Yahoo! delete b3ta newsletter mailing list?

Today’s top item on the b3ta front page, under Site News:

Yahoo please talk to us! Help! – our yahoogroups list (with over 100,000 subscribers) has been deleted. We don’t know why. If you work at Yahoo and can help us sort this out please contact me at robmanuel AT gmail dot com.

posted by rob on 10th Feb at 2pm

B3ta is a long-established UK humour site who send out a weekly newsletter, every Friday afternoon, using Yahoo! Groups as their mailing list service. They’ve been doing this for years. Yep, that’s 100,000 subscribers.

Anyway, if anyone from Y!Groups, or anyone who knows someone there, is reading, please do get in touch with the b3ta guys — this is a very serious catastrophe for them. I’d be curious to hear how/why this happened.

To tie this into spam-filtering and email operational topics, it brought this posting from Jeremy Zawodny to mind:

This all makes me wonder if it’s worth it for smaller organizations to bother running their own mail servers anymore. If Google offered small business mail the way Yahoo does, there’d be some serious competition in the market and it’d make a lot of people’s lives much easier.

While Jeremy was talking about a different service from list hosting, I think we’re seeing the other side of the email-outsourcing coin, here.

Update: fwiw, it’s back:

Yahoo update – on Friday Yahoo deleted our list of 100,000 newsletter readers email addresses, hence we didn’t send a newsletter. Today they’ve been in touch and have promised a response by Tuesday. Fingers crossed. UPDATE: It looks like it’s back! Hooray for Yahoo!

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  1. Posted February 10, 2006 at 19:56 | Permalink

    Yahoo’s business email isn’t “enterprisey” enough though. Folks are too used to MS Exchange or Lotus Notes, and having their calendar/tasks/contacts, etc all housed together on the work server.

    Hosted Exchange servers, OTOH, are about to become a huger play.

    At my last company (small 10 person consulting shop), the amount of time we lost to configuring and running our Exchange box was horrendous. Probably cost us around $25/month/user in wasted time. (Probably got even worse when I left, as I was “the Linux guy” who’d configured SpamAssassin on a SMTP proxy between the firewall and the Exchange box!) $10/month/user with the option to chuck on anti-spam/anti-virus/Blackberry service would be a bargain in comparison.

  2. Posted February 10, 2006 at 20:03 | Permalink


    good point. Especially if extremely paranoid backup strategies were part of that, too, since almost every Sexchange site I’ve ever heard of has had a “massive data loss” horror story.

    Mind you, it’d be a dirty job. ;)

  3. Posted February 10, 2006 at 23:26 | Permalink

    One company I know of recently had a massive RAID failure – 5 of their 7 drives died at once. (An object lesson in filling your RAID array with drives from varied manufacturers) Getting all the data back took a day. Getting all the data back into Exchange – another week, with various Exchange contractors working around the clock.