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Yahoo! Mail Wackos Need to Move On

  • A decent size swath of people consider Web-based mail a birthright. Probably because it's one of the first, if not the first thing most of us used consistently when we first got online, there's a false sense of self-entitlement that perfectly-operating web-based mail should come along with birth certificates.
  • The Mail debacle is the perfect issue for Marissa Mayer haters to latch onto, sensationalize and beat into the ground as part of their petty and increasingly shallow efforts to discredit her.

Call me a fanboy. That's fine. That sort of thing is territory for wildly successful and widely respected, yet curiously defensive and insecure tech reporters. If I'm a fanboy, so be it. But, as Cramer likes to drill into us, I'm focused. You must stay focused.

With my eye on the ball, I'm paying more attention these days to Yahoo!'s video strategy. Because it actually matters.

Yahoo! Mail is but one gateway to other Yahoo! properties and content.

Roughly 1% of its users were impacted by the recent outage. This vocal minority yells loudly and with frequency, fabricating the false notion of widespread outrage and backlash against Yahoo!. I'm telling you it just doesn't exist.

The outage or just the general low-quality of Yahoo! Mail will not stop users from accessing other (much higher quality) properties such as Yahoo! Finance or Yahoo! Sports. If my email went out, I'm only robbing myself if stop reading Nicholas Cotsonika on the National Hockey League out of some silly protest.

In other words, there's no nexus between isolated or endemic deficiencies in Yahoo! Mail and any meaningful exodus from the other things Yahoo! does.

The notion of Yahoo! as a daily habit lives on despite this hiccup. Mayer continues to make Yahoo! more exciting and relevant as a daily habit. As such, she will increase the time you spend with Yahoo! by smartly staking out territory in video others have ignored and neglected.

What we're seeing here is best summed up in a couple of Tweets I posted Thursday morning:

When you trade stocks, you have to keep track of the emotion others spew. That's part of your edge. That applies here for traders and investors. But it's also relevant for people uninterested in YHOO as a trade or investment.

The psychology of this situation can actually help those willing to look and do the work better understand the company and see through the Mail-related outrage and, in some corners, vendetta against Marissa Mayer.

--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is a columnist for TheStreet. Pendola makes frequent appearances on national television networks such as CNN and CNBC as well as TheStreet TV. Whenever possible, Pendola uses hockey, Springsteen or Southern California references in his work. He lives in Santa Monica.
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