Image via CrunchBase
by Frank Reed
I’m not even sure what to make of this one. Yahoo has announced that on July 6th they will be releasing the “Yahoo! Style Guide” for online writing. This is Yahoo. You know, the same company that talks up how it will still be a search company despite not actually doing search anymore after Bing fully assimilates the Yahoo search offering in the upcoming months. This is the same company that seems to have so much potential but can never quite figure out what it wants to be when it grows up.
This is the same company that has a CEO who would make a truck driver blush with her mastery of the “4-letter word corner” of the English language. This is the same company that gooses its search inquiry numbers by counting slide show slides as search requests.
Lastly, this is the company that has purchased the content chop shop, Associated Content, which has become somewhat legendary in content producing circles for its ability to pay pennies for content production. In a world of “you get what you pay for,” you can just imagine what that is like.
Maybe they wrote this style guide for the legions of “journalists” that Associated Content employs in its quest to fill up every other search engine with “articles” that exist only because an algorithm that identified a keyword (not a genuine need or thought for the content) birthed them.
Honestly, I don’t get this. Is this Yahoo trying to establish itself as the online content judge and jury? That ship sailed when they bought Associated Content as far as I can tell. You can’t be judge and jury on what is good or bad with online content when you intentionally purchased one of the purveyors of what I affectionately referred to as “craptent” in the past. It’s incongruous and it is just plain annoying as well.
Well, leave it to Yahoo! to do something that produces more head scratching than head nodding. They have specialized in this kind of behavior for quite some time now regardless of who is at the helm.
What’s next? Yahoo’s Baseball Rule Book? Yahoo’s Guide to Open Heart Surgery? All of these make about as much sense as the style guide does, so why not?