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Yahoo CEO Speaks Up about Shake Up

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the just-a-little-bit-nervous dept.

Yahoo! 88

cvos writes "Yahoo has been under fire recently. The common wisdom is that they are losing marketshare to Google, and now MSN. Many executives have departed in the last few weeks, and Yahoo has received a lot of unfavorable press. Their CEO let out a (unintentional) personal and heated response to media critics." From the article: "At the next all-hands. Just as a reminder. I'm sorry I didn't do it today. I'm gonna put up there all of the press reports on how Yahoo! was going out of business 5 years ago. And of how we were gonna be swallowed up by AOL, owned by Time-Warner, and by Microsoft, and by everybody else. And Yahoo! looked like it had a dim future. Well those headlines, of course, were used to wrap a lot of fish in a lot of people's houses, as the expression goes. And they were all full of [expletive deleted], and they had no idea what we had planned for them. And they do not now as well!"

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88 comments

Fish? (1)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176260)

"Well those headlines, of course, were used to wrap a lot of fish in a lot of people's houses, as the expression goes." I'm sorry. I'm not at ALL familiar with that expression. Maybe that's why they didn't do so well (they were too worried about fish in people's houses)?

Fish Wrappers (2)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176346)

He's talking about the practice of calling shoddy newspapers (like the National Enquirer, The Weekly World News, etc) "fish wrappers", because they are good for nothing but wrapping fish in.

If you didn't know because you don't frequent a market - when you buy fish at a live market, it's common practice to give it to the customer wrapped in newspaper. I don't know why exactly, maybe it absorbs the smell or something.

Re:Fish Wrappers (1)

Peter Cooper (660482) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176652)

In the UK this sort of expression is related to how fish and chips always came wrapped in newspaper. It still does in some places, although usually they use more sanitary methods these days.

Re:Fish Wrappers (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#17179150)

Honestly, I stopped using Yahoo when the original beautiful user-supplied index became a pay-to-link operation. Soon, instead of cool little places you'd never heard of that had something unique to offer, it was nothing but an index of larger commercial sites. Many interesting sites I still had in my bookmarks that I knew were still active disappeared from the index, and Yahoo failed to answer even the plainest on inquiries about the index. Anything they did after that I ignored. And of course, then Google pretty much obsoleted all the other search engines (which Yahoo was not, it was a tree-structured index), and then finally the open directory project [dmoz.org] came along and replaced what Yahoo used to be good for.

So... if bits were paper, Yahoo is what would wrap my fish.

Re:Fish Wrappers (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17182344)

then finally the open directory project came along and replaced what Yahoo used to be good for.


Except that ODP sucks due to editors who are partial and block entry of competitors or competitors of friends and/or associates. Not only that, back when they were having server problems and it was difficult to submit a site due to server timeouts, their recommendation was to keep submittign and resubmitting until the browser reports successful submission. Of course, following their advice resulted in many, many submissions (some succeed on the back end, some don't) and got webmasters labeled as "spammers" and permanently banned from the index - FOR FOLLOWING THEIR ADVICE.

Fuck open directory. It is a crooked organization which does not live up to its stated mission.

Re:Fish Wrappers (1)

rp (29053) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177546)

The saying is not about shoddy newspapers, but about news in general: today's news is tomorrow's fish-wrap.

I've been trying to track its origin but didn't succeed.

Re:Fish? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17176844)

WAT IF U ARE ASK TO CREATE A PROGRAM OF VB THAT ACCEPT AN INTPUT OF THE EMPNAME, EMPNO, AND CALCULATE THE PAYROLL SYSTEM?

Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!
Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

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YaWho? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17177604)

What has yahoo done for me lately?

as long as no chairs are flying (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176280)

it's OK, dude, don't overreact, we don't want any chairs to become airborne.
Personally I think he is right though, Yahoo has enough revenue sources to stay with us for quite some time and with all that money that can afford to at least try and build new interesting stuff.

Re:as long as no chairs are flying (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17177086)

Stop with this fucking joke. Really.

It wasn't even that funny the first time, but when it pops up in every thread (and 60 times in Microsoft related ones) it is no longer original or close to funny.

Hot grits is funnier, its at least meant to be annoying.

Re:as long as no chairs are flying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17178776)

Stop with this fucking joke. Really.

Absolutely. 640k jokes about flying chairs is enough for anybody.

Re:as long as no chairs are flying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17210494)

try and build

"try to build".

TV (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176426)

the re'design' of tv.yahoo.com shows how out of touch yahoo? has become.

Re:TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17176642)

I hate this kind of look, tv.yahoo.com, BBC, [bbc.co.uk] ITV, [itv.com] C5 [www.five.tv] . Something about the space, (widescreen aspect) images and boxing really irritates me.

Re:TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17181290)

Something about not just giving me a link to the media stream so I can use a decent app to view it really irritates me.

Re:TV (2, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176734)

Is Yahoo also be falling behind Gmail in their webbased mail client (in terms of "customers")?

In order to catch up to Gmail, they had a new interface available in Beta for a while, but IMO it's worse than the original.

And there My Yahoo page is something I configured once and never used again because it was faster searching for the info I want. Maybe they're still stuck with the internet portal idea from the 90s, which itself probably got inspired by AOL or some such.

Form over function (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176818)

I think Y!'s latest re-design has emphasized form over function. It looks like the original founder's vision has been lost, to PHBs who think pages should look pretty.

