Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Shine on you crazy yahoos

Tip o' the hat to Diane who forwards a story on Yahoo's latest effort that "..targets women between ages 25 and 54."

From the CNN article
( )

"With Shine, Yahoo plans to expand its offerings in parenting, sex and love, healthy living, food, career and money, entertainment, fashion, beauty, home life, and astrology. Shine likely will replace the existing Food site over time, although Yahoo plans to keep its Health site operating to serve men and women of other age groups.

"It is Yahoo's first site aimed at a single demographic, although other Yahoo sites like Finance and Sports already draw specific audiences."

Good luck and everything, I really like many of Yahoo's tools...but there is something wrong here. In nearly every other area of commerce and public life, collectivist notions of gender, age and race are outdated means of describing individuals. And while the mass media has always been somewhat limited in its ability to individualize it offerings, this is online. Online we're supposed to know better. And we expect to be treated as individuals.

Then again, in the world of MeCommerce, one might excuse even Yahoo for suffering confirmation bias in it's research agenda:

"Amy Iorio, vice president for Yahoo Lifestyles, said internal research also shows women are looking for a site to combine various content and communications tools.

"These women were sort of caretakers for everybody in their lives," she said. "They didn't feel like there was a place that was looking at the whole them -- as a parent, as a spouse, as a daughter. They were looking for one place that gave them everything."

One thing is for sure...there will be real data to show whether this insight is, in fact, insightful.

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