In what amounts to a tacit admission of failure, Yahoo! deleted thousands of Groups-related suggestions and bug reports and has nothing to say to disappointed users.
Early on March 15th Yahoo Groups users began to report that the official Feedback forum suddenly contained a lot fewer feedback items. A few thousand fewer. The content of the forum had been decimated from recollections of 1,600 to 2,300 items previously to as few as 150 that day. This was reported to Yahoo that day by way of the Yahoo Groups section on Yahoo! Answers. Thus far Yahoo has declined to make any public comment on the deletions in the Answers section cited, in its blog, or in the Feedback forum itself.
Absent any comment, it is tempting to suggest that Yahoo was simply overwhelmed by the number of feedback items and arbitrarily discarded the lower-ranked items to bring the number down to a manageable level. If true, that would amount to a tacit admission that the “new experience” is more troubled than Yahoo can publicly acknowledge or privately cope with.
Some users have suggested that this might have been a simple house-cleaning, ridding the forum of duplicate or inappropriate items. But if that was the intent, Yahoo discarded an unknown number of babies with the bathwater. Some users have posted their bug reports and suggestions again. Others have simply walked away in disgust that their time and effort was so carelessly discarded.
Yahoo, having already caused much discontent within the Groups community over the roll-out of their “new experience,” scarcely needed to give the user community another slap in the face. It is incomprehensible that Yahoo would discard user feedback in bulk at the same time that they are working feverishly to make a show of rolling out the return of lost features and the continued improvement of the “new experience.” If anyone thought they were sweeping problems “under the rug,” that was very short-sighted. Discarding bug reports in particular would only serve to prolong the period of time before the bug gets discovered again and corrected.
Discarding suggestions, on the other hand, is simply rude. The Feedback forum has a mechanism for marking a suggestion as “Declined” if Yahoo decides not to implement it. That may disappoint the person who made the suggestion, but at least they have been given the courtesy of a reply.
Update: I tweeted Jeff Bonforte, SVP of Communications Products at Yahoo!, about the situation on Friday, before writing the above, and received a prompt reply from him Monday morning, after that was written but before it was published here. The reply did not address the issue in my opinion.
Additional Comment by Nightowl >8#:
I have plenty to say about this issue. Yahoo has been hiding uservoice posts ever since we started the crusade. First they were marking them done, declined, or whatever and moving them, which would break the links we were sending to the press. Then they carelessly started rushing fixes, which was worse, and everything under the sun was breaking. NOW, instead of hiding, falsely marking, or moving comments, they are DELETING them — discarding them with no response to users — a blatant statement on their part that we are nothing to them, that we don’t matter. Well, we are here to tell you GROUPS USERS MATTER! And I archived a huge number of those comments that are now gone from view on Yahoo.
So if you want to see what users have REALLY been saying about the new redesign of Yahoo, go here:
Click on The Feedback Trench and go from there. I promise you, there is a LOT of reading there and almost none of it is positive about the new NEO redesign.
Oh, and if you want some additional reading, click on For The Press. You’ll find two very interesting archived tweet convos between a group of distressed users and Mr. Jeff Bonforte himself!