Sunday, September 7, 2008

There is Media and then, there is Media...

Someone invited me into some business networking thing, and someone else invited me into some kind of social networking wannabe, and some ol' collaboration group/mailing list popped up that would not allow me to see whatever critical info (I forget what it was) someone else needed me to have unless I signed up. All of these insisted I have a Yahoo! account.

Under the onslaught of 'requirements,' and caving in to Peer Pressure, I got a Yahoo! account. Occasionally, I have to log in, in order to deal with these...(ahem)...yahoos.

Yahoo! are just scrumming along, trying to play with the Big Kids. Who, of course, are Google and Microsoft. I have accounts at all of them. Microsoft for business reasons, Google because I use them, and Yahoo because I have friends and aquaintances who, like addicts, just can't bring themselves to drop it.

Google and Microsoft are discreet, non-invasive in their advertising. Google only talks to Microsoft, and Microsoft talks only to God (reference Boston Brahmin - in the sense that they seem to only advertise themselves).

Of course, the Google search engine is generally relevant to current action on the page - advert headers pop up with the supplier's ID and a contextual reason why I might want to click.

With Yahoo, the SPAM filters in the mail are irrelevant. OK, they seem to draw the line at Viagra and Meds, but "Loans! Credit Rating! Diet! Singles! Lots Of Singles! Click Here To Win BIG! Horny Singles in your ZipCode!" with flashing banner graphics, large-busted girls dripping with e-Hormones.

If my Yahoo searches were all 'naked adolescent females,' 'sure-fire way to win the lottery,' 'need to get out of debt,' or similar things, I could understand it. But they are not. These guys can't measure what I actually want/do/am talking about/searching for, and they can't give me relevant advertising. Weren't they the first? They don't seem to get the Internet medium yet.

Yahoo! is the "free" supermarket tabloid of the internet. They made some compromises early, and they can't seem to get out of the shallow end of the gene pool. They would like to have some class, but they live in one of those Rust Belt neighborhoods where 5th generation Europeans still don't speak English, and complain about the Hispanics. They allowed their advertisers to dictate to them, and they cannot TAKE BACK control of their business. Yahoo! advertisers, wearing cheap suits and cheap cologne, want big flashing graphics, secret pop-up windows and ads that pop up when an unsuspecting rube mouses-over on his way to the "dismiss this dismal window" button.

It could be worse, I bet. I could be using Verizon services, or be an AOL "member," both of which provide you with an already-compromised browser just to use the services that you actually pay for. Now, in my economic model, I pay for access that does not have advertising, so this is pretty alien to my thinking. Go figure.

Hey - anything for a buck, you gotta pay the bills, if we don't do it, someone else will, it's a free country.