*drumroll*
August 11, 2013 2:48 AM   Subscribe

Yahoo! is getting a new logo—in a month. Until then, it's showing off a new logo every day. You can see the first five days' photos on their blog.
posted by Rory Marinich (116 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
I see that Yahoo! going to be sticking with the Marie Schrader color palette.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:16 AM on August 11, 2013 [29 favorites]


That is the new best way to describe the color purple.
posted by Rory Marinich at 3:22 AM on August 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


To think that Yahoo still exists.
posted by JHarris at 3:24 AM on August 11, 2013 [5 favorites]


It should probably include this, in some way.
posted by kaibutsu at 3:37 AM on August 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Susprised it's taken this long; changing the logo is generally an early scent-marking move for a new marketroid, and Savitt has already been there for a year.

Thirty tediously coloured logos in thirty days is fairly lacklustre ploy even by the low standards that ubiquitous marketing has made seem normal. Relevance deprivation syndrome must be biting pretty hard over in Sunnyvale.
posted by flabdablet at 3:38 AM on August 11, 2013 [9 favorites]


Yeah I'm struggling to see why or how this is interesting. This post can be redeemed with some interesting insight into why Yahoo! is flailing and what, if anything, will turn them around.

My idea: turn Yahoo into tumblr, not the other way around. Everything they do from now on including news, sports, etc. has to be done in tumblr and moreover in tumblrs format complete with only using gifs for videos.
posted by chaz at 3:58 AM on August 11, 2013 [6 favorites]


So it's 'that thing where you're doing a bit of graphic design and you go through all your fonts until one looks right' the movie/webs series?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:10 AM on August 11, 2013 [23 favorites]


I guess "new logo every day" now means "letting our summer intern play around with the designers' font collection for school credit."
posted by mykescipark at 4:11 AM on August 11, 2013 [30 favorites]


Nobody cares, Yahoo. Go quietly to the grave.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:13 AM on August 11, 2013 [6 favorites]


The logos they've posted so far are deliciously generic to the point where you could pretty much imagine Yahoo! to be, well, anything:

Yahoo! Breast Augmentation
Yahoo! Ready-to-Bake Cake Mix
Yahoo! Professional Optometry
Yahoo! The Fun New Gameshow For Wii And PS3
Yahoo! Barbituate Development Labs
posted by Quilford at 4:22 AM on August 11, 2013 [69 favorites]


I have on deep, insider authority that this will be Yahoo's next logo.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:48 AM on August 11, 2013 [14 favorites]


This is so perfect for Yahoo. Forget 30 days, they should just keep doing this forever. The endless progression of little purple wordmarks sums up their brand so well: desperately trying to project hipness through superficial change, but stuck in a loop of meaningless acquisitions and a stubborn allegiance to whatever it is they imagine their company used to be. An incremental monotony.
posted by oulipian at 4:53 AM on August 11, 2013 [58 favorites]


"Look at all the logos we give!", shout the Yahoo managerial team. "We may not be as good at search, news, weather, or anything really, but we've brought that thing you might possibly like and we've got a fully functional advertising budget that we can use to tell you about things that have no relevance to anybody's life!"
posted by The River Ivel at 5:07 AM on August 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


SPOILER

The final version is comic sans.
posted by blue_beetle at 5:11 AM on August 11, 2013 [16 favorites]


I never understood the weird 1950s retro futurist graphic thing anyway. The Internet as nostalgia what?

But I know the guy who recorded the original Yahoo! yodel (Wylie Gustafson of Wylie and the Wild West Show). It's quite a story that winds up with Wylie making out pretty well. In fact I was once a judge, along with Wylie, at a Yahoo! yodeling contest back when times were good (yes, as a matter of fact, I am an expert on yodeling, why would you ask?).

Just the other day I was explaining to a young person how Yahoo! used to work as an ordered indexing of a few thousand sites, back before crawlers and algorithmic searching and when you could practically encompass the whole thing in a series of embedded lists. I might as well have been describing how we used to can peas back in the Depression days.

Yahoo!, LOL.
posted by spitbull at 5:21 AM on August 11, 2013 [23 favorites]


I like the day 2 logo, but Jesus Christ Marie, most of these are butt ugly word marks.
posted by malapropist at 5:32 AM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]




I just visited the Yahoo! homepage for the first time in years; what a mess.

I have on deep, insider authority that this will be Yahoo's next logo.

More likely to be this.
posted by arcticseal at 5:57 AM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


AOL needs to try this!
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:09 AM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


If this is successful, I imagine the next step is "30 days of renaming the servers!", quickly followed by "30 days of picking a new coffee flavor for the break room!"...

