Archive for the ‘Online’ Category

Britney, Ashton and Porn Stars: Welcome to the Twitter Age of Celebrity

In Celebrity, Online on February 16, 2009 at 3:39 pm


There was always talk that one day, Twitter would “break”. There was always talk that one day, when the celebrities come on board, that the microblog that could would be too big for its own good.

“Oh, wait till Britney comes over. Wait ’till Paris comes on board. Then we’ll see how it goes. Will it survive then?” was a question often asked by the panelists on the TWiT podcast. This was back in the day when the Fail Whale happened every other week, when 100,000 followers was a singular anomaly, when Internet superstars like Kevin Rose, Leo Laporte and Robert Scoble were vying for a top three position.

Three years on since Twitter was launched, the stars have signed on, and the result is a surprising whimper rather than the big bang-crash. Britney Spears has tweeted in, so has Ashton Kutcher (aplusk) and Demi Moore (mrskutcher). Porn stars have started jumping on it too, but that’s not much of a surprise if you follow the idea that porn is often at the forefront of driving innovation. Paris has yet to report in, but if Twitter is going the way of Facebook, it’s only a matter of time before she tweets in.

So the time has arrived, and Twitter has yet to be “broken”. Why not? To begin with, I’m not sure if celebrities are worth following–if anything else, watching their feeds just exposes how dull their day-to-day lives are. Here’s a few choice tweets coming from Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore:

Why do those candy hearts with sayings on them taste so bad. Can’t they put words on good candy, like skittles or starburst “be mine” – aplusk.

“Snow is cold! (self)Thank you captain obvious. Shabbat shalom. sharing the bore pre hagefen with my man BW” – aplusk

“On a romantic getaway with my adorable hubby the ex and his great gal emma!”– mrskutcher.

Okay, so the last tweet from Demi was mildly interesting, but then again, most of the world knows what kind of screwy arrangement is going on in that family. For the big ironic laughs, you should see what some pornstars have been tweeting about–they rank as the most mundane tweeterers, more so because slobbering fanboys expect something more — how shall we say — work-related. What you’ll get instead is something less salacious, like this from Stoya (don’t ask me how I know of her. I just do):

“Saki is not supposed to be warm. It is supposed to be cold. Wtf.”

And what about this hard-hitter: “*grumble grumble* I’d rather be in sneakers at a diiiiiiive bar”.

You can almost hear yourself yawn.

Read the rest of this entry »

2009: The Year Facebook Grows Up

In Online on January 2, 2009 at 9:38 am


(Pic from ibiblio)

So we’ve started on the New Year, and already some are wishing for a time machine that’ll skip 2009 entirely and straight into 201o–the year, when optimistically the economy starts to recover. For tech startups, 2009 is going to be high and dry, with MarketWatch tech columnist Therese Poletti writing that the Web 2.0 boom is over. “If you are a software entrepreneur working on yet another inane social networking application, perhaps you should switch gears, give up, or keep your day job.”

While the past few years have consistently introduced web-altering free-to-use social applications, it’s highly doubtful that we’re going to have a breakout web service like YouTube in 2005, Facebook in 2006, Twitter in 2007/08. All these services brought the web to a new social level, were free, and are now a part of our everyday lives. Unfortunately, they all had poor monetisation plans, with the rare exception of MySpace, which was bought by Fox and was thus handled in a “Big Media” sorta way.

While “monetisation” did become Web 2.0’s buzzword towards the 2H of the year, the realisation comes too late now that global advertising dollars is expected to drop in 2009. But, as Jason Calacanis constantly iterates, entrepreneurs “build value during downtimes”; so as Web 2.0 (gosh, I hope people will stop using that term) comes to a hushed pop, this is the year Social Networking, especially Facebook, incubates and matures: If Facebook was an anti-social fresh grad in 2008, it’s going to be a suit-and-tie, backslapping corporate man in 2009. Read the rest of this entry »

Using Twitter in the Newsroom

In Online on December 30, 2008 at 10:45 am


(Pic from Geekandpoke)

I hate to harp on again about Twitter, but it’s been heavily on my mind since the Mumbai attacks (This post was delayed for far too long, I know). Once again, Twitter was hailed as the on-the-ground, revolutionary, citizen-journalism breakthrough by the web community. More so this time, when mainstream media paid attention and leveraged on the reporting done through Twitter.

