I have been a user of Yahoo Groups since about 1998 when it was called eGroups. Somewhere during 1999 it was purchase by Yahoo and I have managed or moderated various groups since that time. Here’s some of the groups I have created and some stats:

  • Credo Mutwa Discussion Group: 171 members since March 2002. This has been my most successful group to date because the topic is so esoteric and specialised. There are members from all over the world who have read the books of Credo Mutwa and actively discuss his philosophy.
  • Suanne Braun Fan Club: 42 members since August 2000.  This is a group that lost a lot of steam because Suanne has stopped acting in tv shows that are widely available to South Africans. The one other member who used to post regular updates has either lost interest or moved on.
  • Uitenhage High Alumni group: 39 members since November 2000. This is an alumni group for people from my old high school. However, the Facebook group already has 46 members. What’s wrong here? A clear purpose and also someone who can stimulate discussions not necessarily about the school but things that are important to the members post-high school. Many schools have a well organised old boys or old girls organisations that would allow such an online discussion group to florish.
  • Viva Divas Music discussion group: 39 members since October 1998, started by a friend of mine who asked me to help moderate the group. The problem with this group is that there is no longer any active discussions. Most of the emails are news about new albums or singles. This group used to be much bigger a few years ago when the discussions were more stimulating.

Why should you consider Yahoo Groups?

  • It has a track record of more than 10 years.
  • Your email messages to the group is automatically archived
  • You can assign moderators
  • Your moderators can have different levels of access
  • You can automatically moderate all or only new members
  • The interface and the emails are highly customisable
  • This is a great way to add interactivity to your website or interest group without spending a cent.

Anyway I was surprised to say the least by this email from Yahoo. Even through I am also running groups on Google Groups, which is very similar in functionality, I value the archived messages on Yahoo Groups.

Dear Yahoo! Groups owner/moderator,

You’ve been selected to be a part of the Yahoo! Groups Power User Program. This program rewards the owners and moderators of some of our top Groups. You have dedicated a lot of time to making your group great, and now we want to give you something in return.

As a first benefit, you now have free access to 24-hour online customer care chat support. To access this service, visit our Contact Us page and look for the Chat with us live now link.

If you’d like to be notified about future benefits as a Power User, please join the Yahoo! Power User Group. Click here to learn more.

Congratulations, and thanks for creating such an outstanding Group.

The Yahoo! Groups team