Friday, 14 May 2010

Yahoo Groups - a personal view

For sometime, I have been a regular follower of a number of Yahoo Groups, I currently belong to ten separate wargame or modelling sites. I still check back on all ten on a regular basis, at least once a week, sometimes more often. I have found during this period that I jump in and out of membership, browsing new groups and culling those that I have become bored with or have moved on from.

This image is copied from the Jim Bowens Disturbia Group, one of the groups that I have been a member of for ages, but due to low traffic, I am now thinking about leaving.

I find that in general Yahoo Group Sites are a great way for discussing games, models or modelling and can be a great medium for manufacturers to keep in touch with their customers, asking questions about new releases or planned changes. A good example of this is the Flintloque group - The Notables, where Alternative Armies update a group with over 300 members discussing a range of games from Alternative Armies. Other Groups have promised a lot and which although starting well, never really fulfill their potential.

For anyone who has yet to test out this medium, I would suggest checking out a dozen and joining two or three to check how they work, the principals and how others use the sites, there is no one set of rules to cover all Yahoo Groups, but in general most are friendly and helpful. It is also worth checking on how many members the group has and how often the group is added to or how much new activity there has been in the last seven days.

As stated above, I regularly check back over my Yahoo Group Favorites, joining new and leaving others on a six month or yearly review program. If you are not careful you can find yourself being members of hundreds of groups. My current list of favorites are;

40mm Wargaming Collecting (a forum for miniature collectors who model and paint figures in 40mm/1/48th scale) - see;

Flintloque (An older group of Flintloque gamers, now overtaken by The Notables, see below) - see;

Jim Bowens Disturbia Group (for followers of the Disturbia, Cliffhanger and other miniatures fro Jim modelled in 40mm scale, now very poorly supported) - see;

The Notables (an official Flintloque site managed by Alternative Armies and very active) - see;

S1889 (for followers of the Space 1889 game) - see;

Sash and Sabre Military Miniatures ('does exactly what it says on the tin') - see;

SGOM or Sky Galleons of Mars (another Space 1889 gaming group) - see;

The Sea of Claws (an enthusiastic site for followers of the old Games Workshop game Man O'War and very well supported) - see;

WG Pulp (a group set up by Steve Blease from Wessex Games, concentrating on Pulp Sci Fi, which is now very quiet which is a pity) - see;

WG VSF (another Wessex Games group covering Aeronef, Aquanef and Land Ironclads, very well supported and always full of active discussion) - see;

It is coming to that time when I will be checking out new or other Yahoo groups, do you have any suggestions? I am also planning on cutting back on those groups that have gone quiet, I like to keep my group membership to around ten, otherwise I find I am checking too many sites.

In conclusion, I enjoy the groups and the open discussion and would recommend these Yahoo Groups to my followers, for information check out this site, an official site from Yahoo which should have something to interest you;



Duck Sauce said...

I read mine via e-mail, so groups I don't want to stay current with I set to stop sending e-mail. Every now and then I can go browse the 100(!) or so groups which I have a cursory or better interest that I'm a member of.

Steve said...

Damn, better put something on WGPulp pdq...

Rob Alderman said...

Yahoo groups are odd.

The Yahoo flintloque group is now outdated, for sure by The Notables.

Gavin has done a great job with it, he has used it as a way of getting people INTO his stuff (6% discount, may be small, but still, free discount) and a way of keeping them interested by keeping them on their toes all the time with new info and models.

The problem is that you start to come to expect it of everyone. Other companies aren't so thorough, and don't keep themselves excited, let alone anyone else.

The only ones I visit are the wargames club one and the Notables. WG Fantasy when someone posts something and GASLIGHT once in a while for the pics.

Only forums I regularly visit are the MGP one (desperately hoping for a 2000AD minis game), the Lead Adventure Forum and the UKCORD.

As a tool, Yahoo can be used brilliantly, but it's flaws are based merely on popularity or obscurity of the subject (or how long people have waited for it).


mwowm said...

Have you tried the digest option for subscribing to yahoo groups?
I belong to a couple dozen and getting an email with a bunch of posts lets you scan and delete or read very quickly.

The Barking Editor said...

Hello Tony,

A very interesting posting and a lot of matter covered, many thanks.

Also thanks for making special mention of the Notables Yahoo Group (you too Rob). To add my own input here I would say that the Notables is pretty much my baby and takes a LOT of effort to make so interesting. So I am glad you fellows appreciate it.