Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) has recently taken a couple new steps to grow beyond its role as a content aggregator and embrace the mantle of content producer. If done astutely, the Internet's leading portal could greatly improve the value of its properties -- and their attractiveness to advertisers. But the Web is a finicky master, and Yahoo! has to be sure to choose its battles wisely.

The company's most recent of its two newest projects appears to be the wrong battle. Yahoo! announced on Monday that it has hired eight new writers to create columns for its finance section on a biweekly or monthly basis. Yahoo! certainly chose wisely, since the list includes big guns such as economist and lawyer Ben Stein and David Bach, the author of The Automatic Millionaire.

But the Web is a crowded place, especially in the finance arena. Among others, you've got Forbes, McGraw-Hill's (NYSE:MHP) BusinessWeek,Dow Jones' (NYSE:DJ) Wall Street Journal, and, need I say it, the always informative, always entertaining Motley Fool. In short, financial news and analysis is already covered well and thoroughly online. I don't see Yahoo! differentiating itself and attracting lots more new viewers in the face of such formidable competition.

However, the portal operator's other recent initiative should prove to be much more worthwhile. Yahoo!'s intriguing (but unfortunately named) Web program "Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone" features the journalist traveling to, filming, and reporting upon every armed conflict around the world. By fully leveraging the multimedia power of the Web, it promises to provide viewers with a perspective they can't find anywhere else.

Yahoo! is wise to experiment with original content, since it has the potential to attract more viewers and, consequently, more advertisers. But if Yahoo! hopes to cash in on its new creations, it needs to choose content that's as unique as it is compelling.

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Fool contributor Brian Gorman is a freelance writer in Chicago. He does not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article.