Yahoo leaves 'digital media' image to promote itself as a "technology company'

Yahoo Homepage

A rose by any other name…

Digital media. It didn’t really mean much outside of offering content to people for consumption. Technically speaking, that’s what Yahoo has always done outside of search and email. It’s for this reason that the popular web portal’s move to branding itself as a “technology company” marks the second strange move they made in less than two weeks. The first, shifting away from allowing people to work from home, will continue to receive more attention because of its impact on employees, but the branding and image shift is actually a more important (and illogical) move.

Here’s the problem. Nearly all of their “technology” is geared around delivery of media. The LA Times heralds this move as solving their identity crisis. For that to be true, one would need to redefine what being a technology company really means, because right now Yahoo is not one by any stretch of the imagination. Apple is a technology company. IBM is a technology company. Google is a technology company. Yahoo is a digital media company. Just take a look at their homepage:

Yahoo Media

One could argue that delivering the weather is a portion of being a technology company, but even then it’s unlikely that they actually have thermometers and meteorologists on location around the globe. They’re delivering the information that others are providing. They’re delivering digital media.

Technology companies either build or improve on things. Digital media companies inform us of what’s happening. Unless Yahoo is making a major shift into the world of product and service development, they aren’t a technology company and never will be one. To drop the ‘digital media’ tagline is a mistake. Instead, they should strive to be the best digital media delivery service in the world. There’s a future in that. There’s no future in becoming a generic technology company in a world with very competent, powerful, and specialized real technology companies. What is Marissa Mayer thinking? Is she?Here’s what they said in their annual 10-K report:

“Yahoo! Inc., together with its consolidated subsidiaries (‘Yahoo!,’ the ‘Company,’ ‘we,’ or ‘us’), is a global technology company focused on making the world’s daily habits inspiring and entertaining.”

Sorry, but that’s just not true.

Written by Sal McCloskey

+Sal McCloskey is a tech blogger in Los Angeles who (sadly) falls into the stereotype associated with nerds. Yes, he's a Star Trek fan and writes about it on Uberly. His glasses are thick and his allergies are thicker. Despite all that, he's (somehow) married to a beautiful woman and has 4 kids. Find him on Twitter or Facebook,
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Comments
  • http://www.kksmarts.com/ Mike Seddon

    Yahoo’s struggle continues to be like driving past a road crash. It’s impossible to look away even though you know you don’t want to see what’s going on!

    They desperately need to find a position of there own rather than continue to be seen as the company that got whipped by Google.

    I don’t know if this move is the right one for them but as you say there brand is getting more air time for it’s stuck in the past attitude to home working.