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Yahoo to Google: We’ve Got PhDs, Too! August 25, 2006

Posted by David Card in Media.

The Journal’s Page One story on Yahoo about its hiring of academics (groan) correctly identifies three things Yahoo needs to boost — return on paid search, social media, and video — but doesn’t connect the dots. Instead, it mostly talks about behavioral targeting, which Yahoo is pretty good at.

    (Yahoo data chief Usama) Fayyad (one of Revenue Science’s founders) and (science project leader Prabhakar) Raghavan agreed Yahoo Research would tackle just a handful of areas, including search, the interaction of users online and an artificial-intelligence field known as machine learning, which involves analyzing past data to learn about the future. “The intent isn’t to gaze at the skies,” says Mr. Raghavan, 45.

Or maybe it’s Yahoo that isn’t connecting the dots.

On the other hand, the story ends by touching on some potentially game-changing social interaction research that I’ve heard dribs and drabs about. Namely, fine-tuning reputation- and credibility-economies, the kind of thing that might actually make Yahoo Answers worth something.

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