Yahoo! Closed their Message Boards on 1st April 2013

Author Comment
User avatar

Admin

Posts: 11071

Yahoo! Message Boards website
Effective April 1, 2013, the Yahoo! Message Boards website will shut down. Our message boards on individual properties (like Yahoo! Finance and Yahoo! Fantasy Sports) will remain active. We also encourage you to ask and answer questions on Yahoo! Answers, and discuss issues in the comments section on Yahoo! News.

Source

They sure were nothing to write home about but yet again we are seeing a major remote hosted message board system closed. Yahoo! do run their own advertising and have some 18 years of experience both in running message boards and advertising.

The message boards that remain did undergo somewhat of a revamp a few months ago. It makes little difference to me because I still find them tedious and unintuitive.

Yahoo Groups still remain ... at least for the time being.

If I look at Alexa stats for a selection of the larger remote hosted message boards, I see the normal seasonal dip, with no real rise or change. Where did all these people go?

User avatar

Posts: 679

Location: Orange County, Calif. (near Disneyland and Los Angeles)

Yahoo! had message boards?! Image

User avatar

Admin

Posts: 11071

I'm currently seeing 54.5 million results.

One month's notice and redirected to the Yahoo! homepage. You may be lucky to find a cached version among the results.

This is an example of the revamped version.

My point really is that Yahoo! were in a position to recover running costs from running such a system and yet ended up having to axe the service. I simply do not believe that a message board system can be supported by advertising revenue alone these days. If anyone could do it, surely Yahoo! could.

User avatar

Posts: 2263

So we have Yahoo!, a company valued at $26 billion, deciding that message boards aren't viable… and we have Crowdgather, valued at $3.3 million, relying only on message boards and selling sex scents on porn sites. You have to wonder how long Crowdgather will last.

On the other side of the coin, one person can fund a small self-hosted board, and larger self-hosted boards can effectively be funded with donations. Those seem to thrive.

User avatar

Posts: 679

Location: Orange County, Calif. (near Disneyland and Los Angeles)

It might not be so much that Yahoo! thinks that message boards aren't profitable or viable so much as that they might think they are not profitable enough to make it worth their while.

Yahoo! is so big that they might feel a small profit just isn't worth it to them, whereas a small company might think that same profit is a gold mine.

User avatar

Posts: 558

I tend to agree with you, SciFiGuy. I think that is why MSN announced shutdown of it's message boards in 2008, not enough profit.

User avatar

Admin

Posts: 11071

Interesting option but I fail to see the logic in closing anything that does make a profit or even holds its own, when offered as an additional service and means of collecting valuable user habits.

We heard of MSN Groups closing. We heard of Aimoo and Multiply offering to import (then later Yuku). We heard of Ning changing their business model and converting to a sustainable product. We heard of Yuku offering an import service. We heard of Multiply dropping their message boards and returning to their core product.

What's different here? We have heard very little and these people had a month's notice. Where did they all go?

User avatar

Posts: 558

That's a very good question, Andrew. I wonder the same thing. Yuku groups are still closing. One that you and I belong to has announced the closing of it's doors on May 1.

Activity is down on so many of them. Where have all the people gone?

I can't believe they have all gone to Face Book and Twitter. Can you?

User avatar

Admin

Posts: 11071

Stats show no increase on message boards. Talk said that people were bored of Facebook. Twitter is dwindling somewhat. I must have a look at their stats though. I'll try and remember to do that later tonight.

Message boards are not dead. There will always be a place for niche discussion forums. Most people know how to use them and have.

Seasonally, there is always a dip around this time of year and it looks just the same.

Oh, one thing I did not do was look at Yahoo Message Board's stats. I'll look at them too.

So far as the other news, I'm a good month behind in email. This happens sometimes. I had issues with a couple of computers and that made me lag. I'm keeping current but have never managed to beat the backlog. You can feed that back, if you wish. My mind is on everything but there are only so many hours in the day!