I don't understand why anyone would think that this new, more busy, interface is better, given Google's success with their sparse layout.

I know that I have changed my home page from Yahoo to Google as a result of the re-design. I also know that many people reading the financial boards have moved to other venues.

Re:TV (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177258)

The redesign of tv.yahoo.com is terrible. I've never seen a website go from near the head of the pack to last place so quickly. One wonders why they failed to get any sort of feedback from end users before rolling out the change.

Re:TV (1)

mrtexe (1032978) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177458)

Yes. Forget tv.yahoo.com.

A good alternative is tvlistings.zap2it.com [zap2it.com] . Just search for your zip code.

Re:TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17186520)

I use the tvfeedr.com TV listings gadget on my personalized google homepage. It looks like they use data from zap2it.

Re:TV (1)

kimanaw (795600) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177570)

Actually, this whole episode - including the AJAX trainwreck known as the "tv.yahoo.com beta", and the firing of the entertainment division head - may be better explained by understanding Mr. Semel's background [wikipedia.org] . Yahoo seems intent on becoming an entertainment company, and thinks that shoving the garbage witnessed at tv.yahoo.com in users faces is the way to improve revenue.

In the same way network television shoves braindead reality TV and retread sitcoms sandwiched between hours of commercials.

Or the way the RIAA and MPAA attempt to generate revenue by shoving subpoenas in the faces of small children and the disabled.

Frankly, I suspect the decline of Yahoo began the minute the ink dried on the deal to give Marc Cuban $2,000,000,000 for Broadcast.com (which was several years ago).

As for tv.yahoo.com, I must thank Yahoo for weaning me off it, and forcing me to hack together my own XMLTV [xmltv.org] scripts. A much better offline experience!

Re:TV (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 7 years ago | (#17179410)

And their maps too. They are trying to emulate google now, and doing a horrible job. For example type "washington, dc" in google maps, and it takes you there. Do the same with yahoo...you get a crapload of business 'map pins'. Good luck at actually finding the city center you were actually looking for.

Hopefully google will come up with a nice tv listing. I haven't found any that were as nice as what yahoo *used* to have yet. Excite won't remember settings unless you are a member, titantv is too busy with their javascript, tv.com is mostly nice, but doesn't show original airdates, and zap2it lacks detail.

Re:TV (1)

tigga (559880) | more than 7 years ago | (#17183456)

For example type "washington, dc" in google maps, and it takes you there. Do the same with yahoo...you get a crapload of business 'map pins'.

I've checked your words. They do not appear to be true. maps.yahoo.com just showed regular map without any pins. Perhaps you've setup it's interface to show everything there?

Re:More than TV (1)

khome (1002449) | more than 7 years ago | (#17183364)

Yahoo has been spiraling down for the last year.

About a year ago, I noticed that some of the Groups navigation text had changed to a pale blue. WTF? I'm having a hard time reading it. Then I noticed that the navigation is split between the left and right sides of the screen. I navigate within a group on the left and between my groups on the right. The Admin interface needs work too. For spammers, how about a button that drops the spammer AND all their posts? A few hundred thousand Admins would thank you for implementing this.

Then I began seeing more and more animations. Yes, I realize that these are ads and ads pay the bit-freight but while I can recall the woman with the dread-locks dancing in silhouette, I can't recall the product. Would have been better to put up "Coca-Cola" or "Scotch-Tape" in large letters, with a lot of whitespace around it. If you add movement or color changes, make it VERY slow and VERY subtle. Load up the page with content and sneak the ad in.

I use Groups a lot (for Freecycle, check it out) the user and admin interfaces are awkward. I see occasional changes so it looks like someone it trying.

About 3 weeks ago, www.Yahoo.com was down for days. It still fails occasionally. This is amazing for a web-portal.

What's the matter? Too many managers? Too many PMP'ers? Too many meetings? "We need a meeting next month to discuss this."

-khome If you want to get the work done, hire more people who work; if you want more meetings, hire more managers. Your choice.

His last ditch effort (2, Insightful)

Salvance (1014001) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176444)

Sounds like he didn't get the memo yet that he's been canned.

CEOs always beat their chests and yell the loudest when they're on their way out. Yahoo's newest "strategy" is junk, and they need some fresh leadership at the top, rather than just getting rid of all his subordinates who have worked their tails off to follow an ill-thought prior strategy.

Re:His last ditch effort (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177264)

Yahoo is such a lame company. When do you think they'll stop offering tickets to the 2006 World Cup in the sigfiles they append to outgoing Yahoo email?

Give the guy a break (2, Insightful)

diskofish (1037768) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176454)

Give the guy a break. Sure he is being a little brash, but don't we all get the chance to do that every now and then? Instead, why not find a news worthy subject to report on instead of someone's comment from an internal meeting?

We should actually insert expletives (4, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176496)

I've heard our strategy described as spreading [shit] across the myriad opportunities that continue to evolve in the online world. The result: a thin layer of [shit] spread across everything we do and thus we [shit] on nothing in particular. I hate [shit]. We all should.
Some of the stuff emanating from Yahoo recently (Peanut butter memo) actually makes more sense with expletives inserted.

And so the executive proves the rumors (3, Insightful)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176510)

That memo exemplifies everything I see wrong at Yahoo form my external vantage point. It's substanceless internal boosterism. "We're great! We're really great! I can't say exactly why we're great, but this is a fantastic company and all the rumors of our imminent death are premature because we're great!"

