about, all the commercial shit that is going down in flames will probably help this. The internet will turn into a powerful angle of buisness but not a substitute for quality and evolution.

Re:Koogle (2)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 13 years ago | (#377873)

Oh yes. That's funny. But if moderators find it funny too, think about who they will reward with Score:5, Funny. Probably the thing that is funny, not the comment.


Re:An industry-wide shift... (2)

Daemosthenes (199490) | more than 13 years ago | (#377875)

This is true. Notice, however, that I said these were future possiblities for the internet. It's almost a given that as more and more households get broadband, industries will attempt to make money out of the development in any way possible. Now, it is not feasible to have a 30sec flash intro on top of each commercial site. But, as the buzzwords of "streaming content" and "realtime multimedia internet" actually become viable for the everyday user, companies will no doubt have no hesitations about incorporating bigger, badder, and much more bandwidth intensive advertising into their sites.

Who's gonna sit through a 30 second commercial? (1)

lilmouse (310335) | more than 13 years ago | (#377876)

I write inflammitory e-mails to webmasters of sites who open up more than one pop-up window advertisment, and I rarely visit sites that have any popup adverts at all.

If I try to view a site with a flash commercial, I either:

  • Close it immedialtely
  • switch to a different window and wait for it to finish

I might watch it if it's really well done, but that's for entertainment value. After all, on those rare occations I watch TV, the advertisments are abosultely hilarious.

Bottom line: Not profitable.

No sig here.

Is this SARCASM? (4)

AtariDatacenter (31657) | more than 13 years ago | (#377877)

Yahoo's problem is they've diversified WAY beyond their core business. They want to be AOL, in a way. More diversification costs them more and more money, with the payback reaching beyond 2020. Assuming there isn't a disruptive technology that they can't deal with, they'll probably make it.

Re:that is the market (1)

Master Bait (115103) | more than 13 years ago | (#377878)

I agree. The internet continues to grow. Until the Coca-Colas of the world wise up to the potential of internet advertising, we will be in for a slump.

I'm also dead set against the lame clik-thru mentality of the current thinking in internet advertising. Trying to get someone to stop what they're doing and do something else because of an obnoxious ad is stupid.

Banner ads should be thought of like highway billboards. Advertisers should be concerned with mindshare and identity instead of attempting to direct people's wills.


Whither Yahoo? (1)

BoarderPhreak (234086) | more than 13 years ago | (#377879)

I remember using Yahoo back in 1994 or even 1993 when it was still a "college kid's project."

How fast one ages in these Internet years.

Good News (1)

AxelBoldt (1490) | more than 13 years ago | (#377889)

I still remember how disappointed I was on the day when Yahoo switched from a volunteer project to a business and started with banner ads. "Corporations have arrived in our last little corner, the internet." But maybe, just maybe, if we keep ignoring and filtering their ads, we can drive them back and run the net as it was always supposed to be run: by enthusiastic volunteers.


Re:Too big. (2)

KingAzzy (320268) | more than 13 years ago | (#377903)

Why can't companys stick with an idea or two and make it better?

Because these companies hire on big blowhard executives who want to surround themselves with sycophant junior executives and those sycophant junior execs all want to justify their jobs so they spend all their time coming up with as many bullshit ideas as they can pull out of their butt and the CEO wants to go public and make millions of dollars so he starts blowing out all kinds of bullshit to the banks and investors about how bloating their site out with all kinds of useless crap will somehow equate to a larger consumer audience and thus infinite amounts of revenue and then they go public and the stakes are raised even higher now that you have a bunch of whiney stockholders to please etc etc..

Haven't ever worked in corporate America?

Re:An industry-wide shift... (1)

Manaz (46799) | more than 13 years ago | (#377904)

I should have mentioned, I live in Australia - where the availability of high quality, affordable broadband internet connection is rather low. My views are at least partly "clouded" by the environment I live in (I actually have high speed Internet access through the Optus@Home cable Internet service, considered the best in Australia at the moment, but it's not available to the vast majority of people).

Re:Who's gonna sit through a 30 second commercial? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#377905)

No shit. In 30 seconds, I've already read most of the headlines on Slashdot and usually have moved onto the next site.

Most of my web browsing consists of seeing what's been added in the 2 hours since I last loaded a commonly-updated site. So why the hell would I waste equal time seeing ads?

The Portal Formerly Known As Yahoo!: (1)

Fatal0E (230910) | more than 13 years ago | (#377906)

"Me Ted"

Making money from data... (2)

chipuni (156625) | more than 13 years ago | (#377907)

The Internet has vastly decreased the value of data. What would once take many hours of research in esoteric tomes can now be found with a few taps on the keyboard.

In the early days of the Internet, people thought that content would be value, and would bring in customers, which could be sold to advertisers. That failed miserably: see Slate, for example. In the slightly-later-but-still-early days of the Internet, people thought that sites that aggregated a lot of data would bring in customers... which could be sold to advertisers.

