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Yahoo! Snacks on Small Fry

With so much going on at Yahoo! (YHOO), it's easy to miss some of the small items that will play a big role in the long term.

Yahoo! announced a major advertising partnership with newspapers on Monday, after a tumultuous weekend in which a scathing internal memo criticizing the company's performance was released to the press.

And in the absence of special events, investors tend to return to the regularly scheduled programming of scrutinizing Yahoo!'s herculean effort to augment the amount of money it makes per search.

All of this can distract from the company's low-key acquisitions, which offer a wealth of insight into where the company is aiming to be in the long run.

That's because if Yahoo! hopes to be a company that sets the Internet agenda again, it will have to do a lot more than simply be a close second to Google (GOOG).

With the search market now more than a decade old, Yahoo! is banking on the quickly evolving social-media sector (blogs and Web sites such as MySpace, YouTube, Facebook and Wikipedia that allow users to produce as well as consume content) to push it back to the pole position.

A couple of acquisitions announced late last week in the social-media and mobile-Internet space will help the company get closer to its vision.

Yahoo! said it acquired Bix, a start-up that offers a platform for talent shows. And the tech blog GigaOm confirmed that Yahoo! had bought Kenet Works, which brings an interactive community function to mobile devices.

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