Fixing Neo

Owl Banner Fixing Neo 2

Shal is in charge of this page.  To contact him, either leave a comment on this page or e-mail him at FixingNeo-Shal (at) Yahoo (dot) com.

This page is about fixing the so-called “Neo” version of Yahoo Groups. Yahoo does not seem to have an official name for this, they simply refer to it as the New Yahoo Groups, or the new design, or the refreshed design. This new design was announced on the Yahoo Groups Blog, 2013-08-29, but was first reported by baffled users beginning on or about August 4th.

No doubt you’ve noticed that this new release seems to have been rolled out way before it was ready for prime time. As of this writing, November 18th, it is still missing many features of the “classic” Yahoo! Groups, and is still unreliable in its operation. For more about that see my posts:

So what can we do about fixing this mess? Well, of course we can’t actually fix Yahoo’s broken code ourselves, we’ll have to leave that to them. So this effort boils down to finding the best ways to let Yahoo know what’s wrong, and what we expect them to do about it. Regrettably, that will actually take effort on your part — it usually isn’t a trivial effort to make a concise and accurate description of a problem.

Here’s an example of a statement that doesn’t work:

 Nothing works! Fix it!

Even as badly broken as Neo is for some purposes, the fact is that some things about it do work. So if you lead off with an overly general statement that is false on its face, don’t be surprised if you get ignored. For reasons similar to netiquette, the overuse of exclamation!!! points!!!, ALL CAPITALS, or imperative statements will serve to reduce the effectiveness of your efforts.  Always keep in mind that the people you want to read your reports are people too. If you want them to help you, you have to help them understand what you’re talking about. That is, you not only have to present the facts, but you must present them in a manner that is conducive to understanding. That means a calm presentation that doesn’t reflect or generate negative emotions.

Here are examples of statements that do work (the original idea, not necessarily all the comments):

Ability to ban non-members preemptively
Restore the ability to set our groups to plain text only.
Restore groups classic home page photos to their place in the Description
Neo Manage My Groups Page Question

Those examples are drawn from the Yahoo Groups feedback forum, which is the primary means for communicating bug reports and feature requests to the Yahoo Groups team

(More information coming soon)

Meanwhile, if you want to make a comment you can leave it on this page, or follow the Posting Guidelines at the top of the blog.

Shal

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2 thoughts on “Fixing Neo

  1. November 13th, 2013

    Oh, Dear God in Heaven preserve us – “more mod control fixes coming” – pucker up everyone; when they start fixing things it usually gets worse before it gets better. He wants US to tell HIM what needs fixing. What have we been doing for nearly 4 months? He wants to know what is still broken in the groups, for crying out, Jeffie Baby, go read the blogs and take notes. I am getting very, very tired of holding his hand and spoon feeding that guy, as I would bet are the rest of you and others.

    Any system that rolls out with this many bugs needs a total removal and revamp before being put in again. Just think of how many astronaut crews we’d have lost if NASA had not de-bugged its programs, equipment, ships, et. al., first. And we still made mistakes and lost a few men and women.

    Maybe we need to send Yahoo over to take lessons from NASA on how to debug stuff before you shove it on-line and blindside people.

  2. A nice general point: A lot of space is taken on every page so we can go to any of our Top 10 groups with one click and any of the others with two clicks (and will that be the About page, Messages, or the dreaded Topics?). A lot of space! For something we don’t use nearly as much as the local group features. Yes! Exactly right!

    Most ordinary members will want to read mainly one group at a time, follow links, check photos, etc, before moving on, never mind moderators. And for moving on, one link or button will do, to “All My Groups,” instead of the bizarrely default “Manage My Groups,” which must have been conceived by someone who doesn’t use Groups.

    All that space taken by the Top 10 et al could have been freed up for lots more functionality, spaciousness and even ads! Talk about win-win. And because space is at such a premium in the current design, all kinds of contortions and distortions happen to make the rest of the design “clean,” like hiding useful things in bizarre places and leaving things out. The tail has been wagging the dog.

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