What do you do with two tottering Web 1.0 empires that are suffering a crisis of management? Throw them into the hadron collider, slam them together at light speed, and see if the God particle emerges.
Which is why rumors are swirling yet again that Yahoo! and AOL. are feeling the urge to merge. Reports late last week indicate that the Yahoos and the AOLers are once again thinking about bumping uglies in a big way -- especially now that Carol #$%@!! Bartz is out of the picture.
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Leaving one extremely important question to resolve: What completely pointless end punctuation will they agree on? I'm voting for an interrobang (!?).
Some folks, like Business Insider's Henry Blodgett, think this is a capital idea. Others think it's batshot crazy. Sources inside Yahoo are already pooh-poohing it (not that this means anything -- even Yahoo doesn't know what Yahoo will do next).
But I'm not so sure this is quite as insane as it may appear. In fact, I have an even crazier idea. Let's toss Microsoft into the mix. First, Microsoft would have to finally see the light and split into three separate entities: enterprise, mobile, and Internet. The Internet arm then merges with the combined YahAol to form a Web monster that would cause even mighty Google to wet itself.
Traffic-wise, it's a slam dunk. All together, the combined monthly traffic for Yahoo (No. 2), Microsoft (No. 3), and AOL (No. 5) would be in excess of 357 million, according to the latest figures from ComScore -- or 166 percent bigger than the entire U.S. Internet population.