TalkTemari & JTA MentorDiscuss – Neo Impact on Groups

strsshoot

TalkTemari, created January of 2000, currently has 789 members; JTA MentorDiscuss, created in October of 2009 as a sub-group of TalkTemari, has 75 members – both stats as of this writing. Both group memberships are supporting moving to another service since, in particular, the photo saving issue has rendered us defunct.

The groups study and practice Japanese Temari, an ancient folk art stitchery. I have users of all ages, nationalities, levels of physical and visual abilities, living in all sorts of communities including very remote areas, levels of internet access and computer hardware, and levels of computer ability. A great many members are also dependent upon the group for their social sanity. Those that are on older equipment and/or slower connections can’t even get into Groups, let alone struggle with the new navigation and dysfunction of the site.

The font and color are causing many people distress as they cannot see it clearly. The site does not work with disability adaptations. The entire site runs excruciatingly slow and frequently hangs or crashes. This only adds to the frustration of people trying to find their way around and learn new navigation.

Given the ethnic orientation of the group, I had major complaints (including my own horror) about the “default” cover image assigned to us – “coolie hats,” as most members described them. It took me several hours to figure out how, much less get the process to work, to change it, but the damage had been done in terms of people being disrespected. I had to play to find the correct resolution and sizing to get an image appear decently. Nevermind that we previously used members’ photos for this purpose – but, the current banner format defeats that.

*) The inability to download (as in right-click and save) photos has rendered my groups useless for the educational purposes we engage in. As one of the primary purposes of the groups, I frequently manage classes through the groups, and now it is impossible since we depended upon members downloading instructional photos. In addition, the inability for people to download their OWN photos treads on copyright legalities; at the very least, as my members say “who is Yahoo to keep me from MY photos?”. The “lightbox”/slide show presentation is clumsy and not user friendly. The comment functionality compared to Classic version is not user friendly; people cannot find or see the bubble. This further impacts the educational purpose since commenting on members’ work through their photos is our common tutoring method.

*) “Burying” links to common functions, obscuring things in hover links and boxes, lack of user support for Groups provided by Yahoo, and lack of explanation of “format,” etc., has made it frustrating, time consuming and physically difficult for all of my groups’ members. The most used functions differ from group to group. Two of the three most common functions my groups use are now buried in the “More” drop-down, and for whatever reason the image mapping on those links is miniscule. It is very difficult to “hit the target” to get the link to work for all of us, let alone those with disability. I have spent hours on my list and through private emails trying to help people through navigation – which is exceedingly more difficult because some things work for others and not for some. I have become a YG Support person, not a Master level Kyoujou in Temari. We’ve spent the last weeks trying to figure out how to work in the new format, not studying Temari, and that’s not looking to change soon. Owners/moderators are each group’s “user support” staff. Not knowing what/when this was coming, let alone the dysfunction in Neo, leaves me spinning my wheels.

*) From its birth, TalkTemari was a Public group, as opposed to other Temari groups that were rather choosy. Everyone has always been able to join and warmly welcomed. In the Neo conversion it became Restricted. All of my efforts to contact customer support to have this corrected have gone unanswered. It has changed the entire presentation and reputation of the group, made it less welcoming, and added twice the amount of work to my moderating duties.

*) At any given time over a third of my members are using the website to read and reply to messages – or at least they were, since replying via the YG site doesn’t work.

*) Not being able to email a member if I am rejecting or editing a message or photo is creating major anger issues. I cannot explain in a quick and efficient manner why the need to edit or deny; even with the extra effort of sending a separate email, if the member sees the rejection before the email, they are angry. I’ve spent years trying to build a reputation as a fair and polite, understanding moderator; now it just looks like a power trip. I cannot educate the member on why the post or photo needed editing.

*) Performance on smartphones and tablets is terrible in both function and design. This means we are losing current and potential members given today’s current technology. A significant number of people have tablets as their only device. My members are very angry that their tablets are now pretty much useless for Groups. For physically impaired people that have come to depend on the ease of a tablet, they are out in the cold.

*) I write policy and procedure documents to support my groups’ members. These must all be redone, with no notice, let alone my own learning curve to figure out a new interface. Ditto the links in my websites directing people to join the groups – they have to be all recoded.

*) “Conversations” is meaningless – especially when it pulls up messages from years ago as opposed to the current one if there are common words in the subject line – which, by the way, is a much more specific and understood label as opposed to “Conversations” and “topics.” Hundreds of people for years have understood “thread” as a subject title. The mix of old and new messages is rendering old postings useless as all it does is cause confusion.

