Microsoft to Eat Up Yahoo!?

I was just reading about the possibility of a friendly takeover of Yahoo! by Microsoft.

My first reaction was one of amazement, not only at the action but the dollar figure attached to it: potentially $50 billion. But, as I think more about it, and reading other people’s comments, what comes to mind is: for the first time in quite a while, the playing field may level since Google started turning into the 900-pound gorilla it is now.

What will happen to the Yahoo! products we’ve learned to love (Flickr, del.icio.us, Yahoo! Mail) after a takeover by MS? If they are smart, hopefully they’ll cross-breed with existing “equivalent” MS products, to bring in better and friendlier web practices.

On a side note, how’s this for interesting news too? Buried within an announcement made by Yahoo! yesterday, they leaked that “Flickr will ‘soon’ allow users to upload videos in addition to photos.”

I cannot agree more with the statement Business 2.0 makes about this move: “The comments most people leave [in YouTube] are unintelligent. Flickr users, on the other hand, have more to say, and are more active in adding notes, comments, and tags to other people’s photos.”

YouTube, Google:
Better shape up! šŸ™‚

Thoughts, anybody?

Web 2.0 and Democracy

I just learned about a fascinating initiative involving celebrity blogger Jeff Jarvis, who recently set up a YouTube channel called PrezConference, to provide a platform for people to ask video questions to presidential wannabes and get them to (hopefully) answer them. It remains to be seen (as of today) how it turns out, but the sole idea deserves credit as one that is spinning Web 2.0 on itself in the benefit of democracy.

Here’s his invitation video:

Google Sued For $1 Billion

Google got sued today by Viacom, for $1 billion.

Viacom alleges that about 160,000 unauthorised clips of its programmes have been loaded onto YouTube’s site and viewed more than 1.5 billion times.

This happens at an interesting time, not too long after Joost’s deal with Viacom, and it’s the first interesting lawsuit (there were other minor ones) to knock on Google’s door, since they acquired YouTube last year.

More to come, I am sure… at the very least, more time spent on Google’s side to try to filter things better before they go live. Or not?

Maybe, if it makes more sense (who knows!) for them to settle, than to pay people (or design AI systems to analyze content prior to going live), they may just choose to keep doing things they way they have been doing them: reacting after the fact.