The Value Of Yahoo Groups On September 11

911owl5

First and foremost today, is the unforgettable fact that today is the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

Everything else, Yahoo, Mayer, Ferguson, Church issues, family issues, friend issues, pale in the shadow of that. Because we must remember today, and never forget.

It’s ironic that a friend of mine posted in Hollow Tree today and mentioned Affinity. Because it was the Affinity Yahoo Group that first told me about the 9/11 attacks as they were happening. I typically didn’t turn the TV on first thing in the am, but I always came in here and read my mail, checked Hollow Tree, and checked the Affinity Websites.

Bob, Gman, was the one who posted it first in the Yahoo Group AffinityBBS:

Message 3396
Oh my God

fancygapman — Sep 11 9:10 AM
The bar needs to start serving up free booze. I just heard reports that the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were both hit by planes in acts of terrorism – in my mind acts of war. Can someone turn off Montel and put on the news?

See, at that time, we were doing a sort of Role-Playing dialogue in that Yahoo Group. Running an alternate universe in the middle ages with pubs, dragons, and etc., and each playing various “characters”

That post was the first one. But what marveled me, was watching this normally silly, light hearted group of people that I had known quite some time by now, (was already married to John, whom I met through Affinity), suddenly turn dead serious.

And suddenly, the alternate universe we’d created was no more. Instead, all we had, for hours and hours, was a Yahoo group of people who’d not always gotten along, some who had serious differences with one another, become this tight-knit “family” of sorts, as we supported one another through the horror as it unfolded, and even through the days to come until everyone that one of us knew in the NY City area’s fate had been determined.

Now, Affinity is scattered to the winds. I’m in touch sparsely with a few of them, the Yahoo group still stands and is used whenever someone dies or finds us. The founder died, the group may be dormant most of the time, but I’ll never forget the transformation that took place in that Yahoo group on September 11, 2001.

We were all there for one another, regardless of feelings, grudges, past hurts, and that was just as it should be.

So on this 13th anniversary of those events that shook the world. We need to remember those who lost their lives, their loved ones, or were in any way affected by this tragedy. And those memories should bring us together, not set us apart. That’s what matters most on this day.

Brenda
Nightowl >8#
Remembering September 11, 2001.

Yahoo Groups — The Forgotten Users

Owl News Missing 1

WHY DOESN’T THE MEDIA CARE?

 

On August 4, 2014, Yahoo will have been allowed to use Groups users as guinea pigs for one year. ONE WHOLE YEAR.

You know, it’s sad, really.  It’s sad that a company like Yahoo is allowed to treat people so horribly, and no one seems to care.

It’s tragic that they have been allowed to harm disabled and elderly users for nearly a year and do nothing about it.

It’s an outrage that Yahoo can  continue to boast about how wonderful all their new products are when they can’t even get Mail to work right for everyone.

It makes me ill that they can get away with all of this simply because no one knows or cares what Yahoo Groups really is.

Is the media really that willing to allow them to impact human lives in a dramatic and harmful way and do nothing about it?

Mayer hasn’t done what was promised. She hasn’t turned Yahoo around; in fact, it’s sinking faster than it ever was.  Why doesn’t someone notice this? Why isn’t someone stopping her?

And at this critical time, when everyone is scrutinizing her every move, tell me why aren’t they telling the world what she’s done to US?

We have collected stories, evidence, facts, and stats on this site. We have been fighting Yahoo for what will be a year in August, and yet no one has been able to stop her. Why are our lives so unimportant? Why is it that Groups users don’t matter?

We’ve lost our health groups, our support groups, our research groups, and others. We’ve lost tons of data, photos, messages, and more, and still Mayer stands up there on her podium telling the world how wonderful the New Yahoo is. Well, the new “NEO” Yahoo isn’t wonderful. It’s destructive.

The coding is a mess, sorting doesn’t work, and sometimes people can’t even get logged in. The moderation tools have been crippled, and simple things like buttons to change your e-mail options DO NOT WORK.

Yet Mayer feeds the media with rants about developing video and mobile, buying acquisition after acquisition, saying she is turning Yahoo into a great new place, when in fact all she’s done is turned it into a giant wasteland.

WHY DOES NO ONE CARE?