Following Twitter’s success in covering the San Diego fires, Obama”s presidential campaign, and the China Earthquake, there was little doubt that Twitter would take centrestage during the Mumbai attacks. This time around, however, the question of credibility was raised when the BBC admitted to mistakes made using Twitter coverage, especially in regards to the widely-reported tweet that the Indian government called for an end to Twitter updates from Mumbai.

This drew fiery responses from both sides of the issue: on the side of the traditional media gatekeepers are The Independent’s Tom Sutcliffe, who writes that citizens twittering news side-by-side with professional journalists is “a worrying development.” Read the rest of this entry »

The Flipside: How Newspapers Should Use Twitter To Disseminate Information

In Online on December 30, 2008 at 10:36 am


(Chicago Tribune photo by Bill Hogan, plucked from The Huffington Post–great link to the back story on the Tribune’s social media evolution)

One thing that irks me about most newspapers is their poor understanding on how to utilise Twitter as a social media tool for disseminating their news. Sure, a newspaper could look “cool and hip” by adding Twitter on their list, but it gets annoying fast when all the Twitter account does is spew out RSS feeds like a bot.

So far, local news orgs have been treating it like another channel of news alerts: @tm_insider, @thenutgraph, @thestar_rage, mostly employ it as a one-way communication tool. (If you ask me, @msiakini is the biggest irritant in this regard–the tweets are often cut short as headlines stretch over 140 characters- – with no link! WTF, seriously) Granted, while @nikicheong is getting there with The Star’s Rage in being human by putting more than headlines and a link in its Twitter post, there’s hardly a relationship built there. Read the rest of this entry »

The MySimplifieds Experiment

In Online on December 11, 2008 at 3:51 pm


So last week was the conclusion of my first beta-testing project that I’ve been working on. It’s this new site called MySimplifieds, a new online classifieds that just came out of the woodworks last Friday. It’s kinda great to see beta user comments actually come into place in the creation of a site, and they did a nice job taking out the best ideas and comments, because goodness knows there were tonnes of comments and suggestions that I wouldn’t know where to start. 

Me? Hah, well, I often chipped in rather late in the discussion list, but I did manage to speak. 

Stuff that’s improved (well beyond what was first introduced by the way) were a simplified layout, a changed logo, personalised user preferences, seller’s profile pages, seller ratings, social media sharing–well, there’s a lot more, but let’s just focus on the product. 

So, anyway. On to the site: they’ve partnered in with a few sellers like BookXcess, Lowyet, and Travel Profiler to post up some stuff to sell to kickstart it, but the site seems to be doing fine in attracting new individual sellers. And given that there are a growing number of online retailers out there, it’s got a big potential to grow. 

As to what the difference is between MySimplifieds, Murah and the other classifieds? Well, at least it does look pretty clean and organised (thanks to us beta-testers), but time, sellers’ reputations, and marketing will tell if the brand name gets out to the public. Will keep an eye on it in the coming months ahead!

Ev Sez: “Twitter’s Gonna Make Money, But I’m Not Gonna Tell You How” =P

In Online on December 5, 2008 at 8:47 am


Pic from Comicbase @ Flickr. Some rights reserved.

The past week has offered some, but not much, insight as to what Twitter‘s revenue model will be like, with CNET and the New York Times reporting on the failed Facebook/Twitter deal and a morsel of information from CEO Evan Williams.

When reports of the failed Twitter acquisition by Facebook first emerged, my initial reaction was a slap on forehead. If, as Kara Swisher says, there was a $500 million deal in FB stock tabled, it looked to be a great deal missed, especially considering the collapsing Web 2.0 scene because of the financial turmoil, the tumbling prices of startups (MySpace’s Chris DeWolfe saying some are willing to sell at just 10% of their $200-300m valuations 6 months ago.), and the fact that Twitter still has yet to come up with any sort of revenue-generating model.

But not so, says CNET’s Rafe Needleman, who says that it’s a good thing that Twitter wasn’t bought by Facebook. The acquisition, if it were to happen, would represent “a double mismatch” for Facebook. Read the rest of this entry »

Malaysian Adex To Hold Up In 2009

In News, Online on December 3, 2008 at 2:30 pm


(Pix from

There’s always some difficulty in relating the Advertising Expenditure (Adex) that are collapsing in the US and UK to the Malaysian market. In the print industry over there, every other day spells another dip in revenue for major papers, with even more disastrous news expected in 2009.

