Lagan Sebert: Will online news always be primarily a print medium?
Neil Budde: Each of the different mediums support each other and have a different purpose. I don't think its going to go to all video. What most users want is to get to information as quickly as possible, and so for a lot of things, telling stories in words is still the best way.
What video adds are elements that are only possible to show in a picture that's moving or with sounds and other things to accompany that. I think photos still have a huge place because a lot of times, a still image, stuck in a moment in time, is a lot easier to analyze than a video that goes right by you.
Each form--printed words, video, still photos, audio--all add and contribute. There are also a lot of database-driven applications that rely on a depth of data.
I wouldn't say that words and text are going to go away. I think its still going to be the predominant way that people get a lot of their information.
It's more about being smart about which form you use to tell different elements of a story. Which one you use to help inform people in different ways.
LS: So the internet won't be simply an online TV?
NB: I don't think so.
I say that after the last year at Yahoo!, when we have, more than tripled the number of video streams that we serve up in news. There is clearly a huge appetite to get stuff in video format.
What really works well [with video news] is when there is something that is best shown through video.... You want to see things and you want to hear people talking and see what they're saying and how they look when they're saying it.... Visuals that have an impact from motion.
LS: Would Yahoo! ever brand its own news, and hire its own news journalists?
NB: We do have a limited amount in Yahoo News. We've got one project called "People of the Web" that is reported by our own staff.
But what we've tried to do is use our folks to report stories that aren't necessarily available, or widely being told in other media outlets.... "People of the Web" is largely about introducing some of the people behind some of the [online] things.
You may have heard of some famous YouTube video that millions of people watch, but you don't know the person that created that. Some of that is what we do...We've told the story of a guy who is a manager of a Gap store and has become very famous on YouTube for his videos on fashion.
Our approach to originals within Yahoo! is to say, it doesn't make sense to replicate what we can get from our partners or licensing content from AP or Reuters or from our relationships with ABC or CBS or CNN, which provide tons of great news video. We're going to focus on what isn't in that flow and what isn't available there. To the extent that we have people out reporting it's going to be in those types of areas.
-- Lagan Sebert