Al Warms Sells Buzztracker to Yahoo!, Becomes GM Of News

A little over a year ago, I wrote a post about my friend Al Warms’ new web service called Buzztracker.

In that post I said:

For all of you who like to use buzztrackers like Techmeme and Tailrank
comes a new service that may blow out the category to a much wider

I was also critical of the service:

But there are some shortcomings to the buzztracker service. First, I
think it lacks the feed density it needs. if you compare the techmeme front page and the buzztracker tech front page,
you’ll see that techmeme does a better job with that category. Of
course, you’d expect that to be the case since techmeme has been around
for a while and buzztracker is just launching. But it’s even true on
the music page where buzztracker music is missing almost all of the top hypemachine music blogs.
I spent some time trying to find a place to suggest a new feed and
categorize it for them and it wasn’t anywhere I could see it.

Al and his team addressed most of my issues pretty quickly and the service has gotten much better. So much better that Yahoo! has acquired it and made Al its GM of News. Kara Swisher has the scoop on her blog.

Truth be told, I still get my tech news from Techmeme and I care less about the other categories in Buzztracker so I don’t visit it that often. But now that Yahoo! has bought it, and will likely promote it heavily on its news pages (I would assume they’ll integrate the buzztracker technology into their news pages), I am sure that this category is going mainstream. And that’s a good thing because there’s a sea of information out there and we need new tools to manage it.

Most of all, I’d like to congratulate Al and his team on a nice deal (they bootstrapped the whole thing) and I look forward to working with Al in his new role as GM of News. They could not have found a better person for that job. Here’s Al’s take on the transation and his new role.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Michael

    This is an interesting time at Y: Semel’s out and the peanut butter is getting tastier by the day; Toby hung on & is doing interesting things with Bebo; YMaps is Lego to GMaps lincoln logs (at least from the end-user side); their service lines are much more elegantly integrated and well-designed.They still have plenty of work ahead, but I’d say things are looking decidedly better than they were a year ago.

  2. David

    Greg Jarboe couldn’t have even possbily been a better choice?(Just saying that “they could not have found a better person” is strong words.)Time will tell.

  3. ProductArchitect

    Long-time readers may remember that “Al from Chicago” (Alan Warms) posted a comment here on A VC with a very useful analysis of The Huffington Post raising $5M. That (plus some data I grabbed from Jeremy Liew and Tim O’Reilly) may help explain Why BuzzTracker sold for $5 million instead of raising $5 million. I think it’s useful info for Web entrepreneurs. (No credit goes to me; I’m just the messenger.)