No. Reengineering, better
customer service are needed
Yahoo president Marissa Ann Mayer. Image by jdlasica. Used under Creative Commons license with attribution.
IN WHAT SOME may see as a desperate gamble, the Board of Directors of Yahoo! ® has agreed to buy the blogging site Tumblr for $1.1 billion.
That is not chump change.
According to a story by Michael J. de la Merced, Nick Bilton and Nicole Perlroth in The New York Times, this is the biggest Internet acquisition in along time. “Yahoo to Buy Tumblr for $1.1 Billion”
“The deal would be the largest acquisition of a social networking company in years, surpassing Facebook’s $1 billion purchase of Instagram last year,” the three write.
Will it save Yahoo, which – until the stock market took off like a bullet – had been floundering for quite some time?
No. It is not in time; it is too little too late for Yahoo to stop becoming the next MySpace.
This speaks for itself.
I RISK SERIOUS RETRIBUTION from Yahoo for this post, but I am ready for the consequences – and it’s not as if my opinion is the only one of its kind on the planet.
In an article published on Monday in Wired magazine, Angela Watercutter reports that Tumblr users also are anxious.
In “Tumblr Users Have All the Feels About Yahoo Acquisition” she summarizes what is happening on the website itself
“Some worried about the loss of the fan communities on the site, others felt they themselves were being sold, and — yes — some worried what would happen to the porn,” Watercutter reports.
My opinion is based more on personal experience.
I have had Yahoo as my homepage for well over a decade – perhaps even approaching 20 years.
And, I am trapped there – for now.
My account is a legacy of the 1990s, when, after its Supreme Court-forced break up, the then-nascent AT&T entered into a partnership with the burgeoning Yahoo to create the site of my home page.
At the time I had no idea how central it wouldn’t become to my Internet presence. Who on earth remembers SBC Global?
It was a result of the 1980s break-up of AT&T. All the regional phone companies were spun off into separate entities.
My local phone company was Pacific Bell. In the 1990s it merged with Southwestern Bell, to form SBC.
When AT&T began reconstituting itself into the monster monopoly it has again become, SBC global became a relic.
Just look at my email address: email@example.com. I am trapped there.
Here is the home screen of my Yahoo page. Note the AT&T logo in the top left-hand corner. © SGE, inc.
ABOUT A YEAR AGO, I began to realize this was not a good thing. My primary account email points to a dead drop. It is an account I cannot possibly access.
Last summer I spent a good month trying to change this. It was futile.
I appealed to Yahoo on several occasions with no result. Its customer service is appalling.
Furthermore, its user interface is complicated and certainly not friendly.
But I realized transitioning away from my primary email would be a long-term process. It is used today to access so many accounts at so many different web sites, there is no possible way I can keep track of them.
Today, after almost a year of effort, I straddle the worlds of Yahoo and Google. I have set up several Google email accounts; the user interface there is so much better.
The help screens are easy to understand. They are not complicated and esoteric.
Indeed, without truly being aware of it, I have wrapped my arms around Google and its octopus-like presence everywhere on the web.
I have a YouTube account where I am posting videos on my channel. Did you know that YouTube is a division of Google?
My transition is nearing completion. I have no idea of the consequences of what will happen when I abandon my SBCGlobal email account.
It will probably take months to repair the damage.
But I now have a sufficient presence on Gmail to handle it.
My experience does not bode well for Yahoo. My next-door neighbor works for the company, and I wish Patrick well.
But buying a billion-dollar blog site will not save Yahoo. Only some 21st century reengineering, a vastly improved user interface and much better customer service has a chance.