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All-hands product meeting webcast leaks, reveals "sunset" of services, consolidation of others
The big shake-up continues.
In the same week that Yahoo announced over 600 layoffs, about four percent of the company’s entire workforce, EVP of Americas Ross Levinsohn and Chief Product Officer Blake Irving announced at a product meeting that the company plans to “sunset” eight sites and services, including MyBlogLog, Yahoo Picks, AltaVista, Yahoo Bookmarks, Yahoo Buzz and Delicious.
Eric Marcoullier, the co-founder of MyBlogLog, leaked a screenshot of the webcast to Twitter, not to the liking of the executives leading the webcast (see screenshot at the bottom of this post, authored by Blake Irving).
Out of all the sites shutting down, the last sticks out the sorest, mostly because social bookmarking services--especially Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon and Delicious--tend to stir a kind of loyalty and love in users that other websites have a hard time replicating. I rarely used it (I’m big on StumbleUpon), but I knew at least a few people who were hardcore about Delicious. As far as actual numbers, the last official report I could find (from summer 2008), says the site had accumulated over five million users.
The official statement from Yahoo, just generic and long-winded enough to make you forget the death of sites used by millions of users:
Part of our organizational streamlining involves cutting our investment in underperforming or off-strategy products to put better focus on our core strengths and fund new innovation in the next year and beyond.
We continuously evaluate and prioritize our portfolio of products and services, and do plan to shut down some products in the coming months such as Yahoo! Buzz, our Traffic APIs, and others. We will communicate specific plans when appropriate.
No official word yet on what users are to do, but Google Bookmarks and those other social bookmarking sites mentioned above are probably the best options.
The leaked webcast also lists services, including FoxyTunes and Yahoo Events, that will be consolidated, and several other services that will be made features, like Yahoo Calendar and Yahoo Address Book. It doesn’t specify quite how these changes will be impemented.
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