If you want to know what's wrong with Yahoo!
The new social news site has nothing wrong with it, but it's a crystalline example of why Yahoo! is going in circles these days.
The premise of Yahoo! Buzz is simple. Third-party news sources, blogs, and multimedia can be tagged with "Buzz Up" buttons. Users who click on the buttons on the content provider's site or through Yahoo! Buzz's listings will be voting for the story to climb higher.
First problem: This idea is not original. Digg has been doing this for years. Other Web 2.0 sites such as Reddit and StumbleUpon have also democratized the process of sorting submissions by popularity.
Second problem: Yahoo! isn't a good follower. Its attempt to copy Google's
Third problem: The branding is flawed. Don't bother keying in Buzz.com -- that is the intellectual property of AT&T
Fourth problem: Yahoo! Buzz is unlikely to be the golden ticket of monetization. Yahoo! hasn't been able to grow its online ad revenues at the same pace as Google or even an IAC
I hope I'm wrong. I hope that Yahoo! Buzz is a spark plug for a moribund giant. If Yahoo! Buzz gets publishers -- and readers -- thinking Yahoo! outside of the company's owned sites, it may help draw folks back to its original search engine where the real dot-com gravy is waiting.
That would be awesome. The problem -- let's call it the fifth problem -- is that this is Yahoo! here. It's not King Midas. More often than not, everything it touches turns to mold.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a fan of Yahoo!, cheering on its Web 2.0 comeback. For now, he does not own shares in any stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, which seeks tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.