Tag Archives: Yahoo

If You Have News, It Will Be Aggregated and/or Curated

The Pew Research Center has come out with a massive new report on the state of media as part of its Project for Excellence in Journalism, and it comes to a number of conclusions about where the industry stands—including the fact that Twitter and Facebook are still driving a fairly small amount of traffic to media outlets (although this segment is growing quickly) and that such tech giants as Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft control almost 70 percent of online advertising. But one other thing that becomes clear from the Pew report is just how big a role aggregators of all kinds—both human and machine-powered—are playing in news consumption.

Despite the growing evidence to the contrary, many newspaper companies and other traditional media outlets still seem to think the vast majority of their audience comes to them directly and prefers to read their content above all other sources. More than anything else, this is the core philosophy behind the rise of paywalls—which more and more papers are implementing—and also the millions of dollars media companies have poured into developing iPad apps and other walled-garden-style approaches to news delivery. The assumption is that readers will want only the content that comes from that specific outlet.

For many consumers, however, aggregators of various kinds are the way they consume their news now, whether through Web-based portals like Yahoo News or Google News, or through a variety of newer aggregation-based apps and services, such as Flipboard, Pulse, or Zite for the iPad, as well as News.me, Summify (which was recently acquired by Twitter), and Percolate. According to the Pew report, almost 30 percent of consumers get their news from a “news organizing website or app,” compared with the 36 percent who go directly to a media company’s website or app.

In effect, many users seem to be looking to generate their own digital-newspaper-style overview of the world rather than accepting one from a single media outlet, and if the content they are looking for comes from an aggregator like the Huffington Post because the original is behind a paywall, then so be it. The problem for media companies is that this kind of behavior is in direct conflict with most of  the business models they’re relying on for revenue, whether it’s advertising or app- and paywall-based subscription services—which is why such media moguls as News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch continually accuse Google of “piracy.”

And the problem is actually even bigger than that, since the Huffington Post and Google News are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to aggregation and/or curation. Although Facebook and Twitter may not be huge factors in terms of news consumption at the moment—as my colleague Staci has pointed out at paidContent—with only 9 percent of users saying they get their news from those networks, that figure has grown almost 60 percent in the past year alone and is likely continuing to increase.

To some extent the curation phenomenon is helping mainstream news organizations, because people are sharing links that get clicked on and drive traffic back to news outlets. This is especially the case with Twitter, since the Pew report notes that a larger proportion of users follow official media sources there, while a majority of Facebook users get their news from friends and family members. But just as with aggregation apps and services, the content that any single media company produces just becomes part of the sea of content that is distributed through these networks.

On top of that, Facebook itself is becoming much more of an aggregator of news, through the “social reading” apps it offers from such outlets as the Washington Post and the Guardian. Although both newspapers have bragged about the number of people who have registered for their apps and shared content through them, the reality is that much of the benefit from that activity ultimately goes to Facebook—in terms of the time users spend on the site, the advertising they are exposed to, etc.—rather than the news outlet.

Emily Bell, the former Guardian digital editor who now runs the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, noted in a response to the Pew report on Twitter that social platforms like Facebook are becoming “frenemies” with media companies, since they generate traffic but also suck up much of the benefit in terms of advertising.

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-03-19/if-you-have-news-it-will-be-aggregated-and-or-curated

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Microsoft eclipses Yahoo in US search for 1st time

Microsoft Corp. has finally reached a long-sought and expensive goal – its Bing search engine now ranks second behind Google in the Internet’s most lucrative market. Bing and Microsoft’s other websites fielded 2.75 billion search requests in the U.S. during December, catapulting in front of Yahoo Inc. for the first time in the jockeying for runner up to Google Inc., according to statistics released Wednesday by comScore Inc. Bing’s December volume translated into a 15.1 percent share of the U.S. search traffic, comScore said. Yahoo processed 2.65 billion search requests, representing 14.5 percent of the U.S. market. Google remained Internet’s go-to place for information, with 12 billion U.S. requests in December. That works out to a 65.9 percent market share. Other research firms track the Internet search market. But comScore’s numbers matter the most to industry analysts and the companies trying to attract queries so they can make more money from the ads that appear alongside the results. Google’s dominance of online search is the main reason it has established itself as the Internet’s most profitable company. Analysts have expected Microsoft and Yahoo to flip-flop their positions in Internet search since they announced a partnership in July 2009. The 10-year agreement has enabled Yahoo to save money by relying on Microsoft to provide the bulk of its search technology. Microsoft wanted the deal so it would have billions more search requests to analyze each year, giving it a better chance to learn about people’s tendencies and preferences.