So, what exactly does Yahoo do, precisely, that's so great? Anything? I certainly haven't seen anything mentioned that they do at all well aside from possibly their financial stuff.

Re:And so the executive proves the rumors (1)

lunenburg (37393) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177034)

Their fantasy sports are very good. That's really the only thing I use Yahoo for any more.

Re:And so the executive proves the rumors (2, Insightful)

dhuv (241988) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177146)

1. I think what he was angry about is that people are speculating about his company without knowing enough about whats going on inside it. Now I know that's what speculation is, but it obviously offended him because they have been saying these things in the past and never coming true. What probably upset him was that other people actually listen to these people who have a track record of bad guessing.

2. I don't know why people think that in order to be a successful profitable company, it has to be the best at something. There are lots of companies that are not the BEST but are still making money. In the end, that's what matters right? There is lots of money to be made even if you are #2 or #3. Perfect example is Wii. I am sure Nintendo will make more money off their Wii than either Sony or Microsoft.

Re:And so the executive proves the rumors (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 7 years ago | (#17183490)

The thing is, that with the sort of stuff Yahoo! is engaged in, there's no real reason for people to stick with the second best. In general, the offerigs are free, so people don't feel compelled to stay to get their money's worth. To get to a competitor is just as hard as typing in a different URL. The one exception is email, as people don't like having to get their friends to use a new email address. But if Yahoo! drops to second-best in search, everyone's just going to use the best search engine. If it drops to second-best in email, new people aren't going to sign up with them. This is in contrast to stuff like consoles, where exclusive, non-compatible games produce lock-in. In a marketplace where there is no lock-in, no difference in price, and equal accessibility of all offerings, only the best product is going to win.

I really can't see what Yahoo! is offering these days. The days of static portals are done, other search engines beat its socks off, and its webmail competitors are generally further along too. I just find no compelling reason to visit their site.

Re:And so the executive proves the rumors (1)

Moochman (54872) | more than 7 years ago | (#17192356)

Yahoo's main advantage is actually that they have their fingers in so many pies. From a user perspective it actually does make things easier since everything is integrated. I know, because I use a variety of Yahoo services. Example: I can sign on once and access my email, my photos, and my Yahoo Groups account, and I can even add a photo album from my Yahoo Photos to my Yahoo Groups. I could also see at all times when any of my Yahoo-using friends are online with Yahoo Messenger (although unfortunately this feature is useless to me since all of my friends are on AIM). I also use Yahoo! Widgets (previously Konfabulator but now free thanks to Yahoo). The problem is that while Yahoo is very good in certain areas, such as Mail, Photos and Messenger, other areas suck. Example: Their calendar app pales in comparison to Google Calendar (and supports a more limited set of import/export filters), and therefore I don't use it, even though it would be more convenient for me to do so. Another example of a poor implementation of a product: Yahoo bought out MusicMatch jukebox and is offering their own music-download service, with a decent selection and price-range, but to do so they reengineered MusicMatch and the result is an incredibly buggy program that I would never dream of using as my main music player. (Of course I don't buy DRMed music anyway but if I were to do so I would probably go iTunes despite Yahoo's better prices.) Yet another lacking product: Yahoo Auctions. Its interface sucks compared to eBay and last time I tried using it, I couldn't even bid on the thing I wanted because I was told I had to have at least one auction already behind me--wtf?!

So, basically Yahoo has the product line, the advertising muscle and the potential customers all lined up, and it already has a few niche products that are very good (Mail, Photos, Messenger, also Flickr--even tho it should be made free like Yahoo Photos is and the two should be integrated). It just needs to get everything working together better, and give a little more love to specific projects (like Auctions, Music, TV) or else if it's not willing to follow through on their development, cut them off.

Re:And so the executive proves the rumors (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177210)

Their financial stuff certainly, as you pointed out.

Also their classified ads sections are pretty good, in the uk anyway.

Re:And so the executive proves the rumors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17177352)

As a matter of fact, Yahoo! is the kindest big-company to indie developers, after Microsoft. You should look at some of the APIs and toolkits and web-protocls Yahoo! makes available to end-users free of charge. Not even "everyone's favorite" Google matches up.

Re:And so the executive proves the rumors (1)

protohiro1 (590732) | more than 7 years ago | (#17178050)

Yahoo makes money. Lots of it. That's what they do great. that is why Yahoo isn't dying. Also they get 500 million unique users a day on the world's most popular web site. Something is being done right...

Re:And so the executive proves the rumors (1)

hritcu (871613) | more than 7 years ago | (#17184250)

Also they get 500 million unique users a day on the world's most popular web site.
Didn't know why, but this affirmation seemed to me like bullshit. Until I found this [alexa.com] :

Where do people go on yahoo.com?
mail.yahoo.com - 48%

...
This explains everything. They have a very large user base that does email there (and maybe instant messaging). Many of these need to stick with Yahoo! just because Yahoo! does not offer free email forwarding. Gmail offered forwarding from day one, so i switched right away to avoid this kind of lock-in. Now it's probably time to move my mother and my sister to Gmail too: Yahoo! is already the next AOL. Maybe the other 4,999,998 users should have a look at Y(aho)o!Sucker [sourceforge.net] too.

Re:And so the executive proves the rumors (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 7 years ago | (#17185100)

Yahoo mail has been pretty decent - you can still use it without javascript enabled, unlike gmail which AFAIK requires it (I haven't bothered logging in for a long while), the Yahoo removes their "plain old version" might be the day I switch to something else. I see no reason why javascript should be required just to check and read email.