If their hope was 30 days of universal anticipation, they may have failed with this.
posted by HuronBob at 6:11 AM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I still use Yahoo Mail (mostly out of inertia), but makeovers like this are merely painting the pump.
posted by cenoxo at 6:16 AM on August 11, 2013


So there's this story about Bears QB Jay Cutler, drunk at some bar and he's standing at a urinal pissing and a fan comes up behind him and recognizes him and is like "Oh hey Jay, I'm a big fan, I went to Vanderbilt too and maybe we know some of the same people" and Cutler just cuts him off mid sentence, throws his head back and says "DOOOOOOOOOON'T CAAAAAAAAARE."
posted by nathancaswell at 6:32 AM on August 11, 2013 [17 favorites]


They! would! do! better! to! lose! the! idiotic! exclamation! mark!
posted by GallonOfAlan at 6:33 AM on August 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


And we don't even get to vote on whichever atrocity they want to foist on us? Huh. . sounds familiar. . .I know, I know, axe, grindstone, but by the way that petition is still going. It won't work, of course, but you could sign it anyway.
posted by mygothlaundry at 6:35 AM on August 11, 2013


Going to be great when they unveil their new logo and odds are at least one of the 30 logos they released in the run up will be much much better.
posted by PenDevil at 6:38 AM on August 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


cenoxo: "I still use Yahoo Mail (mostly out of inertia)..."

Oh good, it's not just me (and my grandma).
posted by notsnot at 6:44 AM on August 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


I remember when a.t.& t. came out with their new logo. They sent us a note saying they had spent about 2.5 million dollars for it. Among other things, they noted that in research they had found that "customers are intimidated by capital letters". Every time I see the logo I now think "who the hell would want customers that were so lame as to be intimidated by capital letters", but of course when you think about it what business WOULDNT want customers that stupid.
posted by jcworth at 6:58 AM on August 11, 2013 [12 favorites]


A new shade of lipstick every day: who knows how the pig will wear its makeup by next month.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:13 AM on August 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm not getting the Yahoo! hate-on... They've stayed profitable due to their Small Business unit, Groups, Mail, and so on... I can't even recall a time when Yahoo claimed it was a search company.

They've always licensed their search engine from other companies -- Google for a while -- and they ditched their manual indexing service a few Internet-generations ago. If you're making fun of them for being an indexing service, it's kind of like making fun of your coworkers for being awkward adolescents -- maybe true, but not relevant to any interactions you have with them. If you're making fun of them for being a lame search engine, that's Bing you're complaining about. I doubt Yahoo even cares about search, except that since the rest of the world imagines they're primarily a search company, they may as well have something in place to provide it, and maybe get some ad revenue from the effort.

But the logo-a-day thing... yeah, I dunno. I was hoping to see actual logos, not font catalog samples.
posted by ardgedee at 7:21 AM on August 11, 2013 [8 favorites]


I just visited the Yahoo! homepage for the first time in years; what a mess.

That's not a mess.

This is a mess.

way more clue than Yahoo though
posted by flabdablet at 7:22 AM on August 11, 2013 [17 favorites]


Hmm this reminds me of something...

yup......
posted by lampshade at 7:27 AM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


yahoo!: 30 days of type specimens of badly applied free fonts.

Sorry to snark, but it is interesting just how ugly these are. Real logo designs are hard!
posted by Nelson at 7:29 AM on August 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm not getting the Yahoo! hate-on

I don't hate Yahoo.

I just don't have any reason at all to use any service Yahoo offers. Everything they do, somebody else already does better... until Yahoo buys it and applies their own secret sauce of tedium and irrelevance.

Go on, surprise me. Show me one thing that got better since Yahoo bought it. Just one.
posted by flabdablet at 7:33 AM on August 11, 2013 [9 favorites]


Man, this is some olympic-class deck-chair re-arranging.
posted by Runes at 7:34 AM on August 11, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm calling it now. This will be the final logo.
posted by mazola at 7:37 AM on August 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Ling's Cars is a masterpiece of a web site. I will harbor no disagreement.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:51 AM on August 11, 2013 [8 favorites]


You always have other options ...
posted by iotic at 7:52 AM on August 11, 2013


Needs a few of those under construction GIFs.
posted by hangashore at 7:53 AM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


> Show me one thing that got better since Yahoo bought it. Just one.

Flickr.

You'll disagree but you're wrong.
posted by ardgedee at 7:55 AM on August 11, 2013 [6 favorites]


Day 2 looks like the logo for something that would have a woman riding a horse in the commercial to demonstrate how confident she is about absorbency. Yahoo!
posted by Sys Rq at 7:55 AM on August 11, 2013 [9 favorites]


"Everything they do, somebody else already does better... "

Not necessarily true, I like their fantasy sports leagues a lot better than anything else I've tried. And their original content (in basketball) is easily as good as any of the rest. (I don't follow other sports much anymore, but they generally seem to have good sports journalism.)

More generally I really, really, really prefer they way they organize their image and video search results (as opposed to Google, Bing, DDG, etc.). In fact the way they do video is simply excellent.
posted by oddman at 8:00 AM on August 11, 2013


Seconding Rory Marinich on the love for the Ling's Cars site. The absolute determination to fill every pixel of the screen with some sort of gadget or gewgaw, many of them moving and/or blinking, made me smile. It's like an insanely exaggerated caricature of a website ca. 1999.

(It would be interesting to see Ling's Cars used as part of one of those studies where they track readers' eye movements as they look at sites; I bet those would be some crazy test results.)

As for Yahoo's logos, the ones I've seen so far are pretty bland, but ultimately what they use for a logo doesn't matter much to me.

