KUMO, WOO and WTF

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Launching something on the web with a three or four letter word can be a great idea if you have the chutzpah and marketing muscle to explain it to the world AND it catches on like wildfire. But the latter is hard to control. Case in point, Yahoo announced WOO to world last week with mixed response. WOO, Yahoo explains, stands for Web Of Objects. WOO has been under the radar for two years is Yahoo’s attempt at making search less about searching for words or pages and more about searching for meaning. In a press release Prabhakar Ragahavan, who oversees Yahoo’s search strategy said, “We need to move away from a Web of pages to a Web of objects.”   A lot of people disagree with this and think that Google does a fine job with search and the only way to improve it is for Yahoo to partner with Microsoft and give Google some competition. In a  recent CNN article, Nicholas Carlson, editor at Silicone Alley Insider, states that “holding an event and telling reporters the future is “WOO” and spitting our jargon-y white board stuff like “Web of objects” isn’t going to move the needle for Yahoo or its shareholders. Merging its search advertisers with Microsoft’s and driving up prices in cost-per-click keyword auctions, however, might do the trick.” Ouch. Also check out Kumo, Microsoft’s under-the-radar overhaul of their Live search, codenamed Kumo. OK, at least it’s still a code name and not really intended for the public to see (or was it). You can learn more about this top-secret Microsoft leak right here. Enjoy, and keep on kumo-wooing.

Enzo F. Cesario

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