My name is Leonard and I am the Director of the Yahoo! Groups team. There has been a lot of discussion about the test we are running with the Related Groups content in emails. We are listening to your thoughts and wanted to update you on some of our current thinking. But first, some clarification about the feature.
The Related Groups feature is a test. In a test, our goal is to learn whether the feature is useful for Yahoo! Groups users. If the feature is useful, we would want to invest more into it. If we find it is not useful, we would want to remove it or improve it. So what are the results of the test so far? Well, it is still too early to get definitive results, however the current direction of the data shows that members are joining many more groups than ever before. With that said, let’s discuss some of the feedback we have heard:
- Is anyone listening to my feedback? Yes, we are reading your messages and comments. However, if you want a direct line to us about this feature, we have provided a choice in the Groups Help area to submit issues you are seeing with the Related Groups feature It is particularly important to let us know if you are seeing a specific recommendation that is a problem for you, and why it is a problem, so that we can look into addressing the issue. Please only submit Related Groups commentary, as this goes to the product team and not customer service and so we are not staffed to respond to inquires not related to this feature via this link.
- The name of the feature “Related Groups”. We received a number of proposals for different names for this feature. We definitely want users to understand what this list is. For this reason, we showed users how many common members existed between groups. We are trying to be as transparent as possible about how this works, so people can make an informed decision. If we find a name that makes everyone happy we would love to update the feature with it.
- Concerns about privacy. We require a minimum number of common members between groups before we would show a related group. However, use the feedback form we mentioned above if you are seeing an issue.
- Logic of the results. Prior to this feature, members within groups would sometimes ask others for recommendations, but the process was awkward. In this test, we tried to come up with a simpler way for members to identify groups they might also be interested in. Developing the best suggestions for groups is a never-ending process, and we are continuing to explore ways to improve this process. We’ll continue to track the results of this test (as well as your feedback), as our goal is to provide the Groups community with the best possible experience. This includes looking for ways to suggest groups with small memberships and making sure that the recommendations made are to healthy communities.
- Ability to opt-out. While we don’t have a tool on the website that allows you to opt out of this test, we definitely intend to provide such a feature in the future. Based on the results of the test, we’ll develop a roadmap for these changes.
Everyone, thanks again for sharing your thoughts on this. We have a team of people here who are genuinely interested in building a product people will love. Let’s keep talking.