Yahoo was never targeting the geeks to start with

March 9, 2007 — Leave a comment

Steve Rubel doeth protest to much, alleging that Yahoo is abandoning geeks with the latest version on my.Yahoo. I call BS, big time and as a PR profession Rubel should know better. I smell geek coloured glasses, perhaps Steve is spending too much time surrounding himself with geeks and needs to start spending time with other people. Yahoo! has never targeted geeks. From the early days Yahoo was all about usability and discovery, which developed into content delivery for the average user, not the geek. The fallacy that Yahoo! is geek friendly because of their Web 2.0 purchases ignores the fact that EVERY Web 2.0 purchase by Yahoo usually had a non-geek function in delivery or tech behind it that appealed to or had potential to increase Yahoo’s appeal to its existing, primarily non geek audience. my.Yahoo HAS NEVER been the RSS reading platform of choice for geeks, and it never will be. I’ve looked at my.Yahoo usage figures across a broad spectrum of feeds and a pile of subscribers in a previous job: my.Yahoo averages between 1st and 3rd in terms of popularity, in non-geek fields such as celebrities is dominates, often by a large margin. Although we all know Yahoo has failed at search, they haven’t failed in content delivery and targeting their core markets. Geeks aren’t the core market. And guess what, geeks aren’t where the money and the majority of folks reside. Yahoo can’t and won’t ever win the geek market, after it all belongs to Go ogle, but why should they, if you know there’s a larger market out there why wouldn’t you chase that rather than go after the small geek segment? Watt’s is right: the influencer model is flawed.