MyWeb Improves, Miva Shakes Up Management

Yahoo!'s MyWeb is a terrific tool for saving and sharing content that was not as useful for groups as it might be. That problem is being remedied (apparently) tonight. That's according to this post from SEW's Chris Sherman. As a heavy MyWeb user, I look forward to the changes.

Yahoo! had a great conceptual idea about building usage of its blogging/community platform 360 and connecting that to MyWeb and corresponding "social search." The problem is that becoming part of a group in MyWeb (to share documents with a limited number of people) required a fairly convoluted sign-up process that involved 360. For its part, 360 hasn't been quite as useful/easy to use as Yahoo! would've liked. There's some work that needs to be done there.

Social search is still a differentiator for Yahoo! (although everyone's now jumped on the bandwagon). But it's not clear that mainstream search users understand what the MyWeb value proposition is: collected links from people who've done the work before you. That needs to be more clearly and simply communicated.

My sense (not substantiated by anything) is that Yahoo! Answers is easier for people to "get" and thus has more traction. Both MyWeb and Answers have powerful Local implications, but Answers is more conceptually accessible to people in my view.

Yahoo! now has lots of great "social" assets and the challenge is bringing them together in useful/meaningful ways that are all but self-evident to users.

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Miva has shaken up its management structure. There have been a lot of changes there in the past month, with PPCall head Mike Kerans leaving and being replaced by Sloan Gaon. Now CEO Craig Pisaris-Henderson and President Phillip Thune have resigned. Here's the release. Director Larry Weber becomes the new CEO and UK-based E-Spotting founder and current Miva CMO Seb Bishop will become the new president. I don't know Weber, but I've had a few conversations with Bishop, who's a very smart guy.

Miva is struggling to find its footing. It may ultimately have to merge to do so. The company is currently in the market for a buyer or a merger partner.

Miva was the first company to roll out PPCall in the market but didn't have the right kind of traffic (read: quality) to make it fly — to date anyway. In Europe, Miva's (E-Spotting) assets and network are much stronger than the former FindWhat network assets in the US.

In the UK, Miva has introduced something quite innovative in mobile marketing: pay-per-text ads (ads appended to directory assistance SMS/text responses). I earlier wrote about it here (scroll).


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