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Features Chart

Page history last edited by Sarlo 6 years, 2 months ago Saved with comment

Table of Contents

 

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Introduction


This page will hopefully make available at a glance the functionality of various features of the new Yahoo Groups format, Neo, compared to the old, Classic. The specificity of features described can expand as needed, as can their assessment. This page may also serve as a possible all-inclusive "want-list" of features desired in any future edition of YG or even replacement. In its all-inclusiveness, the table should represent not any particular group's needs but the variety of needs that significant numbers of groups might have. So add or modify info to make it as inclusive as possible. A complementary list of features in the form of questions to ask prospective Group Service Providers can be found [here].

Whether a feature is available in Classic and/or Neo, is indicated by a simple yes or no, but sometimes it's more complicated than that, eg there are problems or limitations. Numbers beside the simple yes/no's indicate a "well, not exactly," and refer to footnote-type thingies at page bottom to elaborate on the details. Footnote numbering is not automated, so some may appear out of order.

 

User-Friendliness: One example of the "not exactly" could be the almost-universal aspect of extra clicking needed in Neo. There is scarcely a task that can be done as easily and as simply in Neo compared to Classic. For most tasks, one or more extra clicks and/or mouse moves will be needed. This may or may not be noted on a case-by-case basis in regard to any particular feature, but it is pervasive. And it can get much more than just a few clicks, whereby complicated work-arounds may be needed, sometimes even including outside tools, utilities or apps. These will be noted in the eventual footnotes.

 

 

Feature &/or Classes of Features

Classic
 Neo
Mobile Devices -- settings and features described below fully available via a range of mobile devices
Y (1)
Y (1)

Global Settings, Matters Applying to Whole Group

Membership  -- Owner can set global and individual membership parameters
Y
Y
-- Owner can make group open to public, restricted, or private
Y
Y (2)
Participation Formats -- Forum format (bulletin board) available. NB since Forum not available chez Yahoo, no further details of functionality are considered here, but a want list for such a place might specify a great deal (optional new section below?)
N
N
-- Email participation available
Y
Y
Non-Member Features -- various features can be made publicly viewable, including host site directory listing, home (info) page, message archives, calendar, links and ability to post.
Y
Y
-- Other features include calendar, photos, files, polls and database
N
N
Message Reply Options -- Replies can be set to go to All Members, Sender, Owner and Sender + All Members
Y
Y (3)
Attachments -- can be set to off or on and how distributed and/or stored Y (4)

Y (4)

Hide Email -- setting allows members to hide their email but disables polls, perhaps unnecessarily Y Y
Domain Restriction -- Membership can be restricted to one domain of email, say for a Company group Y Y

Features and Settings in General

Feature Access Settings -- Completely customizable general access for each feature: reading messages in Archive, posting, Members list, photos, calendar, polls, database, links and files, with options for each including Members (can view and edit), Limited (Members can view, Mods can edit), Moderators Only (can view and edit) and Off. Particulars below:
Y Y
Message Archive -- Exists and can be viewed as threads or individual numbered messages Y
Y
-- can be easily searched by keyword or message number Y Y (5)
Posting Messages -- Group as a whole can be set to Moderated, Unmoderated or New Members Moderated,
Y
Y
-- owner can micromanage individual settings with options Moderated, Unmoderated or Group Settings
Y Y
Photo Storage -- Exists and group as a whole can be set to Moderated or Unmoderated Y (6) Y
-- owner can micromanage individual settings with the same options Y (7) Y
File Storage -- Exists and group as a whole can be set to Moderated or Unmoderated Y Y
-- owner can micromanage individual settings with the same options  Y (7) N
Links Page -- Exists and group as a whole can be set to Moderated or Unmoderated Y
-- owner can micromanage individual settings with the same options N N
Database -- Facility exists and can be set to Members can/can't edit and/or view Y
Y (9)
-- owner can micromanage individual settings with the same options N N
Calendar -- Facility exists and can be set to Members can/can't edit and/or view Y (10) Y (10)
-- owner can micromanage individual settings with the same options N N
Polls -- Feature exists and can be set to Members can/can't initiate and/or vote
Y (11) Y (11)
-- owner can micromanage individual settings with the same options N N