Like several others here, I've still got a Yahoo Mail account that I use for certain stuff, and it works OK for that, no real complaints. I used to be active in a few Yahoo groups, but those mostly are ghost ships these days, and I don't think I'm currently using any of their other services. While they're not anyone's idea of a particularly innovative company, they don't seem worth expending much energy either mocking or hating. Although I dunno, maybe being irrelevant is worse than being hated or mocked...
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 8:18 AM on August 11, 2013


What is an interesting question to me in all of this is whether coming up with a better product than competitors even matters at this point. Speaking of inertia, if your better product isn't noticed by enough people or the right people, or if they've already bought into another product that is quite good or simply "good enough," you might not be able to get the market change you need, even with an excellent product. Can Yahoo make every necessary change that could be required and still not pull it off, because it's simply too late with too much market inertia in another direction?

On the other hand, AOL still makes 500 million per year, just on dialup, so may be there's always a market out there to be wooed with new logos.
posted by SpacemanStix at 8:18 AM on August 11, 2013


YUI is very good. Um, flickr! They own that, um...
posted by Artw at 8:21 AM on August 11, 2013


I still use my Yahoo email and have My Yahoo set as one of my home tabs. It's ugly and for the olds but you know what? It works. And sometimes, that's all people need.
posted by KingEdRa at 8:30 AM on August 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


My My Yahoo home page is still my home page and still gets set up first thing whenever I install a new OS and browser. It's a kind of meta-RSS reader in that it would suck if I tried to put all 500+ of my feeds in it but for like the top 10 it works beautifully. Plus the other stuff Yahoo provides (news feeds etc.) Are there other home page solutions in a post-home page internet world? Probably but that Yahoo one works for those few times I actually want to go to a home page.

AND I FOR ONE AM HAVING FUN WATCHING THEIR LOGO CHANGE ON MY YAHOO HOME PAGE THE ONCE A DAY I CHECK IT OUT. SO THERE.

Sheesh y'all are all such negative meanies and poop heads! When did the innertubes become such serious business?
posted by bfootdav at 8:38 AM on August 11, 2013 [9 favorites]


I think where this fails is that it's obvious that none of these were actual contenders. As a designer, I'd actually love to see the real logos that they rejected compared to the one they finally picked. But it seems like this is an ex post facto creation by typing "Yahoo" in random typefaces.
posted by the jam at 8:40 AM on August 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


What? No ironic talk of synergy and leveraging market position?
posted by double block and bleed at 8:43 AM on August 11, 2013


Day 2: Now, I want yogurt.
posted by symbioid at 8:49 AM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just the other day I was explaining to a young person how Yahoo! used to work as an ordered indexing of a few thousand sites, back before crawlers and algorithmic searching

I understand full well why automated crawlers exist and why they're superior, but my MLS and I still sigh wistfully at fantasies of a properly curated search engine.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:50 AM on August 11, 2013 [9 favorites]


kaibutsu: "It should probably include this, in some way."

Yahoo! SRS.
posted by symbioid at 9:07 AM on August 11, 2013


Yahoo Games is still the only place online I can play canasta. There is large and dedicated (relatively? for canasta?) community of canasta players there, despite the fact that Yahoo has never updated the original UI*.

* Screen shot provided to avoid having to "wait three minutes for the applet to load."
posted by Room 641-A at 9:12 AM on August 11, 2013 [9 favorites]


spitbull: "Just the other day I was explaining to a young person how Yahoo! used to work as an ordered indexing of a few thousand sites, back before crawlers and algorithmic searching and when you could practically encompass the whole thing in a series of embedded lists."

1) point to dmoz (yeah, it's still around) to give an example of what it was like.

2) You know, I bet if you took actual real meaningful content and indexed it, you wouldn't an index that's that much bigger. How much of search these days if full of fucking SEO spam? I mean, I generally am ok with finding stuff, but if we could actually have real sites that have information and not just eyegrabby bullshit (whether it be that crap gossipy spam on the bottom of every single fucking news page nowadays), or a million and one "computer answer" sites that just have shitty questions and shitty answers posted by people hoping to get an answer (and for a reply actually get *chirps*), but ultimately it's for driving people to your site for ad revenue more than anything else... Search is absolutely shit these days, and even Google hasn't fixed it. They just do it less crappy than any other set of people out there.

3) I honestly think Yahoo isn't a terrible company per se. I think they have terrible leadership, and they are a bit lost. I thought Marissa Meyer would help change that, but I don't see a lot of change happening. Wasn't she a some sort of design/usability expert? You'd think she could put her imprint down on the company if so. I think if they took pipes, streamlined their page, made the custom home page dealy that they have (especially since iGoogle no longer exists), integrate tumblr and flickr into the homepage (while still letting them be their own separate brand, but let yahoo users easily access them from within the yahoo site, without forcing users to use yahoo if they don't want), making a strong solid RSS feed system that can compete well with other products (though there's plenty of competition now in that space). And get a real goddamned logo, maybe it wouldn't be so bad.

4) Actually - what if they created a "social bookmarking" site. But it's indexed like the old yahoo instead of "del.icio.us" (wait, don't they own delicious? or they did?) Use the delicious backend (if it's even around anymore) and pipes to create this social bookmark backend. Users don't have to bookmark but the more you do, the more the bookmark grows. However, you have the ability to trust a certain level of networking so you don't necessarily get a ton of spam from shady fuckers. "I trust up to level 3" so you, your friend, their friends and their friend's friends. All those links would then be harvested as they "pinned' them to their bookmarks and categorized them.

