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Blake Jorgensen, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Tim Cadogan of Yahoo! to Present at Thomas Weisel Partners Conference

Yahoo! to present at the Thomas Weisel Partners Technology, Telecom, and Internet Conference

Blake Jorgensen, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Tim Cadogan, SVP, Search, Listings, and Display Marketplaces will present at the Thomas Weisel Partners Technology, Telecom, and Internet Conference. The presentation will take place on Wednesday, February 6, 2008 at 3:30pm ET / 12:30pm PT

A live webcast of the presentations will be available on the Investor Relations website at:

Welcome back Blake!

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The Yahoo! Rumor That Just Won’t Go Away…

So Michael Arrington got put on the spot on Fox Business News and the age old Microsoft/Yahoo! merger rumor resurfaced. It’s almost as frequent as a Rick Roll YouTube video link.

I’ve written before about how this Microsoft rumor, which dates back to the days of Terry Semel, seems less likely to me than other alternatives such as ATT. Not that it’s even a likely event with the right management moves.

So Dave, why do you think this? Well, it’s commonplace for companies to have long standing alliances before merging. Yesterday, Yahoo! sent out this little noticed press release which stated the following.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), the nation’s No. 1 wireless and broadband provider, and Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO), a leading global Internet company, today announced a new multi-year strategic alliance that paves the way for an even richer and more innovative online experience for consumers – whether at home or on the go.

This doesn’t mean a Microsoft merger is impossible, I just can’t see a scenario where AT&T isn’t given a chance to match it or initiate it based on 7 years of partnership history.

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Plaxo 3.0 Problems

I was prompted to install this during my last use of Outlook. I’m extremely sorry that I did. Without my authorization, it downloaded my Linkedin profiles apparently through it’s new integration and created hundreds of duplicate entries with different email addresses. (Most people don’t have the same email address in Linkedin as they do at their business for a variety of reasons.) Anyone with a clue knows this, how did this get programmed this way?

Unfortunately, the one contact I had at Plaxo, Mark Jen, has left to join Tagged.

Someone from Plaxo needs to get in touch with me and rectify this problem and/or revert me to a previous version that I trust. I’m not very happy with you right now at all Plaxo, but I had previously found it’s service useful. The changing of the logo along with this is really destructive to their brand. I hope they do the right thing and fix this and give me a free dedupe for this incredibly foolish action on their part.

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Jim Lanzone Leaves Ask to Join Redpoint Ventures as Entrepreneur in Residence

Rustybrick reports that Jim Safka has taken over as CEO of and that Jim Lanzone has joined Redpoint Ventures as an entrepreneur in residence. Some point to the recent increase traffic at traffic and ask why? It’s hard to tell exactly what terms Jim left under, nevertheless it’s great to see that he either left on his own or was given time to set up this new gig at Redpoint Ventures (if so class move by Mr. Diller). I promise not to overload you with business plan ideas right away but hey reach out to me via phone sometime soon…

In theory, the email admin guy only has to change the email account password – but time will tell there. 🙂

Mr. Safka is notable as the first Top 10 MBA executive of a major search engine (someone correct me if I’m wrong on this) and he gets points in my book for having spent time in Chicago as well as his Top 10 MBA is from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

IAC / gave full text bios of Mr. Safka and other executive appointments:

Jim Safka has been named CEO of Effective immediately, he will oversee’s global operations. He will also continue in his role as CEO of Primal Ventures, a new-venture entity that identifies seeds and incubates business opportunities for IAC.

Mr. Safka, 39, served as CEO of from 2004 to 2006. Under his leadership, the company grew revenue and operating income before amortization at an annual rate of 25% and 52% respectively. Today, has more than 15 million members in 35 countries. Prior to, he held senior management roles at AT&T Wireless and E*TRADE Financial Corporation, and brand and product management positions at Intuit, Alberto-Culver, Inc., Warner Bros. Inc., and Paramount Pictures. Mr. Safka holds an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a BS in accounting from the University of Southern California.