In contrast, Hotmail is pretty crappy, and Yahoo Messenger has been more reliable than MSN Messenger.

Re:And so the executive proves the rumors (1)

hritcu (871613) | more than 7 years ago | (#17185178)

Yahoo mail has been pretty decent - you can still use it without javascript enabled, unlike gmail which AFAIK requires
Gmail has and always had an html-only version [google.com] . You can read more about it here [google.com] .

Re:And so the executive proves the rumors (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 7 years ago | (#17189800)

It's been a long while since I last checked my gmail, and I don't recall having an easy way to use the html only version from Mozilla/IE, if it actually existed when I tried.

Re:And so the executive proves the rumors (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 7 years ago | (#17189898)

OK looks like they changed stuff - it now sends my browser to an html-only version. It never used to do that when I first used gmail which was two years ago, so I pretty much gave up on it.

Well maybe I'll start using it now :).

YaWho? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17176540)

'nuff said.

yahoo best free email?? (1)

callmetheraven (711291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176568)

Remember a couple years back when Yahoo just about broke their arms patting themselves on the back after they declared themselves the best free email service over gmail and hotmail? Funny how hard it is to vomit and laugh at the same time.

Glad to see that reality is starting to sink in.

completeness (1)

rjdegraaf (712353) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176628)

From the /. intro:
And they were all full of [expletive deleted], and they had no idea what we had planned for them. And they do not now as well!"
FTA:
And they were all full of shit, and they had no idea what we had planned for them. And they do not now as well!
btw; he is right.

"Speaking up" is not enough! (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176640)

Much as his "speaking up" might be seen as a good thing, for Yahoo, they continue to be blinded by bigotry and incompetence.

One might wonder why for example, Yahoo will not support Firefox on any platform despite the fact that it's now captured more than 20% of the European browser market. Whenever on tries their Launchast service with Firefox, he's met with an "Error code: 24"!

This happens even when the so called ActiveX plugin is installed on Windows. One wonders whether there is nothing like testing before products are launched.

The other thing that really makes me "mad", is the fact that Yahoo seem to think that every internet user used IE or even likes it. I for one, hate it and will not touch Microsoft's latest release.

I will give Yahoo some credit: They seem to be changing for the better. You see, their commercials are being served in Adobe's flash format which runs on most systems. This means that commercials will likely be seen or watched by most people.

The problem on this particular issue is that the news or commentary videos are in some proprietary format that does not run to completion if one is using Firefox. That is after seeing the commercials. Ironic indeed.

Re:"Speaking up" is not enough! (1)

Moochman (54872) | more than 7 years ago | (#17192390)

Actually, Yahoo's Mail Beta and Photos Beta both do a fabulous job of supporting Firefox--the Photos site actually provides a Firefox Extension that lets you drag-and-drop photos onto your browser. What's not so good, unfortunately, is the Mail beta's support for browsers other than the big 3 (IE, Firefox, Opera)--try using it with Konquerer, for instance, and you're out of luck.

Torn between sides here... (1)

ICA (237194) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176698)

On one hand, I actually think it's too bad that this was apparently unintentionally leaked. This is the sort of response I would want to see from the leader of my company. Taking an interest in the future, and what others think, that is far better in my opinion than sitting at the top and not showing any interest. Throwing in the expletives and keeping it terse just serves to make him seem more human as well.

At the same time, I agree with others that I have seen many execs yelling their loudest right on their way out. Trying to correct for past non-caring at a time when it is too little, too late.

I think Yahoo has more than enough potential still to stay around. At the same time, I think Google came in and essentially yanked their market away, and MSN is now scrounging the crumbs. What is really left for Yahoo?

can anyone tell me (2, Funny)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176702)

what yahoo actually does that isn't done better by someone else or just totally redundant?
To me they seem to be a sort of second AOL.

Re:can anyone tell me (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 7 years ago | (#17179564)

they *used* to do tv listings better than anybody else. And until google maps came out, they were better than mapquest for that. They are still the best place for movie listings (that likely won't last long, given what happened to tv.yahoo.com), and are still decent with weather (although, I use weather underground now).

In fact, before google came out with maps, I used to use google for searches, and yahoo for pretty much everything else. It was a good balance, using each for what they excelled at.

Alta vista is still pretty good for media searches. They used to be better than yahoo and google at that.

The total package. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17180170)

Areas that Yahoo works for me:

* Start Page [yahoo.com] . My Yahoo [yahoo.com] isn't bad, but I actually use their main page - although I only see it once or twice a day, it's a surprisingly good design.
* Yahoo News [yahoo.com] is my favorite news page on the internet. Google News isn't bad, but it's just an aggregator - Yahoo at has quality feeds (Associated Press, Reuters) - and they actually host their own content.
* The new webmail [yahoo.com] (that they purchased Oddpost to get, and is a full-function email client in your browser) is absolutely fantastic. It's good enough that I pay for it ($19 per year gets you no advertising on the site or in your outgoing email plus more space than I'll ever use). Server-side mailbox rules are fantastic - and I never have to configure another email client, or worry about backing up my mail when I change computers.
* Address book. It's super-complete (has fields for every IM service, for example) and it integrates with email and Yahoo Maps.
* Yahoo Maps [yahoo.com] is still better than Google Maps. They did a recent update that surpasses Google for the flash, but Yahoo still has Google beaten in a very important area for me - printability. Have you ever tried *printing* a Google map? It doesn't! Yahoo's map directions print very nicely!

