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Yahoo! Businesses Social Networks

Entrepreneur On Yahoo/Tumblr: It's the Content Readers, Stupid 92

Posted by samzenpus
from the cost-of-doing-business dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Weighing in on Yahoo's recent acquisition of Tumblr for $1.1 billion, social networking entrepreneur Adam Rifkin argues that Tumblr is extremely valuable business property because it has successfully organized itself around the 'Interest Graph' (people interested in the same hobbies or things), rather than the 'Social Graph' (family, friends, and coworkers/colleagues, as is typical for Facebook). He opines that, for a social networking site, readers are far more important than writers; writers, after all, 'have time but no money. Certain groups are going to be overrepresented: Students, stay-at-home moms, the underemployed, retirees.' While readers are just the opposite: they 'have money but no time.... They want to see a picture of a watch they like, and buy it now.' In other words, it's the readers of the content that businesses are trying to reach. And interest graphs can be specifically targeted by businesses, much more so than social graphs."
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Entrepreneur On Yahoo/Tumblr: It's the Content Readers, Stupid

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  • by Aerynvala (1109505) on Sunday May 26, 2013 @10:56AM (#43827605) Homepage
    Tumblr is such a fast moving, weird place that finding the right things to market to the right 'readers' is not going to be as easy as all that. And a great many users are actively hostile to corporate manipulation.
    • by kk49 (829669)

      They just need data, yahoo can then process it and build up an accurate model of you. People are more honest on tumblr...

      • They are frighteningly honest on Tumblr, that's true. I'm just not sure how they're going to be able to turn that information into a selling opportunity without radically altering the interface which would drive a huge portion of the audience away.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          You can either possess Tumblr's audience or you can influence Tumblr's audience, but never both at the same time.

            - The Tumblr uncertainty principle.

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        They just need data, yahoo can then process it and build up an accurate model of you. People are more honest on tumblr...

        well what this guy is saying is that tumblr is worth so much because you can target the readers better because you know that they read a blog about cats and sexy women.

        like, no shit sherlock? but it's not stupid to think that is not actually worth a billion dollars. I mean, how many men are they going to sell lingerie to..

    • What Tumblr Would Look Like Within Yahoo’s Content (and Why It’s So Tough to Do It Right) http://blog.primal.com/2013/05/what-tumblr-would-look-like-within-yahoos-content-and-why-its-so-tough-to-do-it-right-2/ [primal.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I don't think it is right to dissociate the social graph from the interest graph. There are things (people, topics, groups...) linked by relationships. Depending of your goals you can analyze some kind of relationships and later some other kinds for other purposes. The error would be to use only the social or the interest graph. Success will be to build the analysis on the right relationships at the right time.

  • They will gather information about you on tumblr and sell ads on other sites. So this is the best route for Tumblr to become profitable without losing "street cred" (So lame that that is a business term)

    • Ah, okay...that actually makes a lot of sense. Tumblr itself isn't really suited to advertising. The 'radar' thing is a very tiny vector and easily disregarded.
      • Ah, okay...that actually makes a lot of sense. Tumblr itself isn't really suited to advertising.

        I don't disagree with the parent comment(although only as an *extra* revenue stream) to there overlords Microsoft, but a disagree with yours Why wouldn't an advertisement for cat products not be suitable for displaying on a page of long haired cats. In fact for tumblr itself it does not have to profile you *like* Microsoft and Apple do it can profile the site your watching. Like Amazon so with your shopping basket. I actually think Amazon had a missed opportunity.

        • Well most people view tumblr on their dashboard which doesn't have a lot of 'white space' for ads to slip into. I suppose ads could be inserted into your dashboard stream as if they were another blog post, but I think that would cause a serious revolt.
    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      It seems to me more that they do want to sell ads on Tumblr but then indeed highly targeted ads. Not targeting the person, but the content of the page they're reading.

      Why try to profile users, and guess what their interests may be, when you can also have the user themselves select what they indeed find intersting, and target those intersts? A user may be interested in one thing now, and in another thing later. They may be interested in something now that they were not before - and very likely to want to buy

  • by Anonymous Coward

    People who can get other people to listen to them (or to read, whatever) are called multipliers, because if you can convince or persuade one of them, they convince or persuade many for you. That's why "content is king". You don't get to the masses without the few people that the masses look up to. Of course you want to have the writers who write what is worthwhile to read. Pretty much by definition that can't be any service with millions of users.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    free pornography

  • by decora (1710862) on Sunday May 26, 2013 @11:11AM (#43827681) Journal

    im trying to figure out which color of star i should have to sew onto my sleeve when they come around asking for my papers.

