Sunday, October 16, 2011

What Happened to Yahoo!?

Carol Bartz, Yahoo’s erstwhile CEO once famously commented that Yahoo is much more than just a white web page with a box on the top (ominous reference to Google). In the long run it is the same white page with the box that scored more and won the trust of users at large. Neither Yahoo, nor Ms. Bartz could match the services of Google.

The question I have is slightly different from the one that people openly ask nowadays. I ask myself “what happened to Yahoo!?” – The Yahoo I knew has always evoked a sense of nostalgia in me, and many other web users who created their first emails (Yahoo mail) or had their first crush with a stranger (Messenger) using their services. This question first came up in mind when I read Jerry’s announcement about stepping down as CEO, and it popped again when read about Carol’s ouster .

Many web users like me have created their first email IDs and experienced the wonderful experience of instant messaging using services of this great brand. Those were the mid 90’s when half the world wasn’t aware of the now popular concept of social networking. Yet, we used the Yahoo! Messenger and have created, shared and learned to use smileys [ J] and abbreviations (BRB, OMG!, etc.) also which became integral part of our daily communications. No other messenger was as popular or as user friendly as Yahoo Messenger those days. Yet Yahoo! failed to capitalize on its popularity and design its own evolution along with the history of the Internet.

Though I do not want to compare Yahoo with other services, I would like to make some comments in the following posts, on what Yahoo could have done to better the experience of its users.

What is your experience with Yahoo!? What changes would you like to see to their services?
Do please mark your comments below.