Their acquired properties:

* Bookmarks [del.icio.us] . I wouldn't be able to manage my bookmarks without them.
* Photos [flickr.com] . It's a photographer's paradise - for both hosting and browsing photos.

I also have the Yahoo Toolbar installed in Firefox, configured with icons set pointing to most of the above. The areas that Yahoo does *not* work for me are:

* RSS reader. Google Reader [google.com] is far superior to any of the RSS solutions offered by Yahoo.
* Finance. They've lost me to MorningStar [morningstar.com] . I still occasionally check Yahoo Finance for their news feeds, but MorningStar has better portfolio tools (and I have a subscription to them anyway).
* Search. Google is still better. For popular things, Yahoo is just as competent, but Google is better for those hard-to-find and obscure searches.

Put it this way: losing Google would be a minor inconvenience, but losing Yahoo would break the internet for me. Although bear in mind that I've been using the internet (and Yahoo) since around '94 - long before Google was around.

What else is the CEO going to say? (1)

blankoboy (719577) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176720)

"Yeah they're all right, Yahoo is screwed. Sell your shares now". I don't know the details about this but never take the word of the CEO on anything.

Duh (2, Insightful)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176746)

Not knocking the guy, he has a responsibility to the shareholders that he is appeasing...but lets say for example that Yahoo really didn't have big plans up its sleeve and was in trouble, would he really be saying anything different?

what does yahoo do? (1)

Aurisor (932566) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176782)

I don't mean this as a troll. I'm not a yahoo-hater by any means. I actually used them pretty frequently back in '97, when the web was young =).

My point is this: can anyone explain to me what precisely yahoo contributes to the internet nowadays? Microsoft (love them or hate them) just said hey, here's a new operating system. Google says hey, here's a new approach to email. Youtube says hey, here's a new way to share video. Even if you're a rabid fan or a hater of any of those companies, you have to admit that they have a clear product.

Yahoo, on the other hand, doesn't have any clear product. Sure, everyone knows them as a search company, but there are a billion search sites out there, and yahoo seems to be going in twenty different directions on its home page. Why should I use them instead of google, or craigslist, or cnn, or google news, or msnbc?

It seems like yahoo met with a lot of success with its search back in the day, and they're still puttering along like it's '97. Sure, back then, they were working hard to categorize a lot of the internet and make it easy to find things, but now, I honestly can't tell you what all of the people who work at yahoo are trying to do.

Re:what does yahoo do? (1)

vidarh (309115) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176928)

everyone knows them as a search company

Who are these "everyone" of which you speak?

Fact is, neither the majority of Yahoo's traffic, nor the majority of Yahoo's revenues, are coming from search. Search is important, yes, but Yahoo's strength has been that they're one of the few major players that's diversified across a very broad set of services.

Some argument can be made that they've overstretched, but over the last few years Yahoo's strategy has very clearly been to ensure the company gets more legs to stand on than search in particular, and advertizing in general.

Of note is the premium services (subscriptions, product/service sales), which is rapidly growing and their access partnerships (BT in the UK for instance).

Maybe geeks tend to know Yahoo as as the old directory and a search engine based on it, but that hasn't really been what Yahoo is about since 2000/2001 at least.

(Disclaimer: I used to manage the Yahoo! Europe billing team)

Re:what does yahoo do? (1)

shudde (915065) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177080)

My point is this: can anyone explain to me what precisely yahoo contributes to the internet nowadays?

To be honest I'd completely forgotten yahoo existed. Thankfully I managed to dredge up a link.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=yahoo&btnG=Go ogle+Search&meta= [google.com] gave me a reference to http://www.yahoo.com/ [yahoo.com] .

I'd strongly suggest not clicking on the second, it appears to be a linkfarm.

Re:what does yahoo do? (1)

hikerhat (678157) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177106)

They've provided me with the same email address for at least six years, for free. I can never remember a time when their email system has been down. So I assume all those thousands (I assume they have thousands) of people are keeping an eye on the email server. When the the server looks like it is crashing they swing into action, grabbing a new server off a dell loading dock, and pass it, fire brigade style, to the email server room where a tech plugs it in, restores a norton ghost image labeled 'email server', unplugs the ethernet cable from the failing server, and plugs it into the new server.

Re:what does yahoo do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17180746)

I go to Yahoo everyday to check out the news. I also have an email account with it.

Re:what does yahoo do? (1)

mmmiiikkkeee (930217) | more than 7 years ago | (#17181756)

"there are a billion search sites out there"...wow i only know of like 20... i hope there all sharing the responsibility of indexing all the webs sites out there... there must be like a _million_ on them to index. if each of the billion search sites try to index that information at the same time it could like DOS the whole Internet.

CEO talk? (1)

dannycim (442761) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176784)

Geez, Yahoo! must really be in a perilous state if they let themselves be run by a CEO who sounds like a 12 year old boy on a sugar rush.

He seriously needs better English writing skills.

What Have You Yahoo'ed For Me Lately? (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176854)

What has Yahoo done for the past 5 years to stay alive? Certainly nothing to justify the vast money it raised in the stock market to date, defining the 1990s dotcom Bubble.

Re:What Have You Yahoo'ed For Me Lately? (1)

protohiro1 (590732) | more than 7 years ago | (#17178002)

They have made a shitload of money. That's what. Yahoo is by all accounts very, very profitable.

