Investing

Watching Yahoo Go Under

You don’t have to be a financial analyst or even know anything about the condition of the company to know that Yahoo and many other well known Internet domains won’t be around much longer.  They lack the common sense God gave little green apples.  Oddly enough, the one person the supposedly knowing “industry analysts” <cough> <cough> <hack> <hack> have been saying should step aside as CEO has figured it out.  While I don’t use Facebook, I must hand it to Mr. Zuckerberg, because he finally smelled the fresh brewed tea (coffee is for life’s losers.)

A recent article in Time magazine about Mr. Zuckerberg has stated facebook created a shiny new lab which has only 2G available in it and a host of older equipment to test everything on.  Why?  Because _that_ is the true normal.  Less than 2% of the world’s population actually has high speed Internet.  A few densely populated areas have high speed without data limits, everybody else doesn’t.  A large percentage of the human population has access to 2G or better wireless and never bothers to connect to the Internet.  A smaller, but still dramatic portion of the human population has actual sucky dial-up speeds even with their “high speed” connection.  Adding insult to injury that connection comes with severe data limits.  Cell carriers are yacking about 10 Gig to share plans this holiday season, but that is nothing.  If you try to use most of the services now being marketed, especially if more than one device is involved, you would inhale that 10Gig inside of the first week.

Here-in lies the reason most dot-bomb names will not survive.  You, the people with sucky Internet connections and limited data plans, that’s right, the BULK of the human population, already see this.  Dumb-ass sites like Yahoo and others are constantly pumping video at you.  Not only do you have to be careful on which “news article” you click on since every other one turns out to be an advertisement in disguise, but, when you do manage to find an actual article on that site, it dumps multiple video feeds at you.  There will be a big one at the top which may or may not be the same thing you are trying to read below.  You don’t know unless you wait for the viciously annoying advertisement to play.  While that is playing there will be 1-6 advertising video feeds on the sides.  By the time you manage to click pause on each of those horribly annoying players you are so pissed you don’t even care about the article anymore.  Adding insult to injury, it appears those things keep streaming even after you hit pause.  I guess that is “just in case” you decide to play them through.  It certainly couldn’t be simply to juice the advertising revenue stream, could it?  The final humiliating kick to the crotch comes when part way through actually reading the article you wanted to read, one or more of those (^)*(&^(*)&)_*(&ing video ads you paused will just start playing again!!!

It’s no secret why Yahoo and other Internet portals are going under.  Just visit their site!  These sites are built requiring Internet capabilities only available to 2% of the human population and the population which can use them keeps getting narrower as they pump more and more out.

The truly unbelievable aspect of this is that MyHughesnet.com, the ONE company which should understand slow Internet connections with viciously limited data plans because that’s what they actually sell, has started pushing the same kinds of video and advertising cloaked as news stories.  Even more frustrating is their organization.  There will be a grid of large pictures with large font and not enough text to really tell you what the picture is supposed to be.  Scroll down to see the exact same list of things in a grid with smaller pictures and smaller text and just as useless.  It would be far more efficient to have even tinier pictures off to the side (if at all) leaving the full width for descriptive text.

I’m beginning to think there will be one real winner about 2 years from now when roughly 85% of the human population will be on the Internet and 84% of it will have sucky limited connections because that is the reality.  I don’t know _who_ the winner will be, but I do know _what_ they will be.  An actual news organization, not Fox, CNN, MSNBC, or any other political fronts, but actual news organization which just reports and doesn’t bring in talking heads to provide opinion and spin.  (You’ve lost all credibility as a journalist the second you bring in your first commentator or opinion panel.)  The Web site for this organization will have ONLY TEXT AND A SPARSE NUMBER OF SMALL PICTURES.  Even the advertising will be text.  NO AUDIO AND NO VIDEO.  The text will scale well on all devices and will provide snappy response time even on sucky Internet connections.

The service will not need to be free.  Quite honestly I think they could have a “free” portion which had oceans of ads and for a small annual fee, say $20/year (okay, $19.95 if you are targeting the Ginzu-II steak knife crowd) in first world countries trailing down to $5/year in the fourth world countries.  For your subscription you would see ONE advertisement per page, no more.  You would be able to pick and choose what categories of news you see, including the content of the “latest news” blurbs.  If all you cared about was weather and financial news, that would be all you saw.  Nothing about sports or the Kardashians or how the Republicans are wasting tax dollars and people’s time YET AGAIN in another failed attempt to de-fund Obamma Care.

This type of portal business would be good for all timezones.  Allowing each person to configure EXACTLY what they want to see means customers avoid frustration and the site avoids translation overhead for things nobody reading a given language cares about.  I mean, seriously, just how “big” could the Kardashians be in Uganda or Tibet?  The portal would need to pull from trusted news source, not Fox, MSNBC, or CNN, but sources deliberately avoiding talking heads, commentators, and spin doctors.  Now, if someone _chooses_ “Entertainment” then by all means, those source can go in that feed, just not the news feeds.  There are still some trusted news sources, thankfully, so the portal won’t starve for content.

I don’t know of such a portal yet.  I do know that such a portal will be the one which wins.  Why?  Do the math.  If your site works well on heritage cell phones and dumb phones (they are not smart, they are dumb) YOU are already available to all the new Internet users.  Within about 2 years roughly 85% of the human population will have access to 2G Internet and simplistic devices to use it.  If there are 7 billion people on the planet and you manage to get 1 billion of them to pay you $5/year so they can wake up every morning checking the weather and headlines, that isn’t chump change.  If your service can also send them email about severe weather approaching their location as a bonus, you have even more of a selling point.

Should anyone know of such a site please let me know.  I’m sick of what is available for free.  I’m sick of all the forced video/audio and advertising.  I’m looking for this site right now, and I’m not alone.  Don’t be surprised if Mr. Zuckerberg either launches or buys a site just like this.  He has already seen the problem and built a lab to test it.  Internet.org is developing a free app which may very well provide such things, I haven’t read about the app itself.  I will be shocked if the app doesn’t include some form of severe weather notification.  It doesn’t matter which way your door swings or what your political affiliations are, if there is a monsoon, tornado, hurricane, etc. less than an hour away and coming hard, you want to know.