Moderatorial Features/Tools

Appointing Moderators -- Ability to delegate authority to other members by assigning one or more privileges Y Y
-- Ability to set up "Notifications" for each Moderator regarding pending tasks Y Y
-- Ability to survey all one's groups to see pending tasks for each at a glance Y Y (12)
Tools for Processing Moderated Messages --  Ability to edit pending messages
Y
Y (13)
-- Ability to "Reject" (as compared to Delete) a pending message, ie decline it but send a message to the author as to why
Y
Y (13)
Decor -- Appearance of Home Page aka "About" Page or Info Page can be customized with html tags in Group Description, allowed tags including image, text formatting, tables, offsite hit-counter and links
Y
N (14)
-- Colours of text, background, borders, etc on all pages can be customized for distinctive appearance and/or legibility
Y N
Form Letters -- ability to set up regular "reminders" for all members from Admin, once a month or every two weeks
Y
Y
-- messages from Admin for particular events, eg joining group, leaving group, membership pending
Y
Y (15)
Notifications -- messages for Admin for particular events besides pending tasks, eg members joining or leaving
Y Y (16)
 -- option to notify members of files uploaded
Y N
Membership -- ability and template to invite people to join, with as few steps for the invitee as possible
Y (18) Y (18)
-- ability to add new members directly
N
N (19)
-- ability to add and/or invite more than one at a time
Y N
-- easy for new members to join on their own
Y (20) Y (20)
-- ability to search members list easily for email or cover name Y Y
-- ability to export members list as csv or other useful format Y Y (21)
-- moderator can change members' settings on their behalf Y Y
-- ability to ban members and non-members by email address or Yahoo ID
Y N(22)
-- ability to ban more than one entity at a time
Y N
Plain Text/html -- ability to specify for the group whether one or the other or both are enabled
Y
N
Spam Filtering -- Admin can turn spam filtering off/on
Y
Y
-- Spam Filter parameters can be tweaked (strong/weak, various types, key words, etc)
N
N
-- messages (wrongly) flagged as Spam can be moved into Okay
Y
N
Activity Logs -- Accurate records of who did what are available in five categories: Membership, Moderator Activities, Web Tools (eg photo added), Email Commands, Message Posting
Y
Y (23)
-- Logs can be searched Y N
Delete Posts -- A moderator can delete anyone's posts easily, singly or in bulk
Y N (24)

Features Available to Members 

"Intuitive" Links to Features -- Links, buttons and functions clearly findable and identifiable by words, not just icons or pop-ups on hovering, or at least so settable by individual preference
Y N
"All My Groups" -- Members can order all their groups easily and edit their settings in each Y (25) Y (25)
-- Members can survey and go to recent activities in all their groups at a glance Y Y (26)
Message Delivery Options -- Members can get messages individually by Email, collected as a Digest, Special Notices only or No Mail (read in Archive for last two) Y Y
-- Members can change their message delivery options by email, and can also be assisted by Mod
Y Y
Posting -- Link or button to post or reply is easily found
Y Y (27)
-- When replying, quoted material is indicated in a simple and user-friendly way
Y N
-- Authors can edit or delete their own messages after they are posted Y (28) Y (28)
-- Text is adequate size and contrast for reasonable legibility or can be so set Y N (29)
Files Area Details -- File storage has a decent capacity
N
Y
-- Folders can be created and sorted alphabetically, likewise files within them
Y Y
-- Files can be viewed/heard online or easily downloaded Y Y (30)
Photos Area Details -- Photo Storage has a decent capacity Y Y
-- Albums can be created and sorted alphabetically, latest first or oldest first, likewise individual pics within them Y Y (31)
-- Photos can be viewed online or easily downloaded Y Y (32)
Links Page Details -- Folders can be created and sorted alphabetically, likewise links within them Y Y
Disabled Issues -- Commonly used screen readers can help blind and near-blind users cope with what's presented
Y N
-- Captioning available for video features for deaf users
n/a n/a
Activity Data -- recent activity info is shown on the home page in various categories: posts, new members, new photos, new files, etc
Y Y
--Message history stats (posts per month) are shown on the home page (for prospective members)
Y Y
Polls -- How are they working? What might be said or requested here regarding particular features? Y
Y
Database -- By all reports, the Neo version of the database feature has had many flaws, which Yahoo has not been addressed much. What might be said or requested here regarding particular features? Y
Y (33)
Calendar -- A new calendar mode was rolled out in 2012, prior to the introduction of Neo. It has never worked "properly" in many respects, according to users. What might be said or requested here regarding particular features?
Y (34) Y (34)
Chat -- not available in either Classic or Neo, may be in other venues
N N
Miscellaneous -- In "Thread" or "Topics" mode, messages' relationship to each other (which followed or answered which) is easily apparent
Y
N
-- Live links, images and video can be embedded in messages
Y (35)
Y (35)

Mini-Features (aspects/details re above features)   

Attachments -- Can be both stored online and distributed via email/digest
N
N
-- When stored, can be accessed easily via posts, either at home or in Archive
Y Y
-- Can be sorted in Storage area by date and/or creator ? N
Advance Search -- Can whittle down message search results when keyword search has returned too many, can specify various fields
Y (8) Y (8)

 

Footnotes:

 

1): Mobile Devices: I am completely not clued in regarding details of the relative functioning of Neo-vs-Classic on IPhones and the like but many comments have indicated that overall, malfunctioning is the rule with Neo. Anyone who cares to itemize this here and/or in NeoProblems is welcome to go for it.