Neither of these business models seem to work well in the long run. If the value of what you have keeps plummeting, it's hard to grow enough new stuff to keep your value.

Yahoo mostly serves as an Internet directory: a set of links to other sites. (Yes, I'm aware of their webmail, groups, chatrooms, auctions, job listings, and many other items.) In other words, it has mounds and mounds of data, and a well-thought-out way to index that data.

However, that data is not necessarily information. And information, collated and digested, is what people need.

I would put far more faith in the financial stability of something like QuestionExchange than in Yahoo -- if that QuestionExchange were more broad. Something that, given a question, will retrieve information -- not data. Those kinds of services will always remain pay services because they cannot be automated: they require human intervention.

Question about what happened (1)

evocate (209951) | more than 13 years ago | (#377908)

I am researching what happened to the .coms. Clearly, advertisers are no longer funding Internet companies with their banner ad budgets. Apparently most advertiser changed their minds simultaneously. This hints at a single or small number of market research firm providing "advertising effectiveness statistics" to the many advertisers. Can anyone tell me if there is one such firm or small group of firms? If so, did they publish an official report citing poor return on advertising dollars? If so, does anyone have links? Thanks

Re:Too big. (2)

n3rd (111397) | more than 13 years ago | (#377909)

Why can't companys stick with an idea or two and make it better?

To a certian extent, Yahoo! is. Waaaay back in the day, Yahoo! was just a search engine, nothing more.

A few years ago, they turned into a portal and haven't changed much since then. Since a portal is an end all, be all place to do everything Yahoo! had to offer many many services and purchase other companies in order to be the best portal there is.

There's nothing wrong with Yahoo! per se, however being a big player in the Portal market takes a lot of money.

Not so fast (2)

deran9ed (300694) | more than 13 years ago | (#377910)

The bottom line is banner revenues can be sufficient for profit potential if you play your cards right.

Think about how much money Yahoo must burn on its day to day operations, versus the amount of times people will actually visit the site. I don't think 10% of its visitors will follow a link, and considering most of Yahoo is based on its once highly visited search engines, lets face it, google kicks its ass on searching, Yahoo is one ugly ass website nowadays, Yahoo can't offer much that newer websites can, and those newer websites' operational costs are bound to be a fraction of that of Yahoo's

Popular sites like slashdot have a high enough CPM to stay more than just afloat. I'm surprised Yahoo hasn't been able to say the same

Your forgetting one key principle, most revenue is generated on click throughs, which most people ignore. If I'm coming to /. to post or read an article I may open a quick link for my browser in order to support the cause, but I'm mainly interested in one thing, and watching ads is not one of them.

Re:Yahoo (2)

musiholic (94408) | more than 13 years ago | (#377911)


I was about to post to this, then I read your post. So, instead of being completey redundant, I thought I'd just say thanks.

I wonder just how many have gone through the same evolution of browsing - Yahoo to AltaVista to Google. I also wonder what will be next in the evolution, or will Google find a way to evolve that is more effective than their predecessors?

With the rapidly ever-changing beast that the web is, and I'm sure always will be, is there anything out there that will really last, anything that will really have a true "tradition"? I suppose sunsite turned metalab turned ibiblio (is this current or have they changed again? ;) ) might be the closest thing I can think of, but as they are tied to academia, that might be one reason they are not as prone to the changes of economics.

Or, I might be full of it.

...and there you have it.

The 'big news' (2)

geomcbay (263540) | more than 13 years ago | (#377912)

The 'big news' that lead to the Yahoo shares freeze is now being reported. Tim Koogle (CEO) is leaving the company.

Click here for story, as told by Salon []

Re:demographics 101 (2)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 13 years ago | (#377913)

Kuro5hin means Kuroshin in l33t-speak... As to what Kuroshin means, I can't help you there...

Re:Why ads suck (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#377914)

Yes, computers are capable of displaying more than 16 colours

You just know some people would complain if it didn't work in legacy systems. :)

Oy! (1)

SupahVee (146778) | more than 13 years ago | (#377915)

This is probably a bit OT, but I think its the general consensus among the real internet folk (/.er's)

This Sucks.

Not only for Yahoo, but for me, this pretty much drives a nail into the coffin about how I have felt about the internet as a whole for about 18 mos now. I long for those glory days when Yahoo gave relevant information, banner ads had not even been 'discovered' yet, and the internet was a really useful tool, full of intellectual information.

Then the entrepreneurs came.

And all was lost to The Almighty Buck. Information and usefulness was secondary to how much money your clicks meant to somebody who had no right to earn money off you. I suppose the best thing to do is just to be patient, and wait for the time when all the Sanford Wallace's of the world start to figure out that the internet is much like a library, full of information, and not to be exploited.

