Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

David Pogue and Yahoo's "Normals" Problem

Unknown Lamer posted about 9 months ago | from the news-for-people-who-don't-care dept.

Yahoo! 213

Nerval's Lobster writes "In a keynote talk at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, David Pogue (Yahoo's freshly minted technology columnist) suggested that the new 'Yahoo Tech' Website — a key part of the company's latest rebranding — would be targeted at 'normal' people as opposed to 'gearheads.' Based on a map that flashed on the giant screen behind him, which showed the 'normals' clustered in the middle of the country and the 'gearheads' restricted to the coasts, it's clear that Yahoo has embraced a divisive strategy that tries to equate Yahoo's brands with some sort of mythical 'middlebrow' audience that exists within clearly defined borders. (During his presentation, Pogue also flashed a slide that made fun of competing tech-news brands: The Verge was rendered as 'The Urge,' for example, while Gizmodo became 'Gizmoody.') The problem is that rigid audience of 'normals' doesn't exist, at least not in the way that Yahoo envisions. Large numbers of well-educated technology consumers — 'gearheads,' in Pogue's parlance — exist all over the country; to say otherwise is like suggesting that Wyoming is 100 percent Republican, or that everybody who lives in Florida hates snow. In other words, Yahoo's approach to tech content isn't merely schismatic; it's willfully unaware of the variety that exists among technology fans."

cancel ×

213 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

What do you expect? (2, Informative)

jddeluxe (965655) | about 9 months ago | (#45898495)

Anything but douchery from David Pogue?

Re:What do you expect? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45898601)

Argh damn it! I just can't get my dick hard. It just wont happen. Quick, somebody pee in my mouth!

Re:What do you expect? (4, Funny)

khasim (1285) | about 9 months ago | (#45898681)

Not just him. Go to that website:
http://www.yahoo.com/tech/?ref=news [yahoo.com]

It's wall-to-wall crap and ads. Literally wall-to-wall. It fills the page with graphics slammed up touching to each other. Up-down-left-right.

It's what you would get if a douchbag spec'ed out a site.

Re:What do you expect? (5, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | about 9 months ago | (#45898693)

Reminds me of Windows 8, actually.

Re:What do you expect? (4, Funny)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 9 months ago | (#45898799)

Uses my whole 27" screen? Check.

Shows more than it would on a phone? No.

Is it usable? No.

Does it have any noteworthy content? Not any that I saw before my eyes started hurting and I closed the tab.

Re:What do you expect? (2)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | about 9 months ago | (#45899131)

Even though it's Yahoo, I checked it out, and with adblock it looks much like a windows 8 screen. It was very visual, and some of the pictures were intriguing, like the 12 foot ramen noodles sculpture [yahoo.com] .

Re:What do you expect? (3, Funny)

paiute (550198) | about 9 months ago | (#45899069)

That's not a website. It's a screensaver.

Re:What do you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45899167)

It's 2014 and you're telling us that you don't block ads already? Really? I have not seen an ad in years. Not a one. I pay to use the Internet already via my ISP. I will not pay again with bandwidth-sucking, privacy-ruining ads littering my screen real estate. Ads are dangerous and serve only to enrich the rampant capitalists that place them on websites. No thanks...

Re:What do you expect? (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about 9 months ago | (#45899685)

Argh! My eyes!

Lol. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45898499)

Nerd website complains that new nerd section in other website isn't nerdy enough. News at 11.

Re:Lol. (1)

internerdj (1319281) | about 9 months ago | (#45898689)

Ok, so he wants to deliver nerdy news to people who might be interested but not nerds. That fits Yahoo's overall scheme. The problem is (this guy who is in charge of reporting about the internet) from the way he drew his map, he not only doesn't understand the distribution of technology work in the US, he doesn't even seem to understand how the internet makes even the proper inclusion of those pointless.

The big problem with his map? (4, Interesting)

QilessQi (2044624) | about 9 months ago | (#45899351)

It's a potentially politically-divisive map from what should be a non-political company. Focus on the US portion for a minute:

1. He shows the "gearheads" on both coasts in blue, and the "normals" in-between in red. Very much like a current political map of the US, where the majority of the center is red (Republican) and the coasts are largely blue (Democrat). As RLM puts it: maybe you didn't notice, but your brain did. I really don't think the red/blue choice was an accident. A lot of Yahoo management eyeballs would have seen it, thought about it, and approved it.

2. The map equates the positive term "normal" with red [heartland, Republicans] and the negative term "gearheads" with blue [coastal, Democrats].

3. The map shows a larger proportion of red areas than blue areas, suggesting that the US is far more "normal" than "gearhead". If it were really meant to show "normal" vs "gearhead" then it's obviously absurd: what about Chicago, Austin, DC, and other major tech centers? But it's certainly appealing for a Republican to look at a US map and see far more red than blue.

