A big bah! to Ya-world

For at least two days now the postings have been delayed, sometimes severely. If you live in Austin and concern yourself at all with neighborhood events, no matter what your neighborhood, the chances are that you belong to a so-called Yahoo group. In nearly every instance, these are the default e-mail lists or listservs for Austin neighborhood and homeowner associations, as well as for any one of a number of other interest groups (Austin Mamas is one good example of the latter kind of list).

On-line message boards and bulletin boards were once not uncommon in Austin, although they have the drawback of being more of a “pull” medium than a “push” one. There are other free hosts for e-mail lists, but long ago here in Austin, way back in the mists of Internet time, whoever initiated the first neighborhood list chose OneList, which joined eGroups, following which eGroups was eventually swallowed up by Yahoo. In a way, life is easier when all a person’s list memberships are housed at one location, but as Yahoo (I scorn your exclamation point, Ya-people!) has evolved and changed its list formats, it has become more and more of a nuisance to deal with.

The alteration from plain text to HTML made everything much slower to load for dial-up customers and also slower for owners and administrators working at the list-site. When the Ya-people changed things so that attachments would no longer be archived at the list site, life was made more difficult for members who sign in to view their messages. No matter how large the archive of messages, it was once possible to search all messages, from the very first one to the most recent, in one go, but that is no longer the case; now a search covers only a certain span of postings and for an active list must be repeated and repeated and repeated, so that it’s only useful to the most persistent. The Ya-world has never made a good and sufficient truce with ISPs, so that periodically messages from Ya-lists bounce and then list-owners and -members must initiate steps to re-activate the membership.

So it’s free and the gratitude is immeasurable, but so’s the frustration at times. Thanks. And bah! Anyhow, if you belong to a Ya-group and made a posting and it seemed to go into another dimension for hours and hours and hours, you’ll never know why. Just be aware that it’s been going on at some times for some people on some lists during the past two or three days.

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