by Allen Weiner | July 6, 2010 | Comments Off on Yahoo’s Take on The News
True to its word, Yahoo is making good on two of its promises: 1) the company said it would take a new view of its role in search and 2) begin to create new content opportunities. Called into evidence is Upshot a news page on which a team of editors (two) and reporters (six) look at topical search results (as in what topics are top of zeitgeist at any moment in time) and offer editorial context for those stories. I call it a news page rather than a blog for while it uses a blog publishing style, my sense is over time it will morph into something more substantial in form/format (not to say blogs can’t be substantial).
From its new search mantra, Yahoo aims to take algo results from Microsoft/Bing and add value. In this case, the value is filtering the firehouse with a sense of style and perspective. And then there’s the matter of voice. I wonder aloud whether Upshot will have a voice (Huff Post snarky, Onion blasphemous). Maybe Upshot will have several voices representing a cross-section of views or maybe it will attempt to be as neutral as possible leaving commentary to its regular blogger contributors.
I have a few nits, day one. I’d like to see bios of the reporters so I know that so-and-so actually has a news background. Also, I’d like to see the recco/sharing tools at the blurb level, not forcing me to click through to the entire story in order to share. I also suspect that the folks who give us Shine and OMG will offer a better look than we see at launch. And while we’re on the topics of reporters, I’d caution the regular Upshot staff to avoid citing bloggers as sources. I may not be Woodward or Bernstein, but shaky sources make for bad reporting.
Yahoo is taking dead aim at building a new vision for creating and distributing content. Certainly acquiring Associated Content was a major part of that mission. Yahoo must be careful to deploy a master plan on how its varied efforts will hang together so that its news brand actually becomes…well..a brand.
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