Re:What Have You Yahoo'ed For Me Lately? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17178408)

That's a circular answer. What have they done to make that money? What makes them competitive so that they make that money, instead of someone else making it?

Re:What Have You Yahoo'ed For Me Lately? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17180806)

Yahoo is by all accounts very, very profitable.
Then why are they forcing engineers to take mandatory vacations? If they are profitable, wouldn't they be better off having the engineers develop new things that will make yet more money?

Re:What Have You Yahoo'ed For Me Lately? (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17178832)

What has Yahoo done for the past 5 years to stay alive?

Planning for the future: beginning 2007, they will start charging for pings to their domain.

Their revenue is guaranteed for decades to come.

Re:What Have You Yahoo'ed For Me Lately? (1)

tigga (559880) | more than 7 years ago | (#17183522)

Planning for the future: beginning 2007, they will start charging for pings to their domain.

NO, there will be advertisement in every ICMP answer!

I do like finance.yahoo.com (1)

anubi (640541) | more than 7 years ago | (#17179298)

Admittedly, I agree with just about everyone here that Yahoo, which I consider the originator of the internet search, let themselves go to pot. I felt they let their databases rot and their correlators lounge around with trivia while their web designers filled their web pages with all sorts of irrevelant junk, supposedly to amuse me and market to me while I was trying to find something.

Apparently, some people who knew how to "do it right", did so, and called their work "Google".

I began losing respect for Yahoo when they ganged up with SBC to force me to use some proprietary software in my machine, which I perceived as a lock-in to the Yahoo portal, as well as a likely data-mining opportunity to snoop my machine.

Of all the Yahoo offerings, I like Finance.yahoo.com the best.

Here's an example report of some mutual funds I have been tracking. [yahoo.com] I like it because it gives me a clean display of what I want.

They have not yet implemented technologies which require me to enable Javascript, then use that technology to hound the living daylights out of me. When they do, I will no longer use their site.

I used to find Groups.yahoo.com extremely valuable, but slowly but surely they have been requiring javascript more and more to access mundane functions... but if I enable javascript I am going to be pelted with God-knows-what that I didn't order, and have no idea what the window is programmed to do should I click on it.

Its really hard to tell a big organization what really irks me off. Its much better is someone like Google actually shows them how its done.

I have NEVER had any problems accessing Google from ANYTHING, because Google adheres to WEB STANDARDS. Trying to communicate to many businesses is a royal pain when they adopt weird extensions which screw up my end.

It wasn't easy trying to find a decent internet stockbroker! All the "big guys" adopt untenable crap on their end which forces me to be vulnerable to all sorts of mischief.

Scottrade [scottrade.com] is the best I have found so far, and even they require Javascript enabled if I wanna BUY anything. All the "big boys" ( Fidelity, Schwab, Merrill Lynch, etc. ) REQUIRED IE, rendering them useless to me. With all those Javascript phishing tools floating around out there, one would think a FINANCIAL INSTITUTION would be leery of using such pornsite-like programming on their site.

Lengthy letters to them regarding my concerns of my vulnerabilities to phishing attacks when I have scripting enabled have had no effect.

I can't force them to use standard HTML protocols.

I hope they won't be surprised that if Google opens a web brokerage that uses pure HTML protocols, where I know my URL bar is not being overwritten, and know exactly where a link is going to send me, I will go to them.

Google is succeeding for a reason. They are doing things RIGHT.

And they are big enough now that Microsoft cannot buy them and force them to use "Microsoft proprietary" protocols - like we discussed in another forum on Slashdot [slashdot.org] - where things have grown so big and cantankerous that trying to make them secure is damn near impossible.

Its the same old thing. Businesses get so big their leaders determine that they "make the market" instead of "meet the needs of the market", then flounder around while the smaller businesses which are not big enough to "make the market" absorb the big business's customer base.

Re:I do like finance.yahoo.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17179800)

> All the "big boys" ( Fidelity, Schwab, Merrill Lynch, etc. ) REQUIRED IE, rendering them useless to me.

Can't speak for the others, but Schwab didn't. I was able to use Schwab on a Sun Ultra that could only run Netscape 3.01 (!), and although Javashit appears to be required to log on to Schwab today, it works just fine in Mozilla.

I do sympathize with your overall point. I used o only have to turn Javashit on to log in at Schwab, but now, about a third of the site requires it to be active in order for the site to function. Absolutely no rhyme or reason for it.

The day any institution requires me to use IE (or Flash from within any browser), however, is the day I move my money elsewhere.

Re:I do like finance.yahoo.com (1)

anubi (640541) | more than 7 years ago | (#17181790)

When I found I could control my retirement savings after leaving my last company, I tried to use their online tools with no success. I roamed the net for days trying to find anyone that had a viable internet interface that did not demand I do the things that has really messed me up in the past.

In a way, its like my boots. If I ever step in mud, I end up spending a lot of time outside, with a stick, trying to get the muck out of all the grooves in the soles. So I end up avoiding stepping in muck if I can at all help it.

I have also learned that people can really muck my machine up if I enable Javascript. For the same reason, I avoid it.

I view a business which requires me to use Javascript on his site much like I view a business which places a large tray of muck at his front door, which I must step through if I intend to do business with him. I will gladly drive across town to avoid that tray of muck.