All of which seems designed to position Yahoo as a politically-conservative portal, meant to appeal to people that would prefer to avoid supposedly-liberal web sites like Google. Look at this article to see what I mean:

http://politicaloutcast.com/2013/04/the-conservative-alternative-to-the-liberal-google/ [politicaloutcast.com]

I’m talking about Goodsearch. Goodsearch is run by Yahoo, which, against Google, gives comparatively poor search results. But the return for using Goodsearch is that for each search you make, the company donates one cent to the charity or school of your choice.... This is a great conservative alternative to Google, which yesterday, instead of using its daily Google graphic to honor Easter, they used it to honor a day that not only does no one celebrate, but which nobody has heard of: Cesar Chavez Day.

Ok, maybe I'm reading more into that map than I should, but they certainly opened the door for speculation. :-)

Re:The big problem with his map? (1)

internerdj (1319281) | about 9 months ago | (#45899651)

I definitely notice the similarities to political boundaries although I didn't notice the coloration. I have a problem with the business case for them choosing to be similar to Fox News. I can tell from personal experience they have been experimenting with user targeted slant with their news articles. If they can slant based on what they think they know about me then why in the world would they only do conservatism?

Yahoo is dead to me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45898509)

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced agricultural grants for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices to reduce the use of potentially harmful pesticides and lower risk to bees all while controlling pests and saving money.
“These collaborative projects can provide innovative solutions to reduce pesticide risks to pollinators and crops,” said James Jones, assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “Initiatives such as these will encourage others to adopt promising technologies and practices across the nation to reduce pesticide risks while maximizing crop production and protecting public health.”
IPM relies on easy-to-implement, environmentally-sensitive practices that prevent pests from becoming a threat. These practices involve monitoring and identifying pests and taking preventive action before pesticides are used. If pesticides are needed, methods such as targeted spraying may be used. These grants will expand public-private stewardship efforts and reduce pesticide risk in agriculture.
The Agricultural IPM Grants are awarded to:
The Louisiana State University project to minimize impacts to bees from insecticides used in mosquito control. Mosquito control is critical for public health; however, insecticides can be hazardous to bees. Bees are essential for crop production and ensuring a healthy food supply. Practices and guidelines resulting from the project will be distributed to mosquito control districts and beekeepers throughout the U.S.
The University of Vermont project to reduce pesticide use and improve pest control while increasing crop yields on 75 acres of hops in the Northeast. The awardees will also develop and distribute outreach materials to help farmers adopt these practices. The project’s goal is to reduce herbicide and fungicide applications by 50 percent while decreasing downy mildew, a plant disease.
The Pennsylvania State University project to protect bees and crops by reducing reliance on neonicotinoid pesticide seed treatments and exploring the benefits of growing crops without them. IPM in no-till grain fields will be used to control slugs and other pests that damage corn and soybeans. Researchers will share their findings with mid-Atlantic growers and agricultural professionals.
Protection of bee populations is among EPA’s top priorities. Some of the factors that contribute to the decline in pollinators include: loss of habitat, parasites and disease, genetics, poor nutrition and pesticide exposure. EPA is engaged in national and international efforts to address these concerns. The agency is working with beekeepers, growers, pesticide manufacturers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and states to apply technologies to reduce pesticide exposure to bees. These efforts will advance best management practices, enhance enforcement and ensure that real-world pollinator risks are accounted for in our pesticide regulatory decisions.
IPM grants will supplement these efforts as well as providing solutions to maximize crop production while minimizing the unintended impacts from pesticides.
For more information on the EPA’s Regional Agricultural IPM Grants: http://www.epa.gov/pestwise/grants/regionalaggrants.html

Re:Yahoo is dead to me (0)

edibobb (113989) | about 9 months ago | (#45898525)

The big question here is: Are the people of Louisiana finally as important to us as the bees?

Re:Yahoo is dead to me (1)

some old guy (674482) | about 9 months ago | (#45898925)

No.

Just catering to their demographics (4, Interesting)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about 9 months ago | (#45898517)

One thing that has really stood out for me in the last 5 or 6 years is just how conservative their readers tend to skew. It's where the Fox News crowd goes. Just read the comments section of any random news story and you'll see what I mean.

Re:Just catering to their demographics (0)

Trepidity (597) | about 9 months ago | (#45898597)

That seems true of just about any general news website I've visited. Especially local newspapers (even in liberal areas!) seem to have comments dominated by rather extreme-conservative commenters.

Re:Just catering to their demographics (3, Interesting)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 9 months ago | (#45898643)

I've seen that trend among my right-wing-leaning friends. For some reason, no matter what you are talking about, they always seem to turn the conversation back to politics. Not just any politics, but more extreme right-wing politics.

