Bartz Takes the Hot Seat – Digits –

Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz in the WSJ on not divorcing Yahoo’s search and display assets in any discussions with MSFT:

Yahoo’s search and display businesses are greater than the sum of their parts, she said. The two businesses are “linked in the minds of the top 200 advertisers,” she says, noting that Yahoo’s salesforce can sell more advertising because they sell the combined concept. She also said that any deal between the two parties would have to give Yahoo access to the raw search data to enable it to optimize all its other ad offerings. “We would never debone the company,” she said.”

This is reaffirming the obvious — that search and display advertising are inseparable and enhance each other’s yields. Looked upon at large, Yahoo’s value pitch is around the targeted of its tier one display inventory — the Yahoo sales team spins a compelling vision of targeting and detection of consumer intentions much better than their counterparts at MSN or Google.  But … (big but), Yahoo search is not regarded as the defacto standard to the extent Google is (though it certainly beats Microsof’t’s efforts like a drum).

To revive Yahoo search I think the company needs to make an overt engineering committment to improving the quality of its SERP (search engine result pages) and make a convincing argument that its “black box” has attributes that distinguish it from Google. Until Yahoo can turn itself into a verb, it will hobble along, strong in a weak medium — banner ads, but weak in a strong medium, paid search.

The best asset they have going for them: reach. We did a big push through Yahoo during the last week of the Olympics and the results were impressive and the buy, for all its global complexity, amazingly efficient (thanks to Neo@Ogilvy and their fast moves to nail down availabile inventory).

via Bartz Takes the Hot Seat – Digits –

John Chambers: Broadband Speeds Our Economy

Chambers, the CEO of Cisco opines on GigaOM about the necessity of provisioning true broadband as part of the Obama economic stimulus package. Just as I am in favor of a big investment in high speed rail, I am definitely in favor of a high speed data highway for the country.

Chambers writes:

“If 100 Mbps at home seems ambitious, consider this: Japan and South Korea are already reaching that level. According to a forthcoming research paper by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, South Korea — a country with 1/6th the population of the United States — has almost as much Internet traffic. That’s because they’re already operating at average speeds of 49 Mbps.

In the U.S., ITIF projects that high-speed connections to the home would increase the number of telecommuters to 19 million by 2012. That would save 1.5 billion hours of commute time — and reduce gasoline consumption by 5 percent. It is a green technology, one that can help us kick our oil habit.”

I have telecommuted since 1988 when I started the New England bureau of a national magazine in my Boston bedroom. From 9600 bps Hayes Compatibility to my present DSL connection courtesy of Verizon (and as the first residential ISDN account on Cape Cod way back in the early early 90s), I would dearly love a surfeit of bits flowing my way. Would faster connections mean an economic boon for an economically challenged hinterland like Cape Cod? To some extent — and it certainly would change the nature of the upper Cape from arduous commuter bedroom community to a more normal residential cast with white collar types working from home for Fidelity rather than clogging Route 3 with their Camry’s.

Chambers doesn’t cite the set-aside in the stimulus plan for broadband. I need to go dig that out.

via John Chambers: Broadband Speeds Our Economy.