User avatar

Posts: 558

You surely stay busy, Andrew. Don't work too hard. Give yourself a much needed break now and then. Thanks for all you do for groups and their owners. I appreciate you. Have a wonderful day.

User avatar

Posts: 679

Location: Orange County, Calif. (near Disneyland and Los Angeles)

There are lots of possibilities as to why something that makes a profit might be shut down.

Yahoo! is in the midst of restructuring.

People have to maintain those message boards. Perhaps Yahoo! wishes to move the message boards personnel to new or different areas which they hope will make a lot more money than the message boards do.

For example, perhaps they are working on a new interactive section devoted to motion pictures and television shows. Or maybe they are working on something for cell phones.

Instead of hiring more people, they just move the people from the message boards (which only make a small profit) to the new areas (which they hope will produce large profits).

User avatar

Admin

Posts: 11071

It would be nice to think that jobs were retained and it is a good example. Consider this though:

  1. If the message board division were profitable, that profit could be used to recruit more staff. Note: I am not saying where these staff may be recruited to. People could transfer sideways and open two opportunities for recruitment type.

  2. Closing the message boards division immediately terminates all revenue from them. Where does the revenue come from to pay the transferees? Note: A new project has no income.

Agreed that Yahoo! is restructuring. It has to! It has always been mediocre and it is falling behind.

This article says it is an attempt to 'sharpen focus'. This suggests that you may be right in detail.

"Stopping the hemorrhaging is job one and I think she's accomplished that almost by virtue of her presence," said Neil Sims, a managing director with executive recruiting firm Boyden.

Job two is to modernize Yahoo's dated consumer Web products and services, which have an impressive audience of roughly 700 million people, but have not kept up with trends in mobile computing and social networking. Hiring new talent is critical to that success, analysts said.

"They have a lot of people who create the products that Yahoo is known for, but it's not the same products that Yahoo needs to offer if it's to have the same scale in five years that it has today," said Ken Sena, an analyst with Evercore Partners.

Source
I am placing their message boards as a part of "Job one". I do believe they are a part of the hemorrhaging referred to.

Your point relates more to "job two".

My counter to that is that some chosen message boards were in fact updated and yet the majority of them were not. The work was done. The only thing that was never followed through was the roll-out to all message boards. Why?

My guess is that this would utilize more resources and hence increase outlay and operating expense. Being a guess, yes this could be wrong but likely only in a matter of degree.

We do not really know why these message boards were closed. We do know they were unimportant enough in the grand scale of things. We do know that we have heard no fuss from the former users of these boards.

Insofar as looking 5 years from now, yes, they were entirely right to close message boards. Old, stale, spammed to death, less well used, inferior product when compared to others. This gets worse over time and not better.

I do seriously believe that advertizing alone is no longer sufficient revenue to sustain a message board service (but it may be sufficient to sustain many self-hosted ones).

Not saying you are wrong either. We can both be right.

User avatar

Posts: 558

I just hope message boards will retain a spot on the net that is affordable for those of us who prefer it over the big guys like Face Book and Twitter.

User avatar

Posts: 2263

We're paying about $10 per month to self-host two communities vs. hundreds of dollars per year on Yuku.

User avatar

Posts: 179

We cut our hosting costs by over 50% by moving on our own. It cost about $3700/year on Yuku to run our board.

User avatar

Posts: 178

YIKES, dawgstudent!

We moved in August 2012 ~ we're paying about $110/year [vs $72/year for yuku gold] ~ that $110 includes buying our domain name and gives us the choice to open more groups at no extra cost ~ we have NO regrets ~ and NO ads ~ not even the "accidental" text ads ~ and we control any/all changes ~ it's NIRVANA!

Sooz

User avatar

Posts: 2263

dawg has some special requirements that wouldn't apply to most of us. His members want threaded view. That means paid software, and I believe more elaborate hosting is necessary to handle it.

