2/28/2013 0 Comments
Yahoo! and the Yankees
About one month to Opening Day!
At first glance, you might say that there is nothing in common between Yahoo! and the New York Yankees. Well, they both begin with the same two letters - OK, that's a stretch. When I was growing up, the Yankees had struggled through a series of lean years after decades of being the best in baseball. The championship or near-championship years of Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Ford, Berra, Mantle, and others had given way to seasons far distant from any pennant race. Attendance at Yankee Stadium generally was low. In the early 1970s, George Steinbrenner became principal owner. It wasn't too long before the Yankees were in the headlines on an almost-daily basis. Sometimes for great things - post-season heroics by Chris Chambliss and Reggie Jackson, and the amazing 25-3 record by Ron Guidry come to mind. "We Are the Champions" became a hit song, still as popular as ever over 3.5 decades later. But the Yankees of the 1970s and 1980s had their share of controversial press. Jackson and Billy Martin arguing with each other in the Yankees dugout. Steinbrenner firing and rehiring Martin so many times, the two of them decided to do a commercial together making light of it.
So again you ask, what does this have to do with Yahoo!? Not too long ago, Yahoo! was arguably the premier search engine. These days, however, you don't hear anyone saying that they are "Yahooing" for information. To "Google" something has become a very commonplace expression. YouTube, which is owned by Google, is another incredible source of information (sometimes worthwhile, sometimes junk) - according to one report, more video is uploaded to YouTube in two months than was created by the major networks combined in six decades.
What does Yahoo! need to do to retain and improve its position as a search leader? That is up for debate, but this writer would like to suggest that the controversy itself may be behind the recent decision by CEO Marissa Mayer to end the option for employees to telecommute. Although Yahoo! trails only Google and Chinese site Baidu in terms of search queries, the gap is extraordinary - in November and December 2012, Google had 114.73 billion queries, versus 14.5 billion for Baidu and 8.63 billion for Yahoo! While that is still a lot of hits on the Yahoo! website, that is only 4.9% of the queries. For better or worse, this past week, Yahoo! has gone from being an afterthought to being top-of-mind. Personally, when I was working on the corporate side, I found the flexibility to work from home when my wife and I adopted our daughters to be very important. It enabled me to often put in longer workdays by not sitting in traffic for several hours each day, and to be productive when one of us was under the weather. That being said, I think there is a case to be made for informal interactions at the office. There is a certain energy that may be difficult to replicate when working from home. My guess is that once Yahoo! weathers this storm, there will be some modification of the new policy, primarily due to competitive necessity. With so many major technology-based companies in Silicon Valley, there would seem to be a risk of losing not just those who were abusing the telecommuting option, but also those very productive employees for whom it was a welcome benefit in the work-life balance spectrum.
By the way, whether you search on Google or Yahoo!, you will find the late Yankees shortstop and announcer Phil Rizzuto with the query "holy cow baseball announcer". (Chicago Cubs announcer Harry Caray also appears in both search results.)
Blog Author - Ken Felsher
With over 25 years of writing, editing, and research experience. I enjoy sharing with my readers my love of working with content on a variety of subjects.
All 9-11 Airline Apollo 11 Apple Baseball Black Friday Boston Cable Cambridge Ceo Cooperstown Cyber Monday Cyber-Monday Delta Derek Football Freedom Tower Hall Of Fame Harvard Hawaiian HBO Hulu Hurricane Sandy Ipad IPhone IWatch Jeter Marissa Mayer Megatrend MIT Mobile Netflix New-jersey One World Trade Center Personal Computer Qantas Schlep Factor September 11 Smartphone Social Media Tablet Twin Towers United World Trade Center Yahoo Yankees