YEN: A Yahoo! Groups Alternative

I penned a quick post nearly a month ago today about how our small community platform is a perfect alternative to KIK, a social app that was going to close down but that has recently been “acquired” by a firm that has a portfolio of “social apps”.

This, of course, is just as bad (if not worse) as the community will now slowly die as attention and resources are quickly removed in favor of a “quick flip” which is essentially a ruthless paring down of staff and any superfluous technology outside of what they might consider their “core” experience.

Earlier this week, it was similarly announced that Yahoo! is effectively killing a huge part of their service offering to customers: Yahoo Groups.

For many, Yahoo! Groups was one of the first places where you got to experience real, “internet community” — I remember having a ton of these that I’d visit daily (if not hourly!) and I loved the simple interface.

But, it seems like that era is coming to an end:

Beginning October 28, you won’t be able to upload any more content to the site, and as of December 14 all previously posted content on the site will be permanently removed. You’ll have until that date to save anything you’ve uploaded.

via Yahoo Help

Fucking savage.

We’re starting with the basics, the fundamentals of community development — and we’d love your help!

It’s no secret that what we’re building @ YEN is not just the future of social platforming but also the first of its kind: An Operating System for Community Engagement.

Just like the many wonderful open source operating systems that power most of our technological world, we’re building the foundation for your community needs in a way that’ll be customizable and extensible, eventually a virtual playground and sandbox where you can build, grow, and manage a community of every shape, size, and color.

And, we’re building it in a way that also echoes the open source philosophy and mantra, building our MVP systematically, betting on user-generated and community-centric feedback every step of the way.

This is why YEN is the best alternative for not only Yahoo! Groups but for any community — because core to who we are (unlike the “other” big networks) is something that no one else has: Community-centered design is built-in at a DNA-level.

You see, unlike Zuckerberg who is now attempting to revise history and lie directly to his community about the founding of his project, I’ve personally been public about our founding story from Day Numero Uno — and we definitely did not build YEN to rate how “hot” (or “not”) a girl is from hacked and illegally-obtained data!

Why now? Because there are three major “movements” that have made it impossible to ignore:

  1. Social — People are more aware of the power and impact that centralized tools have in our lives and we’re more “woke” than ever before. It’s become too big to ignore and recent changes in technology have only amped up the awareness that our current systems of data and control are broken and need desperate alternatives or outright replacements.
  2. Technological — The growth of new technologies and protocols, like blockchain and decentralization is an exciting philosophy, practice, and programming / technology language that is changing how we interact and exchange data of all types. Many of the fundamental value-adds of these technological advancements are clear solutions to the problems that society have identified through big, corp tech.
  3. Economics — The combination of new tech and a heightened social frame has found a landing spot in #fintech, irreparably changing the way we communicate and exchange value. It’s done without centralized control and in new ways that change our understanding of what “trust” means between parties and software programs; in some cases, we no longer need it at all between humans / contract parties which is a state-change of immense import.

To start, we need to begin from a simple perspective and position, building what we call the “fastest community group creation workflow” on the planet — and we’re working to make it even faster! We want folks to be able to join and eek out value from a newly-formed Community Group faster than any other place on the web.

And, from this base “install” (think of it as building your own custom computer with an open source and easy-to-customize operating system) we will, with your help, build community-centric features that make sense.

That’s our plan, our strategy, and also our storied history. This is how we started and how we’ll continue to build as long as folks need simple, effective, community tooling.

We’d love to have you (and all of your friends). Join the #yeniverse and help us build the social platform of the future, one where it doesn’t (and can’t) end up like the “other” social networks.