Well, give points to Yahoo for recognizing — or to Terry Semel for forcing Lloyd Braun to recogize — the mistake of trying to ape old media on the internet. Braun, who seemed determined to build a Hollywood studio — a Time Warner without pesky print — recanted the strategy in an interview with Saul Hansel.
Indeed, Mr. Braun said yesterday that the way to keep users on Yahoo’s site longer — and thus be able to show them more advertising — was to offer ways they can create their own content and look at content created by others. He pointed to the site Yahoo built for the 2006 Winter Olympics, which prominently featured photographs from Flickr, Yahoo’s photo-sharing site, along with articles both by news agencies and by a few columnists exclusive to Yahoo.
“I now get excited about user-generated content the way I used to get excited about thinking about what television shows would work,” he said….
“Original content is the salt and pepper on the meal,” he said. “It is certainly not the engine driving this.”
He acknowledged that coming off developing ABC programs like “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives,” he had overly grand expectations for what he should do at Yahoo.
“I realized I have to check my ego at the door for a moment, and forget whatever expectations people had about me because of my former life, and really take a hard look at who should this business be built for the long term — a business that is not dependent on a series of expensive one-off’s to survive,” he said. Jordan Rohan, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets, said Yahoo’s shift in strategy was sound. “Embracing things like blogs and sharing of content between individuals” is at least as important as “coming up with the next mega-online event,” he said. “The Internet is such a niche content environment that the broadcast model does not really work.”
Emphasis mine. It’s as if Umair Haque consulted for them and they got it: This is not a medium made by blockbusters. Neither is it a medium made by content — “user-generated” (ugh) or otherwise. It is a medium of connections.
And somebody should wake up Valleywag to restart the Braun departure speculation.