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Tue, May 02, 2006 - Page 10 News List

New technology Web site aimed at less geeky surfers

NY TIMES NEWS SERVICE , NEW YORK

In one of its first major efforts to build a Web site with original material, Yahoo were to introduce yesterday a site devoted to consumer technology.

The site, called Yahoo Tech (tech.yahoo.com), will feature Web logs (blogs) on technology and a weekly video program. It will also republish articles and product reviews from several magazines and accept comments contributed by users.

Yahoo's goal for the site is to create more space for technology-related advertisers, said Scott Moore, Yahoo's vice president of content operations.

"We take in many millions from technology and telecom advertising," he said. "We had a lot of requests from advertisers to advertise on content related to their categories."

There is, of course, no shortage of Web sites about technology, including the vast technology site CNet, blogs like Engadget and Gizmodo and the sites of publications like PC Magazine.

Patrick Houston, the general manager of Yahoo Tech, said there was "a big, big opportunity for a site that is built especially for people who have neither the time nor the inclination to understand technology at the bit-and-byte level."

Joseph Gillespie, the executive vice president who oversees CNet's consumer technology sites, dismissed the idea that its site was not accessible to mainstream users.

"We didn't get to 60 million users because we are just for geeks," he said. "There aren't that many geeks."

He contended that CNet, with its own news-gathering operation and product testing laboratories, had far more depth than Yahoo could offer.

"Technology is not easy," Gillespie said. "It requires a maniacal commitment to original programming."

A year ago, Yahoo hired Lloyd Braun, the former head of ABC Entertainment, to set up a studio to produce original text and video content from a new outpost in Santa Monica, California. After much debate about the media unit's scope, Braun's ambitions were scaled back, and many of his more elaborate projects were abandoned. That left Yahoo Tech as the most extensive of his initiatives to get final approval.

There will be advertising on most of the site's pages.

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