Monday, June 29, 2009


Yahoo! is continuing their never ending quest to render themselves obsolete.
For reasons unexplainable by me they continue operating with the philosophy "Less is More." Services and features continue to be cut back or eliminated altogether, usually leaving their users with no choice but to go somewhere else altogether. They seem to be intentionally weakening their own customer base while simultaneously strenghtening that of their competition.
Y! Games are ancient and have undergone no significant changes in play or appearance for over a decade. Meanwhile, game sites like Pogo are on a level so far above Yahoo! that the big red Y! will probably never catch up and never measure up.

Y! Photos was discontinued, leaving users with two poor choices. Users could either switch to Flickr, an unbranded (but Yahoo! owned) service which was more difficult to use and offered considerably less than what they were used to unless they paid for a premium account, or they could switch to another service not affiliated with Yahoo! at all. Bye-bye users.

The Y! Briefcase service was discontinued and no replacement offered. Users now have to go elsewhere for any photo or document storage. Bye-bye users

LAUNCHcast radio underwent major change, removing the ability to create or maintain custom stations which play music defined by the listener's specific preferences. Bye-bye users

Yahoo! 360° will soon be put out of its misery after years of neglect during which it never functioned properly. No replacement is offered. This completely removes Y! from the social networking market, one of the biggest markets on the internet. I can't even begin to fathom the reasoning behind this decision.

The new "universal profile" is a bug laden disaster almost as unusable as 360° often was. A large percentage of users aren't even able to access their own profile to make changes, so it broadcasts updates about all of their activities on Yahoo! to all of their contacts without their permission or control. The developers of this new profile are themselves unsure of what purpose it is supposed to serve, they continue to add features and functionality which make it usable as a stripped down social networking site while all the while claiming it's not supposed to be. Bye-bye users

GeoCities is the next to be shut down. Users who have had personal websites hosted on GeoCities for a decade or more will now have to go elsewhere. Yahoo! will have no free website hosting features anymore. Bye-bye users

Yahoo! Answers is a disaster. It could have been a worthwhile property but due to incompetence, lack of foresight and lack of any sort of user control it has turned into a giant game, a pre-teen Dear Abby and rate my pic site, a cesspool of hatred and a haven for spammers and malware distributors. Yet Yahoo! still has no restrictions in place to prevent ill intentioned users from sitting down at their computer and creating dozens upon dozens of back to back accounts which they then use to blanket the site with spam and malware. Malware alone has continued unabated for over a year, with the only control in place being the herculean search and report efforts of many of it's users. Even then Y! refuses to give them the tools they need to do the job properly, and keeps breaking the one ineffective tool they do have.

Then there's Yahoo!'s crown jewel, their "Customer Care" division. I doubt there has ever been a more incompetent, ineffectual, self-defeating customer care department than the poor excuse offered by Yahoo!. Instead of working to keep their users, they continually cause them to leave by way of horrible service and attitude. Contacting them about anything only begins a chain of copy and paste responses, most of which don't even address any point made in the original contact. They may as well just respond to the first inquiry with a simple "Fuck you, we don't care." At least then the user gets the idea the first time instead of dealing with the frustration and aggravation of multiple communications over an extended period of time while their issue remains unresolved. On Yahoo! it is totally possible to lose your entire account and everything in it for no reason at all without ever being given a reason, especially if you participate in Y! Answers.
Personally I think Yahoo! totally blew it by not selling to Microsoft. They have cut back their staff and services to the point where none of their new products work and nobody there can fix them. I honestly see no reason to even use Yahoo! for anything now aside from Messenger and for some, e-mail. I won't use Y! Mail myself for the simple reason that I could lose it at any time due to unexplained account deactivation. The one service I still use is Messenger, because it's free. I will not pay them again for the use of the Phone Out service because the last time I did they stole the remaining prepaid balance when they erroneously deactivated my account. When they realized their mistake and reactivated it the balance was gone and they refuse to reinstate it. So, screw 'em. So what do you think, will Yahoo! survive and regain it's former status or will they continue to decline to the point where they are irrelevant?

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