Scott Garell has been named President of, where he will report to Mr. Safka and manage daily business operations worldwide. Since 2005, Mr. Garell has been CEO of IAC Consumer Applications & Portals. Under his leadership the Consumer Applications and Portals businesses (including Fun Web Products, Portals, Evite and Pronto) have grown by 74% in the past 3 years.

Prior to his role as CEO of IAC Consumer Applications & Portals, Mr. Garell, 42, served as Executive Vice President of domestic sites and search, where he managed the division’s destination sites (, iWon, and My Way), as well as the optimization of its proprietary information retrieval technologies and products across all brands. Mr. Garell joined IAC Search & Media in April 2004 as Senior Vice President of Marketing. Formerly, Mr. Garell served in senior roles at Computer Associates, Citysearch and Clorox. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree in political economy from the University of California at Berkeley.

John Park will replace Mr. Garell and is named President of IAC Consumer Applications and Portals, which includes Smiley Central, Webfetti, Zwinky, My Fun Cards, CursorMania, Popular Screensavers,, iWon, and My Way. Mr. Park is currently Executive Vice President and General Manager of Toolbars and Portals at IAC Consumer Applications & Portals and has served in various senior management roles in the company since 1999. Under his leadership, the Fun Web Products Business has become one of the fastest growing businesses at IAC.

Mr. Park, 38, joined IAC Search; Media from Interactive Search Holdings, which he joined in 1999 as Group Vice President of Product Management and where he was responsible for the original development of and, as well as the revamping of following the 2001 acquisition of the brand from @Home. Prior to ISH, Mr. Park held senior product development and management roles at Ameritrade, Prodigy Services and New York Web. He earned a BS in Information Systems and Management from New York University.

Peter Horan, CEO of IAC Media and Advertising since January 2007, will continue to oversee IAC Advertising Solutions as well as Evite, Pronto, IAC Mobile and Ask Sponsored Listings.

Mr. Horan, 52, has spent more than 30 years in media and advertising. As CEO of he pioneered the company’s turnaround and its sale to The New York Times Company. He served as President & CEO of, an Internet media company that was later acquired by JupiterMedia Corporation. Mr. Horan spent 10 years at International Data Group, a global technology media company, where he spearheaded relationships with top advertisers and served as Senior Vice President and Publisher of Computerworld. Prior to that, he spent more than 15 years in senior account management roles at leading advertising agencies, including BBDO and Ogilvy & Mather.

I look forward to meeting and learning about all these new senior executives and their plans. Good luck to Jim Lanzone, Jim Safka and everyone else in their new roles.

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How To Do YouTube Video View Optimization Part 1

Looking around the net this political season, it’s amazing to see the number of conversations I’m seeing that discuss YouTube Video View Optimization in non-SEO communities. It’s a unique ecosystem with distinctly different rules and people figuring out how to optimize the current system. It would be impossible to summarize all of the things I’ve witnessed, so this is a summary that is a work in process and I welcome your contributions and discussion.

There are three primary prizes you are shooting for:

1) Becoming a “featured video” on the Youtube homepage.

This is apparently an internal process at YouTube and the system is not transparent. Andy Mckee’s “Drifting” was added to the Youtube featured videos after thousands of views, while Mike Huckabee eating a hamburger named after him in NH yesterday was added when it had zero views. One thing is clear, being featured on the YouTube front page can provide rocket fuel for perpetual viral status. For example, Andy Mckee’s “Drifting” now has 10,000,000+ views.

2 ) Ranking well on the any other social, tagging or metadata metric.

Most Viewed, Most Discussed, Top Favorites are all categories accessible within one click of the home page. The later two categories have been dominated lately by supporters of Ron Paul who have been actively doing the work necessary to get their videos featured. Each of these has subcategories to think about when you chose a category, tags and content wording – Autos & Vehicles, Comedy, Education, Entertainment, Film & Animation, How to & Style, Music, News & Politics, People & Blogs, Pets & Animals, Science & Technology, Sports, Travel & Events and Watch on Mobile. Do you have a community to mobilize?

