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Yahoo Tech Not Really A Threat to CNet

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There is this meme spreading around the web that Yahoo’s newly launched technology site is a big threat to C/Net and its properties. It is getting a lot of press – WSJ and NYT are all dutifully reporting what Yahoo is preaching. I checked out the site and even a cursory glance is enough that C/Net has nothing to worry …. yet.

Yahoo’s site is shiny and pretty, and has cool graphics, and yet, I somehow get the feeling that it resembles one big advertorial. It is a typical Yahoo play – aggregate content from other sources, (including some of their own) mash-it-up together. The result might be appealing for the mass market users looking for basic content, but it does lack the depth of C/Net content. The end-users might be quite different for the two sites.

Patrick Houston, the general manager of Yahoo Tech, said there was “a big, big opportunity for a site that is built especially for people who have neither the time nor the inclination to understand technology at the bit-and-byte level.”

Given that it is Yahoo, the new temple of everything social, Yahoo Tech is also going to allow people to create instant social networks around their tech devices and gadgets. Which is kinda contrary to Houston’s statement above. If they don’t have the time or the inclination to understand the technology, then do they really have the time to socially network with fellow gizmo freaks?

14 Responses to “Yahoo Tech Not Really A Threat to CNet”

  1. See Mathew gets it. He obviously understand the Feng Shui of website design. Maybe Yahoo should sign all of us Om lurkers on for consultation gig before releasing the next version. :)

    We’ll call it Trading Webspaces…

  2. Yahoo’s Tech site looks a bit too cluttered with junky ads. Looking at it gives me an eyesore and makes me want to close the browser. Repeat after me… less is more, less is more…

    The secret is space, not compacting every piece of eye candy you can lay your hands on like you were living in your old dorm room.

    Somehow I think the people who designed this site still think they are back in … oh nevermind…

  3. talking about intelligent reviews – i find most of the gadget blogs – engadget, phone scoop, and others like them do a much better job and are more indepth and actually fun to read. i think c/net needs to go in that direction.

  4. Jesse Kopelman

    No mention of Howard Forums, Tom’s Hardware, AVS Forum? These are where you get real information. Now if someone could slap a better UI on them . . .

  5. Uh oh… Don’t let C|Net see that forward slash! ;)

    Anyways… ontopic now: C|Net’s consumer reviews have always been a starting point for me, but once you get into more technical components I find newegg’s customer reviews to be the most helpful.

    It’d be great to have another quality source of tech reviews, especially one that wouldn’t treat everyone’s reviews as equal. A system that helps to identify more “intelligent” reviewers would be greatly welcome.

  6. I agree with the advertorial comment. Reading about 6 or 7 articles gave me the impression that it wasn’t that objective. I can’t see visiting it again. I wish a better competitor to CNET would come along however.

  7. If it matters, I’ve done work for both companies on the content side.

    CNet has made a couple of interesting content moves in the past few months (think Consumating, Chowhound and Chow), and the word on the street is that they’re hiring like gangbusters. For Yahoo, it’s very interesting to be in the position of providing ‘digital lifestlye’ services and commentary on said technology and trends.

    I think that larger companies, like CNet and Yahoo, would be smart to specialize, and spin off more of their successful projects into smaller, more agile companies. That could just be my radicalism in the face of media mergers and ‘portalization’ of the Internet.

    The seeds are planted by small apps, and properties purchased by CNet, Yahoo, Google and even News Corp have remained relatively untouched, for now. It’s almost like the big techies are operating incubators to a certain extent. If I was Yahoo or CNet, I would rather have 50% in a concern that rised or sank on their own merits than 100% in a bold, new initiative that failed and tarred the company.

    But maybe that’s just crazy talk.