That's not what it says. (4)

TheDullBlade (28998) | more than 13 years ago | (#377916)

What it says is that some rare websites that provide almost nothing yet inexplicably get tons of hits can be profitable. You can't just decide you'll be run such a site, you need either genius or luck, and probably a bit of both now.

Incidentally, it says these things using made-up numbers and ignoring the most important issues such as attracting good quality hits and the cost of actually producing content.

Basically, the article says nothing more than that advertising sometimes pays more you spend than hosting and bandwidth, sometimes not. It's hardly a rousing defense of banner ad based business models.

Will Yahoo become Goofy? (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 13 years ago | (#377917)

The one wearing dalmation coat who is running DisneyWorld is salivating at the prospect of acquiring Yahoo for next to nothing.

If Yahoo keeps having financial difficulties, it would be out of anyone's wild guess that one day we wake up to find becomes

It's not just about banner ads (5)

fm6 (162816) | more than 13 years ago | (#377918)

Yahoo is being hurt by the decline in the banner ad marketplace. But that's not the whole story.

The basic fact is, Yahoo is badly run. I've posted previous rants [] about their software's shortcomings. I had assumed that they were profitable anyway, but I appear to be mistaken. The report that they're in trouble completes a familiar picture.

Yahoo was the first big Dot Com, and thus the first target of overenthusiastic Dot Com get-rich-quick hysteria. Now, if anything is bad for a company, it's having a lot of over-eager investors throw money at it. The company has to grow quickly, regardless of the negative effects, in order to justify all that investment. Plus, management has no incentive to control costs. So you get growth-by-acquisition, overlapping projects that don't complement each other, initiatives that are ramped up before they are fully debugged, etc., etc.

If I were a Yahoo investor, I'd be terribly concerned. But as a Yahoo user, I'm actually kind of encouraged. Yahoo is too well-established to follow Infoseek into Portal Oblivion, and this kind of reality check will make for a better operation.


Lend a hand (3)

drix (4602) | more than 13 years ago | (#377919)

I invite you to further the decline of such companies by visiting Guidescope [] . Some may remember the Junkbusters, who used to put out an adfiltering proxy called, cryptically, "Internet Junkbuster". Since then they've moved that operation to this new company. Ad blocking is much improved because all proxies now turn to a centrally maintained database of ad's instead of using simple RegExs. I've had great results with Windows & Linux using it. Also they are very good about privacy. Check it out.


Re:Their Revenue Model Might Not Suck as Much If.. (1)

owillis (74881) | more than 13 years ago | (#377941)

I've had Yahoo! mail since the day it went live and never had this kind of problem...
OliverWillis.Com []

Re:What they need to do (more better) (1)

kettch (40676) | more than 13 years ago | (#377942)

I just got a better idea, if i owned a dot com with a questionable future, i would sell out to yahoo or AOLTM or some idiot with more money than brains, and then i would go retire.

Slashdot Ads - How about a poll? (5)

n3bulous (72591) | more than 13 years ago | (#377943)

I doubt slashdot would run this poll, but how about:

Slashdot Banner Advertising:

a) I have clicked on /. ads.
b) I have research a product/company after viewing/clicking on an ad.
c) I have bought something from the advertising company because of (one way or another) the ad.
d) JunkBuster!

Re:An industry-wide shift... (3)

zaius (147422) | more than 13 years ago | (#377944)

Actually, for sites like slashdot, that could add up to tens of thousands of dollars a day.

But realistically, US$.1 (ten cents if you're stupid) is too much for a micropayment. Sure, /. may make $100,000 dollars in a day (1 million pageviews), but I don't want to pay $6 of that every day!

If 10 cent micropayments became the standard, people would stop using the internet because it'd be to frickin expensive...

deevolution of the net? (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 13 years ago | (#377945)

I would love to see net evolve (de-evolve?) to a state at which it is not only not the next big thing, but largely ignored by the general public and the media. Maybe, just maybe, we'll see the primary focus return from money to content.

.con business models ... (1)

LL (20038) | more than 13 years ago | (#377946)

As Peter Drucker, once said, the key to growing any organisation is to understand what it's real business is (not just its job). For example, if you think about it carefully, you'd realise that McDonalds is in the property business (as a means to controlling its burger sub-francises). Similarly as others have noted in previous /. posts, Microsoft is not in the OS space but in IP licensing (beg (share options for microserf-lifestyle), borrow (embrace,extent,extinguish) or bully (buyouts)).

