Yahoo Mail archive deleted

Rant ahead.

I have an old Yahoo email address, where I keep (or better kept) old emails for reference purposes. Mostly for nostalgic reasons. From dotcom times. From 1999 or 2000. None of it mission-critical.

Gone. I logged into Yahoo Mail the other day and was greeted with a smug everything’s deleted message, asking me if I’d like to re-activate my account.

Granted. I only logged in once every six months or less. But they could have sent me a couple of warnings on the alternate email I listed.

It also shows that there isn’t much Yahoo-wide interaction, ‘cos if they would have looked across to Flickr they would have seen that the same ID is still in use.

For me that’s the huge downside of online apps: corporations decide at will what they can do with your content.

It’s happened to me before by smaller companies as well. My old blog disappeared into Nirvana. Cos I didn’t get around to downloading the data fast enough.

Blog-City Contact us

I just read Seth Godin’s post on monopolies:

Welcome to a new century. In the new century, we all have the same goal:
1. Establish a direct and positive relationship with the end user.

I feel that tech. companies are using “user generated content” as a way to build their business, but forget that there are real people on the other side.

Keep going down this road. And I’ll move on.


Categorized as General

By nchenga

Nchenga-nchenga is my nickname. is my online playground, scrap book, and on-going collection of bookmarks and interesting quotes. Chiperoni is a Malawian term for cold, grey, rainy weather. I am a bridge blogger somewhere between Basel and Blantyre. The opinions and comments expressed here are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in anyway. So far, this blog is free of advertising or paid articles or similar.


  1. i think my main points are:

    “it can happen at any online app”


    “your data is not safe in an online app”

    As the user market signs up for the various sites and decides where they’ll concentrate their online life, there will be a point in time where the tech. companies will need to concentrate their efforts on keeping users rather than concentrating on new users.

    Although IMHO that’s what they should be doing NOW. Cos it costs more to convince new customers to use your service than to keep existing customers.

    In my Yahoo Mail case above, a couple of MBs of disk space versus tonnes of new features (read weeks of expensive developer time) to compete with GMail.

  2. I admit I do have these “Oh snap, I feel so disconnected from my flickr ‘friends’ since I left flickr!” moments. But I realize that those who wanted to keep in touch because of me (and not the photos or the ideas they could rip from me) did keep in touch — and that’s what counts, and we don’t need Yahoo for that. 🙂

  3. i’m being unreasonable to expect a company to keep my data for me. But if the business model hinges on UGC i would expect some more service.

    Yahoo support never answers. I tried to contact them to help two of my family members that can’t access their Flickr accounts since the ID merger.

  4. p.b. Well, blog-city couldn’t restore your archives, because it’s been ‘a long time’. Techworld is fast-paced in many regards… btw., is this really the same Mayoress of almost five years ago? 😉

  5. argh.

    Yahoo shut down my alternate ID (the one that comes free with each account). I found out while ordering from three sites. It was an ID reserved for personal orders, occasionally used. To ensure it gets mail once a month, I even subscribed to some newsletters.

    So, for some reason that Yahoo refuses to share with me, they disabled this alternate ID. I spent days trying to “communicate” with their helpdesk via email, realizing that no real human ever read my concise notes, but a piece of software that signed off with some first name (the Royal Mail UK website uses a similar software, only that they are so fair to admit to it before they process the email that you want to send them via the webform).

    Lesson learned, I am using another service and let Yahoo fade out slowly but surely, besides having run my own client for years and making additional backups (insight: when it’s not Yahoo, it’s your ‘personal admin’ who manages to mess up your HD…).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.