It would be more a competitor to something like tumblr and the other social bookmarking sites, with flickr/tumblr/feedreader-homepage/ySports! (which, if my understanding is correct, has a pretty solid rep for their fantasy football?)...

I don't know. I really don't. But I'd like to see something like that, because frankly. I used to LOVE browsing that index. The only thing that comes close these days is Wikipedia. It's like going to a library or bookstore or record store and just seeing "oh what's over here in the jazz section" or "what's new in the gardening books", etc... Only instead of a self-contained site (wikipedia) it's external sites.
posted by symbioid at 9:23 AM on August 11, 2013 [6 favorites]


What is with the purple? It can't be a coincidence that it's almost the exact same shade of purple used to rebrand NBC Universal.
posted by phaedon at 9:40 AM on August 11, 2013


We will now take a break from our regularly scheduled policy of hating on things caused by the Google/Facebook monoculture to spending time enforcing the Google/Facebook monoculture. Thank you for your patience. The diversity you secretly despise will be reduced shortly.
posted by zoo at 9:52 AM on August 11, 2013 [22 favorites]


What is with the purple? It can't be a coincidence that it's almost the exact same shade of purple used to rebrand NBC Universal.

Pantone said it was trendy, so now it is. Or, was, half a decade ago when they said that.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:54 AM on August 11, 2013


Yahoo doesn't need to change its logo. What it needs to do is figure out what it wants to be. If it were me I'd make it a holding company that has several brands and rather than trying to integrate them into the mother ship blob, keep them independent and maybe only mention yahoo in the footer. The sites could be part of a yahoo single sign on for user convenience. And yahoo can make money by being able to sell ads across its brands using the same types of data mining google and Facebook can do in their ecosystem. All of that can happen on the backend without taking away the reasons that made brands like Flickr and tumblr interesting in the first place. People don't buy Tide because it is a proctor and gamble brand. They buy Tide because it is Tide.

[also I find it sort of sad and pathetic that Yahoo is doing this on their YouTube page. Reminds me of Microsoft in that way. Both MS and Yahoo have video products but to make sure it gets the widest audience they have to use their competitor]
posted by birdherder at 9:54 AM on August 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yahoo mail is better than Gmail.

There, I said it. Watcha gonna do about it? Withhold your favorites? Ha! I'm gonna favorite myself!
posted by Pyrogenesis at 10:10 AM on August 11, 2013 [9 favorites]


I like Yahoo mail because it's easier to create a burner email address there than on Gmail.

I'm glad they're spending resources on this rather than I, oh I dunno, updating the Flickr app for the iPad. Yeah, I know, false dichotomy, don't care.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:17 AM on August 11, 2013


Why wouldn't you grouchy know-it-alls want viable competition to the GOOG overlord?
posted by planetesimal at 10:22 AM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Everyone knows that a Yahoo is a crude animalistic apeman that Houyhnhnms, the intelligent horses, use as slaves to manage their plantations.

Also, like Google, because of the insane stock valuations of the internet bubble, Yahoo! is really more an investment/hedge fund for technology IP. Do you care whether Seqouia Cap has a kick'n website and logo ?
posted by ennui.bz at 10:23 AM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


30 Days Of Deliberately Unimaginative Arbitrary Cheap Font Samples Because Oh God What If People Turned Out To Like One Of The Throwaways Better Than The Real New Logo We Already Picked We'd Be A Laughingstock
posted by ook at 10:24 AM on August 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Viably competing with the GOOG overlord might involve additional steps beyond just changing your logo a lot.
posted by box at 10:27 AM on August 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Thank you for your patience. The diversity you secretly despise will be reduced shortly.

Hey now, I think most of us really want Yahoo to do well. It's just that they've done badly for so long that we're all kind of surprised they still exist.

Thing is, there are all these little things about Yahoo that are still awesome. More than one person has brought up Pipes, Canasta and fantasy football have been mentioned, lots of people still use Yahoo Mail and Yahoo IM, Flickr isn't dead yet, and although they don't go out of their way to tell anyone it exists anymore, there is still the Directory back there. It still exists.

And I like the Directory as much as symbioid. I think if you put effort into creating a good directory of sites, hired motivated people who know their fields to maintain it, keep it relevant, weed out spam, point out the best sites, and just properly curate it, it could be really awesome. Because isn't that really what we all visit Metafilter for?
posted by JHarris at 10:30 AM on August 11, 2013 [7 favorites]


Please just die yahoo
posted by Teakettle at 10:30 AM on August 11, 2013


What could have been genuinely fun is if they'd done 30 days of over the top logo design clichés, but played it totally straight faced, today a swoosh, tomorrow a grid of colored squares, the next day a cloud icon with little radio waves radiating from it, then the blobby interconnected dots and so on and eventually start to bust out the lens flares and the page curls and just keep larding on more and more junk until the final reveal which turns out to be a featureless endless plain of purple which they set as the background color of all their web properties forever

So a bit of a missed opportunity there
posted by ook at 10:33 AM on August 11, 2013 [13 favorites]


I think a lot of people here are missing the point of the logo redesign. Yahoo, the company, is changing rapidly. Marissa Meyer is running the company with a firm hand. Change takes time but we've seen a couple of signals already; the Tumblr acquisition, the Flickr redesign. Once the company has changed and updated enough, part of the way you signal you're a new company is a new logo. It's a bit odd they're rolling it out in this dumb way, but I'm assuming 30 days we're not just going to see a new font in the old Yahoo purple. I'm expecting a brand new front page, maybe a reorganization of Yahoo's core successful products, etc.