So, if you study Yahoo, what is its business? It was originally a directory (useful when the web was growing rapidly) and people wanted directions or a map of possible destinations. However, by adopting the advertising model, it confused its business with that of home shopping. When people are searching for an item, they subconsiously ignore all information not relevant to the direct needs (one reason why google seems to prosper is due to its simpler interface). However, by adopting an advertiser driven revenue model, Yahoo has the incentive of not-so-subtlely distracting your attention and thus increasing your search costs (time take to discover something of relevance). If people want to browse for ideas, they buy home&gardens magazines or gawk at the lifestyles of rich and famous where ads do have a role in branding in the proto-wish list stage. If they are on the hunt for specific information/bargins, then the home-shopping mentality is not relevant.

So, the advertising revenue model depends on the fact that impressions lead to a sale but if the disconnect between reality and perception (ie near zero correlation between 2 events) is high, then business (who do have to fork out for ad space) will just find that a $ of advertising will go better in another medium than through Yahoo.

One wonders whether other "successful" internet startups have fundamentally flawed business models as well and what financial stress will reveal who's swimming naked when the financial-hype receeds.


ObJoke ... why is TV considered a medium?

Because it's neither rare nor well-done.

Re:Why ads suck (3)

Fervent (178271) | more than 13 years ago | (#377947)

You forgot my favorite one: the words "Click for More". I remember my second internship, my first with an internet company, and how the CEO of our 3-person startup said the words "Click for more" are psychologically proven to get more click-throughs. "People don't know where to click". Right.

But look at most mass media sites. The majority of banners will say something akin to "Click for More" or "Click Here". Obviously it works if every other site is doing it, right?

I remember the pinacle of annoyance for me was seeing *every* Berst Alert NewsAnchor article at CNet being peppered with "Click for More"s. Up and down the page. Like we didn't notice he was trying to get more site traffic. I was so relieved when other people took over the column a month or two ago.

yahoo has $2billion in cash (3)

gadwale (46632) | more than 13 years ago | (#377948)

...and no debt.

Given that the economy is slowing down and all the dot coms are going belly up, yahoo may still be the best kind of stock to hold because of it's strong balance sheet and diverse nature and upwards potential as a e company with experience.

Remember, 2 billion is a LOT of money and the rest of the market isn't doing great either.

Re:Not so fast (3)

agentZ (210674) | more than 13 years ago | (#377949)

Yahoo's search engine (for web pages) is powered by Google...

bonds (1)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 13 years ago | (#377950)

My boss told me that he heard from someone else (oh yeah, reliable...) that when Yahoo! went public, they put ALL their money into bonds. That was how they were able to stay profitable... Does that make any sense to the capitalist sheep reading this? It was explained to me that the return will be low, but it'll be a positive return nonetheless. Guess it either wasn't true or it didn't work out as planned?
Lord Omlette
ICQ# 77863057

Re:Yahoo (1)

Thrakkerzog (7580) | more than 13 years ago | (#377951)

I like them as a portal, though..

Especially for fantasy sports leagues. They really keep on top of those, and they are a lot of fun.

I rarely search for anything on Yahoo now, though. I go straight to google.

-- Thrakkerzog

Re:Good long-term for Tech Industry (2)

KagakuNinja (236659) | more than 13 years ago | (#377952)

I hope this is true, speaking as a programmer working for a non start up. Unfortunatly, all the money invested in means VCs are poorer (having lost a lot of cash), and wary about new startup investments. Rather than simply admit that was a bad idea, many seem to lump all startups together as having been "too risky".

In our case, we are in the process of securing additional funding, and the VCs are wanting considerably more stock for their investment. As we will be needing that money to pay bills really soon, I suspect we are screwed.

Re:Good long-term for Tech Industry (1)

7-Vodka (195504) | more than 13 years ago | (#377953)

Thank you for visiting We are currently accepting no new orders.


"just connect this to..."

Re:Why ads suck (2)

jfdawes (254678) | more than 13 years ago | (#377954)

You forgot:

  • Advertisement does not lead to content. Too often clicking on an advertisement that proclaims a specific thing leads only to the website, not the specific thing.

The economics of banner revenues (5)

alewando (854) | more than 13 years ago | (#377955)

Kuro5hin has an interesting piece [] on the economics of ad revenues. The bottom line is banner revenues can be sufficient for profit potential if you play your cards right. Popular sites like slashdot have a high enough CPM to stay more than just afloat. I'm surprised Yahoo hasn't been able to say the same.

Too big. (2)

jrs (27486) | more than 13 years ago | (#377957)

All these web sites start off with a simple idea, and just keep adding more features, and buying other companys. I'm sure yahoo's bandwidth and other costs are just impossible to imagine.

Why can't companys stick with an idea or two and make it better?

An industry-wide shift... (3)

Daemosthenes (199490) | more than 13 years ago | (#377960)

It seems to me that the industry as a whole is moving away from the largely ineffectual revenue collection system of banner ads. I foresee the advent of subscription based pay services, micropayments, and perhaps even internet "commercials"

Subscription based pay services are obvious. Check out [] They provide subscription based services to a number of online businesses, which are then used by the end users of each business.

