Twitter seems to have resumed its campaign to become the Yahoo of the post-Yahoo era.

The company staged a conference call last week to discuss its second-quarter financials. The call evoked the Yahoo calls of recent years by trying to put a cheerful spin on numbers that were disappointing by nearly every measure. This after a first-quarter earnings report that inspired hope that CEO Jack Dorsey was finally turning things around.

There is one difference between Twitter and Yahoo. Yahoo, despite its years of chasing a turnaround that was always just around the next corner, had one key asset: The stake Alibaba it obtained in 2005. As Alibaba grew, the value Yahoo's stake grew as well. Yahoo was saved, for a while, because it stumbled into becoming a hedge fund with one very smart investment...