Can someone answer that? We are human beings with feelings, lives, and needs, and Mayer has taken away some of our basic needs – the needs for support, friendship, research, or services through one of our many Yahoo Groups. Mayer has cut people off from suicide, health, and grief  support groups. She has ruined our ability to be effective at the things we were effective at for so long.

We have boycotted Yahoo advertisers and written them and the stockholders, board members, and media. The proof is right here on this blog site, or I can provide EVEN MORE.

SO WHY DOESN’T SOMEONE DO SOMETHING???????

It’s shameful if the media has truly become so heartless that they can turn their backs on people like Hilary and Geoff. It is sad that the media isn’t screaming to the rafters about the harm being wreaked on disabled users and the horrible and disrespectful way Yahoo has been treating elderly users and veterans.

It’s hard to believe that anyone thinks our lives are that unimportant, that our needs and wishes are something to be ignored, and that Yahoo thinks we should just disappear and go away so that they don’t have to acknowledge the effects of their actions.

Someone PLEASE tell our story to the world and hold Yahoo accountable for these things! Mayer isn’t turning it around; she’s running it into the ground. Can’t you see that?

We’ve held on for almost a year now, fighting this crusade. I can’t tell you what will happen when we hit that mark.  Many more users will probably leave. Many more groups will either be deleted or abandoned. Yahoo is a hollow shell of what it once was, with the rich colors and the usability that anyone could understand. Now it’s bland, white, hard on the eyes, and so complex that even the most experienced users struggle with it.

What was the point? If Yahoo wanted to make the point that we aren’t important, that we have no worth to them, they could have done it without destroying our lives and harming us for a year. No, I truly believe they thought they could use us as guinea pigs because they COULD and no one would notice or care.

After all, we’re just the forgotten users.

If you really want to know the truth, read this blog.

Check out the Index.

Check out For The Press.

And check out the list of issues.

Then TELL the world what you learn! Tell the world what Mayer and company have done to us. Point them here to this site.

Maybe then there could be a chance for Yahoo. If not, well, then the Yatanic is going to go down. It’s only a matter of time.

yatanic2

Nightowl >8#
Leader of the 2013-2014 Yahoo Crusade for Classic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graphics Under Attack

Owl Distressed

Hello Nightowl,

I really am in awe of the amount of work that has gone on to put this blog up and all the information it contains.

Here is our story…. it may differ somewhat from others. We are scripters and stationery makers. That is to say the groups I am involved are to do with HTML/ VBScript to animate e-mails. There is also a Yahoo group for learning Vector Markup Language to add to our scripts. There are those that simply fill in the scripts with their own graphics and music or there are those like myself that actually write the scripts.

We were quite happy until very recently when our mail suddenly arrived back to us on the bounce in pieces. Yahoo had, out of the blue, switched us from traditional or classic to fully featured. We found out how a blank mail with the name of the group in the address would be answered by Yahoo and the traditional status returned.

BUT no sooner had that problem been solved than all our creative work came back with an egp html banner. That involves a load of Yahoo text either at the top or at the bottom of our mail. and defacing stripes across it. It is like graffiti on top of our work.

We have some canny scripters among us that can find a way of hiding it, but as yet no code to actually filter it out. Kill it. And we were such happy creators, mostly stay-at-homes, some with a health issue, some Senior Citizens. It was their outlet.

This is what one of mine looks like on the rebound from Yahoo. And Yes… some of us do still use XP with Outlook Express. Some use WLM or WM in Win7.

To give you some idea… The center shape rotates as do the 4 ovals. The background scrolls left to right and the text message becomes visible over the center image then fades away in this example.

Fish

But whatever is used it should NOT be sent back from the group “bounce” in this condition.

Scripters do put a credit section in their scripts and this is mine for this script:

<script language=”VBScript”>
‘***************************
‘Written by Andraea
‘Date july 2014
‘What the script is about- VML shapes with rotation extrusion attributes
‘This is my work and it is forbidden for organisations to add to or alter the script without prior permission from the scripter©
‘With thanks to Shar and Lynn and the DSC Script Crafters and Bram for the VML lessons
‘***************************
Option Explicit
SetLocale(“en-gb”) ………..