Micropayments are relatively simple as well; using a standardized system such as paypal, each website could charge a fee, such as $.1 per page view. For a site like /., that could add up to 3000$ a day.

Last is the possibility of internet "commercials". These would merely be much more immersive banner ads, similar to what is shown on TV now. Before accesing the site, the browser would first have to view a 30 second flash movie from a sponsor, for example.

These are only some of the many future revenue possibilities...

I've got a solution: (5)

Sarin (112173) | more than 13 years ago | (#377963)

Perhaps they should make their banners bigger..
Just a though.

people are finally realizing... (2)

Anonymous C0vvvvv4rd (319323) | more than 13 years ago | (#377966)

...that there is a fixed amount of money that can be used for advertising, and you can't spread that over an infinite number of inane web sites. One company that actually produces and sells a product can't very well support 100 web sites that make all of their revenue from advertising.

I mean, Yahoo is a more useful site than most, but I certainly don't use it to do my shopping. This whole "recession" thing is just caused by people understanding that the "millions of revenue from advertising" business model is fundamentally flawed (at least if too many people use it).

Re:Slashdot Ads - How about a poll? (2)

Fatal0E (230910) | more than 13 years ago | (#377971)

"Me Ted"

Re:Yahoo (2)

pb (1020) | more than 13 years ago | (#377972)

Obviously not you. In the future, please do not read my posts.

I would have reserved an extra-long boring comment for you, but sadly you did not provide me with enough information to write about.

In the future please provide Your Real Name, Your E-Mail Address, Your Home Phone Number, Your Credit Card Number, and a one-hundred word essay about Why I'm Such An Asshole On Slashdot.

Thank you.
pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [] .

Re:demographics 101 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#377973)

kuroshin = corrosion

Re:demographics 101 (1)

chipuni (156625) | more than 13 years ago | (#377974)

What does 'Kuro5hin' mean, anyway?

A few seconds in Kuro5hin's FAQ gave the answer [] .

Re:Story from a third party (1)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 13 years ago | (#377975)

After the crash of 1987, the excehanges were forced by the SEC to automatically block trading of a volatile stock. The exchange itself has to shut down if it's keynote index (the Dow, the Nasdaq...) falls more than a certain amount. The purpose of this was because computers do a fair amount of trading (as in actually making decisions), and they can really start beating stocks down without merit. It's kind of like the karma cap, I guess...

Remora banner (1)

danielhsu (78479) | more than 13 years ago | (#377976)

Perhaps they should try the Remora banner [] . =)

Hold on a second.. (2)

bugg (65930) | more than 13 years ago | (#377977)

Yeah, this is news, but so is a new class-action suit against VA Linux (March 3rd)

2001-03-03 04:28:20 Class action lawsuit against VA Linux (articles,va) (rejected)

So when there is bad news about Yahoo, it gets published, but not when it's about VA?

This almost causes me to question journalistic integrity.

(Have No Score +1 Bonus checked because people will scream off-topic, but the issue needs to be addressed somewhere)

They destroyed my email account! Yahoo = Evil (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#377978)

Yahoo paid 4 billion dollars to buy the hoe addresses of all the geocities members and their real email addresses. Well over 10,000 dollars per fake name. When Microsoft bough Hotmail for over a billion They paid 10,000 dollars for my fake home address too. When Network solutions was bought for 20 billion dollars last year to get access to the contact list of everyone and their street addresses they also paid 15,000 dollars per address but at least they were 98% correct (mine was fake, so I ripped of Verisign by 15,000 too).

One of theose fake contact email names was only known to Yahoo when they bought this database and now my hotmail address known only to yahoo-geocities gets 20 spams a day. They then told me in threatening letters repeatedly that I had to accept a new service pollicy to continue my free POP mail at and worse... change my NAME!!! Thats right! they wanted me to use even though a HTTP email user already had been using YEARS AFTER I was on the web on geocities as a geocities pioneer. I would have to change the front and back of my email address, and they threatened to stop forwarding geocities mail even though it takes no effort for them. I was outraged and figured out tricks to continue successfully receiving AND SENDING my POP mail using geocities mail for about two more years. It was my precious identity and official business email (anonymous). I even used it for Internic contacts for domains to prevent hackers from stealing my entire server to be able to change domain admin rights. But finally... sometime in august they fucking killed it all. AFTER over SIX YEARS of steady daily usage! Yahoo has no phone numbers, except sales, and driving to the silicon valley would be no good, because I would probably be so angry I would beat a Yahoo admin to death with my fists. This is an outrage. YAHOO KILLED GEOCITIES. They did it with 4 billion cash. Was it worth it? I shorted yahoo 10 times in my life, making money a few times and then losing my ass by over 100K other times. I hate yahoo more than any person on this planet, except maybe ex employees and their competitors. They never had technology. They Used Altavista and others for their engines, they thwarted the DMOZ, they are unresponsive, thier stock quoates and all other services are contracted out, They have nothing. Their stock is FINALLY hitting 95% less market cap, the same as nearly 90% of all other dot coms. I hope they crash and burn.