Large companies can say thats its MY fault for having shoes that muck up, but its MY money, and if he makes his business too hard to deal with, I will either decide to forgo any benefit derived from doing business with him, or use whatever alternatives that don't require me to go out of my way so much to accomodate them.

It was over a year ago when I initiated the account transfers. I remember trying the incumbent Fidelity first with no luck. I tried Dad's Merrill Lynch and got hung up too. I tried Schwab and got hung up there as well, and even Scottrade hung up on me on some damn form that seemed to take forever and a day to straighten out.

When I finally traced the problem to the whole form being rejected because of the syntax of the date code ( and of course, it would never tell me what the problem was, it would just reject the whole form and return me to the logon page ), I was furious that they would have such finickycode on their system. I figured the only way I could really convince them to clean up their code was to shanghai their CEO, and have his year's pay dependent on HIM finding out how to get the machine to accept the damned form sans javascript.

I have wrote them numerous letters about using clean display-only HTML so I can't be spoofed nearly as easily. Also robustness. It gives me the heebie-jeebies to use finicky banking software. Would YOU put your money in a disappearing piggy-bank?

Its that I want to make damned sure that when I am conducting financial business, I want to see ONLY that which THEY send me, not what some script is doing. I resent any other crap running in my machine just as I would resent some stranger watching over my shoulder while I am transacting my business. And I resent anything in my machine that can overwrite my URL bar and send me to places unknown.

Re:I do like finance.yahoo.com (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17179818)

I agree with all that, except the basic history. Yahoo did not invent "Internet search". Arguably either Altavista or Lycos (both miraculously still afloat) invented the kind of comprehensive, fast Web search that we now call "googling". Yahoo's replaced its own lame, "me too" search with the snappy comer "Google". Which then ate the hand that fed it.

Yahoo didn't even invent "putting an exclamation point in your brand name". But it did practically invent Web browsing. A hierarchical directory of the whole Web, not just a single website's "sitemap". At which it still apparently excels, although I haven't had any reason to browse their directory since the 1990s.

AFAICT, Yahoo built a brand mostly by offering stock info. A self-referential success that kept their stockmarket success rolling. Which, judging from your own preferences, is still what they do best.

Hardly something to brag about, by Yahoo's CEO. In fact, their tired old paradigm's popularity is probably keeping down a more useful alternative. Like a real personal finance website, actually integrated with all our finances. Offering financial models and automation to let us pay for products at websites, storefronts, and on mobile phones, drawing funds from the best account at the moment, including loans, juggling everything for best net effect. Doing our taxes incrementally. Paying our bills, refinancing our assets. By rules and models chosen from whoever we prefer to advise us, but executed in realtime.

Now that kind of web portal could kick some serious ass. And with Yahoo's brand meaning "finance" and "online trading", they'd get wide adoption by consumers, while cutting great kickback deals with enough financial institutions across the board that their interest conflicts would be balanced by serving everyone - like an electric company, but for finance. It would make them incredibly powerful and rich, more even than eBay and its unregulated global bank, PayPal. And probably force first competition, then regulation, in that service market.

When I hear something like that, I'll start to say "Yahoo!" like I mean it.

Re:I do like finance.yahoo.com (1)

Moochman (54872) | more than 7 years ago | (#17192414)

DUDE! Just use Firefox with NoScript and enable JavaScript only for the sites you want to enable! I use a variety of Yahoo's beta, JavaScript-employing technologies, and I don't get any wierd pop-ups or other stuff on their site. Nor on any other site, because only the sites I let use JavaScript use it. It's that simple.

While you're at it, get Adblock Plus and Filterset.G Updater, and never worry about annoying banner/flash ads on web pages again.

Re:I do like finance.yahoo.com (1)

anubi (640541) | more than 7 years ago | (#17202052)

Thanks.

Thats very similar to what I am doing now, except its K-Meleon.

My main intent on posting was to express my disdain for this kind of programming on a business site. I'ts not gonna ruin my life if someone hacked my MySpace account and screwed around my site... but once money has been transferred, there are some real concerns if I ever get it back.

There are a lot of graduates of business schools out there, now running financial companies, who are apparently completely ignorant of the risks of virus-prone programming techniques. They don't seem to be aware that this is people's life savings they are dealing with.

I consider these business executives much like my neighbor, who had locked herself out of her bedroom. She is not a "mechanical person", and thought the lock would deter the curious renters she had sharing the house with her. In a way, she was relieved that I was able defeat her lock in about ten seconds after using the side of a soda-pop bottle as a shim between the door and jamb.

Yet she was alarmed when she realized she had spent all these years thinking the lock was actually protecting her.

Big corporations may have the marketing and finances to promote their product, but when one knows how to spoof their system, one loses confidence in that company.

The kind of lock I trust is the one I can't figure out how to bypass, and neither can I find anyone else who can either.

Of course, anything is breakable. I like the kind that its so hard to do it that you are going to be discovered while you are trying to do it so I can still "get back in" if I had to.

I may argue with them at first, but I find it much easer to just do business elsewhere where people take their role seriously, not as some risk they can transfer away use of some cleverly worded language in their contract.

Please Be Nice (1)

jmt9581 (554192) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176858)

I understand that many people will want to jump on this man and lambast him for his brash, profanity-laced rhetoric towards members of the media. Please be aware that he will soon lose his job after Yahoo's market share is swallowed up by companies that are more effective at building a user base, maintaining market share, and turning a profit.

It's not easy to face the looming demise of your company and your job with candor, intelligence and restraint. So please be nice to this guy as his company goes down the tubes.

