Here’s what Yahoo should do. It needs to become the biggest portal on the Internet. Oh that’s right, it already is. Yahoo has lost its lead in search and it has lost its lead as a communications platform. It’s second, third or fourth in a number of other competitive areas: IM, picture sharing, start pages, video, advertising, etc. As social computing grows and all large competitors move towards the center (toward each other), there is still room for a portal. AOL used to own the portal but it’s up for grabs now. Yahoo can and should strengthen its hold here.
How? First Yahoo must start to find, display, and link to the most exciting things on the Web. That will take brilliant content editors. The Elizabeth Spiers of the world. It must bring into the fold, some exciting original content: first run movies, concerts, comedy acts and Broadway shows. It must become not only a television station on the Internet, but a library, a concert hall, a movie theater, magazine, blog and newspaper. It should start buying up the best blogs on the net and paying the writers and creators dearly: the Robert Scobles, PostSecrets, the BoingBoings.
The web is, and always will be, about the content. User generated stuff is wonderful(ish), but who is culling it for the really great art? Rather than trying to out-Goggle Google, or out-MySpace MySpace, Yahoo should try to out-Yahoo Yahoo. It should become the Web’s biggest and best online content provider.