Sadly so far I am not that clever a scripter to understand the extra attachment coding in the Cascading Style Sheet or the code in the VBScript to see how it is triggered. So to date we cannot delete it, block it or eliminate it as once the inclusion of a visiting card did. Thus I continue a search of those with more advanced coding know-how.

A few scripters may revise all their scripts, some may just write new ones to hide it, but it is still there underneath or pushed down out of sight….thus defeating the object of the exercise as far as Yahoo are concerned. Their banner is thus not visible.

It would help us all if Yahoo knew what effect it has on our creative aspirations and actually felt some sympathy towards us. Because it certainly does not enhance what we do or add to our “enjoyment of the NEO experience.”

Sincerely,
Andraea

 

Kids Don’t Take NO for an Answer!

 

 

Owl Teens 4

One of the most amazing aspects of our Crusade for Classic against Yahoo is the fact that thousands of teenagers and young adults almost immediately took it upon themselves to join our cause and stand up for the rights of the elderly and disabled as well as the rights of all Yahoo users.

This group of kids had a network that stretched across a number of states to the tune of 130,000 users or more, and when NEO came out, it was destroyed just as much as everything else.  The groups wouldn’t function like they used to; the database, something they used extensively, was broken. The assistance they had given in the past with the use of Groups as a platform was effectively crippled.

So they had to abandon their groups, many which closed and were deleted, but they came back to create a new group dedicated to standing alongside of my group and me in the fight against NEO.  Recently they made that group a restricted private group to protect the younger kids, but created a second group which is public.

These young people have worked extremely hard, even around the clock at times, writing newspapers, media, advertisers, congressmen, and government officials. They’ve given up their time, social activities, etc., to accomplish this.  They’ve pled the cause to schools, churches, communities, and more.

They have contacted the DOJ and had discussions with them about the fact that the new format doesn’t meet ADA requirements. They have made it their quest to get Classic restored for seniors and disabled, at the very least.  They have stood up for minor children being protected online, and railed against offending inappropriate ads in various groups. They have spoken out against how Yahoo has treated US Veterans.

They have connected to almost every state in America, as well as overseas, and one by one  they are bringing on board more and more supporters of stopping Yahoo’s NEO Redesign, so their movement grows and strengthens by the  hour.  Counting the Yahoo group they created and other servers on other sites, including Facebook, these 7,000+ members of the younger generation that Yahoo claims it has been targeting have been making their feelings known that they can’t use this new format.

It then goes without saying that if the elderly can’t use it, and the teenagers and young adults can’t use it, just who is Yahoo’s target consumer?

Following is one of the first posts in their group that really moved me:

I received an email from a friend of mine last July. He was behind in his classes and needed help with homework. I knew where to send him. I sent him to our time honored and respected teen group at Yahoo. There he found the help he needed. Not only did he get help with homework, he found some great e-pals and a mentor. He found a place to vent his anger. He had the opportunity to grow.

My neighbor across the street is an older lady. She’s a widow and found a support group at Yahoo. She found the help she needed for her medical condition. She became good friends with the owner of the group and suggested improvements to the group that would be of benefit to her blind friend. No problem, it was done.

In central Portland I heard about a young man that was dealing with sexual abuse and had anger that was eating him alive. He found a Yahoo support group that helped him.

One day I looked at some of the groups that were listed at Yahoo. There were active adoption group that found homes for abused kids. There was even an animal rescue team that found good homes for dogs and cats. I was proud that at the center of all this was the teen group I belonged to.

Then all this came to a crashing end. Yahoo rolled out a new group platform called NEO groups. No longer were we able to use the groups in the way that assisted our lives. By late August, groups no longer functioned. Then began the exodus from the groups. Yahoo lost thousands of users when it became clear that Yahoo had no intention to roll back the NEO format.

By early September the groups I mentioned above were gone.
In mid September I got an email from the dude that wanted homework help. He thanked me and said that we have to do something to help the senior citizens and the blind. Yahoo has dissed them like there’s no tomorrow. Adrian Smith created a group to help the seniors.All I could think of were my neighbors. It was easy for me to join this effort.
Then I thought of our school motto: Conquer with true virtue.
Our group will win the battle to restore the groups for the elderly. Because what’s good will always triumph.

And you know us kids, we don’t take no for an answer.

