You know, it’s days like this that really make me wonder what kind of Kool-Aid the Yahoo execs are drinking because there is no rhyme or reason to their behavior of today – other than to hide everything from the press, of course. But don’t worry, because I make sure that doesn’t happen.
Today, two major things happened at about the same time. First, Yahoo reported their 4th quarterly earnings, and they weren’t up to snuff.
Second, one of the longest-running, most active, and highest voted topic in the Groups Uservoice was marked completed and moved.
Return groups format to prior format that WORKS!
Does this topic sound familiar? If you’ve been on here reading, you’ll remember that it is the one that was first posted August 7, 2013, by Nedra, the person showcased in the first part of this post below:
To have moved this to the Completed section of Uservoice is absolutely ridiculous. The issue is nowhere near completed, and if you check in Uservoice under “declined,” you’ll find a number of similar topics that have been hidden there. So why mark this one completed? They want the press to believe it has been. No other explanation.
BTW, if you want to read that hidden, marked completed topic, go here.
Between that and Jeff Bonforte’s post on Tumblr today, all they have done is send more users fleeing faster than you can say “Abandon ship,” and I’m not having much luck slowing that exodus.
So let’s look at Mr. Bonforte’s tumblr post and dissect it a bit, shall we?
It’s at this link, if you want to read it for yourself.
I’m going to take pieces of it and refute it here because there isn’t any way to comment on it in there.
So here we go.
The Future of Yahoo Groups
By Jeff Bonforte, SVP, Communications
Jeff wrote:>>Last year, Yahoo released a new Yahoo Groups. Our goal was to make the experience more enjoyable, and modern, for everyone.<<
Absolutely nothing about NEO has been enjoyable. It’s been a headache day after day and has stressed people to the point of causing physical harm to them. Goal failed.
Jeff wrote:>>While many of you liked the new Groups, others felt differently.<<
Show me 100 Groups users who like NEO Groups. Show me 75. Show me 50. Show me 25. Heck, show me 10! And that doesn’t mean those that you plant everywhere to claim they are great. Groups is so broken across the board, it’s hard to imagine it working well for anyone.
Jeff wrote:>>Many of you asked why we needed to change Groups at all….Regarding the infrastructure, Groups hadn’t been updated in 12+ years. …The previous platform was rapidly aging and it urgently needed an upgrade to ensure future stability.<<
This statement has been debated for months, and Classic still runs on many many platforms. There are even still users in the USA on Classic. It is not falling apart. It is not crumbling into dust. It would hold up for us to revert back to until they make something comparable that WORKS. NEO does not.
Jeff wrote:>>…by moving Groups onto Yahoo’s current platforms, we’ve been able to improve the speed and reliability of the service which means a better experience for you.<<
Who is he trying to convince? Speed is down so dramatically, it takes hours to do what we could do in ten minutes. Reliability? Sure, if you want the reliability that the group page will take forever to load, not load at all, or give you happy error messages.
Jeff wrote:>>(As one example, the page load times have decreased substantially on the new infrastructure.)<<
Uh….for WHOM? My page load times are SLOW. Sometimes they don’t load at all. Sometimes they load but give me an error. I didn’t write new lyrics to the tune from Rawhide below, for nothing!
Loading, Loading, Loading, Keep Those Pages Loading, Loading, Loading, Loading, YAHOOOOOOOOO!!!!
Jeff wrote:>>For instance, Groups didn’t perform optimally on smartphones and tablets, which we know is important to a lot of you.<<
Guess what, Groups performs even WORSE on Smartphones now. Completely useless. And tablets? Don’t even try it; you can’t even get to the controls. NEO is a mobile failure, and Yahoo would be smarter than a smartphone if they’d just admit it.
Jeff wrote:>>We’re now in a better position to make Groups quicker and easier to use while you’re on the go. <<
Note the words, “to make.” Jeff Bonforte admitted to us in the Tweetfest that it would probably be two more years before their vision would be realized and completed. In other words, two more years of buggy broken NEO. No one plans to wait that long, certainly not me.
To get to the Tweetfest link, go here.
Jeff wrote:>>We truly appreciate all of your feedback and we will continue to do our best to address it as quickly as possible. As a matter of fact, thanks to many of you and your comments, we’ve made hundreds of changes since the launch. <<
@Tyger_Bryte We have now resolved 1085 bugs including 20 “major impact” ones since release of new Groups.
