Tuesday, September 07, 2010
by Mark Beckwith
Today I want to vent about Yahoo! because Yahoo! drives me NUTS.
Yahoo! was among the first of the truly Big Boyz to offer a seemingly robust web-based group product. If you're an old-timer like me, and remember when 1200 baud was a luxury because most people had 300 baud, then you know about email "reflectors." Today the Nevus Outreach office runs at 6,000,000 baud, heh. I still use the term "reflector" and it sometimes baffles people - an email "reflector" is an email address that, when you send it an email, what it does is create a bunch of emails to a bunch of people who have all signed up to be a part of the discussion group. Cool. They all get the email, and discussion ensues. The miracle of the internet.
Yahoo took this idea in the 90s and added the ability to follow it on the web if you want (instead of email), the ability to use fonts and styles, the ability to have documents and photos as a part of the group, the ability to archive all the posts, and stuff like that.
The trouble is, you have to "join" Yahoo! (set up a user account) to use all the features. If you don't join Yahoo!, but rather do it the old-fashioned way by adding your email address to the list, you don't have access to the features. You can't see all the pictures of other people with nevi, you can't read the old posts.
But I digress. Yahoo! is too big for its britches, and spends too much time protecting people from themselves. Today's issue: for the second time in as many years, Yahoo! in its infinite wisdom, decided that our support group was more appropriately classified as a "Romance and Relationships: Adult" group where you have to confirm you are 18 to enter, etc.
Great. Probably one too many uses of the word "buttock." Dang.
If they do it once, it's all a horrible misunderstanding. If they do it a second time, I think the gloves need to come off. It is an insult to our 725 support group members. This morning I asked Yahoo! to quit changing our classification like this, on an automated help ticket system. I'll give them 24 hours. Stay tuned.