by Mike Masnick

So Does That Make Them Del!icio!us!?

from the where-do-you-stick-the-r? dept

Yahoo! has been very active in buying some of the bigger buzz-generating small startups lately. It started with Flickr!, and was followed up with things like Oddpost!, Upcoming! and Konfabulator!. They've been working hard to try to spread that "Web 2.0" DNA (no, don't even try to explain what it is) throughout the company, but apparently they're still looking for injections of buzz from the outside. Today comes the news that they've picked up, the ultra-popular social bookmarking site. We'd heard that a bunch of the big names had kicked the tires of about a year ago, before the company decided to seek some VC funding instead. It was never entirely clear how the company was going to make money -- so apparently they've joined the built to flip crowd. Not that there's anything wrong with that. This type of deal probably works out well for all sides -- though, the users will now start to fret about how Yahoo will "ruin" the site. For the most part, though, it seems like Yahoo has been willing to let these projects continue in a reasonable way. What will be most interesting is how they integrate these offerings into the homegrown ones, like My Web, that never seemed to catch on in the way did on its own.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    joe, Dec 9th, 2005 @ 12:30pm

    No Subject Given

    arent you kicking yourself if you are a founder? taking VC money and then selling 8 mo's later?? and to have the VC's declaring this a victory? i'd love to know the $ amount of the acquisition and the liq. preferences for the VC - my guess is that was a very expensive 8 mo's...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Riley, Dec 9th, 2005 @ 1:55pm

    No Subject Given

    They've been running a fairly popular site with no ads or income at all (at least to my knowledge) - I imagine it wasn't cheap.

    I actually found out about through Yahoo Web 2.0. Yahoo's offering was pretty poor and half of the discussion on their blogs and forums centered around copying features from this other site and how to import bookmarks from there... so of course I had to go see what they were copying and found to be much better. I for one am glad to see them combined, although I do hope they leave the original site and functionality relatively untouched while combining the backend bookmarks and tagging to also work in Yahoo.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Jeremiah, Dec 9th, 2005 @ 5:05pm

    Yahoo breaks stuff

    Yahoo "broke" Flickr. They'll break, too. Overburdensome registrations, overwhelming products dumped on each new registrant.....

    Doesn't Yahoo understand that once they've absorbed something, it's no longer the thing they absorbed??

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Tollie Williams, Dec 10th, 2005 @ 3:16am

    Re: Yahoo breaks stuff

    Yahoo broke Flickr by - centralizing logins? putting their "A Yahoo Company" on the pages?
    I don't see that as breaking it. I did see the Flickr cost come down though. And, to note, Konfabulator dropped from $25 per platform (IIRC) to $0 when Yahoo acquired them.
    Sorry, but I see Yahoo's deep pockets as a good thing for cheap people like me.
    IMHO, the real question with will be to see how they mix and match it with MyWeb2, which sucked at sharing (invite process/arbitrary URLs) but was decent at caching (cf. Furl) and offered excellent privacy controls (private/friends/public).
    Further, IMHO, the social bookmarking is the next to be tapped big-business model. As everything becomes server side and bookmarks are tagged rather than filed, having the definitive social-bookmark sync server will probably prove to be quite profitable in the same way that Google does by being the definitive search engine.
    Come to think of it, Flock is probably a taste of whatever browsers Google and Yahoo are working on.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Jeremiah, Dec 10th, 2005 @ 9:37pm

    Re: Yahoo breaks stuff

    Yahoo didn't simply "centralize" thier logins - you can't go to Flickr and just get a Flickr account: you have to sign up for the whole Yahoo-wishes-it-was-AOL-in-1994 package: Yahoo email, yahoo profile, yahoo messenger, yahoo 360, etc. Yes, you can opt to NOT have any of these, but that's not the point: the point is I can't just get a damn Flickr account and move forward. I can't just agree to Flickr's TOS - I'm accepting a blanket TOS for *all* of Yahoo's widgets, of which I may or may not agree (who reads those, anyway!?)

    It will get worse, too. Yahoo didn't buy Flickr because they wanted a great "service"....they bought it because they needed the market research that Flickr provides to YAHOO under the auspices of a service to users. That, and they can count on a percentage of users uploading porn to their Flickr pages so Yahoo doesn't technically have to be in the "business" of porn, but they can still get some of that valuable traffic. Going forward, expect more invasive "metrics" and "web bugs" in all of Yahoo's "services."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Skeptic, Dec 11th, 2005 @ 7:08pm

    Re: Yahoo breaks stuff

    I completely agree with Tollie. Konfabulator was cool, but Yahoo! made it free -- users love that feature. Flickr was cool, but now it's cool with over 1 billion photos.

    The Delicious buy makes a ton of sense -- Yahoo! started off as a directory, but could not scale with internal web surfers. This is a return to Yahoo's roots, and in a scaleable way (via folksonomy). And Yahoo's distribution and brand may just make Delicious interesting to the masses.

    People are underestimating Yahoo!...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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