Yahoo CEO failed to hit one out of the ballpark at International CES
It was around 15 years ago that I used to talk about digital paper and the magic box on the wall.
I remember it because it was also at about the same time that I was working for a daily newspaper and we started our first discussions on our Y2K preparations that would be needed almost a year after.
The digital paper was the delivery device in hand, something comfortable enough that a reader would take where only newsprint went before – the toilet. And the magic box on the wall was the convergence point where people would interact with entertainment offerings – the coming together of a television and computer.
My argument back then, is the same as it is today. Ultimately, content would be king.
Flash forward to the first full week of 2014, and one major internet player is talking about its next moves in the informational age and the digital frontier. At the International Consumer Electronics Showcase, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer talked about the latest content efforts to turn around the struggling tech giant.
First would be a push out of digital magazines around feature content. One would be around the greatest of universal connectors – food. The other, headed up by former New York Times columnist David Pogue, would cover technology and gadgets, aimed at the average reader. It is meant for a single-screen, the new name we give my digital paper device – a tablet. Those two sites launched less than 24 hours ago.
The other move for Yahoo has to do with the magic box on the wall and converging dual screens, and was kicked off with the high-profile hire of television journalist Katie Couric.
"We've decided to make a new level of investment in content experience," Mike Kerns, Yahoo's senior vice president of homepages and verticals, told USA Today. "This is the first step toward the next generation of media product."
I love how people like to throw out terms like "next generation."
Pogue put together has own team of writers to work on Yahoo Tech.
"This is where my whole career has been leading," he said. "My specialty has always been on instructional" content.
The truth is that the content – originally produced content – is still the same product it always has been. The only change is in the delivery method. On OnMilwaukee.com, the core of what we do is spout off ideas using the written word. Whether you read this on your iPad, phone or desktop computer when you pretend to be working, it doesn't matter all that much to us.
And for Yahoo, it won't matter that much, either. The trick here, especially for the advertisers and information consumers, is that a site which has the best content is rewarded for creating it and able to have a monetization model behind it to keep the delivery coming.
While on the technology side of the 2014 International CES, we may see some wonderful innovation, the main headlines we've seen so far has been giving a new name and presentation to the same old – and proven – ideas.
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