To Advertisers

I am Brenda (last name removed), otherwise known as Nightowl >8#, and in 2010 my group and I successfully stopped a serious upgrade of Yahoo Groups, which is where your ads frequently appear.

http://gigaom.com/2010/10/04/yahoo-quashes-groups-redesign-in-wake-of-user-backlash/

Now Yahoo is doing it again, this time even worse, with something called Neo.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/09/17/yahoo_groups_complaints_continue/

As a result of this change, group owners and group members have been leaving by the thousands. In August/September alone, nearly a million users have deleted their groups and left. If it continues at that rate, the number of users seeing your ads will dwindle sharply in a very short time.

In addition, many groups and members are threatening to boycott all of the companies that advertise with Yahoo – some groups with upwards of 300,000+ members, for example. And some users are even selling their Yahoo stock.

On 9/27/13, 29,000 members in a 38,000-member group left. http://yahoo.uservoice.com/forums/209451-us-groups/suggestions/4495978-you-should-better-close-the-yahoo-groups

And another 500,000 members are ready to leave if nothing is done! http://yahoo.uservoice.com/forums/209451-us-groups/suggestions/4501268-yahoo-group-is-moving-in-wrong-direction-i

This is not only a very complicated interface, it is not a suitable or usable platform to migrate Classic Groups to. Neo is missing many of the needed features of the Groups, and some functions are simply not working.

Many elderly & disabled people can’t use it as it doesn’t work with their voice recognition or other enabling software. Many ill and disabled people have been cut off from their support groups, and some are experiencing seizures, high blood pressure, or contemplating suicide.

My Mods and Members Group and many others are posting everywhere trying to warn advertisers that if Yahoo doesn’t restore our groups back to Classic Groups mode ASAP, most of their main user base, Yahoo Groups, will be deleting their groups and leaving. We have complained to Yahoo in their feedback forum by the thousands, which you can find here:

http://yahoo.uservoice.com/forums/209451-us-groups/suggestions/4276993-return-groups-format-to-prior-format-that-works-#comments

It already has 50,000+ votes against this change, but Yahoo doesn’t appear to be listening to us. We have mounted a huge campaign to stop this, but it isn’t keeping people from leaving. On 9/23/13, another group of people were Neoized, and more are set to leave. http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/modsandmembers/message/4710

I am aware that Yahoo has upgraded the ads that appear on the Neoized pages, but you are mostly likely paying money for ads that no one will see because group members are continuing to leave by the thousands. And Yahoo already inflates the number of groups it has to the advertisers because there are a huge number of groups that are not in use and overrun by spammers. Yahoo does not delete these groups; therefore, they stay in the account.

A good example of this is the Flylady Group, http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/FlyLadyMentors/info. But to see the count that still remains you have to be in Classic Mode. So I had someone check:

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/modsandmembers/message/4704

They left in 2010 but their group and member list remains intact in Classic view – 512,611 members – when they are gone, which misleads advertisers to think there are X number of eyeballs there when they are not.

I wanted to make you, as an advertiser, aware of this impending disaster. Please contact Yahoo and make them aware of this serious situation and tell them to stop NEO immediately or there will soon no longer be anyone left in the groups to click on your ads.

Thank you sincerely,

Brenda (last name removed)
Nightowl >8#
@featheredleader
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/modsandmembers/
(phone # removed)

P.S. You may reprint anything in this letter or in my group, or give it to any press you like

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