    • im trying to figure out which color of star i should have to sew onto my sleeve when they come around asking for my papers.

      I keep thinking this seems to be another divide between (what used to be) Middle and working class. Whatever you call those two groups nowadays.

    • by Fwipp (1473271)

      Easy - a creator has more followers than they are following. A reader has the reverse.

    • Well, you're posting so you're definitely a writer, ergo no money lots of time. However, you're posting in response to something, so you must have read it so you're a reader, so lotsa money and no time. However, you're posting in response tosomething on slashdot, so if you follow the norm (for slashdot) you did not RTFA so you're definitely not a reader, so less money and more time?

      As to which color of star to ask, I do not think our badge system defines that as of yet. Please speak to the gamification T

      • you're definitely not a reader, so less money and more time?

        I'm still wondering... What is the label for we that have neither?

  • by roman_mir (125474) on Sunday May 26, 2013 @11:18AM (#43827719) Homepage Journal

    readers are far more important than writers

    - the "consumption economy" nonsense strikes again.

    In this case production is writing and reading is consumption. If the readers are not exchanging anything of their own for the content they consume, then the writers (producers) aren't getting anything from that trade.

    Rifkin is wrong about more than that, both, the readers and the writers are products on these sites, their information is collected and exchanged, the customers are the businesses that pay for the information.

    Has ANY reader on tumbler actually paid for anything TO tumbler? I doubt it. Just like no writer on FB paid for anything there.

    What Rifkin is confused is the reason as to why it is even possible to find investors into such business models in the first place, the reasons are not obvious at the first glance, because you have to step back and take a look at the bigger economy around. The bigger economy is massively lacking savings and investments and the business climate is destroyed. This is NOT an economy of readers, this is not even an economy of writers, this is an economy entirely based on fake money.

    The banks, the hedge funds are able to borrow fake money created by the Federal reserve at fake interest rates and they have no incentive to use that money for any productive business that will NOT generate 50 or 100 times the original investment back. So every attempt at a new social site is just a gamble.

    This market in social media development is just like the larger bond and stock markets (and other fake loan markets, like the student loan market). This is all about cheap money and lack of real business opportunities, complete lack of real savers of-course, so the only people that are still making money are those, who have access to cheap money provided by the Fed basically (through whatever intermediaries).

    This is a fake economy, those readers and writers BOTH have no money but what the fake economy is able to borrow or just steal from the dollar asset holders around the world via inflation (money printing).

    This is a fake money, gambler based economy and it is the most unstable type of economy you can imagine and it has 0 chances of growing an actual productive economy until this fake economy implodes.

    • And we should trust the musings of a dumbass Bohunk who hacks together a shitty POS system (that he won't reveal the name of because it's so shit) because ...?

    • If the readers are not exchanging anything of their own for the content they consume, then the writers (producers) aren't getting anything from that trade.

      Unless the writers want people to read their stuff. Then that's what they get.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      Nice rambling and it shows you didn't even read TFS (or lack comprehension).

      Readers are not supposed to start giving money to Tumblr. Advertisers are who bring in the money.

      The idea: some writer writes about some great album he just listened to. Reader reads it, thinks "that's cool, I want to listen to it, too". Advertiser pays tumblr to place ad at this article advertising said album, hoping that reader clicks the ad and buys the album from advertiser. Targeted advertising - back to targeting interests mor

  • by Anonymous Coward

    is who? Somebody who I've never once heard of, but paid slashdot to run his shitty adverstory? This website is a shallow husk of what it used to be.

  • by tuppe666 (904118) on Sunday May 26, 2013 @11:28AM (#43827763)

    The premise of this whole article to justify yahoo buying a Picture only wikipedia(or animated gif porn cloud collections to some) for to sell advertising on...now its become trapped as Microsoft's Gimp (yes another one...Nokia is still wearing the mask for a Billion pay off every so often).

