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Yahoo Takes On CNet With Gadgets

David A. Utter
Staff Writer
Published: 2006-05-01

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Yahoo's latest website, Yahoo! Tech, debuted with a heavy focus on consumer electronics and a dominant advertising display on the front page.

The lucrative consumer gadget market has another website devoted to its creations and advice on buying and using those gadgets. Yahoo Tech launched today and aims squarely at sites like CNet with the features they have unveiled.

Yahoo has used its brand advertising savvy to significant effect. The Top Features section that dominates the Yahoo Tech front page above the fold launches with a HP photo printer ad that fills the section before fading to reveal the day's top features. Another HP ad appears below Top Features and remains on-screen; HP also sponsors the "My Tech" section, where Yahoo users can save tech products, and review ones they have recently searched for or viewed.

Visitors can find products by clicking on links in a tag cloud appearing atop the page. They can use the search box to locate gadgets, or select a category from a Products drop-down menu.

The Advisors tab leads to columns written by Yahoo Tech's four advisors. Their blog-style advice posts can be viewed by author or category. Top Rated Posts contain links to those posts, and Yahoo users can leave comments about them.

Any of the advisors and their blogs can be added to My Yahoo by clicking the My Y! Button next to their names on their pages.

Yahoo also has a reality show planned for Yahoo Tech. Called "Hook Me Up," Yahoo wants to find people in need of a technology makeover, and each week will reward someone in desperate need of sending their "old school" technology to the recycling center in favor of some new free gadgetry provided by the show.

To apply, Yahoo wants people to make a video pitch and submit it to them online. Then, Yahoo Tech will select someone from those entrants to receive help from its Emergency Makeover Technicians each week.

(We wonder how someone who is old school will be able to make a video about their lack of modern technology and upload it in the first place...)

Yahoo Tech focuses on a very crowded gadget website market. CNet has millions of users and lengthy experience in creating content for those users. Plenty of other sites, from the hugely popular Engadget blog to the online resources of magazines like PC World, also compete for visitors.

To succeed on gaining in that market, Yahoo will have to commit plenty of resources for the long haul or risk being dismissed as a pretender, albeit one with pretty Ajax programming.

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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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