Vincent Ortega, 10/16/2013

Continue reading the things below, and you will witness the courage & determination they have to reach our goal. I’m so proud of them.

Last September, about 50 volunteers, including Adrian Smith, (who were still in Classic mode), helped former group owners retrieve valuable photos, files, and data. We regret that it was a 50/50 proposition. By February,everyone was placed in NEO. By that time it was too late. I regret that we were not able to reach everyone. But, considering there are millions of groups, what we did helped out a lot.

Adonis A. Luceero  4/20/2014

***********************************

Answer this question in your heart.  Look through the eyes of justice. Look through the dimming eyes of the blind who were at Yahoo before most of us. They built their Yahoo group homes and believed that Yahoo had their needs at heart. They had the faith in Yahoo that Yahoo would take care of their needs. NEO came in like a wrecking ball in the dead of the night. The blind found the wrecked shell of what they needed and required left nothing they could use behind. For me,my answer is to help as long as it takes. For me my inspiration are my elderly grandparents, my neighbors, the kids playing in the park and Brenda of St Louis, Adrian Smith and Andy Seales.

Who can you help?
Think of everyone around you — in your family, your school, your office, your community, your country, your world. Who can you help? How can you help them?

What value do you have to impart to others? Answer that question, and it will lead you to wherever you want to go.

Do not think that you have nothing of value to offer. You most certainly do. Your job is to find what that is, to discover who you can help, and how you can help them. The value you have to offer is most likely a mixture of your knowledge, your skills, your opinions, your interests, your likes and dislikes, the people you know, and the experiences you’ve lived through.

Help others enjoy prosperity, and you will become wealthy. Help others to be truly happy, and you will be filled with joy. Teach to others, and you will learn. No matter who you are or how doggedly life has beat you down, you have something to offer, something that will make your life shine.

Who can you help? What can you do to make a difference?

Tabor Warren 4/19/2014

***********************************

THE SAYNO2NEO MISSION STATEMENT:

RE: Yahoo Redesign NEO Format

1. This format is in violation of public website access defined in the DOJ/ADA. Yahoo was warned from day one that the format is illegal but has not heeded the concerns of the visually impaired.

1A. This format is at variance with the Child Online Protection and Privacy act as amended. It is at variance with the January 2014 California statute forbidding the ‘tracking’ of minor children. When posting to Yahoo groups directly, the IP of the user is disclosed.

2. This format is in violation of international conventions adopted by the majority of sovereign nations through the auspices of the United Nations. Rights to public access to to internet websites for the elderly and disabled. The placement of ads causes the reading equipment of the blind to stop functioning.

3. This format is discriminatory against the elderly. The elderly have warned Yahoo since day one that the format causes their older computers and slow modems to freeze. The high usage of RAM depletes the functionality of their computers over a period of time.

4. This format can not be used by those that have peripheral vision and nerve damage.  Once again, users have voiced and written their concerns to Yahoo. These concerns have been dismissed. Yahoo claims that measures have been taken to address these concerns. Their proclamations are not based in reality. Their proclamations are for the sole attention of media scrutiny.

5. Yahoo needs to be held accountable for forcing this unwanted, un-needed, and unpopular format on millions of users that have complained about this format from day one.

***********************************

My older brother asked me to pass this on.
This is where he was and his heart remains.

Memories
Light the corners of my mind
Misty watercolor memories
Of the way we were

February 2000. Please join the interactive clubs of CorysHouse. Sign-up for your free email provided by OutBlaze and CorysHouse.

CorysHouse and all its contents are dedicated to Robbie Kirkland;14. He enjoyed his home here on the net. Like most of us he loved being a teenager. He laughed, joked and was full of life. All that turned to tears and despair. A harsh and intolerant homophobic world caused his death. CorysHouse is and will remain a project where all are welcome. Through the network of teens helping teens and a buddy system, we will continue to work to prevent teen suicide.

To Robbie:  Your memory will forever live in our hearts and souls. We are here to dedicate our young lives to prevent other teenagers from committing suicide.

FURTHER DEDICATION
Matthew Shepard 1976-1998
Antti Makinen 1982-1998.
Ben of Maine 1980-2/8/1999
JussiJamDude of Finland 1983-2/5/2000
Students, faculty and parents of Columbine HS;Littleton Colorado.
To all that have served this project.

