According to Sam Whitmore's Media Survey , CNET.com editor-in-chief Patrick Houston departs today to join Yahoo! to head up a new tech editorial channel. At CNET, Patrick was responsible for a recent major makeover of CNET's Personal Technology Reviews.
Sam notes "Leveraging contributions from PCWorld.com, MacCentral, CNET and other technology publishers, Yahoo! has offered a weekly feature called "Tech Tuesday" as part of Yahoo News. But now Yahoo wants to publish its own tech editorial and has recruited Houston -- also a veteran of BusinessWeek, PC Week and ZDNet -- to build a team".
Yahoo's move underscores its desire to become a publisher in its own right. Last fall Yahoo1 hired former Wall Street Journal online executive Neil Budde to oversee its news operations. No longer should Yahoo! -- or Google, for that matter -- be seen merely as a search engine and aggregator. Both have the cash and prestige to cherry-pick publishing's best editors and sales execs -- and that process clearly has begun. Once Yahoo! begins siphoning traffic from today's editorial sites and offers even richer marketing and advertising programs, traditional publishers will be tested like never before.
There is absolutely no doubt that traditional technology publishers have to move quickly to better leverage the power of their brands, their loyal audiences and their unique content. Recognizing the potential for disintermediation of content by users and a move from the traditional "push" media model to the "pull" model where the consumer is in charge is essential. Main Stream Media (MSM) has to embrace the new user democracy by providing proper communication tools. Sites need to provide their communities with forum/discussion groups,blogging, vlogging, mologging, Podcasting, RSS/XML, tagging tools etc if they want to keep them loyal and fully engaged or risk losing them.