Re:Just catering to their demographics (2, Insightful)

OakDragon (885217) | about 9 months ago | (#45898857)

That's funny, I've noticed the same except with my left-leaning friends (and extreme left-wing politics of course). I'm not trying to be facetious, it does seem that way to me. Perhaps it says more about us than them?

Re:Just catering to their demographics (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45899077)

I'm not trying to be facetious, it does seem that way to me. Perhaps it says more about us than them?

What it says is that those who are on the fringe or lean towards the extreme spectrum of <insert political, religious or other personal point of view here> are frequently proselytizing. They're also trying to find like-minded individuals so they don't feel as defensive as they do when surrounded by those who don't understand the truth about things or who haven't seen the light yet.

Surround yourself by those who agree with you and you'll always know that you're right.

Re:Just catering to their demographics (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 9 months ago | (#45899137)

I don't think I've ever run across a person with extreme-left-wing politics in the U.S., oddly enough. I've met a few communists, but they're all Europeans.

Re:Just catering to their demographics (1)

OakDragon (885217) | about 9 months ago | (#45899319)

If you have a range or spectrum, you have extremes. Sounds like you're rubbing elbows with too many right-wingers. :)

Re:Just catering to their demographics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45899541)

Sure, but everything is relative.

If his range includes Europeans, what's wrong with saying Americans aren't as extreme?

Re:Just catering to their demographics (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45899275)

That's funny, I've noticed the same except with my left-leaning friends (and extreme left-wing politics of course). I'm not trying to be facetious, it does seem that way to me. Perhaps it says more about us than them?

You mean those that wear their politics on their sleeves (since they are already categorized as your "left-leaning friends") are often talking about politics? Color me shocked. The only thing it says is that you don't agree with them (if you did the conversations would seem "worldly" instead of "political"). Such is life in a partisan society.

Re:Just catering to their demographics (1, Interesting)

tacokill (531275) | about 9 months ago | (#45899519)

What if I told you that the reason they talk about it so much is because they are genuinely concerned about the direction the country is going.

As one example of many: Not so long ago, we didn't have much discussion about whether communism was better than capitalism at raising the human living standard. Anyone with intellectual honesty already knew that answer so there wasn't much to talk about after a cursory review of the evidence. People who espoused that view were rightfully challenged almost immediately. Nowadays that is not the case. Here we are again debating the "merits" of a system that collapsed entirely less than 25 years ago. (For those that don't know what I am referring to, see the recent Rolling Stone article about what every millennial should be fighting for)

I want to be clear that we need to provide a forum for new ideas so I don't want to stifle discussion. It just gets tiring trying to explain that we already know some of these answers if you will just fucking look and read. But nope.....thoroughly discredited ideas keep rising to the top without challenge and old lesson will assuredly get relearned (at great human cost!)

That is why so many people take every conversation to politics. People can no longer assume that common core American values are being represented in politics anymore so it is forcing them to engage and set things straight. They don't want to be political anymore than you want them to be political. It's just that they have no choice.

Re:Just catering to their demographics (3, Insightful)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 9 months ago | (#45899211)

I don't think that normal people post to those sites very often. It's the asshats that MUST impose their worldview on others that you see.

Not even regular Conservatives are as delusional and hateful as the crazies that post under news stories and use the wingnut tags to spew far-right-wing derp to like-minded imbeciles on Twitter.

Re:Just catering to their demographics (5, Funny)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 9 months ago | (#45898727)

Actually the amount of vile idiots in the comments of the mainstream news sites is about the same. 95% CNN, MSNBC, and FOX comments are total dung heaps. Frankly they all make Slashdot look like a bastion of polite, openminded, and levelheaded people.

Re:Just catering to their demographics (-1)

david.emery (127135) | about 9 months ago | (#45898861)

Mod parent up insightful. (My mod points ran out Monday...)

Re:Just catering to their demographics (4, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 9 months ago | (#45898899)

Frankly they all make Slashdot look like a bastion of polite, openminded, and levelheaded people.

Try reading Slashdot at -1. The idiotic vileness is still here, it is just hidden by the moderation system. I have never understood why more sites don't use a Slashdot like moderation system. It isn't perfect, but it is way better than an open spigot.

Re:Just catering to their demographics (2)

internerdj (1319281) | about 9 months ago | (#45898937)

Because they are run by "Normals"?

Re:Just catering to their demographics (2)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 9 months ago | (#45899465)

Because they are run by "Normals"?

