Friday, June 01, 2007

No Yahoo's from Me

Last night I saw an advert on TV for a Pirates of the Caribbean competition which could be entered online at yahoo7, by following the links there. I went to Yahoo7 and couldn't find any mention of the movie or the competition, and their search box just did a Google search which brought up lots of references to the first 2 movies, but nothing recent. There were some competitions down the bottom of the page, and every one that I clicked on took me to pages which said "Thanks, but that competition has already closed". Almost every link on the page took me to some sort of ad-referral sponsored page, in fact.

On the face of it Yahoo7 seems to be a great place to make your home page - after all, there are TV Guides, Weather, Mail, Music and Messenger, all sorts of topics life Lifestyle, News, Photos, Travel and Real Estate. But overall, the site is just waaaay too commercial now. What happened to the "good old" Yahoo which was just as likely to be your home page as Google or the now defunct Excite? Unfortunately, like so many successful websites, it was bought out by business, who then set about changing it to what they, in their business frame of mind, thought it should be. Businesses should stick to what they do best, running a business. If the dotcom implosion and fallout of a few years ago teaches us anything, its that the web is a very fickle place, and normal rules of commerce don't apply there. The inevitable result of big business trying to run the web is that they ruin whatever they touch, just as King Midas did. The web isn't about business, no matter how many opportunities they think they see there, and never will be. Most of these sites get you to sign up so they can tell their shareholders they have x million members, but the fact is that most people who sign up never go back to the site again. may look great in PowerPoint presentations to the shareholders, but it's not worth the server space it takes up, and in a year or two it will join many, many other "Once Were Great" websites in the "Jumped the Shark When It Was Bought Out" trash pile.

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