They ruined my life and took away my POP email. I want yahoo to get to $5.

Re:The economics of banner revenues (5)

TrinSF (183901) | more than 13 years ago | (#377979)

Actually, no. The article on K5 is still overestimating the revenue from targetted banner ads, because he's basing his estimates on published rates currently available.

Unfortunately, those rates don't mean anything in the current advertising climate. I used to work for dot-com with a revenue stream based almost entirely on advertising revenue with targeted banner ads. (I say used to because they had to lay off half their staff in January, because of the CPM rate crash.)$20 CPMs were possible a year ago, and $6-10 CPM's maybe 6 months ago -- but right now, CPM rates are so low, that even for targeted banner ads in higher-than-average click-through settings, they're still barely breaking $1.00 CPM. 60 *cents* isn't unheard of.

So, redo the math, reducing ad revenue by a power of 10, (because of his inflated CPM rates of $4-10) and you get more in the ballpark. Further, advertisers are trying to push towards an entirely per-click payment model, which can be quite abyssmal, revenue-wise -- and doesn't take into account all we know about the value of brand recognition over time, etc.

All you have to do is graph the decrease over the course of a year, from $20.00 CPMs to 60 cent ones, and you'll see why Yahoo's in trouble.

Re:Question about what happened (2)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 13 years ago | (#377980)

Neilson the TV ratings people also do internet ratings.

Re:demographics 101 (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#377981)

Kuro5hin, or K5 is l33t-speak for corrosion, or rust. The explanation behind this is that Rusty, one of the site admins, caught tetanus when Inoshiro, one of the other site admins, violently fucked him with a rusty metal dildo.

Hope this helps!

Re:Make it worth something (2)

shayne321 (106803) | more than 13 years ago | (#377982)

There is no 'Value Add' to what Yahoo provides.

Well, I know you are referring to yahoo, the indexing service, but Yahoo mail actually has some clue.. For free you get a mail account and 6MB of storage. For folks like me that like to archive most/all mail, you can pay $19.95/year for a 20MB mailbox. You can also point your domain there ( for a fee. I can't think of examples off hand of how they could apply this to other areas, but it seems to me like the way to go.

That said, there are some dumb moves. To get POP access to your yahoo mail box you have to sign up for this "yahoo delivers!" service which sends solicited spam to you once or twice a week. I'd much rather have the option to pay a couple more bucks a year and gain POP access.

I think yahoo just has too much dead weight. Yahoo's chat, messenger, mail, and web index are all good. The rest I could do without.


Nonsense (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#377983)

No, the small will eat the big. Hobbyists and people who do it "for da love" will eat the lunch of any corp that has to pay people to provide what everyone else has.

Imagine the "MIRACLE" of Linux. I'm an atheist but if I had to believe in miracles Linux would be one of them. An extremely complex OS and other open-source proggies competitive with what MSFT pays hundreds of millions to develop. Guess what? It's yours for free. Every line, every detail. Keep control of the system and you will prevail. A noble OS embiggens the smallest 'puter.

Further, I can work on my own sites and projects for free but no company can seriously expect productive work at the same price.

Also, just because there are some big players out there (Yahoo, AOL, E-Bay, Amazon) is no reason to give up the "promise" of the internet revolution. Those big companies are simply growing faster and converting the uninitiated. It's like Compuserve or Prodigy circa 10 years ago.

Face it, you weren't "popular" or "commercial" hanging out in BBs before the WWW. Don't expect to be that now if you want to be on the edge. Do it for fun. Work on the edge. Fuck the big companies - they are no more relevant than they were before MSN opened shop. They follow, you lead. Mmmm'kay?

Re:bonds (3)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 13 years ago | (#377984)

All public companies have public accounting records, that detail what they are doing with their money.

You don't think that we are expected to buy a stock without knowing where the money is and what they are doing with it, do you?

Go look up their balance sheet on, it will have all the deatils of their money situation.

Re:Yahoo (1)

pb (1020) | more than 13 years ago | (#377985)

Excellent. We Are Nerds. :)

I'm guessing that, as much as I love them, Google will eventually sell out too, once all the original people are gone, and the corporate schmucks have paid them off for the name. The same thing happened with Mosaic -> Netscape -> Mozilla, and AOL is responsible for being the Corporate Schmuck in a few cases so far.

