Yahoo! Groups

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Name: Yahoo!Groups, Yahoogroups, YahooGroups
Dates: 1998 - present
Type: Email list/internet forum provider
Fandom: any
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Launched in 1998, first known as "Yahoo Clubs".

Acquired the previously merged eGroups/ONEList (Nov 1999) in August 2000, and a few months later merged these groups with the Yahoo Groups into one service.

Removed "adult" lists from the search directory in 2001 (many groups containing fanfic were marked adult and are now impossible to find unless you already know their exact names)[1]


Onelist and eGroups, two other free mailing list services, merged in 1999 and then, one year later, were bought by Yahoo in 2000.

Onelist was founded by Mark Fletcher in August 1997. You can read more about OneList here.

eGroups was founded by Scott Hassan in January, 1997, as an email archiving service called FindMail. Read more about eGroups here.

[Note: additional info about fandom use of both mailing list services prior to Yahoo Groups merger is welcomed.]

Fandom Activity

Fandom uses Yahoo! Groups for various purposes, for example as discussion groups, or as fandom, topic or author specific mailing lists for fanfic.

  • Yuletide uses Yahoo! Groups for the pinch hitters list. In 2009, elyn had her account suspended as suspected spam, and there were a couple of days' delay before it was reinstated.
  • The Heyerlist moved to Yahoo! Groups in December 2009, having previously been on their own Listserv.

(need notes about notable or large fannish groups, plus groups deleted by yahoo)

Impact On Fandom

Prior to mailing lists, the majority of fannish interactions happened in print with zines, apazines and letterzines or in person. With the introduction of the Usenet fandom entered into the virtual arena and extended its reach to a broader base. Mailing lists, like Yahoo Groups, allowed fans to create a more customized and controlled fandom experience. This had both positive and negative impact on fandom.

"Back in the day, especially on Usenet, there was a larger sense of fandom. Slashers, shippers, and those who couldn't care less who's banging who all co-existed on the same newsgroup. Oh yeah, there were fights, but fandom was a lot more interesting back then because you were exposed to more opinions. With the advent of OneList and it's many evolutions, fandom started to become much more factionalized as each fandom had dozens of lists. Now fandoms have dozens of communities. Slashers never have to be exposed to shippers, and vice versa. It cuts down on shipper wars, sure, but I think it robs of a sense of truly being a fandom." ~ Anonymous comment on fail_fandomanon, dated August 15, 2010


  1. From wikipedia:Yahoo! Groups, accessed on 5/20/2009