    ...the idea that this has become wise (ignoring the bullshit words around this) is the social media is full of poor people, While people with disposable income spend times looking at pictures of kittens(or amputee porn, cars...) hobbies. Ignoring the fact that this is just one of many (popular)picture sites set up like Instagram by faceook, Photo sharing built into Microsoft Skydrive(they have even bought Webfives), or that Google has Picassa Web albums...or how they have basically added another 41 features to Google+ all about pictures(including sticking together pictures into panoramas , auto-tagging and auto-generated animated gifs). They already acquired flickr in 2005!!

    I wrote loads but changes my mond...the reality is there are not two groups. There is no rich reader vs poor writer, there may well be a measurable difference in balance of these activities between both groups ...but precious time in question means they are simply doing each activity less...rather than focusing on a hobby sites over a person interaction sites. because hobbies are something you only do if your rich with no time...and they are not as friendly as the poor people without hobbies.

    The bottom line here is there is one Yahoo story...and its the elephant in the room. Lets talk about Bitch Yahoo digging itself out from Microsoft's Heels.

  • "We" as in "my generation": the engineers who are now 35 to 50. And this is what the place has become: a mostly commercialized place, a shopping mall peddling boredom against boredom. Where does this urge to vomit come from ?
    • by geek (5680)

      The internet has become the new "idiot box" as my grandparents used to call Television. It's not all bad news though for those of us who choose to use it well. Between Google, WolframAlpha and Wikipedia we have, at our finger tips, the greatest accumulation of knowledge humankind has ever known. Using it well can and will make the difference between an idiot and a resourceful, intelligent human being.

      • The internet has become the new "idiot box"...Using it well can and will make the difference between an idiot and a resourceful, intelligent human being.

        So nothing like an idiot box then.

        • Correct - for the 0.001% who can use it wisely.

          Paradoxically, sometimes using it wisely means not using it.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 26, 2013 @11:52AM (#43827885)

      "We" as in "my generation": the engineers who are now 35 to 50.

      Sorry pal. The TCP/IP protocol stack, sockets API, and LAN technologies were developed in the '70s and early '80s. Tim Berners-Lee (present age 57) and Robert Cailliau (age 67) invented the WWW in the late '80s, partly based on SGML which was invented by IBM in the '60s. Relational databases the theory of optimization and transactions also came out of IBM in the '70s, with client/server computing added by engineers at Sybase Corp. in the '80s. I could go on but I don't have half an hour to burn.

      • by Shavano (2541114)
        Huh? Did he say they had invented TCP/IP or ethernet? Civil engineers in the 1950s didn't invent CONCRETE either. But they built the interstate highway system.
    • by godrik (1287354) on Sunday May 26, 2013 @12:00PM (#43827907)

      Every great infrastructure ends up being used massively for stupid reason. 90% of postal mail I receive is spam, but 10% is important. (YMMV). The same goes with internet.

      Drop the social network crap and funny cat pictures, and you will find again what you are looking for in the internet: a large base of knowledge and communication between people. My four most visited website are: slashdot, jeuxvideo.com (a french video game website), wikipedia and arxiv. And personnaly, I feel just fine about the internet.

  • Why not both? I'm sure a majority of people who post on /. have both time and money.
    • Why not both? I'm sure a majority of people who post on /. have both time and money.

      You must be new here. It's been made painfully obvious time and again that the writers can't read and the readers can't write.
      Do you think the editors read these comments? Did you RTFA? That's what I thought.

  • It's the stupid content readers.

    FTFY

  • Yeah, sorry, got completely turned off to social media by Facebook until I read this post. Glad someone made a site focused on information and not the monetization of user's information.

    I loathe Facebook to my very core.
  • Tumbler is popular because it has tons of free porn. I suspect that will end not because Yahoo is against porn thats far from the truth they allow porn on Flickr IF you make sure its marked properly. Thats not the case with Tumblr and they dont allow its member to report violations. Dont like the content? leave pretty much
  • The article makes the assumption that we didn't understand this already. I find it impressive that a website has figured out how to be a porn site that people are comfortable looking at wherever they are in public, at any time.
  • Those words remind me again why I stay away from all these made-up-word-lacking-a-vowel services and host my own stuff on my own server. I'm not a target. Just a hacker willing to share, but on my own terms.

    Maybe I should call it Servr to at least give it a semblance of social startup coolness...

  • by dotar (1400363)
    "readers are far more important than writers"... Who the fuck does he thinks generates site's content???

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