The legacy community platform, active for nearly two decades and an inspiration to many platforms that came since, is going offline soon. Also: Should you call or text members?
Ten to one, if you run a private community, you probably don’t run that community on Yahoo Groups, the old-school internet giant’s early attempt at social media.
Like Yahoo itself, the service hasn’t always done a great job of keeping up with the times, but for many people, it was their first experience with a private online community before they became much more commonplace.
Now, the company—which has changed hands in recent years and is currently owned by Verizon—is closing up this early piece of internet culture. The service will shut down for new comments after October 28 and will turn off entirely on December 14.
To give you an idea of the scale of the loss, Yahoo reported that more than 115 million people used the service as recently as 2010, according to eWeek. But with a lack of updates and a growing push toward more modern social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, the private community innovator wasn’t long for this world.
Have an old group there? Better get to archiving—the service is offering an export functionality, according to Ars Technica, but it’s likely going to take as long as a month to get your data off the service.
You may not be using it these days, but it likely inspired the more-modern online community your association uses now.
Which Members to Call vs. Text
— Amanda Kaiser (@SmoothThePath) October 17, 2019
Who you gonna call—baby boomers or millennials?
“Millennials and GenZ genuinely do prefer text to voice calls, by pretty significant majorities (in the US, nearly 3 out of 4 prefer text),” explains Elizabeth Weaver Engel on the Spark Consulting blog. “If your members skew younger, texting is going to feel far less intrusive than calling.”
For older generations, including baby boomers, the reverse is true. “They are less comfortable in that medium and may find texting from people who aren’t intimates (family and close friends) inappropriate.
And if your membership base includes both? Try segmentation, so that you can reach both audiences in the way that’s easiest for them to connect to your association.
Other Links of Note
In need of volunteers? Nonprofit Hub shares strategies to increase sign-ups.
LinkedIn is a great way to boost your professional network—but make these seven etiquette mistakes, and you might come off as the opposite, says the Hootsuite blog.
Agile branding means adopting a member-focused mindset and marketing that messaging on all channels. Inc. explains how to do it.