As opposed to Brights [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Just catering to their demographics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45899345)

fuk of faget

Re:Just catering to their demographics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45899433)

A mod system wouldn't work at Yahoo, because just like at Breitbart, the majority of the users are complete idiots. They'd mod up racism, homophobia, and superstition, and mod-down anything countering it.

Re:Just catering to their demographics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45899543)

I just moved the sliders to -1 for this very article, and I also tried in some other threads and a) compared to other sites there is very little bile and b) quite a few of the hidden comments were well worth reading, more so in cases than the top scorers.

This doesn't look like evidence that we've primarily got our moderation system to thank for our bliss, or that the moderation system is working like it should. I suggest another explanation: most people find Slashdot utterly uninteresting and so they stay away. There is apparently significant overlap between bile-spewers and people who think Slashdot is boring.

Re:Just catering to their demographics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45899127)

Frankly they all make Slashdot look like a bastion of polite, openminded, and levelheaded people.

I post on slashdot and I'm an unrealistic extremist with a borderline persecution complex coupled with Tourette's Syndrome, you insensitive clod!

Re:Just catering to their demographics (0)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 9 months ago | (#45899389)

That's because the mod system here works pretty well.

Much of the insanity posted to CNN gets deleted pretty quickly. I've lost count of the number of times I've posted a reply to an awful person and have been notified that their comment has been deleted, but it's not as fast as having the users rate the data as is done here.

Fox of course makes its living by driving the less intelligent Conservatives insane with absurd disinformation, so the awful comments are a feature there, not a bug. The comments at Fox Nation are even worse, often feeling a lot like Stormfront with the constant outbursts of racism in response to the bait the Fox scumbags throw out for the troglodytes.

I didn't know that MSNBC has comments, having spent very little time there, so can't comment on them.

Re:Just catering to their demographics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45898757)

Log in with a yahoo account and let them figure out your political leanings. Soon enough they will stop delivering you the articles that conservatives are interested in.

Re:Just catering to their demographics (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45898793)

I believe most of those comments are paid by Republican think tanks. If they can skew the discussion to a far right as possible, over time, you will mold the reader's left vs right barometer.

Re: those comments are paid (1)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | about 9 months ago | (#45899177)

My mom - who used to be a member of the local green party, and definitely on the low end of the income scale - ended up watching a bit of fox news with her boyfriend over the years. It was shocking how much she would complain about Obama and various liberal policies after a few years of propaganda.

Re: those comments are paid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45899377)

> It was shocking how much she would complain about Obama and various liberal policies after a few years of propaganda.

Pot kettle black. I love how FNC is propaganda and MSNBC/Huff Po/Move On are hard news.

Re:Just catering to their demographics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45899605)

I believe this too. There is plenty of evidence this practice does in fact happen. It's anyone's guess how widespread it is of course.. mine would be "very".

I hope one day there is a technological solution to ferret out shills, I fear for the internet otherwise... choked by paid-for voices.

Re:Just catering to their demographics (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45898839)

He is aiming for someone you do not like maybe? Also ask yourself why did you decide you do not like 'conservatives'. Was it because your friends and family say it? Or did you really stop and think about what they were trying to do? Do you watch your fellow 'liberals' the same way? If not why so bigoted?

It is much like back when married with children came out. They deliberately made a show that was 'not the Cosbys'. They even called it that during pre-production. Everyone said it would fail.

The giz/verge/huff crowd have their place to go. The echo chambers there are quite loud. I even read them. Yahoo could make a very nice living selling to another crowd. About 10-20% of people are 'hard core' whatever.

The rest of us in the middle of the bell curve are tired of sensationalist 'news' that has an agenda. Take for example the current line of of 'news' from the giz flotilla of sites. No less than 5 different buzzwords to draw you in. Words like 'fantastic, harness, humiliating, dance, masterpiece' and so on. They use very strong words to describe what in reality is very mediocre things to draw you in. To sell you something they do not even own. They are making money off you. Do you make it a practice to give money away to very rich people?

I frankly am bored of tabloid style news.

Conservative? Hardly. People are seeing like I do. Read the comments they usually are pointing out how AP or Reuters is slanting something *again*. We are *tired* of news with an agenda. We are *tired* of the 'news' saying how we should live. We are *tired* of the 'news' saying how we are horrible people who should rot in hell for thinking of eating *gasp* a french fry. We are *tired* of the 'news' saying how good/bad particular congress critters are.

This sums up what the middle is thinking of 'news' these days.
"Did you hear about the guy who swallowed a yo-yo. Some clodhopper in Griffith, Indiana. They write the silliest things in the newspapers. What do you mean, silly? l mean that's real news. That's not like that politics slop." -- christmas story

Re:Just catering to their demographics (2)

dcollins (135727) | about 9 months ago | (#45898873)

I agree. The comments at Yahoo take the lead for Lovecraftian mind-melting horror.

