Anne 2.0 nails it in her post "Good for You, Yahoo," in which she gives Yahoo a blog high-five for telling the truth and takes Steve Rubel to task for his absolute refusal to use Yahoo search upon hearing the announcement in which Yahoo says the #1 Search Spot's not for them. Maintaining their market share in search is apparently good 'nuf for now. Anne sees it this way:
Sometimes you need to excise something stupid and add something cool. Personals are definitely cool. Now there's a use of technology that improves people's lives. Is search stupid? Well, Google is having a hard time squeezing all the revenue they need out of it. Maybe it is stupid for Yahoo to spend extra time and money on a space that they won't be able to own and that might not be so profitable anyway.
Steve's so apalled he takes his search ball and goes home:
That's it, I am no longer using Yahoo Search. I have no interest in using a product that the company doesn't aspire to make best of breed. If search is no longer hip to Yahoo, then Yahoo Search is no longer hip with me.
Steve, shouldn't you salute them for telling the truth? Do you really believe every mission statement you hear? Mostly, they're obligatory half-truths if not outright smokeblowing.
I'm with Anne. I love it--It's a page out of Gonzo Marketing: Winning Through Worst Practices. It's like DAMN, why didn't Ford say this kind of thing a long time ago: "Listen, we're not going to try lead the market with a four-door sedan or even a mini-van. We know we're nothing really special when it comes to that. We'll be happy not to take a bath. But HEY now, when it comes to pick-em-up trucks--that's where we rock."
Things might be different.
Do we know what Yahoo's pick-up truck is yet? Well, as Anne notes, they're moving more toward community-social stuff as Google sticks to metrics and algorithms. Me? I'm happy to watch what unfolds.
And, holy cow if this isn't a copywriter's dream come true. No more "we're a leading search engine"; rather "we hold our own, you know, not great, not awful."
Kiss me, Yahoo! You're my new Google!
And Anne is right again--there is value in writing and reading beyond the lists. I'm getting out of the A-List space and rolling a Yahoo. I'll be happy to maintain my share of the C market. ;-)