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Today in Social

Yahoo’s new board is throwing big dice with Marissa Mayer. Predictably, Silicon Valley – and cult of personality fans – like the move, while Eastern media watchers are dubious. I’ll prove my bicoastal nature by saying I think Yahoo’s best chance is to aim for modest success with a media-centric strategy. But Mayer is a better option than Ross Levinsohn if Yahoo wants to swing for the fences and use its still-popular media properties to do some damage in, for instance, mobile apps. Potential startup acquisitions are likely to fare better and be more eager to join a Mayer-helmed Yahoo. The “vision thing” is a canard. Yahoo is clearly a collection of big online media brands and email, and is still the startpage for a lot of consumers. Search is done, though maybe there’s some negotiations wiggle-room. Yahoo could still own online brand advertising; Facebook certainly hasn’t shown much. Mobile ads will be a long-term payoff for anyone not in search, but coupons, loyalty programs, and mobile branding are up for grabs. Mayer’s last job at Google was local, but if she’s so valuable, why isn’t Google replacing her?