Scattered pictures
Of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we gave to one another
For the way we were

Memories
May be beautiful and yet
What’s too painful to remember
We simply to choose to forget

So it’s the laughter
We will remember
Whenever we remember
The way we were
The way we were

CoryHouse 1998/September 2013
Yahoo may have leveled CorysHouse with NEO. Our memories and the love we shared in our internet family will never die.

By Adrian Lucero 4/19/2014

http://members.delphi.com/coryshouse/index.html

***********************************

SMALL INDIVIDUAL VICTORIES

They add up in the scheme of things. They weave a with each thread a tapestry of success. They add to the mosaic of justice. In all they we work to achieve, remember thousands are now part of it. Together we will shine the light on the flawed and illegal NEO format. With each email and opinion you send you are bringing about the day of reckoning for Yahoo. You are making the statement loud and clear that you will not sit still to see the rights of the elderly and disabled trampled upon. You are standing at the head winds of gale force winds firm and strong for the safety of children.

My friends and neighbors, no matter what becomes of this group, our mission will move ahead. Yahoo is running scared. They are deleting messages that dare to hold them accountable. They are deleting messages that remind others a mobilized effort is growing stronger each day against neo.

They can run but cant hide the truth.

Tabor Warren 4/25/2014

http://modsandmembersblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/yahoo-hiding-stats-losing-ground/

***********************************

She’s right. Yahoo cannot hide the truth. They already deleted it, but we’ve archived it. Between these kids, the members of my group, and me, we have been painstakingly documenting Yahoo’s folly in this new redesign. We have the correspondence, complaints,  comments, and the tweet conversations with Jeff Bonforte. We have tallies of groups deleted, the users’ feedback, and the Tumblr posts; you name it, we have it.  Just ask.

Now all we need is for someone to believe in us, support us, and tell the world what Yahoo has really done. Do our story, get the truth out, and bring the evidence to the light of day.

Help me, along with these kids, to finally hold Yahoo accountable for their unethical and unthinkable treatment of a revered group of people who were once loyal users, many dating back to the time of  OneList.  Yahoo threw the elderly and disabled in the trash. We are trying to rescue them from their NEO nightmare.

Thanks, and please consider telling our story to the world.

Brenda Fowler and the SAYNO2NEO Kids.

Truncated Messages in Archives

truncowl

Note: This was written by a concerned owner who gave permission for it to be shared.

Hi, Everyone,

I’ve been a follower of this blog for some time. I struggled with whether or not to write this post, but I finally feel I should.  I’m writing today because there is an issue that needs everyone’s attention: Posts Getting Truncated in the Archives.

I’m an owner of a small role-playing group that is basically a writing group, and ever since Neo appeared, posts in the archives have been truncated at 64kb. Now, I’ll be honest, when Neo first appeared I didn’t like it, but I could deal with it, assuming they put the archives table back, which they did. I could deal with it mostly because now that Yahoo Groups has the same software as Google Drive, when another member and I post writings from our Google Drive accounts, the posts aren’t filled with a bunch of symbols and characters make them hard to read, especially posts in the archives. This was a huge improvement after years of dealing with this problem.

However, little did I know. Some months later I was archive-diving, checking my facts for something I was writing (something I do at least once a month, if not more) and I came across this post from 2011 that said “Message over 64KB, truncated.” I thought, what the hell is that? Why? Because I’ve looked at this particular post before in the archives, and I was also the sender. If any post got truncated in 2011 when I was the sender, I would have resent it in parts. I always check and make sure my posts come through alright since Groups is known for sometimes eating posts or not sending the entire thing through or any number of other things. This post was not truncated in 2011, so why is it now? Because of Neo; that’s why.

I can deal with a lot. I even stayed silent when I found ads overtaking a post in the archives, making it impossible to read, because I knew Yahoo would probably get around to fixing it. But this? Truncating my group’s members’ work and mine? All bets are off. I started e-mailing Brenda; I started directing people to the issue on the Feedback Forum — everything I could think of. Except Yahoo closed the issue with this BS about it being fixed, when they didn’t even address the right issue when they closed it.

I thought, okay, what crap, but there are still two topics open about this problem. I’ll just work with those now, and they were getting up in votes, too, but then Yahoo deleted those. Yep, the dreaded problem you guys have talked about here. It forced someone to repost the issue. And now that topic is ranked 52.

