Yahoo admits this blog is 75% air

Well, kind of.

The tech world reeled when Yahoo announced in May that it would buy Tumblr, the weblogs platform favored by those tech-savvy young ‘uns, for a total of $1.1 billion.

Five intriguing tidbits about the deal came out in Yahoo’s quarterly financial documents, which landed last night.

Most eye-popping: Yahoo bought Tumblr for $990 million (the remainder of the billion-plus total goes to founder David Karp and other Tumblr employees), and an incredible $751 million of that value was attributed to “goodwill.”

Goodwill is an accounting term for the worth of an intangible asset blahblahblah, and in this case it means brand value. So 75% of Tumblr’s value lies in its cool factor. (More details in our main CNNMoney story here.)

It’s no secret that Yahoo could use an injection of cool. Plus, Tumblr captures users in two fields — social and mobile — that Yahoo is looking to grow.

But Tumblr might even be the luckier one in this deal, as the 10-Q docs revealed the site was running out of money. Tumblr had less than $17 million in cash on hand when Yahoo bought it.

Stripping out its goodwill value, Tumblr had only $353 million in other assets, as well as liabilities of almost $114 million.

Founder Karp — who will get $81 million in stock-based comp and cash as long as he stays at Yahoo for four years — said in the past that advertising “turns our stomachs.” But Tumblr began to soften on that point recently.

And anyway, being bought for a billion dollars usually forces one to change one’s mind on such things.

Indeed, even as Mayer assured Tumblr users that the site will maintain its independence, she also promised analysts back in May that Yahoo will “monetize” Tumblr. After all, these cat gifs were expensive! -Julianne

The coolest Yahoo rap you’ve ever heard


Earnings season can get a bit tedious for reporters, who end up staying late (at least on the east coast!) to field after-the-closing-bell conference calls that run for about an hour.

So we take the laughs where we can get them! Last week’s earnings amusement came courtesy of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who joked about the lame hold music before the call (she didn’t realize her mic was live).

Don’t worry, Marissa: Your knight in shining armor is here! It’s — who else? — Snow, the rapper whose claim to fame is the 1992 one-hit wonder “Informer.”

According to the New York Post, music licensing company Jingle Punks (creators of music for NBC show“The Voice”) commissioned the bizarre project.

Listen above to the song (which isn’t really rap, I guess) and sing along to the chorus, which has wormed its way into my brain on loop: “You’re on hold / Hold at Yahoo / Gimme a second / While I patch you through.” - Julianne

Most-used stolen Yahoo password was 123456

I mean, seriously now. That’s the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage.

According to Anders Nilsson, security expert and chief technology officer of Scandinavian security company Eurosecure, 1,666 of the 450,000 stolen Yahoo passwords were “password,” and 780 used the word “password” in their password. ”Welcome” appeared in 534 passwords.

There are lots more fun details about how poorly we choose passwords for ourselves in Nilsson’s excellent analysis, which can be found here.

Update: The human race is slightly less stupid than CNNMoney initially believed. I first read Nilsson’s figures as 38% of people used “password” as their password, when it was actually 0.38%. As always, I’m the stupid one. -David

Alma mater of Yahoo’s interim CEO wants you to know he’s not a liar

Last week, I received an unsolicited email from Hulu saying that its CEO Jason Kilar isn’t interested in taking the helm at Yahoo — which probably clears the way for interim Yahoo CEO Ross Levinsohn to drop “interim” from his title.

This week, it’s an out-of-the-blue note from American University. Folks there would like you to know that if Levinsohn does become CEO, there will be no resume-embellishing scandal a la the ousted Scott Thompson:

Dear Julianne,

We here at American University have been watching your coverage of Yahoo and AU alumnus Ross Levinsohn’s role as interim CEO. American University is proud that Ross Levinsohn graduated from our university with a bachelor’s degree in Communication in 1985.

Kindest regards,

Rick Todd

Public Relations Manager

School of Communication

American University