Yahoo!/Tumblr: Finally Making Porn a Legit Business

You read it here first. Pornography just went legit, and we have Yahoo! to thank for it.

That’s probably not the first thing that Yahoo! buying Tumblr makes you think about, but it’s the biggest change that this $1.1 billion transaction makes happen. Yahoo! would like to think otherwise, of course, and we’ll talk about that, but the biggest impact of Yahoo! buying Tumblr is that porn just went legit.

Typically, big companies don’t like porn. And social/censorship issues notwithstanding, that’s a perfectly acceptable business position; who needs the liability of hosting questionable content on your servers?

Tumblr, despite its size (and Tumblr is big in its way) isn’t a ‘big company’, and it’s run by a guy who dropped out of high school to devote his time to it. Can’t fault him; when the deal closes he’ll be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. But Tumblr, with that pedigree in effect, is run like a company helmed by a smart, brash young person, and there’s a lot of pornography on Tumblr. Want to see? search Google Images for ‘tumblr porn’ (WARNING: DO NOT click this at work or with the kids around, or if pornography offends you, please). And Yahoo! has promised not to make the porn on Tumblr go away.

Titillation factor satisfied, let’s talk about what the Yahoo! / Tumblr merger means.

First, it’s a clear validation of something I’ve been telling you for a while now; media matters. You want to get your web site images set up the right way, optimized, and out there. You want to start producing video too. That’s what it means to you. But what about Yahoo! ?

Until now, I’ve felt as though Marissa Meyer had no real plan for Yahoo! I’ve changed my mind. It might not matter, but now we can see that Yahoo!’s CEO has a clear plan, and it makes sense: get big, and get big, quick. Yahoo! understands it isn’t a search engine any more, and the traditional idea of being a portal is passé. Want proof? Google’s gone so far as to shut down iGoogle.

But aggregating lots and lots of user activity in every possible configuration? Bingo. Tumblr was just about the last huge source of driven-by-young-people traffic left, and Ms. Meyer just spent a billion dollars very wisely. And you thought Yahoo! buying the rights to video from Saturday Night Live was a smart media play!

It’s big business change. It’s what Influency Marketing can be for your company.

Where should you blog? Probably not at Tumblr. But there are a whole lot of young people that disagree, and Yahoo! is tapping that. Yahoo! is trying to optimize Tumblr’s position. Is it content? Is It news? Does it matter? At this scale, not very much. But obscenity just became a bit more OK.

What matters is that you get your media act together, and now. And The Answer Guy is Right Here to talk about it.

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