3) It’s not a complete one to one correlation, but videos with higher views, comments and favorites tend to be the ones featured in Google universal search results.

This can keep the viral traffic going to that video long after the YouTube event. Critics would note that this creates an echo chamber effect that is as entrenched as a Wikipedia page.

OK, how do I do this?

– Start with making quality content that creates passion.

– Start with standard SEO of your video content.

– Build links via best practices – consult these expert entries on how to optimize for: StumbleUpon, Digg,, link to the videos on blogs etc.

– If you have a community get them to view the YouTube video content, favorite it, rate it and comment on it in a tightly clustered time frame.

I’d also experiment with some new tools such as:

Tubemogul (thanks to Karl Long for the suggestion)

Video Sitemaps – though it’s not clear whether that is only for self-hosted videos.

For the gray hats out there:

– Tags appear to be valued highly in YouTube’s current search relevancy process. Yet unless a viewer clicks to see all of the content the tags will never be seen.

– After a video is popular on YouTube, you can edit the category and get it to rank in a new category using the traffic that was built in a different vertical. This tactic surprised me in that I did not know you could change the video after publishing in that manner, though I’m surprised by how well it works. Please keep in mind this only works for videos with existing high traffic.

There is an amazingly thin amount of content on this subject, I’d highly welcome other people’s thoughts on the subject for inclusion and expansion of this research to date. But for now I hope this serves as a useful guide to you for your YouTube video view optimization!

UPDATE 1/16 – this has been translated and expanded upon in German!

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Yahoo! Launches Go 3.0 Beta, New Open Mobile Widget Platform, and Mobile Homepage

Yahoo! Go has several exciting announcements that are launching today:

· Yahoo! Go 3.0 beta:
o New features include:
§ Enhanced user interface, optimized for the mobile phone
§ Improved performance
§ For the first time, consumers will have access to third-party widgets from leading publishers through Yahoo! Go.
o Yahoo! Go 3.0 also includes display advertising from Yahoo!’s major global advertisers. Consumers will be able to interact with these ads by clicking to call the advertiser directly or to learn more about the offer.

· New Open Mobile Widget Platform:
o The platform is an open environment for deverlopers to create mobile Widgets for instant access by millions of consumers.
o Widgets created on the Mobile Widget Platform will be available to consumers from various starting points, including Yahoo! Go 3.0 and Yahoo!’s new mobile homepage.
o The platform will enable developers to write code once and publish their content across Yahoo!’s mobile network, allowing accelerated delivery of a feature-rich mobile experience.
o The platform will enable consumers more control over their experience, as well, by providing the functionality to add and delete Widgets at any time.
o Full-featured SDK for developers to be introduced over the coming weeks.
o Third-party Widget launch partners include, eBay, MySpace, and MTV.

· Redesigned Mobile Homepage
o New features:
§ Completely redesigned and engineered mobile interface from the ground up.
§ Homepage centers around intuitive navigational structure where consumers can tailor content according to needs, interests and location.
§ Available to consumers in the United States on high-end mobile browsers, which are included in devices such as the Apple iPhone, sever Nokia Seies 60 devices, including the N95, and select Windows Mobile devices. Availability across additional devices and countries to come in the near future.
o Key features:
§ Personal Vitality and Status Updates: Provides an at-a-glance update of what’s new since the last visit – including recent emails, Flickr photos from your friends, upcoming calendar appointments and status of Messenger contacts – without moving away from the home screen or logging into a separate application.
§ Customizable Content: Offers a collection of mobile content modules – or Snippets – that provide previews of the user’s favorite content – news headlines, weather conditions, etc – whatever the user wants. In many cases, Snippets are extensions of mobile widgets and can be used to launch a full-featured widget built on Yahoo!’s Mobile Widget Platform.
§ Quick Links: Customizable links at the bottom of the page, providing fast access to the Yahoo! features or sites across the Internet that consumers use the most. Consumers can easily add and remove Quick Links as they desire.

That’s alot to digest! Will 2008 be the year mobile breaks through?