Mayer's Job: Figure Out What Yahoo Is

David Carr's guess: It's all about news
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 23, 2012 11:32 AM CDT
In this May 20, 2012 file photo, a Yahoo sign stands outside the company's offices in Santa Clara, Calif.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
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(Newser) – Yahoo is so unsure of its own goals that David Carr wonders "whether the frothy trademark Yahoo! should be replaced with Yahoo?," he writes in the New York Times. Now that Marissa Mayer is onboard as CEO, it's time for the company to define itself. And Carr believes it should focus on news—which has been a huge, albeit accidental, success for the company. It leads Silicon Valley in 10 different content categories and its newsroom now numbers a whopping 300 journalists.

Yes, it may have fallen behind the juggernauts of Google and Facebook, but it's "a stagnating company," Carr writes, and "not a collapsing one." In fact, it reaches three-quarters of US Internet users, scoring at least 30 million unique users every day. But while its homepage news is great at catching users' attention, different sections amount to separate "fiefdoms" without a coherent central strategy. Carr's prescription: Mayer needs to get the news organized and tailor it to the growing mobile audience, all the while asking the question, "What is Yahoo?" Click for Carr's full column.

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