I like the trend that we’re seeing here folks. First Facebook opens up their backend to developers, hype ensues, traffic spikes, and now Yahoo!, a major portal, is following suit, surely many others will follow.
But it begs the question – although MyYahoo was responsible for driving more RSS usage than they are given credit for, in an increasingly feed driven, open source, innovative, fast paced world of new “sexy” digital brands, can this move be the beginning of Yahoo trying to regain the innovator’s seat as the “My[insert name here]” that started it all? Or will it simply bring the service into the new, new media era and complete the Web 2.0 makeover that Yahoo began last year? Yahoo has developed other tools like Pipes, for example, which might be headed more in the direction of the future boundary-limitless web. The portal is still far behind Google, with dozens of API’s and wide spread adoption of both their developer and consumer facing products. But with innovative new companies developing ways of making web content and functionality interoperable (names like Dapper, or Teqlo come to mind), the reality is that Web 2.0 companies are releasing the boundaries of how, where, and when content is consumed across digital media. That has always been the next “killer app”, if you will.
So the billion dollar question is – which of these younger innovative companies can hold their own with the big media heavy weights? Is the first or early-to-market strategy integral to the success of these new tools, or will the slower moving media conglomerates leverage the experimentation (on many VC’s dimes I might add), and with their brand equity, immediate audience and deeper pockets, roll out the products that seem to “stick”? Google seems to have been doing both.
I wonder if this is how major players in a less-fragmented-media-era first thought about the internet when Yahoo! was one of those young, nimble, innovative companies just beginning to creep into consumers lives. The only difference is, evolution seems to be happening faster than ever before, and right before our eyes.
I’ve been predicting for some time now the emergence of a fully database driven internet, where marketing is dynamically matched with consumers via content and experiences that can be delivered when, where and how they want. Seems like we’re on the road there.