free html hit counter B2 on Yahoo's "Flickrization" - John Battelle's Search Blog

B2 on Yahoo's "Flickrization"

By - November 14, 2005

The magazine covers how Flickr and other acquisitions has changed Yahoo. From it:

Indeed, the Flickr purchase helped ignite a larger strategy. Thanks to a new generation of managers like Butterfield and Fake, Yahoo is starting to see how user-generated content, or “social media,” is a key weapon in its war against Google (GOOG). ….

Social media “is going to be a gigantic piece of what we do,” says Yahoo CEO Terry Semel. “I don’t think old media is what people are going to spend most of their time doing on the Internet. This paradigm needs its own inventions, its own methods, its own way to go forward.”…

COO Dan Rosensweig had to overcome a lot of internal grumbling. There was no real business behind Flickr, and no unique technology either. So why did Yahoo need it? Says Rosensweig, “We could only justify it when we realized how big the vision could be if applied to the Yahoo network.”….

If Yahoo is to get social media into every nook and cranny of its business, extending it to search could have the greatest benefit of all. Targeted search ads are projected to be a $9 billion industry this year, according to S.G. Cowen. To that end, Fake took over My Web in September…..

If social search pans out, it could give Yahoo a much-needed edge over Google. Google takes an automated approach to search, throwing armies of Ph.D.s and thousands of servers at the problem. It wants to make search more relevant by creating better algorithms. Yahoo also does algorithmic search, but it can’t beat Google at that game. So it’s gambling that tapping into the collective intelligence of its audience will produce more relevant search results….

“I still think Yahoo has a heritage to overcome,” says tech book publisher and pundit Tim O’Reilly, referring to the decade-old habit of directing traffic to its site…..

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5 thoughts on “B2 on Yahoo's "Flickrization"

  1. Greg Linden says:

    Remarkable that tiny little Flickr is having such an impact on the Yahoo giant. It says a lot about the strength of the Flickr team. Impressive.

  2. will says:

    Yahoo My Web might be already in motion before the flickr acquisition. If so, which ever PM that came up with the idea for myweb social search idea and got it pushed through/up the command chain deserves equal credit . . .

  3. Trusting the users to make deliberate decisions that assist relevance seems prone to manipulation and mob mentality.

    I prefer Google’s style of observing natural behaviour and creating algorithms to measure and leverage it. i.e. human decisions are the core, and use computers to scale and extrapolate out the wazoo.

    Then again, the latter only works with sufficient scale (no niche categories), and interpreting non-text data is a challenge for computers that has been around for awhile (perhaps why flickr is the poster child for tag-based searching).

    Also, by definition, what the mob is interested in is most likely what any given searcher is after.

    Ok, time to get off the fence. 🙂

  4. John Rowell says:

    You can not get anything of value on the internet.
    1) You can not vouch what you are looking at
    2) You get too many hits
    3) Too many distractions
    4) Unrelated hits

    With Popups, adds, etc. I see little value except to get to specific sites and skip the surfing.