Yahoo is a large media property with a lot of inertia. It's been in a slow decline but it's not just going to disappear.
posted by Nelson at 10:36 AM on August 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


I sometimes tell people, "Go take a look at the Google home page. Now take a look at the Yahoo (I refuse to use the exclamation mark) home page. Which one do you want for your home page on your browser?"

One thing I've always liked about Google is that they haven't tried to become a be-all, end-all portal with ads, flashing things, attention grabbers, scrolling celebrity newsy junk, animated cartoony icons, and the dreaded horoscope nonsense in my face. Though YMMV, of course, and you may want those things....

But I think that approach is for the low attention span folks and those who click on things like that. It's like the TV shows with (some call it "Dutch Camera") hand-held camera work: constantly moving the frame, zooming in and out, shifting focus.

I do understand that the "Dutch" approach comes from many studies that indicate people pay attention to things that move and flash and animate. For me, that's annoying.

That said, I thought Marissa was going bring the Google sense that just because people track animated/moving/flashing things, that *does not* mean they want to be barraged with those things. But Yahoo is still as jittery and cartoony and attempting to appeal to everyone with one page as it has always been.

(And don't get me started on Yahoo Mail vs Gmail for filtering spam....)
posted by CrowGoat at 10:47 AM on August 11, 2013


Yeah, I suspect the reason Y! still looks mostly the same is that Marissa Meyer wants to make sure that any radically new interface redesign is going to be a winner (or close to whatever her idea of a winner is, anyway) before it gets deployed. She's sort of under the microscope here and based on what I've heard about her I don't think she's going to start making jack moves without having her research totally squared away.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:51 AM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Marissa Meyer was infamous at Google for her engineer-driven approach to design. One big-name designer, who Twitter snapped up after he quit Google, said she'd do things like focus-text 53 shades of blue for a single button. That approach is what hurt Google UI-wise, but now that they're trying to be Apple it's becoming apparent that Meyer's approach was right for Google. And it will hopefully be right for a sprawling mess like Yahoo!, too: it doesn't need a fresh coat of paint, it needs a major functional overhaul.

My bet: These logos are nothing like what the new logo will be. They're supposed to lull you into a kind of tedium groove so the new logo strikes you as a shock and an actual sign of transformation. And they're making fun of how bland a company Yahoo! has become. These sneering reactions are exactly the point. They're mocking themselves.

Fingers crossed that I'm right. Yahoo owns enough great property that they could be a powerful player if they can overcome all the years of garbage. I'd love to see them come back.
posted by Rory Marinich at 10:58 AM on August 11, 2013 [11 favorites]


I'll admit, when someone just says "Marissa" here, I think, "Wait, so Marisa Stole the Precious Thing is in charge of Yahoo now?!"

I do want Yahoo to succeed. Not only do we all need a decent competitor for Google, one could argue that Google needs it too.

And, again, the Directory. What could it be like if someone created a good interface for it, I mean it looks nearly the same as it did back nineteen years ago. With no spam and all minimum very interesting content, it could be terrific. Spend more than a sentence describing each site maybe. There's still so much potential there it hurts. If Scribblenauts can hire people to make an animated cartoon version of every noun in the English language, Yahoo could still keep track of the best of the internet.
posted by JHarris at 11:00 AM on August 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


When I first saw this irksome story a few days ago I totally flashed back to a couple of decades ago when a waning Sally Jesse Raphael announced that she would show a new pair of glasses every day and perhaps engage in picking a winner. Why on earth do we want to be involved in this? If you want to engage us making a good show or a good website, then sure. But to distract us by pretending we should give a shit about the window-dressing, or even worse, make up a bunch of fake window-dressing under the guise of "transparency" is just so depressingly misguided.
posted by stevil at 11:18 AM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


> Show me one thing that got better since Yahoo bought it. Just one.

Flickr.

You'll disagree but you're wrong.


I tried it out using when they upgraded to the 1TB storage; given the android integration, I thought it might be a good way to automatically upload photos from my phone, and a dumping ground for photos from my point n shoot camera so I could get to them anywhere (I'm not even close to using an SLR and RAW, this is strictly personal stuff)

Workflow then would be to bulk dump into flickr when taken, grab a subset to edit the best of on one of my pcs/macs when time allowed, and either reupload those to flickr for sharing/public consumption directly, or much more likely embedded into forums, on facebook etc. I'd also bulk backup for safety.

Which came to a grinding halt when I couldn't find an easy way to get the photos OUT again, let alone in bulk and the original file/res - only manually saving individual photos in the browser from the photostream. I did find a couple of commercial apps to do it, but seriously?

I can bulk dump my photos automatically into either dropbox or google+, and trivially get a set out again as originals on whatever computer I'm at later. I can share re-uploaded edited ones too.

Given none of my friends or family use flickr any more, what possible reason would I want to push the small handful to flickr after I've manually tidied them up, having had to sync using another service (and possibly paid for extra space to store the originals on said other service). I'd either upload directly to their final destination, or share via my own webhost or google/dropbox if I'm just embedding. Especially given the organizer is pretty damn slow and unintuitive.