So... (1)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177032)

Just because yahoo didn't die years ago it means it's impossible for them to die?

I don't think yahoo is inmmortal, specially at this precise moment [alexa.com]

Re:So... (1)

hrtserpent6 (806666) | more than 7 years ago | (#17178332)

Well what about this metric [alexa.com] ?

I'm not a fan of Yahoo myself, but my 20, 25, and 30-year old non-technical siblings grew up using Yahoo. They don't want or need the laser focus of information retrieval that a search engine like Google provides. They just want to go on the web and be presented with interesting, entertaining or diversionary content. Yahoo.com and MSN.com are perfect for that.

If they want to know what's going on in the world, they don't have to craft a clever search query, or know what RSS Aggregators are. They can go to www.yahoo.com and get a little of everything.

It's easy to say Yahoo.com and MSN.com suck, but until every netizen is as Internet-savvy as the average Slashdot reader, portals aren't going away, and they will continue to get and keep eyeballs.

Shouldn't you. (1)

hikerhat (678157) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177048)

Know how to. Write in complete. Sentences if you. Are a CE. O of a big. Company?

Re:Shouldn't you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17179900)

Hey retard, I make fun of Y! as much as the next man, but the CEO didn't write that. That was from a webcast he made. I don't know anybody who always speaks in complete sentences.

The slow unravelling of Yahoo (1)

Budenny (888916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177234)

The slow unravelling of Yahoo is a warning. If you want to make money in "growth" companies, there are three ways to do it.

1) Buy on the way up, hold on until after the point of fear until complacency arrives, then sell.

2) After the first crash, buy at the bottom and hold until the second crest. It will then crash again.

3) Wait then until it sells for 10 times last year's earnings and pays a dividend and is out of fashion.

Who knows whether Yahoo will make it to stage three. But if it does, and only then, will it deserve to be considered an possible investment. Until then, its a wild speculation. You can make and lose fortunes on wild speculations. Its not investment.

Yahoo search is great, though (2, Insightful)

melted (227442) | more than 7 years ago | (#17178604)

Their index is larger than Google's and I find that their results are not much worse than Google's most of the time. When I can't find something through Google, I go to Yahoo and it usually finds it. Their index of images seems larger as well. What keeps me with Google right now is Gmail, super fast personalized homepage, Groups and the habit.

Re:Yahoo search is great, though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17183908)

I can second that. I recently put up a small page on my ISP's server with just a few comments. After a week, I searched for it on both yahoo and google. It is already indexed in yahoo but not in google.

Do *you* trust the technology press? (1)

LauraW (662560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17179594)

I'm not sure why this is news. People in the software business say this kind of thing about the press all the time. After all, do you trust the software and internet industry rags to get things right? If they don't have a story to report they'll report rumors. Sometimes it seems like if they don't have rumors they'll just make something up, though I hope they're not quite that bad.

F* the media... (1)

sonk (1037858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17179944)

What credibility does the press maintain? 0 That is if you're talking about 'traditional media'.

Odd speach patterns... (1)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 7 years ago | (#17181600)

Who the hell follows up "all full of shit" with something like "And they do not now as well!"? Usually, when someone uses "full of shit" they are pissed of, and when they are pissed of they use contractions and shorter more clipped speech, like "And they don't now either!". Unless they are drunk.

Pity about the Yahoo Media Group (1)

ofcourseyouare (965770) | more than 7 years ago | (#17183714)

For me, what makes this more than just another re-org is the depature of Lloyd Braun, a guy who green-lit Lost and was hired by Yahoo a couple of years ago to create the "Yahoo Media Group", which was going to create video content.

I was really interested in the idea of a webco serious propduicing video for online, rather than just (like youtube) harvesting user-generated content, most of which is obviously content made for TV and Cinema.

However, Lloyd Braun never really came up with anything, it appears: a recent story says "Yahoo launched Yahoo Tech, the Media Group's first major content offering". As you see at http://tech.yahoo.com/ [yahoo.com] , it's a just a very normal, video-free tech-realted website. You don't need the producer of Lost to make a site like that.

He also launched "the 9" -- http://9.yahoo.com/ [yahoo.com] -- which is just a sort of user-generated content top ten. (Or nine). Again, Hollywood producers not required.

Apparently since May 06 there is now something called "Yahoo Studios", headed by another TV guy, David Katz, appointed by Lloyd Braun "to create original programs for Yahoo websites and strike content deals with entertainment companies and talent agencies". Maybe Katz will be able to come up with something.

However, by constantly hiring TV people to do this work, it strikes me they are dooming themselves to failure: the web is not TV, and Braun's departuer reflects that. But IMHO it should be possible to create good original video content for the web. Will Katz be the guy to do it?

Y(aho)o!Sucker: Because Yahoo! mail sucks big time (1)

hritcu (871613) | more than 7 years ago | (#17184382)

I would like to recommend Y(aho)o!Sucker [sourceforge.net] , to those of you who also think that Yahoo! mail sucks big time, but can't change to Gmail because of the lock-in Yahoo! is shamelessly practicing (no free email forwarding or POP access).

Expletive deleted? (1)

trupoet (114382) | more than 7 years ago | (#17194480)

Seems like its straight out of Jay and Silent Bob Strike back:

"I quote 'We're going to make you eat our expletive deleted and then expletive deleted out the expletive deleted and eat the expletive deleted that you expletive deleted after eating our expletive deleted"
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