Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Money Can't Buy You Community: Lesssons From Yahoo

I have complained for a long time now about what i call "Yahoothanization". What is it? It's what Yahoo does to perfectly good companies that they buy. They Yahoothanize them. Meaning, they attempt to force a whole bunch of Yahoo rules (the first of which starts with the old 'you must get a Yahoo ID') onto whatever community they have purchased.

And there in lies the problem. Yahoo thinks they have actually have purchased those communities.

These non-networked businesses who continue to have a top down command and control business approaches will keep running into the same issue until they get it. We only have to look at the transition of myspaces to Rupert's spaces to watch the phenomenon in action (Facebook anyone?)

Jeff Jarvis has a great post on the Yahoo subject and an even better quote:

"We debated for decades whether content or distribution was kind but it turns out that neither is. The community is the Kingdom."

So there you go. The only thing that is getting Yahoothanized these days is Yahoo but there is an important lesson here:

Technologies can be bought and sold, but communities can't.



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