In Malaysia, however, there’s a different outlook for the 2009 Adex–and one that the print industry would be happy to learn. I was hearing this from this gem of a podcast produced by BFM 89.9, where the host interviewed Andrea Douglas and Sarah Liew of Nielsen Media. As predicted by the Economist, the advertising market in general was expected to rise in 2008 due to the major sporting events, but “some ad-men expect the knife to cut most deeply in 2009.” 

According to Andrea Douglas, the Executive Director of Nielsen Media, the Malaysian Adex of 2008 is expected to come up to about RM6 billion, about 11% more than 2007. “Next year, however, is a little bit of an unknown,” she says. “What’s happening now is that there’s been a decline in advertising growth, but it’s more in the developed markets, and there, they’re in static or negative growth.” Read the rest of this entry »

Transplanting The Magazine To The Web

In magazines, Online on December 3, 2008 at 8:50 am

sleepingcomputer.jpgLast week’s big news was the announcement that starting Feb 2009, PC Magazine will go 100% digital, according to its Editor-in-Chief, Lance Ulanoff. Usually, the announcement of going 100% digital usually spells the death knell of any publication, but the move has been seen as taking a step forward.

“While we are energized by the endless possibilities of the digital format,” Lance Ulanoff writes, “I assure you that the decision to stop producing a hard-bound copy was not an easy one. But the reality is that the ever-growing expense of print and delivery was turning the creation of a physical product into an untenable business proposition.”

By going 100% digital, PC Mag will be publishing a regular format of a “magazine” as we know it, except that it won’t be printed on paper, but distributed electronically via Zinio, a digital magazine subscription service. You can try out a free issue of December’s PC Mag issue on Zinio here.

This is where things get a little testy for me. I was never a fan of transplanting the magazine experience directly onto the web; it comes from the same thinking that led to several publishers just dumping their PDF files online and expecting to look “web-compliant”. Read the rest of this entry »

The Ever-Changing Newspaper: Some Hope In Dark Times Ahead

In News, Online on November 21, 2008 at 8:50 pm


(Pic from

Ever so often when I go to the Guardian’s Media section, it used to be that I’d always first click onto the Press and Publishing section. It was, after all, directly related to the industry I was in–magazine publishing. It also had some great advice columns by David Hepworth and Dylan Jones, but over the past couple of years, there’s been little to cheer me up in that section.

Every other week in that section seems to be another towards Doomsday, more Eeyore moans about job cuts, sharply declining revenues, newspapers closing down, circulation figures dropping in ridiculous rates. (These days, for my own sanity, I first click around the Digital Media section) 

This week in the Media section featured a couple of postings that I think hints towards the future of newspapers and journalism. First, the bad news: It looks like the recession will hit the UK newspaper industry very badly, with ad revenues ‘will fall by 21% in 2009’, according to reports.

The UK newspaper industry, already reeling from the economic downturn, is heading for an even grimmer 2009 with advertising revenues forecast to fall by 21% next year, according to a report.

These figures reflect the “dramatic downgrading of the state of the UK economy in recent weeks and days, ending talk of a shallow and short recession”, the report stated.

The UK print ad market will be the worst hit of all media sectors in 2009, down 21%, with newspaper display ads down 22% and classifieds down about 19%, according to Enders Analysis. Growth will not return to the print ad market until some time after 2013. Read the rest of this entry »

Some Thoughts on Twitter

In Online on November 19, 2008 at 4:50 pm


I didn’t really get Twitter at first and I thought that it represented all the worst things about blogging (navel gazing, echo chamber)…. Eventually, I came around. My family, who are generally far away, have a much better sense of what is going on in my life (even though sometimes I forget to call).
—Randy Stewart (comment on

That’s a typical quote from anyone who hadn’t previously used Twitter, the microblogging service that left many, including myself, confused as to where it fit in the whole Web environment. It was touted as a micro-blogging service–writing down a post in 140 characters or less–and though it’s an accurate summation of what Twitter does, it presented a public perception that was well short of its true potential, which we’re seeing some 2 years after it launched.

I know. I was in that category of people aware of Twitter’s existence early on, but could not, for the life of me, figure out its importance. Being a microblogging service, the first thought that came to my head was “Do I need another blog service?”, as I struggled to keep up to one blog. This was a time when Tumblr started to gain buzz, and all I could think of is how this is another flash in the pan web fad that will fade away.