User avatar

Posts: 178

Thanks, Casey ~ luckily, I'm content with "simple" ~ :P

To anyone considering moving, there IS a learning curve involved and you really need an admin or member with tech knowledge to get set up and moved ~ but I promise it's worth the effort ~ a good friend steered us to DreamHost, which offers a free 30-day trial ~ that's plenty of time to set up and learn your way around ~ DreamHost also offers responsive support for us non-particularly-techy people ~ anyone interested in more information is welcome to PM me ~

BTW, so you know, yuku kicked me out once they figured out we left ~

Andrew, if my comments are too direct, please feel free to delete this post ~

Sooz

User avatar

Admin

Posts: 11071

No Sooz, your post stands. We are not restricted and censored here. Direct is good. Polite is desirable. PMs are unnecessary other than for exchange of personal or confidential information. No reason why the rest cannot be public and it is in fact what this board is now about.

Your post touches on a few things. Do feel free to offer selected hosting in the Self-hosted section, if you wish. I've been thinking about creating a topic about what requirements for self-hosting are and I think you could be a valuable contributor to that. Everyone comes from a different background and has a different set of skills and viewpoint. I'll create that topic later today.

This board is hosted on Dreamhost and everyone can experience both the up-time and speed for themselves. The average load time is currently 532 milliseconds. Casey's boards are also hosted on Dreamhost and have seen over 300 users in the whosonline in a 15 minute period. If you want to promote Dreamhost, go right ahead. If you want to promote another, do that too.

By all means start new topics for anything you think is important or relevant. It's important for people researching options to hear about them all, both good and bad.

dawgstudent's requirements are tailored to both the nature of his subject material as well as what the existing members prefer. A breaking event can cause thousands to hit his board within minutes and he needs an environment that is capable of supporting that as well as remaining low cost, when things are a little more slack. What is more important is the halving of operating expenses and not the actual figure. Now he has a much more consistent board, with no undesirable scripts, adverts, porn, malware, etc. and has the security of being in control of his own data.

Only a few hours ago, I discovered a lot of unrest on a hosted board of considerable size. Pretty much all of the above was mentioned. I'm just not sure right now if I should elaborate on that and what I should say and what I should not. However, if these unsettled members did choose to join and elaborate, I would have no issue, just so long as they keep personal or confidential information out of public view.

So, Yahoo! closed their message boards and hardly anyone seemed to notice?

The big difference between remote hosted and self hosted is the amount that you do for yourself. If you are low-maintenance, the hosting company will gain. If you are high maintenance, they will lose. This is a balancing act. It does not always work though.

I'm seeing new starts in the remote hosted field growing. Admittedly, they do state that operating costs are not fully recovered and it is more for pleasure. I see ProBoards remaining quite consistent in stats, even though they have quite firm content rules and shed some boards. I honestly do not know. Perhaps these both appear to work due to a small staff?

User avatar

Posts: 2263

there IS a learning curve involved

Permissions and groups. That's all I'll say now. I'm sure that in time, phpBB permission/group questions will generate a number of topics. :)


Casey's boards are also hosted on Dreamhost and have seen over 300 users in the whosonline in a 15 minute period. …

A breaking event can cause thousands to hit (dawg's) board within minutes and he needs an environment that is capable of supporting that…


We have that breaking event thing too, although I can't say we've had "thousands" show up at once. Breaking events are the nature of the beast with sports boards.

DreamHost handles our spikes fine. The few times we've experienced issues, they've been totally unrelated to traffic (at least as far as I can tell).


The big difference between remote hosted and self hosted is the amount that you do for yourself.

You may find yourself doing more work, but part of it is that you can directly address issues rather than having to depend on a staff member who'll tell you that you're not having a problem or that developers are too busy to address it.

Some of the things that generate work involve "services" that we couldn't provide on the hosted system. We're glad to be able to do that. I'm talking about little things like resetting passwords for members, uploading avatars for those who have trouble mastering the process, merging accounts, etc.

Display posts from previous:  Sort by  



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group