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Yahoo Groups Shutdown has Ham Radio Interest Groups Seeking to Save Content

12/31/2019

Yahoo Groups, which has hosted a considerable number of ham radio interest groups over the years, is shutting down. All previously posted content on the site became unavailable in mid-December, but Yahoo is processing requests to download content until January 31, 2020. Yahoo also has provided group administrators (“admins”) a way to export data ahead of that deadline. Groups will continue to live on in some limited fashion, but all groups will become private, and nearly all of the functionality that made them popular in the first place will disappear.

Around since 2001, Yahoo Groups, now owned by Verizon, has provided online repositories of communications and information on a wide variety of specialized subjects and activities, including Amateur Radio. Yahoo Groups for nearly every radio have been established, where owners could exchange information and ask questions. Other groups on the Yahoo platform offered a watering hole for those interested in a particular ham radio activity as well as for those who want to buy and sell gear and components. Some clubs and ham radio logging software users have taken advantage of Yahoo Groups.

New platforms such as Groups.io, Facebook, and Google are looking to assume the role that Yahoo Groups is stepping away from. Groups.io charges fees to migrate content onto its platform, however, and Facebook and Google lack the ability to import content at all. With Groups.io as the most likely successor platform, many admins have assumed the migration expense and relocated group content so it would not be lost. Not all groups have been as fortunate, however, putting them into the position of starting from scratch and losing years of conversations, files, polls, and data.

Web application developer Andy Majot, K5QO, of Sellersburg, Indiana, took the initiative to download archives of Yahoo Groups devoted to individual ham radio gear and uploaded them to his personal website.

“I hope to have them hosted in perpetuity for future hams to use,” Majot told ARRL. “It should be noted that I backed up groups regardless of whether they are living on in other platforms; I wanted to snapshot the groups as they were on Yahoo prior to their deletion.” Majot noted that several of the groups he has archived have already migrated their content to Groups.io, but many more have not.

Majot said an organization called Archive Team is helping to save as many Yahoo Groups as possible and has been backing these up since the closure announcement in October, but, Majot said, progress has nearly halted since Yahoo cut off access to many group features in mid-December.

Majot invited those seeking to relocate Yahoo Groups archives to contact him. “I would be happy to host these files, alongside my other archives,” he said. — Thanks to Andy Majot, K5QO 



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