Question the relevancy of Twitter these days, and you’ll get a stare that says: “You n00b. Twitter’s awesome.” Just a couple of days ago, TechCrunch talked about Twitter’s “Hockey Stick Moment, in terms of its growth just shooting up”, where since January, the site experienced a 16-fold growth in the U.S, and may have posted its billionth tweet sometime last week. Read the rest of this entry »

The Collapse of Yahoo!

In News, Online on June 20, 2008 at 3:00 pm

Three weeks away from the blog, and so much shit has happened in between that I don’t know where to start with this mountain of information staring at me. Oh, BTW, Firefox 3 just rocks my pants off, whatever that means.

Once again, in a week following the strange Yahoogle deal between Yahoo! and Google to essentially let Google Ads run on Yahoo! searches, the knives are out for Jerry Yang more than ever. Dvorak has made a bleeding heart petition for shareholders to lay off Jerry Yang in his latest Marketwatch column, calling out so-called “investors” who want the company to be sold as mere speculators. Here’s an excerpt.

If you’re an investor in Yahoo, my guess is that you’ve chosen to invest in a company, its employees and its future. Selling out to Microsoft only assures a pathetic end of this investment.
And you all seem so pleased at the idea that Yang, the founder with nothing but good intentions, would, at the drop of a hat, take his life’s work, the top Web site in the world, a site full of tools used by millions of people, and sell it to Microsoft just because Microsoft wants it.
Oh, and let’s not forget the thousands of people who productively work for Yahoo. Who cares about them?
Did I also mention that Yahoo is an important and famous American institution?
So Yang wants to keep Yahoo as Yahoo. And you are all stunned, indeed flabbergasted by this.
How sick and greedy are you?
While he does have a point in not letting the likes of Carl Icahn take over the company so that Yahoo! can be sold to Microsoft for the “shareholders’ interest”, it’s increasingly unwise to let Jerry Yang continue to run Yahoo! It’s a critical time for the company, when strong leadership and direction is needed–and Yang is obviously not the man to steer the company in the right direction. As one of the comments pointed out, it’s Jerry Yang who hired Terry Semel, the person who made Yahoo! the shambles that it is today, so Yang isn’t the faultless saviour-to-be here.
Compound this with the recent departure of Flickr’s founders, Stewart Butterfield and Catrina Fake, from Yahoo! and you have all the signs of weakening leadership. Butterfield sounds so jaded and confused by what was going on with Yahoo!. He writes in his resignation letter:
“When I joined Yahoo back in 21 it was a sheet-tin concern of great momentum, growth and innovation,” Over the decades, as the company grew and expanded, first into dies and punches, into copper, corrugated steel, synthesized rubber, piping, milling equipment, engines, instruments, weaponry and so on, I still felt at home, because tin was the core of the business.

“By the time of the internet revolution and our expansions into Web Sites, I have been cast adrift. I tried to roll with the times, but nary a sheet of tin has rolled off our own production lines in 30 years!”

“I don’t know what you and the other executives have planned for this company, but I know my ability to contribute has dwindled to near-nothing…”

So 1,000 jobs slashed, a cost-cutting move from UK to Switzerland, and the loss of their top brains, including vice president Bradley Horowitz, who left for Google. Yahoo! sounds like it’s crumbling fast. And there’s hardly word on what the plan is to save the company: Team up with Google? Blah. That’s a pittance.

The latest TWiT episode had me pumping my fist into the air when Wil Harris summed it up: “What Is Yahoo!?” I don’t think the company knows: is it a portal, a social networking site, a search engine, a platform? What does it intend to be? Unlike Google, which has a long-term future idea of “Cloud Computing” or Facebook and MySpace destined to be a “Platform,” no one knows what Yahoo! is or will be.

It’s a pity that Yahoo! is crumbling the way it is. Yang won’t be there for long.

Clay Shirky’s Keynote On The Media Revolution

In Online, Videos on June 3, 2008 at 6:11 am

A little while back I posted a note on Clay Shirky’s keynote address at the Web 2.0 Expo held in late April this year. It’s a lengthy speech to read on text, so here’s the 15-minute address presented in two seperate YouTube clips.

and Part 2:

It’s an amazing look into the future about how the internet has (not will) changed the way media is consumed and shared, and why Old Media control freaks are helplessly lost in trying to understand new trends in media consumption.

What struck me most about his keynote address was how social and participatory media is here to stay, and not some phase that will wear itself out. Like Linda Stone, a former VP at Microsoft, I used to believe that the explosion of social networking services such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace will cause people to burn out and give up because they can’t find the time to devote their attention to maintaining their social profiles, blogs, AND twitter accounts. That’s obviously not the case now.

