By Anita Devasahayam
What is the world-famous Internet navigator Yahoo!'s secret to
success? How are they able to stay ahead and lead the pack, a friend
asked a few weeks ago? Me, a journalist, the one that goes around
asking questions, and more often than not offering my two sens'
worth of opinions without being asked, gaped, speechless. My brain
went on the blink.
My opinions that some quarters in the computing industry were
prescient and followed faithfully like lemmings to sea were suddenly
reduced to nothing by this double-barreled query.
For once, I was the one with eyes glazing over like the majority
of the Malaysian population when the subject of the Internet was
brought up. Thoroughly chastised by my lack of knowledge and
bewildered into silence, it dawned on me that not every Tom, Dick
and Mary here understood my fanatical fervor that the Net will
someday rule the world.
To them, I was the one lost in cyberspace. The one who was
wandering through portals and vortexes of convoluted circuitry
searching for nirvana. But they are so wrong. I see what they cannot
even begin to imagine. My questing journalistic mind gathers the
information and processes it to make a whole.
You see, I have been seeing things. I don't know for how long
this has gone on or how many people have been enriched by their mere
encounter with my person. With great pride I carry that innate
Malaysian hospitality to dispense helpful hints--even counsel.
I first saw the light in 1994, a landmark period when Yahoo! founders Jerry Yang and
David Filo started out with the seed of an idea to build a guide to
keep track of their personal interests on the Net. That guide grew
from a hobby into a full-time passion. Yahoo!, which otherwise
stands for "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle", also helped
numerous users efficiently locate, identify and even edit material
Yahoo! gives and gives. The tenet in giving is that all things
come full circle. After establishing themselves as a giver, and a
caring one at that, people began to give back. The very same people
who entered Yahoo!'s realm and enjoyed the creative agenda provided
by Yang and Filo began to give back.