Ginny Thompson, JTA Kyoujou 2010
–Ginny T.
puffin98@verizon.net
http://www.temarikai.com

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Yahoo Customer Care = No Help At All

phoneowl

A disgruntled Yahoo user writes:

I have been with yahoo for 10 years…and since all of these new horrid changes, I have not only had more daily aggravation and problems with my emails but also poor communication/help from customer service — actually NONE at all. It’s like they do not care.

WHY THEY IMPLEMENTED CHANGES THAT ARE ANYTHING BUT USER-FRIENDLY OR NOT DO ANYTHING TO MAKE IT EASIER is beyond me. BUT MAYBE that was exactly their point since I have heard/read the HLS now possesses the ability to view, read all emails received and sent.

ALL I KNOW IS – YAHOO EMAIL WAS THE BEST – NOW – no one is happy. The person responsible for these new changes should have asked the users before making any of them mandatory.

BASICALLY – I AM NOT HAPPY with yahoo at this time and really wish they would allow us to go back to the old version – like yesterday.

THANK YOU YAHOO FOR HEARING THOSE WHO ARE TAKING THE TIME TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH.

Now please do something about it.

By Holistichealthadvisor

My Yahoo Dream

yahoodreamOwlsy,

This was posted by one of the members of my support group.  She gave me permission to share it with you, and wherever it might help, such as the blog.  Took me awhile to edit out all the junk characters, so I hope Yahoo doesn’t put them back in.

Donna D

—————————-

From: Judith
Subject: My Yahoo Dream
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2013

My Yahoo Dream

Just as I was about to wake up this morning, while still in that middle territory between sleep and being fully awake, I had the following dream:

We [support] group members were sitting with each other face-to-face in a large circle inside a large room. It seemed that we were having a live group therapy session, something which is a private function intended for group members only and with strict rules about confidentiality. All of a sudden a bunch of clowns from yahoo came bursting into our supposedly private room. They were setting up lighting cables and cameras and sound systems. A member of our group, who had just started to share her story before these outsiders burst in on us, was waved on by the yahoo intrusion team and told, “Go on; pretend you don’t see us here.”

So the woman started to weep and speak about how her husband was leaving her for a younger woman from his office. As soon as she said that, Yahoo drones flashed a giant ad for match.com on the wall opposite the woman, so that the weeping woman could meet attractive singles in her area. A loud sound track accompanied the flashing photos of men. “Hi, I’m Troy. I like foxy older women.” “My name is Enrico. Are you my hot tamale?”

The woman wept more inconsolably as the roster of available studs flashed across the wall; the yahoo clowns were totally oblivious to the woman’s emotional distress. Next the large screen advertised a product to visibly reduce the signs of aging on the weeping woman’s face so that she could make herself more appealing to Troy and Enrico, while at the same time she helped generate more targeted advertising dollars for yahoo.

This was truly a win-win scenario according to the yahoo intrusion team. While the ads were flashing on the wall, and we literally were drowned out by them and could not hear each other speak, the yahoo sound system was broadcasting very loud cash register ka-ching! sounds as ad revenue came rolling in and was counted. Figures were flashed up on the wall in bright lights, rather like a Jerry Lewis Telethon.

As a couple more brave souls attempted to share their stories in the spirit of our original group, more ads aimed at them and their shares were flashed onto the walls, again drowning them out. After a few more attempts to be there for each other in our group turned out this same way, we silently stood up, joined hands, and exited the room, leaving the clowns from yahoo perplexed as their revenue stream fell to zero.

No more ka-chings! could be heard. The silence in the room was deafening. The yahoo clowns flashed confused looks to each other. Was that the way we were going to show our appreciation for the new, enhanced yahoo experience that they had crafted for us?

It would have been wonderful to wake up and say, “Wow! That was awful! Thank God it was only a dream.”

Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

Roxanne

The Importance of Support Groups

Owl Group 3c

This is a very well written description of what our group means to the members.  . . . The original message was much longer, about a specific but heartbreakingly familiar personal history.  . . . She gave me permission to share it all.  But . . . I think these first two paragraphs, and some of her last paragraph, show what I have been trying to convey.

Date: 01 Oct 2013 05:31:43 -0700

I’ve been a bit of a lurker since I joined a few months back, and have been reading your posts. Much of what I’ve read is all too familiar. Many things I’ve read that you all are going through have brought me to tears out of a place of familiarity. Sometimes when I read your posts, I am relieved in a strange way, to have found others who know exactly how it feels. On the other hand it also sickens and depresses me that so many of us are literally suffering through the cruelty inflicted upon us by the very people who are supposed to love us most, and love us unconditionally.