I have no idea why SunSite keeps changing their name; however, the ftp site remains essentially the same, and I can still go to '', port 21, so I don't care what *they* call it. :)

But I'm very thankful for that, because they're the closest and biggest linux archive around. (it's at UNC, I'm at NCSU... thank us for UUCP and USENET, too. :)
pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [] .

that is the market (1)

SonCorn (301537) | more than 13 years ago | (#377986)

This is how the market will work for a while. It will take a very long time for a purely internet company to actually be successful, at least in the way of profit. For time being the successful companies online will be those that have a real physical presence, as in real stores, etc. It will take a long time for the economy to move to an electronic medium successfully. Plus one has to look at the amount of people that not only have access online, but that have access where they can shop. That will be further down the road. I have no doubt that it will come, but one must be patient. The Industrial Revolution in the United States did not happen overnight. The Electronic revolution has to play by similar rules. It will just take time. (2)

deran9ed (300694) | more than 13 years ago | (#377988)

The Internet is such a great thing, but one thing many seem to overlook is that it is not a neccessity. For years people have lived without the net, and while it does make live easier, it is just like a car, cell phone, etc., a novelty.

Mid to Late 90's Venture Capital firms went ballistic funding companies that were gone faster than they had came. Recent days VC is dried up as people are realizing their is no immediate ghastly halt of life for anyone without the Internet.

Keeping afloat is a hard thing to do when you have bills to pay and revenues from ads just wont cut it. Its not like television where a broadcaster can sell the rights to programs that are in syndication and make revenue off of reruns. Banner ads are not all they once claimed or hoped to be and many companies were under the impression it would last forever. Companies whose revenues fell under this scheme suffered and are suffering most, since there's much more competition meaning ads are flooded and are likely to be meaningless.

Yahoo has outlasted many dot.coms and the decision to step down as CEO was IMHO a wise move. Think about it, where else is Yahoo going to get revenue from, selling webspace, email accounts, stock quotes? There isn't much out there on the net right now, and until the next best thing comes along many other sites without a surefire business model will all end up on FuckedCompany []

Free Porn [] (oh by the way its ad free too)

What about /. (2)

KarmaBlackballed (222917) | more than 13 years ago | (#377989)

If Yahoo is feeling the banner pinch, how is dealing with this reality? Has the banner dynamic changed here yet?

~~ the real world is much simpler ~~

Story from a third party (4)

electricmonk (169355) | more than 13 years ago | (#377991)

The Register has a story on it over here [] . Apparently, Yahoo! suspended its shares today. A rather drastic move.

No, a Web Directory (2)

mobiGeek (201274) | more than 13 years ago | (#377996)

Waaaay back in the day, Yahoo! was just a search engine, nothing more.

Actually, no. Way back in the day, Yahoo! was a web directory. They offered a modified grep to search their directory, not the contents of the pages in their directory.

They added search functionality in a partnership, first with Open Text [] (my beloved OTI [] ...sigh...), then with Alta Vista [] , now with Google [] . [ There may have been others in the mix...I got away from search engines for a while...sigh...;-) ]

Re:Good long-term for Tech Industry (2)

Trepalium (109107) | more than 13 years ago | (#377998)

I think part of this is the fact that most of these internet startups got into the same kind of problems. Like Amazon, they've branched out into all kinds of unrelated directions, and as such, each branch costs a lot more to operate as a part of the entire company that it would individually. Amazon, for example, stopped being a specialty book store, and turned into a general anything-you-want store. Unfortunately, the book selection, the REASON you'd normally shop at suffered. Yahoo has become the same. They have Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Actions, Yahoo Stores, Yahoo News, Yahoo Instant Messanger, and of course, the Yahoo Index and search engine.

Diversity is a great for many things, but as a business plan, it usually stinks. Both Yahoo and Amazon would've been further ahead to partner with someone else to provide those services instead of providing them themselves.

Re:Oy! (2)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 13 years ago | (#378001)

So you are saying there is less information on the net now, than there was when it was completely government funded?

Like it or not, services cost money, a whole lot more money than the $20-$30 a month you pay for last mile service. For people to be able to offer information and still be able to eat, they have to make money. You can either pay for all of it, whether you use it or not, through taxes, or you can pay for only what you use.

You tell me what is better.

Re:Too big. (1)

JamesOfTheDesert (188356) | more than 13 years ago | (#378003)

This is all too true. And some of the things that get pulled from people's butts are just spooky.

Trading halts are routine (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#378004)

First, Yahoo does not control the trading in YHOO stock. The stock exchange where it's listed does that. In this case, YHOO is traded on the NASDAQ exchange, so NASDAQ halted trading for a few hours.

The purpose of a trading halt is to accommodate news releases. The halt gives everybody who's interested in buying or selling YHOO time to find out about the news and factor it in their plans. This halt, like most halts, lasted a couple of hours.

The news can be bad (company announces it's not going to make as much money as it thought) or good (company announces that some other company has offered to buy all the shares at a 50% premium). In practice, trading halts on news are more bad news than good news.

