Yahoo Groups are icky

Here’s a little self-serving rant. Can I just say that I despise “Yahoo! Groups”? Kate and I belong to a client-run yahoo group for members of our adoption agency. It’s a wonderful group with a wealth of great information and constantly buzzing with activity. The content and people of the group are simply awesome. Very active, very supportive, and let’s not forget super-friendly.

What I don’t like is the format and user interface of Yahoo Groups in general. It’s like a giant mailing list mated with an ugly, hard to use Web site.

User management

Your default posting name is your “Yahoo! ID”. News-flash: this means everyone will know you as the first part of your Yahoo email address … which probably isn’t your main email address anyway. You probably only have a yahoo email address in the first place so you can use things like yahoo groups. This means most people are known by catchy monikers such as “34bearzfan56pdx@”.

Ah, but you can change the email address you use to receive email digests so it’s not your yahoo email address. Why does this matter? Well because yahoo groups displays the first part of your email address up to the at (@) sign for all of your posts. This is because it’s sort of a mailing list. But I feel most people use the Web interface exclusively.

Finding all posts by a specific user is not intuitive either. You have one way to find posts by a user. Click on the miniscule “Advanced” link by the search box. There you can search by user. But shouldn’t this be available when I click on a username from a post? You know, from the user’s profile page? Yahoo, what the heck are you doing?


It’s funny, the message handling is the most frustrating part of the entire experience, but I have the least to say about it because it’s so obvious in it’s suckyness. Yahoo groups are trying to be a forum … but it’s also a mailing list. The issue is that it’s failing at both.


Personally, I feel most yahoo groups would be better served with a good and proper forum. And I’ll say it again: the content of the adoption yahoo group is just awesome. I only wish I could access the wonderful things they’re talking about with less frustration.

Ok, I’m done. Sometimes you just gotta’ vent! 🙂

Sorry for the Silence

Hi All,

Things have been pretty quiet since the garage sale and we haven’t had much to put up on the blog. But here’s just a quick update as to where we are in the process. We have almost completed the first round of paperwork. Our last letter of reference is on it’s way to the agency, our employment letters are done, we’ve finished all of our book reports and questions, we got our passports and other vital records. We’re waiting for my first check for this school year to come so I can fill out our financial report with the proper information, our criminal background, and our medicals. These should all be complete by October 12th. Once that happens, we can start the home study process, woo hoo! We are getting closer everyday.

Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive. We’ll keep you posted as things progress!

Arthur Adoption Episode

One of the people on our Yahoo group told us about an episode of the PBS show Arthur where Arthur’s friend Binky goes through the China adoption process with is family. We DVR’d it and it was really great. They handled the many phases of international adoption, questions people may ask, and the difficulties of an older sibling coping with the change amazingly well. So, a big huzzah to the creators of Arthur. Really great work folks!

Garage Sale Success!

The garage sale was a HUGE success! We were able to raise enough money to cover our home study fees and our I-600a fees. Amazing! We had tons of support from friends and family, and strangers as well. Two people showed up, one Saturday and one Sunday, and said they’d seen the Craigslist ad and wanted to donate goods to the sale! Lots of people donated money and many told us to keep the change.

On top of being a great success, we had a lot of fun. We had a lemonade stand run by the hostess’s twin girls on Saturday and by my nieces Sunday. Super cute. My folks bought us all pizza (thanks!) and lots of friends and family stopped by.

In the end we were really tired and really happy. A completely good adventure.

Thanks again to all of you who helped, donated, stopped by, and/or sent us good vibes.

[flv:/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/garage_sale_flyby.flv 320 240]Here is a “flyby” video of everything we had for sale on Saturday morning. As you can see, it was a biggie. (Soundtrack by The Beastie Boys)