Home > Behind the scenes - running RPGs, Roleplay Systems > A nail in the coffin for Yahoo Groups

A nail in the coffin for Yahoo Groups

CoffinYesterday I received an email which makes me worried about the future of Yahoo! groups.

Yahoo! Groups have been around for over 10 years, and before that they were called eGroups. This was where I played my first roleplaying game, as Yahoo! Groups was popular with roleplayers as it was free and easy, and allowed users to send emails out to members of the game. This was a proper PBEM (play-by-email) game.

I used a Yahoo Group to run my Blue Dwarf game for 10 years and in that time there were no new advancements made to the system, giving me the impression that Yahoo had abandoned the service, only continuing to run it for legacy purposes. That’s when I moved Blue Dwarf over to OngoingWorlds (If you want to know more about this process, here’s an article I wrote at the time).

Today I received this in an email from Yahoo!

Unfortunately, the time has come to say goodbye to Yahoo! Groups Labs Applications (beta) and Groups Chat. We thank all the users that were a part of this program.

On July 04, 2012, we will shut down the Yahoo! Groups Labs Applications (beta) and Groups Chat. We request you to backup any data that you might have created using the applications.

Read the rest of this article here.

  1. July 2, 2012 at 7:02 am

    Personally I never used Yahoo groups for anything to do with RPGs. But I think that if it does shut down, all that will happen is that RPGers and RPG admins will look elsewhere to have their games in motion.

    • July 2, 2012 at 7:12 am

      What about all the posts that they’ll have to leave behind, some groups have thousands of posts amassed over years in their archive, do you think moderators will be willing to leave that old archive behind? I was quite precious about ours for my Blue Dwarf game, but I suppose not all groups will be. What do you think? Is an archive important?

      • July 2, 2012 at 7:20 am

        Unfortunately there isn’t much that they can do other then copy the information and store it somewhere visible for people to view as they wished. It would take a long time, especially for the games that have been open for long periods of time.

        AeRo used to be hosted on Proboards before we moved to self-hosting and I coped the majority of old threads over when we were warned it was going to be deleted. I will say that there were some benefits, we were able to take a bit of time to make sure the history was more understandable and a few other things as well.

  2. July 3, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Copying all the posts will take a long time, especially if there’s thousands. I created a script which did this, although it still took a long time.
    Did you use this as a chance to rewrite the history? I’ve always thought that’s dangerously approaching nineteen-eighty-four, and messes with everyone’s shared memories of events!

  3. July 3, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    I own a game, but been following this blog for sometime now.

    I use Yahoo groups and since I got the email, I have this sensation that I need to backup all the posts that were sent through Yahoo groups.

    My game has over 500 posts and now questioned why didn’t I kept a backup in my email account.

    • July 4, 2012 at 5:54 am

      Hi Miguel, yes it’d be good to keep a backup for many reasons, even if Yahoo had no intention of closing, they might be hacked or somehow accidentally delete all the posts, losing all your 500 posts, this could be disasterous if this is your only archive. However I’m not sure what the best way to backup the posts is, and Yahoo probably have a better backup solution than anything I’d be able to do myself!

      • July 4, 2012 at 8:35 am

        No problem there, Onion.

        The mere lack of updates in the yahoo groups and receiving that mail, put me and perhaps a lot of people afraid of loosing all their posts.

        I do hope, that they start to improve the groups again, as they say in the mail.

  4. July 5, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    While there are some other styles of groups out there, the big one being Google Groups, should Yahoo close their groups totally, they would lose at least 70% or more of their loyal users. As with other things, the email services from other places are better…many people just stay on Yahoo due to it having the groups.

  5. YG.Lover
    February 25, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Not a gamer, but have used YGs since 2001 & still love ’em just the way they are! The BEAUTY is in their SIMPLICITY, & that it works smooth as silk for exactly what it is supposed to do >> post by email &/or discussions by email (or web-posting).

    It’s great also as a place to store your own notes & research or whatever (in private mode).

    The Search works great now (didn’t used to in the old days); has an RSS Feed for posts; can customize homepage colors; & add a photo. That’s about all an “email list” site needs (though autoposting a headline & link to Twitter for each post, per group [& not per Yahoo ID], would be nice, but I can live w/o it(.

    About 2-3 years ago they started to completely remake YGs into a FB-type site & everybody, myself included, raised H like crazy & told them to back off & leave YGs alone! They wised-up & listened, thank goodness, as they were making a bloated mess of it.

    People that use YGs do not want all the “social network mania” bells & whistles which bloat & complicate an otherwise beautifully-simple operation!

    (Tested google groups in 2009. Horrible compared to YGs.)

    Btw, there’s a guy in SF who has services to extract your YG content & move it elsewhere. His site is called “Group Fetch” & he’s been around awhile, if you ever need help doing that: http://groupfetch.com

    Take care fellas! 🙂

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