Actually, antagonizing their demographics. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45899031)

From TFA:

The problem is that rigid audience of âoenormalsâ doesnâ(TM)t exist, at least not in the way that Yahoo envisions. Large numbers of well-educated technology consumersâ"âoegearheads,â in Pogueâ(TM)s parlanceâ"exist all over the country;

Actually, I would argue the opposite. It's got nothing to do with the politics of their userbase, it's got to do with the UX expectations of their userbase.

"Gearheads" dislike the Yahoo approach of, well, slathering crap all over everything. You can use AJAX to make web sites better, but if you look at what Yahoo's done, it's the opposite: Flickr used to be functional. Now it's a infinite-scrolling, unsearchable, un-metadata-usable, load of crap.

"Normals", however, have an even bigger problem. Your stereotypical non-techie probably runs IE6/IE8 and misses AOL. Explain to me, Yahoo boffins, how AJAXifying Yahoo Mail Classic (which was antiquated, but functional, and worked fine even with Javascript disabled) is going to help this user?

The problem is exacerbated when you try to use something like the Yahoo Finance message boards, currently undergoing their second major redesign, reveals similar usability issues: users with older systems, non-current browsers, being left in the dust. Even with newer systems and current browsers, it's crap: the "ignore" (to ignore spammers and trolls, because Yahoo can't be bothered to hire an abuse department to police its message boards) function merely greys out the posting. A quick spam report now takes multiple mouse clicks, over a series of fields that glide up and down, making you wait for the UI to move the field into view before being able to click on the moving-target text, etc.

The "normal" user doesn't want change. Yet Yahoo's entire business strategy appears to be aimed at coming up with change-for-change-sake (perhaps the goal was an attempt to retain its few remaining technical employees?) that makes the product less usable for gearheads, and utterly baffles the normals.

Dafuq, Yahoo? It's not like you ever used to be cool, but you've gone out of your way to alienate both techies and non-techies alike.

More Yahoo nonsense (4, Insightful)

bigjarom (950328) | about 9 months ago | (#45898527)

I actually got mad while following live tweets of Pogue's talk. But then I thought, "Well, this is going to fail in few months anyway," so then I felt better.

Re:More Yahoo nonsense (1)

gnick (1211984) | about 9 months ago | (#45898685)

I would have if I'd bothered. New Mexico is full of "gearheads", which is why we don't bother with Yahoo. Wy wife uses Yahoo fanatically, but doesn't know the difference between a monitor and a computer. And trying to explain that CPU doesn't mean that big boxy thing would make her head explode.

Re:More Yahoo nonsense (4, Funny)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 9 months ago | (#45898797)

No, the big boxy thing is the hard drive you dolt!

Re:More Yahoo nonsense (1)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | about 9 months ago | (#45899203)

I'm pretty sure that's the modem...

Re:More Yahoo nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45899229)

As everyone who watched the IT crowd knows, the big boxy thing is the internet.

Re:More Yahoo nonsense (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 9 months ago | (#45899477)

No, the big boxy thing is the hard drive you dolt!

Hey, I am a big boxy thing, you insensitive clod!

Re:More Yahoo nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45899243)

I would have if I'd bothered. New Mexico is full of "gearheads", which is why we don't bother with Yahoo. Wy wife uses Yahoo fanatically, but doesn't know the difference between a monitor and a computer. And trying to explain that CPU doesn't mean that big boxy thing would make her head explode.

I remember inviting someone to my place once and gesturing to my iMac, talking about my computer. They got this smug look on their face and said "no, that's a monitor, not a computer." The expression changed after I pointed out that monitors don't typically plug directly into an electrical socket, and that in fact, that casing held a monitor, motherboard, hard disk, speakers, a camera and various I/O ports. It seemed to shake their entire world -- that you could put electrical components in differently-shaped cases!

Re:More Yahoo nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45899667)

"monitors don't typically plug directly into an electrical socket"

What monitors do you use? I have never seen one that does not.

Re:More Yahoo nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45899601)

Why are you OK with being married to a stupid person?

Yahoo means... (1)

war4peace (1628283) | about 9 months ago | (#45898569)

...Yahoo Messenger for me. That's all. I already have friends moving out of Y!M towards Google Talk (which I loathe) but most of them are still there.
Apart from that, Yahoo! means nothing to me, not anymore.

Re:Yahoo means... (1)

demachina (71715) | about 9 months ago | (#45898837)

Yea, but look at the pretty, well dressed, blond haired blue eyed CEO⦠as I wave in the general direction of Marissa Mayer and you are slowly hypnotized in to forgetting about everything else Yahoo does wrong.

Yahoo: Fuck off and die already (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about 9 months ago | (#45898573)

Believe it or not, those flyover states have more intelligent technical people in them than you have in your company.

