I started the Yahoo Crusade (#2) on August 31st, 2013. It began because NEO had started affecting people, and someone came to me via the MM group (which still existed from the previous crusade) and asked me to help them again.
So we started trying to get Yahoo to stop destroying Classic Groups. We wrote Marissa, Henrique (the COO), and others at Yahoo first. Then we wrote advertisers, stockholders, and media. At one point, I was writing over 100 reporters and 150 advertisers. Then I joined Twitter, learned to tweet, and started trying to reach the media and others that way.
Along with others, I established a tweeting connection with Yahoo’s Jeff Bonforte, who was the senior vice president of communications, but he was no help. He ultimately wound up blocking us, and we gave up reaching anyone at Yahoo through him. At the beginning, I had a lot of help. We created the blog for the Yahoo Crusade, originally titled the Mods and Members Blog; people sent their stories in and we posted them.
My main WordPress editor and I (because I’m all thumbs in there) created owl and other graphics and worked tirelessly for months to make the blog what it is. Tyger and Duane worked with me, doing research and creating documents and other items for the blog. Tyger ultimately got fed up with Yahoo and left. Duane did the same, although more quietly. I still had some people left who were helping me, but I had lost a huge chunk of my research team, and I needed that desperately.
Then my main WordPress editor’s life changed when her mother died, and she no longer stayed up all night with me working on the blog. She got a job, and although I can contact her and ask her help with it, we haven’t been able to do nearly as much as we could before, and I completely understood that. I also had several moderators helping me with the group. Somehow down the line, I lost touch with one of them for a while. Others are still around, but some had problems with their Yahoo e-mail addresses, and I don’t know how to contact them for sure.
Tyger ultimately created our new home, MMSanctuary, on groups.io and joined there. Duane came when I contacted him and asked him, so my moderator and research team are now over there as well. Shal even allowed me to make him a moderator to help me out when I was stuck and couldn’t find Tyger, and I added another new moderator this year.
A year into the Crusade, August 2014, it was becoming apparent that we were not going to succeed in our quest this time. I had lost my research team, the reporters were getting tired of hearing mostly only from me, and I was not able to keep up the same pace as before. My elderly parents both had serious surgeries in the early part of 2014, and even though Dad was in the Veteran’s Home, there was a lot for me to handle for them. It began to take more and more of my time.
Then in August, I was fired (removed) from my piano job at the church due a huge misunderstanding about the terms of my contract. I was was actually glad in a way to not have the job because I don’t read music well and was having to do more and more to cover for Mom, who was the organist with me. However, the way it happened got my mom depressed, upset me, and caused a lot of stress.
Meanwhile, three days before I was let go from the church, Mike Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson. That set off a HUGE media firestorm and caused us a lot of issues because my mother lives between Dellwood and Ferguson. She was 84 at the time and wouldn’t move. I live only 6 miles from there and had to regularly go in and out of part of that area to get to Mom, so that became an ongoing source of stress and worry.
Then on November 11th, my mom fell, broke her hip, and went into rehab for awhile. That was before the Mike Brown verdict and the night the rioters burned down part of Ferguson, so fortunately Mom was not in the area.She got out of rehab in December, went back home, and things were finally starting to settle down some. However, she is 85 now, and we are having communication issues, some based on memory and some based on just our own dynamic. It’s been hard, butI thought things had started to settle down a little last month. I started resolving some things with the church people (as it was coming up on a year) and making better plans on handling Mom and our problems with communication.
Also, I FINALLY started trying to get more sleep. I have been going to bed between 3 and 5 a.m. probably on average of 4 nights a week or more since I was fired. I had trouble sleeping, nightmares, and adrenaline rushes. I stayed up for hours and hours monitoring the situation in Ferguson on Twitter and became really good friends with many reporters, including some of the ones I had communication with regarding Yahoo. Since I grew up in the Ferguson/Dellwood area, I was able to direct people to escape routes when tear gas was thrown or shooting started. I warned them where the gunshots were because I watch local ordinary TV and it would break in all the time. I basically safeguarded people while monitoring how close any of the unrest was getting to Mom when she was at home.
I was developing a better sleep pattern, trying to take care of me more, and getting Mom and the church calmed down when the 1st year anniversary of Mike Brown rolled around last weekend – and all hell broke loose again. So once again I was back on Twitter monitoring Ferguson for nearly 5 nights straight until 4 or 5 a.m. before it finally calmed down again…we hope. It’s still not perfectly calm yet, but the shooting at night has not continued so far, and thank God, no one has set any more fires.
So between running out of time on my end (as I no longer had the time I had before with all this going on) and just finding myself exhausted by the end of the day, the Crusade suffered.
In order to have continued the Crusade at the peak effort I had been at, I would have needed the following:
- A devoted research team to find articles and the reporters’ contact information for me,
- A group of people willing to help write/send letters to reporters/advertisers/executives because I no longer had enough time to do it on my own anymore,
- Someone very experienced in WordPress with enough time to fill in when my main editor couldn’t,
- A Twitter team to spread tweets far and wide because I couldn’t do it on my own, and
- Someone to create a viral video for us that might have managed to get more of the public’s attention.
I had none of this. I had a skeleton research team, and I’m proud of them. I had my main editor whenever she could help me, but I also knew she had to get a job and lead a different life now. I had a few people who agreed to write letters, but it wasn’t enough. I had very few Twitter helpers. I had no one to make a viral video, and I didn’t know how.
I asked repeatedly for help in the group, and got help here and there, but I didn’t get a lot; mostly I got the impression that everyone was done trying to fight Yahoo. So we refocused our direction on finding a new home but even that was daunting to do alone. I needed people to check out each new site and give me feedback about them or write a post for me to put on the blog, but it never happened. I needed people to help me explain what we needed and why, and I got a little help with that. We did a post on the blog and we listed our issues. That was a post asking for help in creating a new site for the Yahoo refugees – and along came Mark. :)
So you see, that’s where the Crusade wound up. That’s why it crashed to a nearly grinding halt, and I don’t know what else to do to get it jump-started again or if it even has enough power to jump-start. My fervor for the cause has not diminished, not even slightly, but my ability to sustain what I had been doing has been reduced dramatically.
I thank everyone who fought this fight, and we decided to leave the group and the blog here for those who want to continue fighting and those who want help leaving Yahoo.
With respect and gratitude to all of you for all you’ve done,
Owner/Moderator of Mods & Members