|Name:||Yahoo! Groups (Yahoo!Groups, Yahoogroups, YahooGroups)|
|Dates:||1998 - December 14, 2019|
|Type:||Email list/internet forum provider|
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Yahoo! Groups is a discussion board/mailing list provider.
Yahoo acquired the previously merged eGroups/ONEList (Nov 1999) in August 2000, and a few months later merged these groups with Yahoo! Clubs into one service. Yahoo! Groups was a popular site for fannish discussion and interaction for most of the 2000s, with fans creating groups for specific fandoms, topics and authors.
Yahoo! Groups later faded in popularity with the rise of social media, but some fannish groups remained active through the 2010s. On October 16 2019, it was revealed that Yahoo! planned to shut down posting functionality to Groups in less than two weeks, and would be purging all data from Yahoo! Groups on December 14, 2019.
Launched in 1998, Yahoo! Clubs ran for two years before being merged with eGroups to form Yahoo! Groups. Clubs were available to anyone with a Yahoo! ID, and could be public or unlisted (invitation-only). Some of the available categories for Clubs included Music, Movies, TV, Internet, Computer and RPG.
Less than a year later, in August 2000, Yahoo bought the merged eGroups. Shortly thereafter, Yahoo announced Yahoo! Groups, which would merge Yahoo! Clubs with eGroups technology. Yahoo! Groups launched in early 2001 and Yahoo! Clubs and eGroups lists were merged into Yahoo! Groups at that time.
Policy Changes for Adult Groups
Yahoo! Groups 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).
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
- The Amelia list, created in 1999 for discussion of Elizabeth Peters' novels about the Egyptian adventures of Amelia Peabody Emerson, was a primary nexus for that fandom before becoming substantially inactive in 2010. Traffic on the main list was heavy enough that a separate, secondary list was created to host discussions of each new book in the series as they became available.
- RUSS-L, a major mailing list for Mary Russell fans, migrated to Yahoo in 2000, and was highly active for several years before being largely supplanted by Letters of Mary late in 2006. Activity on these lists included discussion of the novels, circulation and archiving of fanfic, and coordination of offline meetups, in some cases involving series author Laurie R. King.
- Yuletide used Yahoo! Groups for the pinch hitters' list for several years. In 2009, elyn had her account suspended as suspected spam, and there were a couple of days' delay before it was reinstated. (Yuletide subsequently moved the pinch-hitters' list to Google Groups, where it remains as of 2019.)
- The Heyerlist moved to Yahoo! Groups in December 2009, having previously been on their own Listserv.
- The MuchAdoAboutBuffy list was an example of a mailing list set up solely to provide email updates to fans about developments at a fannish website, in this case two sites, the referenced Buffy site as well as FlightsofAngel. The list was set up on 14 January 2000 and sent out as many as dozen updates a month. Between 2000 and 2007 the list had 4,825 subscribers, which revealed the continuing popularity of individual websites for fannish activity in that decade.
On October 16, 2019, Jason Scott, the founder of Archive Team, tweeted that Yahoo! had - with very little fanfare - announced it would be shutting off posting to Groups from October 21, 2019 (this date later became October 28, 2019) and permanently deleting all Groups content from December 14, 2019. Notably, there was nothing about this coming change published to the front page of Yahoo! Groups.
While initial fandom-wide discussion of the announcement described this as a complete shutdown of Yahoo!Groups, careful reading of the announcement indicates that Yahoo! will continue to maintain mailing lists of group members and that members will still be able to send and receive list-wide messages via email (although features such as "digest" subscriptions will be eliminated and moderators' management features will be reduced).
Fans immediately began seeking resources and support for archiving the soon-to-be-deleted content, with posts on Dreamwidth encouraging group moderators to contact Open Doors and providing pointers toward software utilities designed to preserve a list's email archive.
So OF COURSE Yahoo! is going to stop allowing use of Yahoo! Groups in exactly one week, and OF COURSE Yahoo! is going to delete/wipe ALL content in ALL Yahoo! Groups in 3 months. And OF COURSE the front page says NOTHING about it.
For more information, see Yahoo! Groups Content Purge.
- Tweet by Jason Scott, published October 16, 2019 (Accessed October 17, 2019).
- Understand what's changing in Yahoo Groups, Yahoo! Help, accessed October 17, 2019.
- Snapshot of clubs.yahoo.com, saved January 25, 1999 (Accessed October 17, 2019).
- ONELIST AND EGROUPS ANNOUNCE MERGER at onelist.com, 09 November 1999. (Archived 28 November 1999 by the Wayback Machine.)
- Yahoo! Groups FAQ, archived 24 January 2001 by the Wayback Machine.
- See also Special Announcement for Yahoo! Clubs Members, archived 28 November 2001 by the Wayback Machine.
- From wikipedia:Yahoo! Groups, accessed on 5/20/2009
- An archived snapshot of the October 16 announcement shows the October 21 date, while a snapshot from the following day shows the new date.