So how do they find the time? Simple: it’s because the new generation of media consumers control their media to suit their time tables.

The media revolution caused by the internet has caused a fundamental shift in the way we consume media. Where once broadcasters could force us into channels, making us rush home at 8.30pm sharp for another episode of McGyver, it is we who now control how and when we want to watch our TV. Read the rest of this entry »

Time’s Up For Web 2.0

In News, Online on May 29, 2008 at 6:44 am

(Pic from CJLUC)

Wow. Looks like this week hasn’t been a happy one for the proponents of Web 2.0. The Register called 27 May the day when “you can begin see the true, scary picture of internet economics today,” following the Financial Times’s report on the state of Web 2.0 in a piece called “Web 2.0 fails to produce cash.

Here’s an excerpt of the gloomy report:

Many members of the Web 2.0 generation of internet companies have so far produced little in the way of revenue, despite bringing about some significant changes in online behaviour, according to some of the entrepreneurs and financiers behind the movement.

The shortage of revenue among social networks, blogs and other “social media” sites that put user-generated content and communications at their core has persisted despite more than four years of experimentation aimed at turning such sites into money-makers. Together with the US economic downturn and a shortage of initial public offerings, the failure has damped the mood in internet start-up circles.

“There is going to be a shake-out here in the next year or two” as many Web 2.0 companies disappear, said Roger Lee, a partner at Battery Ventures.

They did, however, end the story with a note of optimism for the future:

Despite the slow start to money-making by Web 2.0 companies, the trend towards more social online behaviour that it embodies is widely claimed by insiders to be of lasting significance.

“The capabilities that are coming with Web 2.0 are very profound,” said Devin Wenig, head of the markets division of Thomson Reuters. “The Valley is usually right, and it’s usually early.”

The notion that Web 2.0 has been a marketing catchphrase developed by Tim O’Reilly has been well-spotted earlier on by cynical columnists like John C. Dvorak in his piece Web 2.0 Baloney. Despite the warnings, however, many VCs have continued to pour in money into Web 2.0 ventures because “Web 2.0” is such an alluring term to describe the social worth of the web. So much so, in fact, that little attention has been made to the question of monetization.

The “M” word has gained more traction of late as news of the billion-dollar Viacom lawsuit against YouTube exposes the weaknesses of YouTube’s business plan that hinges heavily on copyrighted material. Many analysts wondered how YouTube could be valued at the $1.65 billion acquisition price, considering that it only earned $31m last year. More disturbingly is the fact that since being acquired by Google, YouTube still hasn’t developed any new plans to monetize the number of views.

The logic that looms overhead is: If Google can’t find a way, then who can? What will happen of the remaining Web 2.0 ventures: Is Facebook still worth $15billion dollars? How will MySpace monetize itself to turn it into a profitable venture for Rupert Murdoch?

Watch this space.

The Evolution Of Blogging

In Online on May 26, 2008 at 5:12 am

(Pic from Zits)

One of the great things about the web as a medium is its constant evolution. Compared to what the web was 10 years ago, the web has turned itself from a traditional top-down medium, to a revolutionary bottom-up medium. It’s Guttenberg’s printing machine on crack, easily obtained at the price of one free e-mail account and a decent broadband connection.

One example of how this media evolution can be seen is in the way blogging has changed. When the idea of a blog (or “web-log”) came up, I remember not knowing what to do with it. And so did the rest of the internet community.

Debates came up about what a blog is, what sort of content should go on it, whether this new form of “Citizen Journalism” is credible–these questions were everywhere. There were no definitive answers to those questions: the moment someone (usually from mainstream media) said that Citizen Journalism isn’t credible, up comes another person pointing out how blogs and flickr has enabled “normal” people to get the newscoop ahead of traditional media. The debate went on and on, back and forth. In the meantime, while the academics debated on the subject of blogs, users gradually evolved blogs into what we now accept as part of how we get our daily news and opinions.

It’s amazing how, in the past couple of years, we not only accept blogs as news sources, but also how we’ve made them a part of our daily media diet. So now that we’ve accepted blogs, what’s next for the medium? Jeff Jarvis gives us an idea in his post “Blogs then and now”

An excerpt:

Three years ago, blogs were still a curiosity to a business audience, new enough to warrant a cover story, strange enough to require explaining. But now, blogs and social media are not only better understood and accepted but they are coming to be seen as a necessity in media and more and more in business. I’ve written three stories in the magazine about business using social media to rebuild relationships with customers — Dell blogging and collaborating with customers and Starbucks opening a platform for customers’ ideas.

