First, Yahoo appears to have done Shine well. Note the fresh, clean, blog-like look. If they would only move the “from Yahoo” logo off the header (and the site off the yahoo.com domain), visitors might think they’d stumbled across a cool new unaffiliated site (unaware that they had been directed there by the Yahoo traffic fire hose.)
Second, as Yahoo has demonstrated with other focused, branded content plays–OMG, TechTicker–its distribution platform is so powerful that it can enter mature, crowded categories and immediately be a player. These forays don’t (or at least shouldn’t) cost much–a handful of editors and writers–and each should immediately generate at least a few million pageviews a month (and that’s if they bomb).
Third, starting such sites is cheaper than buying them–and as the hopelessly uncool iVillage has demonstrated, success appears to be transitory.
So even though we can’t imagine that we’ll be reading Shine, we imagine others will–especially when it gets a big, fat link on the Yahoo home page.