Re:Yahoo: Fuck off and die already (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45899295)

Believe it or not, that map has more intelligent flyover states in it than you have intelligent technical people in your company.

Fixed that for you

Site Dilution (4, Informative)

edibobb (113989) | about 9 months ago | (#45898599)

Yahoo Tech is going the route of site dilution, in which each site eventually dumbs down to something in between Gawker, Huff Post, and Fox News. The sites post the same inane, inaccurate stories, such as "supervolcanoes imminent". Uh oh... wasn't that on /. ?

Re:Site Dilution (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 9 months ago | (#45898677)

The difference that occurred to me: smart users run Adblock. Show the suckers ads, leave the power users to someone else. Coincidentally, this appears to be the Windows 8 strategy too.

Republicans? (1)

Chemisor (97276) | about 9 months ago | (#45898617)

Overlay the map with last election results and it appears that he thinks that Republicans are now normal, while Democrats are "gearheads", which may or may not be an insult :)

So what? (1, Interesting)

DarkOx (621550) | about 9 months ago | (#45898631)

I find Pogue's theory's about the demography of normals a bit suspect, but conceptually its not crazy. Every business should know who their customers are and beyond that know who their good customers are (IE the ones that make them rather than cost them money).

In the case of Yahoo though a couple things come to mind:
Gear Heads are your customers customers in many cases. There seems to be two types of product pushed in online ads, scammy stuff sold to idots and highend ( or at least high margin ) stuff sold to various types of gearhead/*-ophile,foodie,junkie types. If you as Yahoo don't bring these eyeballs not sure why your actually customers (advertisers) would bother with you. I don't P&G pushing toilet-trees online a whole lot, and its things like toothpaste, frozen pizzas, and lawn fertilizer the "normals" spend their money on.

Lots of people like the think they are "gearheads" they think they want to feel like they are experts at their hobbies and such feel like they are dealing with fancy things. I am not sure deliberately not projecting an image of "elite" is really going to put people in a buying mood, again something advertizes won't love.

Re:So what? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 9 months ago | (#45899181)

There seems to be two types of product pushed in online ads, scammy stuff sold to idots and highend ( or at least high margin ) stuff sold to various types of gearhead/*-ophile,foodie,junkie types.

Interesting point. I'm going to think about that one for a bit.

I feel like most of the ads I see are from sites I've been to previously.

Do they care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45898651)

Serious question: Do people who do not care about tech care enough to read about it, even if it is targeted at them?

I'm both. (5, Insightful)

queazocotal (915608) | about 9 months ago | (#45898661)

As I suspect are most people.
I'm a gearhead when considering electronic test equipment.
I'm more of a prosumer for commodity computer hardware.
I'm pretty normal for tablet use - I haven't even rooted my nexus 7.
I'm well below normal about how much I care about cars and TVs.

The notion that people care equally much about all aspects of a wide field 'tech' is barking mad.

Re:I'm both. (1)

internerdj (1319281) | about 9 months ago | (#45898877)

I'm probably pretty similar. However, as a counterpoint, because you are a gearhead then you probably have the background to come up to speed quicker than what he called normal. You say you aren't a car guy but I bet in a couple sentences that you could pretty well get regenerative braking where their target normal audience is going to need a full article with diagrams and pictures.

And we change over time (1)

WhatHump (951645) | about 9 months ago | (#45898923)

In my younger years when I had more free time and disposable income, I invested in high-end audio gear. Now that I have kids in university and have nerve damage in my left audio nerve, my music system is much more modest.

Re:I'm both. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45899061)

I don't even want to know I live in a world where people like you are alive!
I rooted my car, looked under the hood of my tablet, fiddled with the color settings of my CPU and overclocked my TV. And I make my own test equipment, thank you.

Re:I'm both. (1)

tacokill (531275) | about 9 months ago | (#45899595)

I'm well below normal about how much I care about cars and TVs.

.....but I suspect even your rudimentary understanding of cars and TVs outstrips the best of the "normals" we are talking about. Anyone on /. will be completely bored with this approach. The first thing I thought of was "great, more USA Today Tech articles with sidenotes from Kim Kommando". Sure, there is an audience for that.....but it's tech section will cater to Mary Jane Mathteacher and Tips for Excel.

Nicely demonstrated (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45898673)

"The problem is that rigid audience of 'normals' doesn't exist, at least not in the way that Yahoo envisions. Large numbers of well-educated technology consumers — 'gearheads,' in Pogue's parlance — exist all over the country; to say otherwise is like suggesting that Wyoming is 100 percent Republican, or that everybody who lives in Florida hates snow. In other words, Yahoo's approach to tech content isn't merely schismatic; it's willfully unaware of the variety that exists among technology fans."