As Jeff states, NEO Groups started with 1085+ bugs, and what they actually did was fix bugs they caused or bring back features they took away or broke, and after 5 months, the product is still buggy and unreliable.
The databases are broken and unusable, many users can’t retrieve their archives, and some users can’t even get into their groups or their groups are just plain missing.
It’s not an accurate statement to claim the changes were upgrades. The whole mess was a downgrade, and they’ve been tweaking it trying to fix it ever since, all while we users have been suffering through whatever new hell they devise for us that day.
Jeff wrote:>>I want to clearly state that the new Groups is here to stay, but our commitment is to continue to partner with all of you to make it as good as it can be.<<
There is no partnership with Bonforte or Yahoo. I asked Jeff once to show us good faith by removing TWO statements that cause intense fury when read by users. One was in uservoice, and hasn’t been removed. That one said:
“We are working hard to make this a product you will love more than you hate change.”
Talk about a condescending comment, and it was repeated over and over and over and over. We don’t hate change; we hate broken usability and losing our data, our groups, and our connections we’ve had for years. And we have lost them.
The other comment was on the Groups page:
This statement is interesting because, you see, earlier it said “Please join the Groups Townhall,” with join being the operative word.
Shal tried to view the Townhall group, and he first got this:
He explains some things about this image here.
Below is some explanation in an exchange between myself and Shal from my group:
Shal wrote:>>to be fair Jeff said to “visit”, not “join”,<<
Yes, until I called Bonforte on it on Twitter, as well as told some of the media about it there, and then miraculously, it changed! Imagine that!
Shal wrote:>>and the group does have its Conversations open to non-members (“Conversations”, in that case, being a misnomer, as only moderators can post). The part they don’t understand is that by closing the group they prevent people from signing up to receive their town hall postings by email. Which makes the group no more useful than their Tumblr blog: out of sight, out of mind. Worse in fact, unless they add a link to it in the left column.<<
So here is my question, if NEO is so great, let everyone join the group and use it as a group. No, they can’t possibly set it up right for that. Read on…
Shal wrote:>>Another weird thing is that rather than simply allow people to post to groupstownhall, and use message moderation to select the topics to post, they created a companion group – askgroups – which has no visible content but allows non-members to post. So they’ll be collecting questions in one group, and answering them in the other. Huh?<<
Does that even remotely make sense to anyone? Shal tries to offer a reason:
Shal wrote:>>I can think of a couple reasons they might do that. One would be so that they can keep a private archive of all the questions asked, including the ones they aren’t ready to answer (now or ever). Another is that it removes the two-week time limit: they can visit as infrequently as they wish without concern that the questions would be auto-deleted from the pending queue.
But the big downside of this approach is that the “Post Message” link on the groupstownhall info page is probably ineffective: that page says only members may post. <<
You can read Shal’s post in it’s entirety here.
Okay, so Jeff (or Yahoo) creates a group, Town Hall, where we are directed to ask questions via e-mail, but we can’t post directly in it.
And the questions are collected by e-mail in a group Shal says exists, that we can’t read. When we went looking for this group, we tried to recreate the URL using another group’s URL and replacing the name, and we got this:
Then Shal gave us a new link that gives us this:
He says that it appears to be a closed group and that the questions are collected there and then answered in Town Hall, so we’ll only see the questions that are selected by them to answer.
And no one can subscribe by e-mail, which is the main way many people use Groups to start with.
If the whole point was to show us how great Neo groups are, they should run it like an actual group, and let us join & subscribe to e-mail.
This smacks to me of a glorified Uservoice, where now we have to visit not one, but THREE sites to use it. Tumblr, Groups Town Hall, and Ask Groups, thus making more traffic to Yahoo and still getting us ZERO results.
This Owl won’t be giving them that traffic. It’s just going to wind up being another place to go and get completely ignored while giving users false hope that Yahoo cares.
I completely understand why Jeff’s post and the closing of the Uservoice topic sent users fleeing all over again, why it fired up the boycott against ads on Yahoo even hotter, and why users are simply starting to no longer trust Yahoo.
Yahoo simply does not really care.
Sad…but inevitably true.