Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Blog This Yahoo!

Or they will, rather, very soon. It is just a matter of time. Recently, Six Apart--the makers of Movable Type-- acquired LiveJournal. Rumor all week has it that Six Apart will itself be taken over. Seeking Alpha creates quite the case for such a move, citing the power of pay per click advertising amongst other things:
What is the fastest area of growth in Web content? Blogs. But it's important not to make an error here. Blogging services, whether hosted or downloaded, are not just about blogs as we know them now - personal online journals. They're about something broader: cutting the cost of, and simplifying the process of publishing content to the Web.

It's so remarkable that Yahoo! has no blogging platform. Yahoo! owns Overture, the main competitor to Google's keyword ad business. Ad inventory is in short supply, Web content is the greatest source of untapped inventory, and blogs are the fastest growing area of Web content. Google owns Blogger, Microsoft quietly announced recently that its blogging platform, MSN Spaces, just passed the 1.5 million user mark, and Yahoo! has... nothing.

And here's where Seeking Alpha makes a shitload of good sense:
What does Yahoo! have in this collection of tools? Yahoo! Mail, My Yahoo!, and Yahoo! instant messenger. But no blogs. Quick comparison: Google has Gmail and Blogger, but no IM and no equivalent to My Yahoo! (yet). Microsoft has Hotmail, MSN Spaces, MSN Messenger, but no equivalent to My Yahoo! (yet). So, as these companies assemble the complete bundle of integrated personal Web tools, the social networking sites will be acquired, del.icio.us will be acquired, and... Six Apart will be acquired.
Last time I checked, Six Apart has 6.5 million users. Yahoo has the capital to buy them out and start ripping away with their ad arsenal--backed by Overture. It would make absolutely no sense for them to create their own blogging infrastructure from scratch since Blogger and Co. are obviously reveling in the glory of first mover advantage . In the meantime, I'm pulling my hair out deciding whether or not to go long Yahoo--they're getting into the lucrative blogging market but their chart indicates a bearish head and shoulders formation. Maybe I'll just nibble at it.

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