Did they also announce that their "normals" site would be available in only red states? Oh, no? Content on the Internet is available uniquely and specifically to each person who requests it? So there is no reason why a conclusion like "there are a lot of normal people out there, therefore we should write in a way that appeals to them" should stand out as odd? Ah, I see, you were trying to be just as big of a divisive dickface as Pogue was. Nice.

Re:Nicely demonstrated (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 9 months ago | (#45898885)

That's not the point. Clearly Pogue has a very crude understanding of this whole "red state" versus "blue state" thing. And it doesn't take that much to get clued in either. Just watch national election coverage and pay attention to the state maps.

Re:Nicely demonstrated (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45899359)

That's not the point. Clearly Pogue has a very crude understanding of this whole "red state" versus "blue state" thing. And it doesn't take that much to get clued in either. Just watch national election coverage and pay attention to the state maps.

Thats not the point either. His map was only pointing out that as a source of news, if you aren't going to produce content available to a majority of people in a majority of the areas that might possibly find your content relevant, you are a niche. Pogue doesnt want Yahoo news to be a niche, so he announces that he will produce content (allegedly) targeted toward the people that predominate the north american geography. And we read into it how much? This article has a "normals" problem.

I'm confused... (1)

Akratist (1080775) | about 9 months ago | (#45898683)

So, they're trying to put together a tech site that isn't tech? Isn't that just, like, a site?

Re:I'm confused... (3, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 9 months ago | (#45898803)

I think it is more along the idea of with out the tragic hipster culture. The Verge and Gizmodo are too involved with the lifestyle side of tech. For example when I listen to the podcast "It's a thing" I keep hearing about idiots dressing up like captain Nemo and talking about artisanal hardware. Where I live you just do not see fixie bikes and $300 backpacks. The Verge podcasts is full of never ending negative comments about "Red States" much the same as you hear in the comments on Slashdot.
So yes I can see the value of a tech site that does not live in the Hipster culture bubble.

Re:I'm confused... (1)

Akratist (1080775) | about 9 months ago | (#45898929)

Thanks, that does make more sense now. I live in the Midwest and know of a number of people who don't have a "lifestyle" around tech, but make considerable use and modification of it on a regular basis. Come to think of it, I bought my laptop backpack at Wal Mart, lol...

Yet (3, Insightful)

bob_super (3391281) | about 9 months ago | (#45898707)

He achieved his goal by making you talk about his company. Free ads.
Controversy doesn't always sell, but that's the first time in weeks that anyone has talked about yahoo.

Nerval's Lobster (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45898749)

Just FYI, "Nerval's Lobster" is not a real user.

Slashdot uses that account to post articles on their branded content sites (Slashdot Cloud, Slashdot BI, etc.).

If you go to the userpage [slashdot.org] , you will find only submissions to slashdot.org/topic/*, and no comments.

In other words, they are trying to trick us.

Re:Nerval's Lobster (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45898819)

I should clarify.

The "Nerval's Lobster" account is used post articles from the branded content sites onto the main slashdot.org site.

The "Nerval's Lobster" userpage only shows submissions to the main slashdot.org site, and all the submissions are stories that are from the branded content sites.

Normal? (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 9 months ago | (#45898755)

Normal people don't care about technology. That's why his "gearhead" labels work.

That whole idea would immedeatly sound silly if you used another subject: What about "Yahoo Sports!" but not geared towards "jocks" but "normals"?

Re:Normal? (1)

reikae (80981) | about 9 months ago | (#45899051)

I suppose sports sites are already geared towards normals instead of athletes, which IMHO would be the gearhead equivalent here.

Re:Normal? (1)

pr0fessor (1940368) | about 9 months ago | (#45899341)

What about "Yahoo Sports!" but not geared towards "jocks" but "normals"?

Sounds like my brother and his friends... they watch and talk about sports almost religiously but would probably fall down and pass out if they ran up and down the basketball court a couple times.

I'm ok with this. (1)

edoules (2541340) | about 9 months ago | (#45898765)

Companies should be allowed to run risky/bad campaigns -- it's costly for them, but it's a free experimental unit for everyone else. Including the consumer.

Yahoo is launching a "tech" section? How cute. (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 9 months ago | (#45898769)

Yahoo is launching a "tech" section? How cute.

Re:Yahoo is launching a "tech" section? How cute. (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 9 months ago | (#45898841)

Not just any old tech section, a tech section for non-techies.

No RSS feed? (2)

david.emery (127135) | about 9 months ago | (#45898827)

Am I the the last person in the world who uses RSS readers to browse news sites for stories that I actually want to read? After all, 90% of everything is crap and I'm looking for efficient ways to find the 10%.