Maybe there is an easy way to get my originals out of flickr - and I'd like to know if there is, cos damn, 1 TB! - but I couldn't find it.
posted by ArkhanJG at 11:22 AM on August 11, 2013


So there's this story about Bears QB Jay Cutler, drunk at some bar and he's standing at a urinal pissing and a fan comes up behind him and recognizes him and is like "Oh hey Jay, I'm a big fan, I went to Vanderbilt too and maybe we know some of the same people" and Cutler just cuts him off mid sentence, throws his head back and says "DOOOOOOOOOON'T CAAAAAAAAARE."

#CoolHeel
posted by winna at 11:54 AM on August 11, 2013


I don't get the yahoo hate. I use their email, and it works perfectly well.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 12:19 PM on August 11, 2013


1) point to dmoz (yeah, it's still around)

Maybe it's changed, but I tried for a few years around 2005 to get listed. You would submit your site, and if you wanted an update you had to add your name as a comment in their forum. There were all kinds of draconian rules about even adding your name to to update question queue, and the forum was full of people pleading for some kind of response or complaining that they followed the rules and never heard from them. (If I recall correctly, you were able to ask once a year.)

My site was already a Yahoo Pick of the Day, and is usually in the top six or seven of any number of common search terms, things that they would have weighed in my favor, but it still took repeated attempts at the update process just to get a response. After some back and forth the guy was ready to approve me but needed me to email him something or another that evening. I was at an event and simply couldn't do it; I told him that, and never heard from him again. To this day I have no idea if I was rejected after that or if I'm still in some kind of approval limbo.

I have no beef with them about which sites they choose, but it was a very strange process.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:29 PM on August 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


symbioid: "I thought Marissa Meyer would help change that, but I don't see a lot of change happening. Wasn't she a some sort of design/usability expert?"

That might be one of the biggest misconceptions in valley today. Marissa is a super interesting person, and undeniably talented. I had/have high hopes for what she can do at Yahoo. But she is not a designer, of any flavor. Her background is in CS. Her entire qualification for being design head at Google seemed to be exactly that: not being a designer (an advantage in an engineering-led culture like Google) and... having a really tastefully decorated apartment in San Francisco?

The A/B testing thing has been brought up over and over but the real issue, and the reason why it chafes designers, doesn't ever get clearly talked about. A/B testing is valuable when you know what question you're asking, and what answers are possible. You A/B ad banners because you want to know which drives more clicks. You don't A/B your brand standards because asking your customers to plan your messaging for you isn't productive. You don't A/B button placement in your UI because what you're really trying to find out is much better served by usability testing.
posted by danny the boy at 12:41 PM on August 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


I think @yahoologo has this exactly right.
posted by bwerdmuller at 12:42 PM on August 11, 2013


I don't get the yahoo hate. I use their email, and it works perfectly well.

They redesigned it a few years ago, and in the process broke the back button and integrated real-time IM spam. They seem to have fixed those problems recently, but, yeesh.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:00 PM on August 11, 2013


I believe Yahoo made over $1 billion in profits last year on over $5 billion in revenues. You know, just your typical amateur hour clown show.
posted by leopard at 1:21 PM on August 11, 2013 [8 favorites]


And Kajagoogoo sold a lot of records in 1983. Mediocrity is lucrative.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:47 PM on August 11, 2013


TBH I understand how Kajagoogoo made money - Yahoo is more mysterious to me.
posted by Artw at 1:49 PM on August 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


There's no reason Yahoo's revenue sources should be a mystery. Their quarterly earnings numbers are quite easy to understand. Revenue is about 73% US, 20% Asia, 8% Europe etc. Source is about 40% display ads, 40% search ads, and 20% "other". Yahoo search ads come from Microsoft/Bing, I believe they still sell their own display ads. That business is shrinking, but the amount of money coming in every quarter still takes 3 commas to write down.

Yahoo gets a lot of traffic and is reasonably efficient at advertising to their viewers. I know contempt for Yahoo! is easy; I hardly use any of their products myself. But it's an enormous Internet media company. So is AOL, for that matter. The industry is maturing, and some of the unsexy giants are still going to hang around for awhile.

For those of you watching Internet market diversity; the biggest threat to the US/European Internet is Google's ad network dominance. Competing ad networks like Microsoft's are essential to providing competition to Google. And for those ad networks to work, they need pages to show their ads on. Yahoo is a key part of that, let's hope it persists.

(Another unusual part of Yahoo's financial picture is their 24% ownership of Alibaba; their share is worth $15–$25 billion. It's a very deep war chest.)
posted by Nelson at 2:19 PM on August 11, 2013 [6 favorites]


With no Yahoo, we'd have no Horsey Surprise!
posted by zscore at 2:20 PM on August 11, 2013


ardgedee: "Flickr.

You'll disagree but you're wrong.
"

I was on flickr before Yahoo bought it and let it stagnate for a good five years. Saying Yahoo improved flickr is like trying to claim Microsoft was improving Internet Explorer for all those years when they were totally not doing that. If Yahoo had been doing the absolute minimum to manage Flickr in a competent way, nobody would've ever heard of Instagram.
posted by mullingitover at 2:22 PM on August 11, 2013 [5 favorites]


If Yahoo had been doing the absolute minimum to manage Flickr in a competent way, nobody would've ever heard of Instagram.