Business Week itself has a score of blogs and when I went there for a blogging workshop, what struck me most was that I did not hear the usual objections to blogging that are thrown at me when speaking with a group of media people: that blogs are not professional and thus not reliable. One staffer who came late did fret about the amount of crap out there but her fellow staffers argued her down; I didn’t have to. The meat of the discussion was, instead, no longer about why journalists blog but instead about how to blog better, how to be more involved in the conversation.

Next, I think, Business Week’s writers and readers will move beyond the conversation to see that social media are changing their fundamental relationship with customers to be less about serving and more about collaborating. No, I don’t mean that every product will be the product of a committee. But customers who want to talk will and smart companies will not just listen but will engage them in decisions. This will have an impact not just on PR and image but on product design, marketing, sales, customer service — the whole company.

Three years from now, I predict that Business Week’s cover won’t about about blogs or tools but about companies as communities.

This movement in how blogs are being used is an unconscious evolution–like Twitter, the usage of medium has evolved on its own, through how its users interact with each other. This next step of blogging isn’t some far off vision in some other land, but happening here as well–you can see a blueprint of this evolution in how KLue operates its blog by getting the community involved in the process.

In its previous version, the magazine’s blog used to be a bog-standard top-down post that didn’t invite visitors to contribute, but through subtle changes–the posts are shorter, more personal, and ask open-ended questions–the blog has become better literally overnight.

This is the free prize that Seth Godin writes about in making your product better: in this case, readers buy the magazine, but the relationship between publisher and reader doesn’t end at print; they also get involved in a community with every purchase–the entry to the community is the Free Prize.

The Problem With Yahoo!

In News, Online on May 17, 2008 at 9:49 am

(Pic from fantichi)

Phew. Okay. So much crap has been happening since Microsoft finally pulled out of the Yahoo! bid, and the week after has been a time for vultures to circle around Yahoo!’s ailing body. Founder Jerry Yang has been given until July 3rd’s shareholder meeting to convince shareholders why he thinks Yahoo! is better off without Microsoft’s big bucks–and from the looks of things, Yang isn’t going to be on solid ground for long.

Jerry Yang’s return to the board after Terry Semel got the boot hasn’t paid off. Most were expecting a Steve Jobs-like effect on the company, but that feel-good sentiment has long faded into memory–compared to its main competitor, Google, Yahoo! has floundered in its bid to innovate and improve itself.

Yang’s plan in hoping that Y!Open will save the company hasn’t convinced too many analysts, not least because of Yahoo!’s history of failure to integrate its acquisitions into making Yahoo! a stronger core product. Flickr and are two major examples of this failure, with the web services still as disparate and unconnected as they were on the day they were acquired. Architecturally, Yahoo!’s a mess–the groups are here, the mail client is there, newsfeeds are everywhere.

With Google, their services are integrated more seamlessly. If you ask me, there’s too much of a mess to clean within the next 7 weeks before Yang meets up with the board, and my feeling is that he could get ousted.

Vultures have smelled the desperation. Carl Icahn has now entered into the fray, threatening to launch “an attempt at a Yahoo boardroom coup after criticising the company’s decision to reject a $47.5bn Microsoft takeover bid and unveiling his own rival slate of directors,” according to the Guardian. His move has since been rebuffed by Roy Bostock, chairman of Yahoo!, in a strong statement that warned off people like Icahn. This, an excerpt of the letter plucked from The Register:

This was communicated to Microsoft in-person at a meeting in Seattle on May 3rd. With Microsoft’s offer at $33 and Yahoo!’s counter-proposal at $37, Microsoft elected, within hours, to walk away from the negotiating table and informed us that they were “moving on,” having never engaged further on price or any of the key non-price deal terms.

In short, Yahoo!’s board was at every point in this process prepared to enter into a transaction with Microsoft that would maximize stockholder value–and included certainty of value and closing. What Yahoo!’s independent board refused to do was to allow control of this company to be acquired for less than its full value.

Icahn plans to remove several members of Yahoo!’s board and replace them with his own–people who would understandably be more open to another Microsoft bid. This move prompted John C. Dvorak to post a Marketwatch column in which he criticizes Icahn’s cronies, and that Icahn’s move to buy-oust-and-sell Yahoo! will destroy the company. Read the rest of this entry »