Some of you might be wondering why I didn’t catch this problem sooner, especially as I was saying Neo wasn’t that bad. Well, because a lot of my group’s postings don’t go over said limit. Only a small portion are ever that long, so even if I archived constantly, I obviously never came across a posting that had that note at the bottom of it sooner. I’m saddened I didn’t because I would have been bitching sooner, but I’m not the only one with this problem. If you go on Yahoo Answers, a lot of the people complaining are people with writing groups. And even worse? The problems are with postings from years ago. Of course it happens now, too, so I have to go through every post we send now and make sure the writing doesn’t get cut off; it is extra work for me, but I can deal with it. What I find really hard to swallow, however, is posts from years ago now being truncated. Yahoo would say two things:

  1. To just have the sender resend it. My group is coming upon its 11th year. The likelihood of any one member still having a post from, say, 2005 in their inboxes is remote.
  2. (and the one that REALLY gets me) The limit is 15MB, so this shouldn’t be happening. It is happening, gosh darnit!

In short, this is a huge problem. It makes the archives useless. It is unacceptable. And it hurts, as a writer. So I ask for your help for my group and for every other one that is having this problem: If you have come across this issue in your own group, can you please vote and/or comment on the one topic that is still open about this issue on the Forums? I am not the author, but I agree wholeheartedly. This needs to be fixed. It is wrong on so many levels, and I am tired of Yahoo pretending it is fixed or easily remedied. Neither is true.

You can comment on the closed one; it does have the most comments. Despite the fact that it’s supposed to be closed to voting, I see today that it’s gone up from 16 to 11 rank-wise. I don’t understand that at all, but here is the link for that.

And here is the link for the one that is still open for voting.

I thank you for your support.

A Concerned Yahoo Groups Owner

If You Code It, We Will Come

 

Owl at Bat 2.
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Okay, we finally got our story out into the media, but so far not a lot has happened. I’m not surprised; it’s only been a few days.

Eventually, we’ll have to look at the possibility of failure to reach our goal. Yes, I know the SAYNO2NEO kids say failure is not an option, and I agree with them, but barring a miracle, many users cannot continue coping with the buggy, screwed-up mess that NEO is.

So…what’s our next step?

Many want to find a new home, but this is what poses a problem for Classic Group Users. No Free site that hosts groups has all the features we’ve known and used for all these years. There isn’t even a good paying one we’ve found yet that has everything we had.

So consider this a request to all startups, budding engineers, coders, programmers, and other tech-savvy individuals.

CREATE FOR US A NEW CLASSIC FORMAT.

Here is what we need for our Groups Platform:

  • An interface that is accessible through both mail and website.
  • Customizable home pages where we can choose colors, fonts, photos, and sizes for the group pages.
  • The ability to have all messages appear in a single list, not in individual forums.
  • Message archives that are stored and always available through page view.
  • Messages ordered chronologically (newest or oldest first) or by threads as desired.
  • Messages that have post #’s and are searchable.
  • Controls that are readily visible and don’t require mouse-over.
  • Full moderation tools for Group owners for members, messages, attachments, etc.
  • A My Groups page where moderators can see all their groups and whatever moderation tasks are needed for each one.
  • Ability to access member lists by page view and export the whole list into a PDF file, Excel, database, etc.
  • Capability to handle a large number of members (don’t know the limit for Yahoo’s Groups).
  • A section to store links.
  • A section to store files.
  • A working interactive database.
  • An event calendar accessible to all.
  • Ability to invite members
  • Ability to add members.
  • Ability to import an existing member list from another group.
  • Ability to ban or preban members.
  • Ability to have the member’s real name associated with their e-mail on the member’s list for Owner/Mod view only.
  • Hosting for photos, with lots of storage, customizable photo organization and sorting options.

It may appear like we’re asking for a lot here, but for a long time, we were spoiled because this  is what we’ve had. So now we are desperately seeking a venue that can provide all of this for us again. If you can help, please contact featheredleader at:   owlsy (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Thank you sincerely,

Nightowl >8#

P.S. To Yahoo Groups Users:  If we missed one of your favorite features, please add a comment or e-mail me and let us know.