The visual clutter on that site is appalling, I thought Pogue had more taste than that.

Re:No RSS feed? (2)

wile_e8 (958263) | about 9 months ago | (#45899669)

You aren't the last person using RSS, but you and all the rest of the people still using RSS are gearheads, and they don't want gearheads. They'd much rather have the type of people that think Twitter can serve the same purpose.

Tech For People Who Don't Like Tech (2)

dcollins (135727) | about 9 months ago | (#45898849)

That's one of the most losing business strategies I've ever heard.

But it's not alone. There's a lot of failed businesses that at some point when down the lunatic path of "But just imagine if the huge majority of people who don't have any use for service X were converted to using service X! We'd be rich!"

Aren't Yahoo! there already? (2)

DigitAl56K (805623) | about 9 months ago | (#45898859)

How is this a "rebrand". I'm one of those techie people, and Yahoo! isn't my go-to for... anything, as I suspect it already isn't for most other techie people.

Re:Aren't Yahoo! there already? (1)

dccase (56453) | about 9 months ago | (#45898957)

Yahoo failing to understand or provide what I need, want or like is not news.
Their coming out and admitting who their target actually is may be.
But it's not a surprise if you have read the comments on any of their News pages.

And So (1)

dcw3 (649211) | about 9 months ago | (#45898865)

So, Yahoo probably doesn't give a damn if it has the 100% solution. It's about getting more eyeballs to their site, not about getting all of them. There are certainly more "normals" than "gearheads", so for Yahoo, this looks like an improvement. On the other hand, those of us on /. probably won't visit them much.

Just loaded up News Digest for iPhone ... (1)

millertym (1946872) | about 9 months ago | (#45898969)

And it actually is pretty slick. I can already tell that I'll be keeping that app around long term within my "News" group of apps.

Yeah, right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45898977)

It would be nice if they actually did cater to "normals." I keep having to help "normal" people navigate their shitty new interface.

There are different levels of "normals" (4, Interesting)

ErichTheRed (39327) | about 9 months ago | (#45898989)

I don't know, I think he might be on to something, but the red state/blue state map doesn't make any real world sense. Part of it seems like the typical NYC/California hipster bubble ignoring the rest of the country but the idea might be right.

Don't forget that in the 70s/80s, only real gearheads/nerds were doing anything with computers. This changed in the 90s with the Internet, and changed even more with smartphones in the 2000s. Now, the camps skew a little differently:
- True gearheads who want to know every little scrap of technical information about a technology product -- increasingly small percentage
- "Prosumer" users who like nice tech toys but aren't obsessed with the "how they work" part -- Small pecentage, but more than gearheads
- "Normals" who use technology on a daily basis and care even less about how it works -- Basically, the same surface area on that map redistributed across the continent

Part of the reason Apple is so successful is because the iPhone interface is accessible to normals. Everything complex about it is hidden. Android does this to an extent, and different phone/tablet manufacturers abstract the complexity even more. Any normal can pick up an iPhone, use the Facebook app, SMS, tweet, send old fashioned emails, etc. with a very low learning curve.

It sounds like Yahoo wants to be the 2010s version of AOL -- universally accessible content at the risk of alienating the gearheads, who don't read Yahoo for tech news anyway.

Yahoo Guns (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45899009)

I'd visit that.

Why would I bother with another tech site?

Some groups are monolithic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45899013)

99% of black voters voted for Obama.

I found the problem (4, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | about 9 months ago | (#45899071)

Yahoo actually thinks it is "targeted" at "gear heads"? ROTFL

I know some very technical people who have worked AT yahoo. I don't know a single one that actually uses yahoo services (except occasionally for anonymous email accounts) or takes yahoo seriously in any way.

Yahoo is already, and has been for some time, the default home page of non-technical people above the age of 50. If they are looking for a problem with their targeting it is right there in the fact that they don't realize this....this is already their audience.

Pogue? (1)

CodeHog (666724) | about 9 months ago | (#45899245)

I was a Pogue fan for about 5 minutes. Then I read his column. And saw him on NOVA. Ugh. He has a face for IRC and a style for grade school. Which apparently go well together.

The next AOL (1)

danlip (737336) | about 9 months ago | (#45899269)

Sounds like they are positioning themselves to be the next AOL.

Same old Yahoo (1)

riis138 (3020505) | about 9 months ago | (#45899625)

Even after re-branding they still come off as a company that just doesn't get it. S.O.Y. = Same Old Yahoo

Does it really matter? (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | about 9 months ago | (#45899657)

I stopped going to Yahoo ever since they went away from a clean, readable format to their flashy new designs that are far less friendly. Everything is aligned left and leaves half the real estate on my screen blank.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?