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David Pogue and Yahoo's "Normals" Problem 213

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the news-for-people-who-don't-care dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "In a keynote talk at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, David Pogue (Yahoo's freshly minted technology columnist) suggested that the new 'Yahoo Tech' Website — a key part of the company's latest rebranding — would be targeted at 'normal' people as opposed to 'gearheads.' Based on a map that flashed on the giant screen behind him, which showed the 'normals' clustered in the middle of the country and the 'gearheads' restricted to the coasts, it's clear that Yahoo has embraced a divisive strategy that tries to equate Yahoo's brands with some sort of mythical 'middlebrow' audience that exists within clearly defined borders. (During his presentation, Pogue also flashed a slide that made fun of competing tech-news brands: The Verge was rendered as 'The Urge,' for example, while Gizmodo became 'Gizmoody.') The problem is that rigid audience of 'normals' doesn't exist, at least not in the way that Yahoo envisions. Large numbers of well-educated technology consumers — 'gearheads,' in Pogue's parlance — exist all over the country; to say otherwise is like suggesting that Wyoming is 100 percent Republican, or that everybody who lives in Florida hates snow. In other words, Yahoo's approach to tech content isn't merely schismatic; it's willfully unaware of the variety that exists among technology fans."
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David Pogue and Yahoo's "Normals" Problem

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  • by bigjarom (950328) on Wednesday January 08, 2014 @12:36PM (#45898527) Journal
    I actually got mad while following live tweets of Pogue's talk. But then I thought, "Well, this is going to fail in few months anyway," so then I felt better.
  • I'm both. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by queazocotal (915608) on Wednesday January 08, 2014 @12:48PM (#45898661)

    As I suspect are most people.
    I'm a gearhead when considering electronic test equipment.
    I'm more of a prosumer for commodity computer hardware.
    I'm pretty normal for tablet use - I haven't even rooted my nexus 7.
    I'm well below normal about how much I care about cars and TVs.

    The notion that people care equally much about all aspects of a wide field 'tech' is barking mad.

  • Yet (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bob_super (3391281) on Wednesday January 08, 2014 @12:52PM (#45898707)

    He achieved his goal by making you talk about his company. Free ads.
    Controversy doesn't always sell, but that's the first time in weeks that anyone has talked about yahoo.

  • by OakDragon (885217) on Wednesday January 08, 2014 @01:04PM (#45898857) Journal
    That's funny, I've noticed the same except with my left-leaning friends (and extreme left-wing politics of course). I'm not trying to be facetious, it does seem that way to me. Perhaps it says more about us than them?
  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Wednesday January 08, 2014 @01:09PM (#45898899)

    Frankly they all make Slashdot look like a bastion of polite, openminded, and levelheaded people.

    Try reading Slashdot at -1. The idiotic vileness is still here, it is just hidden by the moderation system. I have never understood why more sites don't use a Slashdot like moderation system. It isn't perfect, but it is way better than an open spigot.

  • by TheCarp (96830) <sjc&carpanet,net> on Wednesday January 08, 2014 @01:23PM (#45899071) Homepage

    Yahoo actually thinks it is "targeted" at "gear heads"? ROTFL

    I know some very technical people who have worked AT yahoo. I don't know a single one that actually uses yahoo services (except occasionally for anonymous email accounts) or takes yahoo seriously in any way.

    Yahoo is already, and has been for some time, the default home page of non-technical people above the age of 50. If they are looking for a problem with their targeting it is right there in the fact that they don't realize this....this is already their audience.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 08, 2014 @01:23PM (#45899077)

    I'm not trying to be facetious, it does seem that way to me. Perhaps it says more about us than them?

    What it says is that those who are on the fringe or lean towards the extreme spectrum of <insert political, religious or other personal point of view here> are frequently proselytizing. They're also trying to find like-minded individuals so they don't feel as defensive as they do when surrounded by those who don't understand the truth about things or who haven't seen the light yet.

    Surround yourself by those who agree with you and you'll always know that you're right.

  • by Jeff Flanagan (2981883) on Wednesday January 08, 2014 @01:35PM (#45899211)
    I don't think that normal people post to those sites very often. It's the asshats that MUST impose their worldview on others that you see.

    Not even regular Conservatives are as delusional and hateful as the crazies that post under news stories and use the wingnut tags to spew far-right-wing derp to like-minded imbeciles on Twitter.

I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman