Monday, December 19, 2005

comments on Y! buying Flickr and del.icio.us

Participatory Culture: News and Ideas > Blog Archive > Fullscreen Controls

Well… I do think Yahoo’s acquisition of Flickr and del.icio.us raises questions. It all depends on how much advertising Yahoo adds, how they add it, and whether they give users a way to either benefit from it, or opt out of it.

I have dealt with websites before that showed ads and rewarded users for it. FreeRide.com, for one, in its previous incarnation (not the current one) had a forum, and both reading and posting within the forum were rewarded with points that could be exchanged for money and prizes, and although advertising was present, clicking on or interacting with ads was not a required condition of being rewarded. The idea was to simply offer an environment where users are paid to spend time on this forum, and money was made merely through the normal level of interaction that users would have with ads anyway. A portion of such monies were then returned to users.

Something else that Yahoo! might consider doing (although I don’t know if it would be considered enough “payback” to the community) is offering some financial or technical support to various open source projects, and/or offering open source projects free APIs to access various Yahoo! services.

I realize that in the mind of many users, the best solution would be for Yahoo! to never acquire such “Web2.0″ businesses anyway, but it seems to be inevitable that any site which reaches a certain level of popularity will either be acquired or be coerced by market forces to partner with a top-level portal (Google, AOL, Yahoo!, MSN).

1 comment:

Derek Hardwick said...

I must say that I wish someone like google had purchased these specific web 2.0 companies, because Yahoo tends to contaminate things rather quickly. "Integration" into their other services is usually more than just forcing you to use a Yahoo! ID, but also shameless cross-promoting of other useless Yahoo products and ads.

Hopefully they realize that the reason why so many people are excited about flickr and del.icio.us isn't just their innovative ideas, but also their return to simplicity. Both Yahoo and Google originally received recognition for their own innovative yet simplistic services, but Yahoo quickly lost their motivation to KISS. People use Flickr instead of yahoo's image services not only because of tagging, but also because it's a tool which does one thing extremely well, and doesn't try to do everything else.

Google *seems* to understand this idea, and they are very careful when they integrate their acquisitions with their core services. Indeed, they usually opt not to integrate when they can't see an obvious way to do so.