Digital Download 5/5/08

Hope you all enjoyed the spectacular weather we had this weekend.
Here’s this week’s digital download and don’t forget to have a cerveza in honor of Cinco De Mayo!


For those who have been keeping up with the Microsoft/Yahoo saga, shocking news came last Saturday when Microsoft announced its bid withdrawal. Apparently Microsoft’s increased offer of $33 per share wasn’t good enough for Yahoo’s $37 per share minimum. Some experts have speculated that this is just another one of Microsoft's tactics to have Yahoo eventually come crawling back. Others say, Yahoo is now scrambling to make a deal with Google despite its weakened negotiation leverage. The backlash of the weekend news has Yahoo shares trading around $23 this morning which equates to about $14 billion that was left on the table. The progress of social and digital media is largely influenced upon Yahoo’s future.


According to a new cross-platform Internet measurement Nielsen report, Mobile Internet extends the audience reach of many leading Internet sites by an average of 13% over home PC traffic alone. The particular categories of weather and entertainment can have a greater, extended reach. Take AccuWeather.com for example: the site received a 43% audience lift from mobile Internet users. “The data demonstrate that the mobile Internet can not only increase the frequency of visits to a web site, but also grow the overall size of the pie,” said Jeff Herrmann, vice president of Mobile Media for Nielsen Mobile. “Publishers can now monetize their total cross-platform audience, and advertisers will better understand the efficiency and incremental value of mobile Web traffic.”


Bring back the spirit of the 80’s with that mixtape madness and make your own personalized compilations to share and compare your music taste. This time around, you can do it all online. Muxtape is a free service which allows any user to upload songs in order to create a sharable, online digital 'mix tape.' The mixes aren’t embeddable, but the links can be shared with anyone, and muxtapes are available for public access. The only downsides to this service are that users aren’t allowed to upload multiple songs from the same album, artist, or songs they don’t have permission to let Muxtape use. Are there legal issues involved? Kinda. In using muxtape’s service, you’re acknowledging that muxtape has permission to use the songs you upload. And, you can only create one muxtape.


Yoono, a social bookmarking tool which already boasts 1 million users, is coming out of private beta and offering only a few invites to the public. Yoono acts as a browser add-on that lets you chat and share items with friends instantly, offers recommendations as you browse the web and enables you to update your status across various networks and bookmark items. Yoono has a sophisticated capability that allows users to dig down into his or her friends’ content across networks and stream content. Yoono’s widget compiles all updates from Twitter, Facebook, Piczo, Flickr, and Friendfeed, and displays them in a scrollable list. The most useful is “Discoveries”, a widget that analyzes the pages you visit and presents a number of relevant tags and related sites, along with a list of Yoono users who share similar interests. “Web Notes” acts as a collaboration tool that lets you drag images, text, and video into the side bar for future reference or sharing with friends.


Today, the Associated Press launched location-targeted mobile news for the iPhone. Several big news corporations are on board with the new AP service that promises to deliver local news from participating member newspapers and national and international news which will be organized by zip code. AP’s global product development director, Jeffrey Litvack says the Mobile News Network would offer easier access to local news stories than Google or Yahoo’s mobile news services.


Wow, Microsoft Walks Away

I was blown away from yesterday's news of the status of Microsoft/Yahoo's bidding war. I have been predicting over the past few months that Yahoo would put aside its pride and see the benefits of a merge with Microsoft and succumb to its offer. Apparently, even after Microsoft raised its bid to $33 a share (which in itself was not was predicted) Yahoo's CEO Yang wouldn't accept less than $37. Come on, does $4/share make that much of a deal breaker? I guess it does enough for Yahoo to stubbornly hold ground and Microsoft to pout and withdraw its bid.

Some experts have speculated that this is just another one of Microsoft's tactics to have Yahoo eventually come crawling back. Others say, Yahoo is now scrambling to make a deal with Google despite its weakened negotiation leverage. The shareholders are fuming mad since most were more than happy to settle for Microsoft's $33/share offer. What is the fate of Yahoo? Whatever they decide to do, there's little chance they'll have the opportunity again to be in a respectful power of position as a major competitor.