Open Letter to Terry Semel at Yahoo

Dear Terry,Stefanie Olson for CNET writes an interesting piece this morning about Yahoo’s Lloyd Braun, and calls the kettle black about his less-than-impressive tenure at the helm of Yahoo’s media group.

The question she raises is one that cuts to the heart of the rapidly changing Internet storm; can giant portals like Yahoo and Google create original content that people want to read or watch or are the portals destined to be like cable television carriers: powerful content aggregators who dabble in their own stuff but are ultimately best at providing a platform for other people’s material?

As directories and search engines, Yahoo and Google have excelled at organizing the web and helping individuals seek, find and access the things that uniquely matter to them.

Yet to take a position of creating original content and assuming it will successfully appeal to a wide enough audience is a notion that runs counter to that which brought those powerhouses such relevance and application.

If Yahoo is good at anything, it’s making it easy for people to get what they want when they want it.  Back in the early days of the web, it simply took two guys in their dorm room to imagine and implement a strategy that continues to work today.

Perhaps it’s time to take a lesson from Apple who came to realize that straying too far from the shore and bringing in the big guns can spell ruination when the idea that put them there in the first place became lost.

Its time that Yahoo recognizes their true value and opportunity; simplify the experience for individuals to gain access to those who are willing to pay for the relationship, and let the content evolve from those who have the passion, talent and perserverence to rise to the top.

The clocks ticking….

Gary Baker
President
Clipblast.com

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