Yes, Yahoo Groups still matter
Sneer if you like, but there are hundreds of active Yahoo groups devoted to special interests and hobbies, and the recent "Neo" UI makeover has affected all of them. For the past ten years I've been moderating a 5,000+ member group devoted to RVing (lifewithalazydazerv), so I've seen the effects of the malignant "Neo"-plasm at first hand.
It isn't that the "Neo" UI is bad per se--it's actually a improvement in some ways, although it's far too reliant on "mystery meat" navigation. I'm still stumbling upon undocumented, invisible functions, and I mean basic functions like changing the group's banner photo.
The real problem is that the rollout (staggered over the past week) has been unbelievably buggy. Yahoo has been slowly patching bugs, but I still have a list as long as my arm of things that don't work as they should.
For example, all existing folders whose names contained an ampersand ("Repairs & Maintenance") simply disappeared. Embedded links that end in a stroke or slash (http://www.andybaird.com/travels/) are truncated, resulting in 404 errors when clicked. Linefeeds and returns are stripped, so that posts show up as one long block of text instead of several paragraphs.
Basic punctuations such as apostrophes show up OK on the group's website, but are converted to HTML entities (&39;) in the emailed digests, making them nearly unreadable. The website's formatting is badly screwed up when viewed on an iPad, and Android tablet users report that it doesn't work at all on that platform. And so on, ad nauseam.
Mind you, this is after a week of Yahoo's fix-it efforts. When the "Neo" UI was first rolled out, it was completely unusable. Now it's in about the same state as a 1957 Renault Dauphine that's been rusting in a barnyard for forty years.
It's painfully obvious that little or no testing was done by Yahoo prior to rollout, because anybody who looked at the initial version for as much as than sixty seconds would have seen half a dozen problems with it. The fact that initially, it didn't work at all on iPhones/iPods Touch/iPads, and still doesn't work on Android phones and tablets, is astonishing, given Marissa Mayer's repeated statements that Yahoo needs to focus on mobile devices.
If this is the new Yahoo, then Mayer has failed dismally.