At this point I’m feeling brave enough to step out and introduce myself, and give a little background info about my life. Before I do that, I just wanted to thank you all for being so brave, brave enough to share what you are dealing with. I realize that many of you are writing for help, and to vent, but even in your own reaching out, I have read many things that have made me feel better just in sharing the same feelings or finally feeling like I’m not alone. I hate that I am not the only one dealing with this sort of thing, because it means all of you are, or have been, suffering as well. But I guess if the suffering must be there, at least those of us dealing with the same issues have this group  where we can find comfort from each other. So Thanks.   🙂

And from another post by the same member:

I, too, despise the new yahoo groups. I hate the message format, the groups being in tabs, hate that messages and replies aren’t together. I signed the petition you posted, and did a grump on yahoo’s site about it. I guess we’ll see if any of it helps. There has got to be a better alternative out there.

Donna D.

Change Isn’t the Problem

Owl and Dog

What is really funny (and not LOL) is that what Jeffie Baby or anyone else in charge at  Yahoo doesn’t understand is that for the most part we don’t mind change.  Most of us have been through a heck of a lot of change since we were born.  I don’t mind change,  and I’m way up there in years, but I still can’t use an I-Pad, Smart Phone or Kindl.  I do well with a computer, cell phone, and a VCR/DVD, and if I worked on it, I’d probably master the rest of this new stuff provided it WORKS properly – LOL.

What we do mind and are complaining about is having something dumped on us without warning and not having it work worth a hoot, messing up everything in and on 99.9% of the groups area, the mail area, and evidently every other area associated with Yahoo.  Then asking US to debug it, so to speak, and still not having those that dumped the crap get out there and clean up the mess and fix it when we do tell them the problems.

It’s rather like my neighbor and his dog when he walks it; the dog (program) dumps.  The neighbor (programmer) refuses to teach the dog (program) not to dump  in other people’s yards, etc.  So the entire neighborhood is ready to murder him, not the dog; we know he’s just doing what a dog does and he doesn’t know any better; the neighbor does.

Conclusion is that NEO is just a stupid program (it has no actual brain) and it is doing what it’s programmed (taught or allowed) to do.  It doesn’t know it’s messing up things; however, the programmers and their bosses do since they wrote it, gave it the orders, and dumped it on us, and we have given them lots of feedback on what’s wrong and what we suggest.  But the programmers, et.al., refuse to clean up the problems or remove the offending program until they can teach it not to dump all over our yards.

Marie

Learn How the Site is Used Before You Change It


Owl Group 3c
Yahoo has made Groups difficult for everyone to read and difficult for moderators to do their volunteer jobs.  Examples follow, showing what this means. Most of it is too detailed for the average reporter, investor, or advertiser to care about, but they serve as examples of just some of the things Yahoo has done to make Groups dysfunctional.

Like many people, I have trouble reading the grey type on a grey background. Yahoo has refused to change the type to black despite multiple requests. They have shrunk the size of the box in which we can edit posts.

We edit to remove identifying information such as phone numbers or copyrighted material, to trim old messages off the bottom, and to check for accuracy. We don’t change people’s wording other than as described above. The editing box is now so small that you can only see a tiny portion of the post you are trying to read through This is not necessary. I know for a fact that they can make the box larger and can also make it so that the user can pull one corner of the box and make it larger.

When we receive posts that go to the “pending posts” section to wait for moderator approval, we should just see the subject line and the writer’s name. We should not see a portion of the text that is in the post. This is because we may have 2 or 10 posts waiting for approval and we need to be able to look quickly to see what should go first. So we need an index of subject titles, not previews of the messages.

When we click the tiny little “edit” pencil the web page literally bounces to a new position. And then we are either staring at a blank page and have to scroll up to find the edit box, or, we are staring at some other post – not the one that should be in the edit box. This is *confusing* and disconcerting. If we click edit, then the post we want to edit should be right in front of our eyes.

When I go to see what photos a member has just uploaded,  instead of seeing a thumbnail of the photo, I see HALF of it because Yahoo has put words over the bottom half of each thumbnail. To actually see the picture you have to click and wait for it to open up.

Yahoo needs to send its programmers back to finish college and hire some who actually know what they are doing and provide what users of the site need and want. It is abundantly clear that nobody, from the programmers through the CEO, has any idea of what it is like to run a moderated private group. Before making changes, they should spend a year at it and ask the moderators and owners before making changes.

Susan B.

Mailer-Daemon – The Demon is NEO!

. the fails just in the past four hours most will take a few to get here

Yahoo Mail Message 1

13h

sure go ahead