Om makes a really interesting point: My.Yahoo.Com is no longer a portal page, but instead an "attention page" which can be and should be leveraged to become the aggregator site for complicated digital life.
I doing so he says in a much shorter form what I was trying to get at yesterday on why Yahoo is heading in the right direction. Google doesn't hold my attention. Yahoo does.
Both Steve and Stowe speak to this story on Yahoo in which they say it's not their goal to be #1 in search:
"We don't think it's reasonable to assume we're going to gain a lot of share from Google," Chief Financial Officer Susan Decker said in an interview. "It's not our goal to be No. 1 in Internet search. We would be very happy to maintain our market share."
No surprise there. Yahoo's "life engine" brand positioning gets more to where they are going. Arguably, they've done a better job than Google of integrating the entire web 2.0 suite. And that's how I use them. My customized portal is of as much value to me as the utility of Google. Frankly, none of Google's products other than search have wowed me. Google Earth was like fun for a day. But I've found the reverse to be true for Yahoo!
I'm not about to make any declarative statements about giving up on Yahoo!. What is telling is the relationship between the CMO and Google vs. Yahoo - at least the CMO of a start-up. I look at Adsense every couple of days. They suck my marketing budget up like an out-of-control Dyson vacuum cleaner. And of all the marketing vendors they are the only one to demonstrate a very real, automated correlation between investment and results. Yahoo simply isn't there with them.
What is catching my attention as a CMO are all the other search options coming my way - companies like SLI Systems and Eurekster for instance. We tend to always view the battle as being between giants. More than often innovation happens at the edges of the market - that's how Google snuck-up on Yahoo and I have no doubt that Google will inevitably be challenged by upstarts.
So, even if my thesis holds true, it will be interesting to see how they monetize the life-engine position in the future. Google's competitive weapon isn't just the utility of search, but all so the utility of their advertising engine.
Disclosure: Yahoo! is a customer of LogLogic where I am CMO.
Two posts really hit me over the past two days as reflecting the honesty of much of the blogosphere. I doubt you'll come across many posts like Dan's on the Bayosphere on many company sites. This, along with the posts over at Meebo on fundraising are must -reads for any entrepreneur. As Dyson says, "only make new mistakes" - there are lots we can learn from these posts....
Global opinion leaders say their most credible source of information about a company is now "a person like me," which has risen dramatically to surpass doctors and academic experts for the first time, according to the seventh annual Edelman Trust Barometer, a survey of nearly 2,000 opinion leaders in 11 countries. In the U.S., trust in "a person like me" increased from 20% in 2003 to 68% today. Opinion leaders also consider rank-and-file employees more credible spokespersons than corporate CEOs (42% vs. 28% in the U.S.).
The Edelman Trust Barometer found Microsoft Corporation the most trusted global company, followed by iconic companies in their home markets, including Toyota in Japan, Haier in China, Samsung in South Korea, and Petrobras in Brazil.
The Internet is a big gainer as a trustworthy source:
Television is the big loser in media trustworthiness with the rise of the Internet. When asked where they turn first for trustworthy information, 29% of respondents in the U.S. still cite TV first, down from 39% three years ago. The Internet is now cited by 19%, up from 10% in 2003. The same trend is evident in the U.K., where television has declined from 42% to 33% as respondents' first choice, while the Internet has risen from 5% to 15%. Newspapers, which are often thought to be the most serious casualty of the Internet wave, show rankings essentially unchanged in most markets at approximately 20%. Newspapers remain the first trusted medium of choice for respondents in France, Germany, Japan, Brazil, Korea, and Italy.
I couldn't see it in any of the materials on Edelman's site, but one thing they ought to do is indicate which of the companies in the survey are clients - like Microsoft.
Am in Las Vegas for LogLogic's annual sales conference so posting will be light. Also gearing up for my Educause keynote next week. If you are attending Educause and there are specific things you would like me to touch on related to blogging, wikis and the participatory movement, let me know.
"...have CEOs of PR firms sign onto a code of proper behavior, that forbids payments to reporters, that mandates transparency on arrangements with third party experts and that bars a media company from having a licensed PR firm in the family. These standards must be enforceable, with the group given power to expel transgressors, then to demand a public apology and remanding of questionable earnings to the aggrieved client."
At the end of the day, we do need an industry code of ethics backed by some kind of certification standard. You break the rules, you loose your certification. If accountants, lawyers, even sailors can organize this, why can't the PR industry?
Then what we need is the CEOs of all PR firms to mandate certification for all employees, and for clients to only hire certified practioners. While this will take many years to implement I beleive it would ultimately put us in a better place.
The PRSA and IABC could act as vehicles for certification, but if they aren't able to do this, maybe it's time to form a new, independent group to handle this.
The NYT reports that the ex-chief of HealthSouth (he claims unknowingly) paid for positive coverage:
Throughout the six-month trial that led to Richard Scrushy's acquittal in the $2.7 billion fraud at HealthSouth Corp., a small, influential newspaper consistently printed articles sympathetic to the defense of the fired CEO.
Audry Lewis, the author of those stories in The Birmingham Times, the city's oldest black-owned paper, now says she was secretly working on behalf of Scrushy, who she says paid her $11,000 through a public relations firm and typically read her articles before publication.
It's just stunning that this kind of stuff keeps happening without any kind of ability for censure by industry bodies - both media and PR. I'm sure there are as many frustrated journalists as there are PRs who are sick of having their profession tarnished by this kind of behavior.
This is cool. Get your RSS feed as an email. I'm using this to get RSS feeds of news releases etc. in email on my Crackberry. I just don't have the time to look at another interface on that little screen, so the more I can get in email, the better. Squeet is sweet.