Each Friday, we follow up on tech and media stories we covered a year ago.
My, what a year to forget for MySpace: A year ago, MySpace at least had the bragging rights that it was still almost twice as big as Facebook in the U.S., where ad dollars exist.
But fast-forward a year later, and Facebook’s 88 million July U.S. unique visitors trump MySpace’s 68 million by a wide margin, according to comScore.
Here’s hoping that new MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta and chief product officer Jason Hirschhorn can make MySpace something interesting again.
Yahoo’s summer of pointless moves: Last year around this time, Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang was in the middle of putting Carl Icahn’s buddies Frank Biondi and John Chapple on the Yahoo board, and considering more staff cuts. All while trying to get a Google ad deal to work and keeping as far away as possible from Microsoft.
A year later, the Google deal is dead, Jerry Yang is long gone as CEO, and Yahoo’s new CEO Carol Bartz just signed its future in the search business away to Microsoft. Icahn, meanwhile, has his own problems. A hedge fund says he screwed fellow XO shareholders by snubbing three buyout offers for the struggling telecom company.
Google Android still no iPhone: A year ago, we ran the first informal review of Google’s first Android phone: An industry source who had actually seen the gadget told us it was technically powerful but not as elegant as Apple’s iPhone and OS X. That still sounds accurate a year later, after a few GPhones have hit the market.
Google’s platform has promise — especially if it can get built into huge numbers of mass-market phones from companies like Motorola. But the iPhone is still the gadget that everyone in the industry wants to match. And Google’s partners still haven’t released anything with must-have features or pricing.
Cramer’s Google BUY call was right, sort of: Jim Cramer called GOOG a steal last August, saying Google’s hit after a bad quarter was “as stupid as bricks or plywood.” And that it was time to buy “hand over fist,” he said. (Well, probably shouted.)
Jim obviously couldn’t have predicted that the bottom was about to fall out of the market. But it did, and Google shares dropped almost 50% in the few months after Cramer stamped his BUY rating on the stock. But a year later, Google shares are down less than 10% year-over-year, while the S&P 500 is down about 20%. (And the Google bulls are yelling BUY again.)
Here’s that 1-year chart:
Last week’s flashback: Montauk Monster mystery still unsolved; worthless, $1000 “I Am Rich” iPhone app disappears; Mel Karmazin says “the tough part is over” for Sirius XM; Cuil still a punch line for the five people who remember it. Read on →
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