Hoping to become a bigger hub in the realm of entertainment, Yahoo!
Like its recently launched Nintendo Wii site at wii.yahoo.com, the plan is to take popular properties like Harry Potter and NBC's The Office and turn them into standalone fan sites. Yes, Yahoo! has already harnessed the power of passionate communities through Yahoo! Groups, but Brand Universe is looking to provide a slicker property-specific interface and not rely exclusively on the content-creating prowess of its users.
Yahoo! launched sites last year dedicated to tech and food. Narrowing the focus makes sense on paper, but let's not deny the actual property owners the right to cash in on their handiwork.
Traffic on the Yahoo! Wii message board has been lackluster. Gamers know that they can turn to Nintendo as an official source or more seasoned video game sites like CNET's
So is Yahoo! barking up the wrong tree? Well, at least it's barking, you know. Until we see more of what these sites look like, it's hard to grade Yahoo! here. Even if most of the sites wind up being cobwebbed communities, a few hits is all that the company really needs. It already has the ability to serve as a third-party aggregator, an established discussion board platform, and the Yahoo! Answers Q&A sensation that it is already using to help feed content into its food and Wii sites.
I certainly hope that Yahoo! has something up its sleeve to bring something new to the table, but at least it's showing up at the table.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a fan of Yahoo! and loves his Wii but doesn't see himself checking back on the Yahoo! Wii site anytime soon. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.