After everybody's had a reasonable chance to look at the news (say, two hours), the exchange re-opens trading in the stock, and people can buy and sell it at whatever prices they agree on.

In this case, YHOO was trading at 21 before the halt, and it's trading about $18.70 now (in the after-hours market). No big deal.

You might be thinking of a trading suspension, where the exchange says: we think this company is so fucked up that we aren't going to let consenting adults use our services to buy and sell its stock any more (for example, ETYS). That's quite a bit different.

provide almost nothing yet get tons of hits?? (1)

CiXeL (56313) | more than 13 years ago | (#378005)

two words:

goat sex

Imagine the irony of being more profitable than Yahoo!

Good long-term for Tech Industry (5)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 13 years ago | (#378006)

The death of all these .coms is actually a good thing, long term, for the tech industry.

Consider: 98% of all the .com businesses were either terminally bad ideas (delivering pet food) or way overfunded. Since there is only a finite amount of venture capital out there, the fact that was getting 10 million in funding meant that some other business was not. Hopefully, this downturn and the death of most .com businesses will mean that VCs will start investing money in relistic (as opposed to trendy) businesses.

This goes hand-in-hand with the need for the VCs to be a little more careful with their money -- even deserving tech startups have spent the last few years flushing money down the toilet in a way that would make any other industry blush; do we really need on-site wine tastings?

Anyhow, this downturn will hopefully bring the tech boom a bit closer to earth and, in doing so, ensure that the economic good times stay with us a bit longer.


Profit Is Possible... (3)

ekrout (139379) | more than 13 years ago | (#378007)

Profit is possible, but I guess (quite similar to the O'Reilly story from earlier today) that a company (Yahoo, in this case) can only add so many more features, employees, etc. until their costs greatly outweigh the maximum amount of funds they can realistically receive from showing banner ads. The clickthrough rate on ads has, I'm sure, been determined by now, and companies who wish to have their ads shown know exactly how many times they'll actually be clicked, that is, exactly how many times their message (about a new product, website, or the like) will be heard. Yahoo *should* be making money, but because they care too much about giving users an excellent Web experience, their outrageous spending to give the people everything they want (for free, mind you) is bitting them in the butt. It's ashame that such a great portal and innovating website can't get the message across to users that they do need a little monetary support every once in awhile.

Yahoo (5)

pb (1020) | more than 13 years ago | (#378009)

I remember Yahoo fondly from the early days of the web. Back then, it had a well-structured directory of links that was maintained by hand. It was a quality site, and had links the vast majority of useful sites for a given area. It was a lot easier to go to Yahoo to find something than it was to click your way down whatever path you were used to, going through maybe six sites instead of one.

However, times have changed. Now Yahoo is yet another Cheesy Portal Site [] , and you'll notice that the article is entirely about their stock price, their public perception, their CEO, blah, blah, blah... And nothing about their customers, their technology, and the useful service they provide.

That's because they don't provide a useful service anymore. Instead, they're partners with people who do provide a useful service. After the web started getting too large for Yahoo to handle, AltaVista became popular. It was a showcase for DEC's Alpha computers, showing how powerful they were by how they efficiently searched and indexed millions of web pages, and found your queries. The best part about, though, was the query structure, for instance being able to say "+host:slashdot" and search for posts...

So, for a while, when Yahoo needed a real search engine, they used AltaVista's, I believe. I'm not sure because by then I had switched over to AltaVista anyhow. But that too eventually turned into a cheesy portal site, although it looks better recently. However, now Yahoo uses Google for their searching, as well as having their own tree of links that people submit.

Google, however, actually *does* have innovative technology, and hasn't sold out quite yet. They also use the Open Directory project as the basis for their web directory, and have a high quality tree of links reminiscent of how Yahoo used to. But the really useful features are their "PageRank" technology, which takes links into account when indexing, and their Cache, which often is the only way to find things that have been taken off the web.

So, sadly, new useful web sites will often give into the money, and their quality will go downhill. (not mentioning any names here ;) But that seems to be the way the world works, and all we can do is cultivate the young upstarts to bring us the technology of tomorrow, so we can enjoy today again.
pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [] .

Re:Story from a third party (3)

jockm (233372) | more than 13 years ago | (#378011)

Yahoo did not suspend trading of shares, NASDAQ did. The exchange has the right to do this if trading gets too volitile...

what will I do? (1)

while (213516) | more than 13 years ago | (#378012)

These days, you need a domain name to get anyone to visit your page at all, then some sort of dynamic/interactive element, and it just costs too much to be supported by advertising. The web went downhill when rainbow dividers and webcams of coffee makers, soda machines, and aquaria got boring, if you ask me.

Now that I'm adjusted to this way of surfing, what happens if all the big websites start going down because they can't afford to pay the bills? What the hell am I going to do at work all day?

(end comment) */ }

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