See? Yahoo is good for Internet diversity
posted by ook at 2:46 PM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I also miss Yahoo as a well-curated index of the most interesting things on the internet. The thing about it was its easy browsability; it allowed for a specific variety of serendipity because you could fan out from things you were interested in to things kind of like those things you were interested in. Search just doesn't have the same effect. If I'm thinking about EDM and using search, I'm not going to go through an index of music genres and maybe find myself in a happy tangent about rockabilly fashion the way I might have in Yahoo's heydey.

Social bookmarking and blogs like MetaFilter are great for random serendipity, but Yahoo was always great for a sort of directed serendipity. You can get sort of close to it with a wikiwalk nowadays, but it takes a lot more effort.
posted by Andrhia at 4:18 PM on August 11, 2013


(yes, as a matter of fact, I am an expert on yodeling, why would you ask?).

Spitbull: Are you really? *makes moon eyes* Do you have any plans to do an FPP on yodeling any time soon? Because I love some good yodeling.

[not even remotely being sarcastic]
posted by not that girl at 4:59 PM on August 11, 2013


You know what I would watch? Snowboarding down avalanches created by yodeling. Alpine XTREME.
posted by planetesimal at 5:18 PM on August 11, 2013


Maybe there is an easy way to get my originals out of flickr - and I'd like to know if there is, cos damn, 1 TB! - but I couldn't find it.

My workflow is similar, and I use a little program called DownloadAir to download photos to my computer. If you search around the help forums there are lots of others that do more stuff as well.

I almost like the Flickr redesign. But it has a few janky things that ruin it (stupid slideshows, crazy slow to load, etc). However, I do really like Yahoo groups. They were doing groups better than anyone for a long while. They have fewer features than Google, but they're way easier to set up and use. They're perfect for small non-tech savvy groups. Yahoo seems good at smaller things like groups, fantasy sports, games, etc. Someone could modernize those and cobble them together into something interesting - because those are great features for a community/social site. But I don't trust Y! after Flickr.

Users don't have to bookmark but the more you do, the more the bookmark grows. However, you have the ability to trust a certain level of networking so you don't necessarily get a ton of spam from shady fuckers. "I trust up to level 3" so you, your friend, their friends and their friend's friends. All those links would then be harvested as they "pinned' them to their bookmarks and categorized them.

This is Pinterest.
posted by bluefly at 6:27 PM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


We will now take a break from our regularly scheduled policy of hating on things caused by the Google/Facebook monoculture to spending time enforcing the Google/Facebook monoculture. Thank you for your patience. The diversity you secretly despise will be reduced shortly.

Yahoo calling attention to their logo instead of announcing plans to make useful, viable products is a pretty good indication that they are not adding diversity to the ecosystem.
posted by Phssthpok at 7:20 PM on August 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ya who?
posted by loquacious at 7:27 PM on August 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


These sneering reactions are exactly the point. They're mocking themselves.

Never thought we'd see the day: Yahoo's become self-aware.
posted by ibmcginty at 7:46 PM on August 11, 2013


Yahoo improves their sites just like Google did to Reader.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:55 PM on August 11, 2013


Did someone mention AOL?

Tim Armstrong, Patch founder and now CEO of AOL, is very busy working to turn AOL around:
"If you guys think that AOL has not been committed to Patch, and won’t stay committed to Patch, you’re wrong."
Listen to AOL CEO Tim Armstrong fire Patch’s creative director during a conference call. (via Business Insider)
posted by ceribus peribus at 10:18 PM on August 11, 2013


Let's see...something to best represent "the Yahoo! of today" and where they're going in the future?

I've got it, they just need to call up Susan Kare, she's already nailed it.
posted by trackofalljades at 12:12 AM on August 12, 2013


We also want to preserve the character that is unique to Yahoo! — fun, vibrant, and welcoming — so we’ll be keeping the color purple, our iconic exclamation point and of course the famous yodel. After all, some things never go out of style.

This .... is true, as far as it goes. If something was never *in* style in the first place, it can hardly be said to go *out* of it.
posted by webmutant at 1:18 AM on August 12, 2013


I believe Yahoo made over $1 billion in profits last year on over $5 billion in revenues. You know, just your typical amateur hour clown show.

They're also the number 4 most visited site on the Web, and the number 1 news site, according to Alexa, and their stock has nearly doubled in the last year and is at a five-year high.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 8:31 AM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wow, someone sure knocked it out of the park with today's stunning display of visual acuity. End the promotion, we have a winner.
posted by oulipian at 1:48 PM on August 12, 2013


I'm actually starting to wonder if I nailed it -- these are so dull and unimaginative that I'm having a difficult time imagining any designer producing them on purpose without ironic intent.

