Yahoo! The Sleeping Giant

September 4th, 2007 14 Comments

Last week, screenshots of Kickstart, Yahoo’s lastest foray into social networks surfaced. Not surprisingly, Kickstart is targeted at recruiting, helping college student find an “in” at companies where they want to work and helping companies recruit students.saved-screenshot.jpg

I like this approach, as long as they can keep it clean by ensuring the students are really students and the alumni are really alumni and genuinely work for the company they say they do. Somebody really should take that approach, verifying the email addresses of people before allowing them to join a network.

Oh wait, that’s what Facebook does. Mashable’s coverage mentions this too.

So, even if Yahoo succeeds and launches what sounds like a useful application of the social network, they will face an uphill battle to win users, even though most of us have yahoo.com accounts. The barrier to entry is still high enough, especially for college students who have a much longer and richer history on Facebook.

So, why doesn’t Yahoo jump into the aggregation game?

Google seems to be headed in that direction, and companies like Plaxo are trying. Still no one has solved the problem yet. Yahoo is truly an enigma; they have several big new web properties: del.icio.us, Upcoming, flickr, and a social network, 360 (who knew?). They have boatloads of users through My Yahoo, Mail, Groups, Answers, Yahoo Messenger, and their users touch a wide range of demographics.

A Yahoo network that was:

Yahoo’s ad network would certainly benefit from personal ad-targeting, like what Facebook is developing (you’re not really surprised, are you?), and it might actually work better on Yahoo’s turf than on Facebook’s because people are used to ads from Yahoo.

Yahoo could also make more headway than anyone (except maybe Google) in the corporate social network space too, offering privacy controls and security to allow for network segmenting. Yahoo is an established company (I know, it’s hard to say for those of us who remember the salad days) whereas Facebook and others are flavor-of-the-month, private companies with very little history. Companies might trust Yahoo more than Google, based on track record. Google is notoriously black box in their approach to the enterprise (see GSA and Mini, whose search algorithms and rankings are closed), so Yahoo might get a warmer reception.

Maybe they’re on this path already. A sleuth here at Oracle (MB), found this listing for jobs in Yahoo Groups after some detective work on Facebook. Yahoo failed (twice) to acquire Facebook, and there is at least a rumor a month about what they’re doing on that front. After the recent management shakeup and the subsequent re-org, is this the time?


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14 Responses to “Yahoo! The Sleeping Giant”

  1. The Recruiting Animal Says:

    Helping college students find contacts inside companies 3. Helping companies recruit students Yahoo owns: del.icio.us, Upcoming, flickr and 360. They have many users through My Yahoo, Mail, Groups, Answers and Yahoo MessengerJake Yakomotoadvises them to make everyone with a Yahoo ID an automatic member with the automatic importation of their contacts from Yahoo email, flickr, del.icio.us, etc.

  2. University Update - Yahoo - Yahoo! The Sleeping Giant Says:

    […] Yahoo! The Sleeping Giant » This Summary is from an article posted at Oracle AppsLab » Driving Oracle Innovation on Tuesday, […]

  3. Jay Says:

    Jake,

    Why the partial feed?

  4. Jay Says:

    Jake,

    Why the partial feed?

  5. Jake Says:

    Jay, Not sure what you mean. Jake

  6. Jake Says:

    Jay, Not sure what you mean. Jake

  7. Jay Says:

    Hi Jake,
    What I meant was that for some posts esp. the longer ones, I can see only a partial feed in my reader.

  8. Jay Says:

    Hi Jake,
    What I meant was that for some posts esp. the longer ones, I can see only a partial feed in my reader.

  9. Jake Says:

    So, we syndicate the content up to the read more tag. I can talk to Rich about that.
    Jake

  10. Jake Says:

    So, we syndicate the content up to the read more tag. I can talk to Rich about that.
    Jake

  11. Recruiting Bloggers.com Says:

    Kickstart…

    Yahoo’s new social network. It’s targetted at 1. Recruiting 2. Helping college students find contacts inside companies 3. Helping companies recruit students Yahoo owns: del.icio.us, Upcoming, flickr and 360. They have many users through My Yahoo, Ma…

  12. The Recruiting Animal: Kickstart Says:

    […] Jake Yakomoto advises them to make everyone with a Yahoo ID an automatic member with the automatic importation of their contacts from Yahoo email, flickr, del.icio.us, etc. […]

  13. Long Shots for 2008 « David Haimes Oracle Intercompany Financials Blog Says:

    […] Of course, I blogged about the sleeping giant before: http://theappslab.com/2007/09/04/yahoo-the-sleeping-giant/ […]

  14. Web Marketing Services - Professional Internet Marketing by SEO Prodigy Says:

    Yahoo! Guaranteed Search Engine Listings…

    Any ethical search engine optimization company knows better than to “promise” top organic search engine rankings (SEO Prodigy included).  The search engines make the rules and they keep the ranking recipe secret….for good reasons.   However a c…

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