I’m a little bit late to the discussion around the shutting down selling of Delicious but I’ve taken the time to think through exactly why this move is so strange.
Yahoo! has come out firmly as a content company. They want to produce and package information to be consumed by the masses of internet users. If we applied a Technographics profile to their ideal audience it would be Spectators.
Now the interesting thing about being successful at creating content; you need to produce information that enough people want to engage with. Ideally you need to have a finger on the pulse of society before society knows that they really want to learn about.
The best way to find out that information is to crowd source it. Essentially take advantage of a thousands of people who are curating the web and identifying trends as they become trends.
See where I’m going with this? Delicious provides Yahoo! (and anyone else for that matter) with real time information about what people are finding interesting and what to know more about. For a media company this information should be incredibly valuable.
And this is why Yahoo!’s decision to divest themselves of Delicious is so confusing. They’re throwing out their best research tool; information they paid nothing for and which they can easily monetize around. However because you can’t make money off the raw materials they ignore the potential when its combined with other arms of the business.
Maybe I’m overly pessimistic, but is this the beginning of the end for crowd-sourced information gathering?