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Yahoo Groups recovers from outage

March 5, 2002 

Yahoo Groups, a collection of discussion lists based on interests, was revived by about 6:30 a.m. PST Tuesday after being inaccessible from the online portal's Web site since Monday morning, Yahoo spokeswoman Mary Osako said. The outage prevented millions of members from receiving e-mail from their cohorts.

Osako said the problem was hardware related.

The outage on the group e-mail service affected a broad audience. Yahoo Groups drew about 9.5 million unique visitors in January, according to Net measurement company Jupiter Media Metrix.

The service's existence is the result of Yahoo's acquisition of eGroups in summer 2000, when it paid roughly $432 million in stock for the list-hosting company. At the time, the service had roughly 17 million members and 800,000 e-mail lists.

Yahoo is in the process of merging its Yahoo Groups and Yahoo Clubs, a similar Web-based community that uses online posting and instant chat to communicate.

Yahoo said it started integrating the services two weeks ago and plans to have the project finished by the end of March. Osako said Monday that the outage was unrelated to the combination of the services.

But with impending changes, some Yahoo Groups customers say the service has become increasingly unreliable and inundated with advertisements.

"Some of the groups require quick transfer of information or it would become worthless," Craig Ochs, who lives in Brookfield, Wis., wrote in an e-mail. Ochs is the moderator of an aviation-related group that trades information about security breaches and business news in real time. "Yahoo has been less than reliable, and rumors abound about them starting to charge for the service."

Osako said the company does not have plans to start charging for its Groups service.

By Stefanie Olsen. Copyright © 1995-2002 CNET Networks, Inc.

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