Also I've just noticed that their video reveals a bunch of the upcoming variations, starting from around 0:20 -- there aren't going to be any surprises as the month progresses; they're all going to be random specimens from the "7000 Free Fonts!" CD-ROM somebody found behind their file cabinet.
posted by ook at 6:07 PM on August 12, 2013


Aaaaand the new logo is in!
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:30 AM on September 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is that a fucking bevel? Is it 1995?
posted by Artw at 8:44 AM on September 5, 2013


Wow. Ouch. What is that, knockoff Optima? You'd be hard pressed to find a worse fit. It looks like the logo for a midrange line of shampoo and conditioner.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:50 AM on September 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


(And yes, that's a bevel, and no, the shading does not make any sense.)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:54 AM on September 5, 2013


Presumably they were not able to get hold of a copy of Kai's Power Tools to put a bunch of fractals on it. How about a nice page curl effect at the corner of the image?
posted by Artw at 8:58 AM on September 5, 2013


Oh. My. Fucking. God.

That's really quite something.

It turns out Mayer herself played a pivotal role, working with Yahoo's design team (and an intern) to design the new logo over the course of a single weekend. "I’m not a pro, but I know enough to be dangerous," Mayer says

Yeah, so that weekend was a little journey through hell for all the designers in the room wasn't it
posted by ook at 9:04 AM on September 5, 2013 [6 favorites]


I notice going to the website that the exclamation mark in the logo kinda does a bit of a dance thing... so essentially it's an animated ad you can't block. Yeah, that's going to really draw me back.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:07 AM on September 5, 2013


The 90s! Remember the 90s? They're back... in logo form!

Seriously though, the 90s ARE back. Yay! so old
posted by entropicamericana at 9:11 AM on September 5, 2013


Story time!

So, years ago, I was working at a smallish web startup -- I'm guessing 40 or 50 employees at the time -- which was growing quickly, had changed business models a bit, the company name was outdated and was off-putting to a class of customer, the logo was a disaster. etc. The decision was made at last to do a complete rebranding of the company. Consultants were hired (of course). Choosing a new name went relatively smoothly, but the logo became a sticking point.

The CEO had personally designed the old logo, and didn't see what was wrong with it (answer: everything). He also had what in CEOs is euphemistically called "a strong personality."

The old logo had red and blue in it. The CEO's favorite colors were red and blue. As a last ditch effort to prevent the CEO from just keeping the old logo, the consultants decreed that the new logo must contain neither red nor blue. This led to lengthy meetings where every C-level exec in the company, plus the consultants' designated representative, plus me (as the only not-totally-junior designer in-house) gathered around the CEO's laptop and argued about what color the new logo should contain -- there was no brief, mind you; this is before any discussion of concept, audience, or even deciding on the new company name; we were going to decide on a color and start from there. (To be clear I'm not in any way proud of my contribution to these meetings; I was still junior enough to be impressed with myself for being asked to be in the same room as the CEO, and so even though this process seemed to be kind of, y'know, ass-backwards, I tried to play along, even brought up the existence of the Color Marketing Group, which was a major tactical error if ever there was one. I also earned the eternal enmity of the consultants' designated representative by forgetting the "no red or blue" edict and mentioning the existence of those colors while the CEO was in the room, and was thereafter no longer invited to those meetings which by that point suited me just fine.)

Meanwhile! The in-house design team, which consisted of a dozen or so college kids usually tasked with simple one-off layouts or templates, got wind of the fact that we were going to have a new logo, tasted glory in the wind, and immediately dropped all of their assigned tasks in favor of churning out literally hundreds of random meaningless shitty logo designs, using every Photoshop filter in the menu, up to and including the Venerable Power Tools of Kai. I mean it was like a box of webmonkeys exploded (which is basically an accurate description of their process). These shitty logo designs were each carefully color-printed onto individual 8.5x11 sheet of paper, carried in stacks up to the CEO's office, and then thrown away.

In the end, everybody involved basically threw up their hands and said fuck it. The final "logo" consisted of the name of the company. In a common font. In gray. It looks okay.


Until today, I thought that that was the worst possible logo design process. It seems I was wrong.
posted by ook at 11:46 AM on September 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think I'm going to have to start a tumblr fuckyeahCEOsdisease.tumblr.com. It'll be a companion blog to fuckyeahengineersdisease.tumblr.com
posted by entropicamericana at 11:53 AM on September 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also:

Mayer herself played a pivotal role, working with Yahoo's design team (and an intern) to design the new logo over the course of a single weekend

dear god please tell me that intern has a blog. And please tell me how to find it
posted by ook at 11:55 AM on September 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


If the intern was the one who picked the soundtrack for the fun video, that's somebody I want to know.

Can't you help me see
They won't get it right?

posted by flabdablet at 6:23 PM on September 5, 2013


Oooh oooh oooooh it was the intern it was it was it was!

loving every minute
posted by flabdablet at 6:34 PM on September 5, 2013


> It turns out Mayer herself played a pivotal role, working with Yahoo's design team (and an intern) to design the new logo over the course of a single weekend. "I’m not a pro, but I know enough to be dangerous," Mayer says

The next time somebody on Metafilter mocks a major corporation for spending so much money and time designing a logo, I'm going to point to Yahoo's new logo, and I'm going to point to this quote.
posted by ardgedee at 6:35 PM on September 5, 2013


"Our last move was to tilt the exclamation point by 9 degrees, just to add a bit of whimsy."

You can't make shit like this up. "I feel we should rastify it by ... ten percent or so."
posted by entropicamericana at 7:23 PM on September 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


They should have stuck with Comic Sans.
posted by arcticseal at 9:08 AM on September 6, 2013


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