Congratulations, Carol! We in the CAD industry are proud that one of our own has jumped from the small pond to the big sea (see Yahoo Picks Tough-Talking Carol Bartz as New CEO).
But this will be no easy gig.
Once the leading search and directory site, it is now a conglomeration of desperate attempts to attract attention. I go there now and there is a story about "Girl in Bikini Talks Smack to New 'Idol' Judge." I mean, what the hell? Then there's movies, gossip...
Carol, there's plenty of sites that serve that junk. How about going back to what Yahoo was good at: organizing the web? It was the first major service that attempted to take the swirling chaos of online information and like a good librarian, culled and categorized it and put it on the virtual shelf.
After the success of Google, people are forgetting the value of a good virtual librarian. While Google is good at pinpointing a specific piece of information, humans are still the best librarians. For example, while Google may be able to zero in on one particular article you vaguely remember, Yahoo was able to assemble a body of knowledge, providing a deeper understanding of the subject. There is still a need for that -- a need Google is not recognizing and an opportunity unrealized.
But what was missing from Yahoo was that their editors made no attempt to rank the knowledge they had found. Perhaps that is too much to ask of librarians, too. But a subject expert would have no trouble ranking websites according to their value. Instead of a hundred or thousand sites which we have no time to look at, we'd have a TopTen list.
Oh, wait....there is already a site that does that. Almost ten years ago, I started TenLinks.com with that idea. Granted, we only work in CAD, CAM and CAE. But why not apply the TenLinks concept for a variety, nay, a universe of subjects?
Now, I'm going to wait by my phone with bated breath for Carol to call me and tell me what a wonderful idea I had, and could she please use it to turn around the fortunes of a struggling Yahoo.