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/01/12/microsoft-eclipses-yahoo-in-us-search-for-1st-time/

At Yahoo, User Generate Searches to Steer News Coverage Selection

For as long as hot lead has been used to make metal type, the model for generating news has been top-down: editors determined what information was important and then shared it with the masses. But with the advent of technology that allows media companies to identify what kind of content readers want, that model is becoming inverted. The latest and perhaps broadest effort yet in democratizing the news is under way at Yahoo, which on Tuesday will introduce a news blog that will rely on search queries to help guide its reporting and writing on national affairs, politics and the media. Search-generated content has been growing on the Internet, linked to the success of companies like Associated Content, which Yahoo recently bought, and Demand Media, which has used freelance writers to create an online library of more than a million instructional articles. Yahoo software continuously tracks common words, phrases and topics that are popular among users across its vast online network. To help create content for the blog, called The Upshot, a team of people will analyze those patterns and pass along their findings to Yahoo’s news staff of two editors and six bloggers. The news staff will then use that search data to create articles that — if the process works as intended — will allow them to focus more precisely on readers.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/05/business/media/05yahoo.html?_r=1&ref=media

Flickr Revamps Photo Page

Flickr has given a makeover to the layout of its site’s photo display page, making the default picture size larger, revamping the navigation scheme and consolidating capabilities and information under fewer menus and sections. The overall goal of the changes is to improve the photo-sharing experience and approximate it as much as possible to the real-life scenario of showing friends or family one’s latest pictures in person, said Tara Kirchner, head of marketing at Flickr. Users will find that photo metadata, such as the photographer’s name, the camera’s make and model, the picture location and the time it was taken, is now more prominently displayed. The navigation controls have been rearranged to make it easier for people to flip through photos, geotag them and access other albums, photo sets and groups. Some key capabilities have been packaged under a new Actions menu, including the ability to add tags and notes, identify a person, and place the photo in a specific gallery. Flickr, owned by Yahoo for the past five years, drew 85.6 million unique visitors and almost 200 million visits in May, according to comScore. The site has 50 million registered members, who upload about 3 million photos and videos every day, according to Yahoo. There are 4 billion photos and videos stored on Flickr.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/199721/flickr_revamps_photo_page.html

Yahoo and Facebook announce site tie-up

Yahoo and Facebook are to tie their services closer together. The tie-up means people with a presence on both sites can have updates to one service mirrored to the other. It also means that it will get easier for users of Yahoo’s other services, such as Flickr, to share what they do with friends on Facebook. Alongside the Facebook deal goes an overhaul of Yahoo’s Profile service to make it easier for people to control what they share. The deal means that people who maintain profiles on Yahoo and Facebook can link the two pages and cross-pollinate both with one update. It will also mean that those who use Flickr, Yahoo Answers or the social site’s video and music services can pipe any media or data they create to friends who use only Facebook. The account linking deal deepens the relationship that Facebook and Yahoo struck in 2009. That made it easier for people to build a contacts book that spanned both services. The refresh of Profile will see it re-named Yahoo Pulse. It will also get improved privacy controls so users can fine tune who gets to see their updates or view the media they put on the web.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/10254930.stm

Yahoo faces privacy test with new e-mail features

Yahoo Inc. is hoping to turn on a new sharing option in its popular e-mail service without shocking users who prize their privacy. That’s why the Internet company is advising its 280 million e-mail accountholders to review their privacy settings along with their incoming messages. Yahoo posted the privacy reminder this week as it prepares to unveil new features that will share its e-mail users’ online activities and interests with people listed in their address books unless they take steps to prevent the information from being broadcast. The new sharing tools will be appearing in people’s e-mail accounts this month. Another addition already available in some accounts allows people to use Yahoo’s e-mail service as a platform for posting comments on Facebook. An e-mail link to Twitter’s messaging service is coming this summer. Yahoo has been testing and talking about these changes for months, but it’s treading carefully after seeing both Facebook and Google Inc. stumble recently when they retooled their services so more personal information would appear on the Web. Some of those changes irked users, privacy watchdogs and lawmakers. The outcry prompted Facebook and Google to develop simpler privacy settings to give people greater control over what gets shared online. Yahoo is trying to avoid a similar privacy backlash by providing users the opportunity to opt out of the e-mail service’s new social features with the click of a button. The company also is promising not to expose a person’s e-mail contacts to the public, a mistake that Google acknowledged making when it set up a social network called Buzz within its own e-mail service four months ago

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i1dxvdpV-y5Sr9EnEpj49NXNKv9wD9G376680

Facebook takes top spot with over a third of total global internet visits in April

Facebook is the most visited site on the internet according to Google’s latest data. The site logged 570 billion page views in April, reaching 35.2 per cent of the total internet population. The next most popular site was Yahoo, with 490 billion page views and 31.8 per cent of the market. While Google’s data doesn’t include its own sites the full list does provide some fascinating insights into web search behavior. Microsoft’s Live site scooped third place but the open source Wikipedia claimed fourth, with one out of every five internet users visiting the crowd-sourced encyclopedia. The organisations latest upsets do not seem to have hurt the site’s credibility. Chinese search giant Baidu took eight place, reflecting its dominant position in its home market, with the official government news site of China, sina.com.cn, taking eleventh place. Mozilla came in 10th with 140 million page views while Apple languished in 27th place with barely half that number of visitors.

http://www.v3.co.uk/v3/news/2263900/facebook-takes-top-spot-third