December 08, 2006

Speculation: MetaCafe to be Acquired

By Li Evans

Metacafelogo Via Techcrunch and YNetNews, there's a bunch of rumors and speculation that the Tel Aviv company, MetaCafe is about to be acquired for $200 million.  Interestingly enough the company in speculation to acquire MetaCafe is CBS.  If you can remember, CBS just went on and on about how their ratings were helped by YouTube just a few weeks ago.

These rumors were swirling right around the Google / YouTube (GooTube, GoogTube) acquisition, but apparently lost steam until now.  The smaller version of Goo-Tube is not as well known by the masses, however, prior to all the GooTube love, it was bigger than YouTube a while ago.  MetaCafe is loved by the more "indie" masses.  A lot of bloggers in the scifi comunities, forum writers and fan sites gush over MetaCafe, so as you can tell it has an entirely different sort of audience and community than YouTube.

If you'd like to follow the story check out these aggregators:

December 02, 2006

Speculation: Hitwise Up For Sale

By Li Evans

Hitwiselogo Just came across an interesting tidbit of news, and you can bet it will be the cause of some buzz out at SES Chicago.  Hitwise is speculated to be up for sale for about $350 million.  Bill Tancer is probably Hitwise's most recognizable face.  He's always out there at conferences and on his blog with great tidbits of information that demonstrate just how powerful Hitwise is.

This should be an interesting item to keep an eye on.  With Hitwise's recent strides into the market space once dominated by comScore and Neilsen, they have certainly made a name for themselves as the place to go to get "true traffic" number and "competitive traffic data" for your own market space.

Update:  This story seems to be picking up steam:  TailRank, Telegraph, Techmeme

November 26, 2006

Speculation: PR Newswire To Get Bid From Apax

By Li Evans

Pr_newswire_logo Rafat Ali at has an article speculating the PR Newswire is about to get a billion dollar bid from Apax.  Apax is the company that acquired Incisive Media (who runs the Search Engine Strategies conferences) and took them from public to a private company.  Currently PR Newswire is owned by by UK-based B2B firm United Business Media (UBM).

I marked this headline as speculation, as right now, although it was reported in the UK Sunday Times, UBM is keeping tight lipped on this "rumor" and telling Reuters "there are currently no discussions."  Prweb_logo This is definitely something Public Relations professionals should be keeping an eye on, especially after the recent (August 2006) acquisition of PRWeb by Vocus.  The area of press releases and the web is about to become a pretty interesting place.

November 19, 2006

Can Peanut Butter Help Yahoo! Stop Shooting Itself In The Foot?

By Li Evans

Yahoologo Normally it's Google that has the blogosphere churning, but this weekend Yahoo!'s at the center of the bubbling cauldron of user generated content (ucg as blogging is being termed).  First it was firings, then it was voluntary "leaving", then acquisitions and then not acquisitions, and now leaked memos talking of peanut butter.  It is probably leaving a lot in the industry scratching their heads and wondering what the heck is up with Yahoo! and how long before its CEO, Terry Semel either addresses the issues publicly, voluntarily leaves or is ceremoniously booted to the curb for someone else.

Garlinghouse Probably the most damning of all the hub-bub going on right now is what's being dubbed by the Wall Street Journal as the "Peanut Butter Manifesto."  Yes, as bizarre as it sounds, a leaked internal memo written by Brad Garlinghouse, a senior VP at Yahoo!, has him comparing Yahoo!'s use of its internal resources to spreading peanut butter too thinly over a slice of bread.  Although only the insiders within Yahoo! can be the ones who can really attest to that, I found something further down in the memo that hit home.

Back in October, Yahoo! announced a new bookmarks tool, and that's when it really just hit me as I thought "But What About"  I wasn't alone in that thought - Rand over at was thinking the same thing too, of course I had to ask him if he was reading my mind.  The point is, people were already starting to ask this question - "Why Does Yahoo! Compete With Itself?", maybe it's better stated as "Why Does Yahoo! Constantly Shoot Itself In The Foot?"  Garlinghouse goes on to point out the following internal Yahoo! competitions:

  • Shootyourfoot YME vs. Musicmatch
  • Flickr vs. Photos
  • YMG video vs. Search video
  • vs. myweb
  • Messenger and plug-ins vs. Sidebar and widgets
  • Social media vs. 360 and Groups
  • Front page vs. YMG
  • Global strategy from BU vs. Global strategy from Int'l

I'd compare a few different ones to each other, but I think the point is made that Yahoo!'s really got some identity issues it has to fix.  Those identity issues as a whole are probably the biggest factors holding it back from gaining any market share from Google.  With Google - you know its a Google product, and its rare that it does what Yahoo! has, where it makes acquisitions but doesn't integrate them as Yahoo! branded products.

The senior execs at Yahoo! would really benefit by taking a closer look at what Garlinghouse is  detailing - maybe if they stopped competing with own internal teams, it could pull it all together and actually truly compete with Google instead of themselves.

October 16, 2006

Great Speculation - Who Should By Yahoo!

By Li Evans

Yahoo Now before anyone runs off with any rumors, this is merely speculation on the A VC blog by Fred Wilson.  I found it very insightful and actually learned a little along the way.  It's really neat to see how a VC's mind can strategize and offer up this type of speculation.

The interesting thing I pulled from this, is that there is only a few players that can pull this type of acquisition off:  Comcast, AT&T, Newscorp, and Yahoo!'s two biggest competitor's Google and MSN.  The most fascinating of the comments I've read on the blog post were the suggestions of Google being a suitor.

I wouldn't doubt that buying Yahoo! has crept into the minds of Gates and Balmer, but what about Brin, Paige, & Schmidt?  Google and Yahoo! have very similar cultures and Yahoo! has some great strength's that Google could really harness and take to the next level.  I just see the speculation of MSN buying Yahoo! more as ... MSN buying them to try and catch up with Google. 

After all the Yahoo! bashing across the Search Industry the last two weeks, I really have this feeling something is coming up for Yahoo!  Something good.  Call it my "Spidey Senses", if you must, but before year's end I wouldn't be surprised to hear something major coming out of Sunnyvale, CA.

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