Friday, December 09, 2005

TechCrunch � - Yahoo Acquires

Community search systems are the rage. The theory is that your buddies have found the information you want. You college friend already knows the good home team basketball sites, etc.

Yahoo, Google and MSN all have been working on tagging systems to categorized more of the web content. A lot of money is being spent to gain or hold market share. Google is the top spender in research and development and it has paid off. Yahoo seems to be the top acquirer but I don't have the numbers at hand.

The combination of MSN and AOL is still going to be a number 3 "also ran". AOL has access to great content but I have a hard time believing that content owners will want to wall off their offerings. Google and Yahoo have the eyeballs. Those making their content searchable through Google and Yahoo are getting a tremendous amount of traffic.

APPL has been the content deal maker to date. The gap between Dell MP3 players and Ipods is large. Leadership is a self fulfilling property. It is always hard to knock the king off the top of the hill because the challenger is fighting an up hill battle. Still, the Ipod is still a niche player until it becomes a more integral part of the internet.

Yahoo and Google are neck to neck with Google killing everyone in search and Yahoo with big leads in many side areas. For now, search is key. News Corp, Barry Diller, a couple of newspapers and others are running far behind but each has a niche or two cornered.

You may remember how Disney spent a bundle but the lead horses could not be caught without spending a huge fortune. MSFT has 45 billion in cash but has not yet found the way to muscle its way into a leadership space. Again, a link-up with AOL is not going to be enough.

I am anxious to use practical social system products. For example, I hope my church is able to benefit from such a system. The company that has the servers and software to share with the masses, supported by advertising will win big. Google is now about 3 lengths to the front of Yahoo and pulling away gradually, the rest are ?also rans?.