 

2): Group Membership Openness: Settings are theoretically the same but a few groups have been plagued by a bug that Yahoo has so far (Nov 1) not acknowledged: Some groups which had been set as open got changed by the transition to Neo to Restricted. As this is (sensibly) a one-way street, it requires Customer Care to reset, but they have been unresponsive regarding this glitch.

 

3): Message Reply Options: Again, yes but ... The group can be set, as before, for the familiar options, but when Neo first arrived, many such settings were arbitrarily changed and/or defaulting to Reply to Group. Individual options were quickly installed so that members could alter the addressee themselves but there were many cases of messages expected to be private going to the whole group, such as in Freecycle/Freegle groups, with sensitive information like address and "I will be out but ..."A member's ability to change the addressee in an online reply was always there and still is but requires getting used to the new setup and a couple more clicks. (It is assumed but unknown as of Nov 1 whether the group setting now functions perfectly.)

 

4): Attachments: Overall functionality of this feature appears to be the same between Classic and Neo with the exception of a glitch whereby in Neo, when the store-on-site option is chosen, only the last twenty attachments are available. (That's when sort-by-date is chosen. When sort-alphabetically is chosen, a different twenty is available.) For both formats, full functionality is not available, since one must choose between delivery via email and storing on site, excluding either no-mail folks or those unable to use the site.

 

5): Searchable Message Archive: Yes, the search feature was there from the very beginning, was never missing in Neo, but at first there was no indication where it was. To quiet the roar of complaints, Yahoo put in a visually faint "search conversations" as placeholder text in the "Search Groups" box, but it has never been intuitively obvious. People continue to ask if there is a search function. This from a company whose search engine was way #1 before g**gle came along. Additionally, in Neo, the Advanced Search is malfunctioning (see 8).

 

6): Photos Feature Global Access: Before Neo i don't believe access to photo section was closeable (will ask around).

 

7): Photos and Files Features Moderation Capability: In Classic, ability to close an individual member's files or photos access was cluttered with the other, as photos + files moderation was a package deal. Thus in this respect, Neo has improved functionality.

 

8): Advanced Search: On the one hand, Neo seems to be more "advanced," in that one can search in all the fields either for a key word or for the absence of that keyword, but otoh returning error messages when a date parameter is specified. May be only a temporary malfunction but on balance so far, as of Oct 25 2013, Neo compares unfavorably.

 

9): Database: Ability of mods and members to access and edit databases has run into multiple problems in Neo. After three months, many of the bugs have been fixed, but not all. Details unknown since writer has never used this feature.

 

10): Calendar:

 

11): Polls:

 

12): All My Groups Survey: This is mainly an historical "yes but." In Classic, the ability to see all one's groups' pending and recent activities at a glance ran smoothly and easily, via the MyGroups page. Neo at first replaced this with "Manage My Groups," but this page's functions did not include a view of and links to pending tasks or recent activities, only a (malfunctioning) new kind of sorting + tools to modify membership details. As of mid-Oct 2013, this has largely been rectified by the introduction of "All My Groups," a page which has all the missing features and complements "Manage My Groups."

 

13): Edit and/or Reject Pending Messages: Also mainly historical, though as of Nov 9. 2013, bugs remain. Ability to edit pending msgs was reinstated in mind-Oct and "Reject" (with comment) in early Nov 2013. As stated, bugs remain, apparently having mainly to do with fluctuating browser incompatibilities

 

14): Decor: As of end Oct 2013, this "no but" more or less historical. Various html tags are now allowed in group descriptions, obviating this complaint.

 

15): Form Letters for Membership Status Messages: Most of these are theoretically available but still (Nov 11, 2013) plagued by errors. In Neo, such entities can be properly stored and designated in Files but are not found in the "Notifications" area, where they should be if they are to function. So it goes.

 

16):

 

21): Export Member List: This function, fully available in Classic, performs only for the first 1000 members in Neo. First thousand can be sorted on the basis of join date up or down, so effectively making it 2000, but still no cigar for large groups except for 3rd-party utilities.

 

23): Activity Logs: Are nominally available but are neither accurate nor complete in Neo regarding who did what. Some moderator activities are simply not logged, or are logged in different categories, or are logged but only vaguely, lacking the more specific detailing of Classic. And Search? Not happening yet as of Nov 2.

 

 

 

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