Marissa Mayer is brilliant and is already proving to be the perfect choice to bring Yahoo! back from the brink. First, she has managed to get pretty much every major media outlet talking about Yahoo! over the past week or so. (See, for example, here and here and here and here.) When was the last time that happened? Second, she has single-handedly invigorated the work-life balance discussion and in a way that includes men in the mix as well. (According to Maureen Dowd, “Men accustomed to telecommuting were miffed, too. Richard Branson tweeted: ‘Give people the freedom of where to work & they will excel.'”) Third, she may have discovered a way, either intentionally or unintentionally, to motivate Yahoo! employees to find a way to make work-life better for the millions of people who telecommute and perhaps help save Yahoo! too.
The few times I have used Yahoo! in the past five years or so is not to do a search, but to participate in a group collaboration. For example, I took a class last year at the local community college and the instructor asked us to join a Yahoo! group to make it easier for him to communicate with us and to allow us to share ideas about what we were learning. In my limited experience, Yahoo! groups seems to be a popular although limited service that regular folks (i.e, non-tech types) use for collaborating. Just maybe it can be made a bit more useful for those who telecommute, but still need to collaborate or brainstorm with colleagues from time to time, on the fly, when they are at home.
Here is another take on it by Debbie Madden, Executive Vice President, Cyrus Innovation, via The Huffington Post.