Re: It sucks being a visionary some days

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From: Mike Masnick (
Date: Thu Apr 27 2000 - 15:37:44 PDT

Spoke to a friend of mine at eGroups earlier today and asked about this.
His response was that (1) he hadn't heard about this particular complaint
(I had assumed that it had spread to folks at eGroups prior to my bringing
it up) (2) It was a marketing decision not to tell people about turning it
off, because marketing wanted to make a "big splash" with their new site,
and they were afraid to let anyone know earlier (though people inside the
company told marketing that this was dumb) and (3) that there were a total
of maybe 3 people using the calendar function. He also said he'd look into
it, but I have no idea if it will help at all... He also made some
disparaging comments about customer service people in general, but I'll
leave that one alone.


At 08:23 AM 4/26/00 -0700, Strata Rose Chalup wrote:
>Check out first item in the TBTF log today; <poof!> your data is gone!
>Strata Rose Chalup [] |
>Project Manager | VirtualNet Consulting
>iPlanet/Netscape Professional Services |
eived: from
>TBTF Log, weeks of 2000-04-16
> These weeks' log entries: < >
>A reader asked me whether, if he subscribed to TBTF and the TBTF Log,
>he would hear by email about all changes on the TBTF site. I'm not
>certain if this was true before, but it's a good idea, and so be it.
>Friday, 2000-4-21
>++ eGroups eats customer data, is unresponsive
> 10:59:51 am
> eGroups has, apparently, killed off its Calendar function with no
> notice to users and no way for them to get their data back.
> Leili Towfigh sent in this correspondence from the we have absolutely
> no regard for people's personal data wars. Since sending this email
> she has received a second breezy, content-free note from someone with a
> different name in eGroups customer support; but no explanation, no
> apology, and no restitution.
> Is anyone associated with eGroups reading this item? I urge you to
> make this right. I'll post the news as soon as you let me know you've
> fixed this problem.
> From: L Towfigh
> Sent: Tuesday, April 04, 2000 1:05 AM
> To:
> Subject: Customer service complaint
> To eGroups:
> I received a strangely blithe message today from someone called
> "Kristi" about how the eGroups personal calendar function is no longer
> available.
> What is up with THAT?
> Have you never heard of the not-so-complicated concept of WARNING your
> users that you are going to get rid of a function that stores their
> data? Data is very important - my CAT understands this very
> straightforward idea. Step into the 90s! Other online services I use
> such as hotmail, amazon, cdnow have the courtesy to inform me of any
> changes to their site that might in some way effect my data, so that I
> have time to retrieve the data. Your design folks decided it would be
> really cool to blow away my personal calendar and then send a chirpy,
> informationless message from "Kristi" that did not address my
> questions, told me simply that "the function is no longer available,"
> and then thanked me, which added insult to injury. I lost important
> calendar entries with ZERO warning from you. Would you also do this to
> whole egroups with no warning? I cannot be sure what you'll do now
> that you have set an erratic, bizarre precedent.
> I have been a vocal promoter of eGroups - UNTIL NOW. Your
> irresponsible handling of my data, however, is impetus for me to start
> de-promoting you. A fundatmental aspect of building online communities
> is a positive public image, that is spread by word of mouth. I will
> have no problems letting the MIT community know to stay away from your
> service, as you fail to grasp another rather fundamental aspect of
> online groupware: your users have to trust that you will take care of
> their data.
> With annoyance and flames,
> L. Towfigh
> ----------------------
> Hello,
> The personal calendar function is no longer available.
> Thanks!!
> Thanks for using eGroups! For helpful hints please visit:
> If you have any further questions please do not reply on this ticket
> number. Send another email to to create a new
> ticket number.
> Kristi
> eGroups Support Team
> ------- Original Message --------
> From: L Towfigh
> To:
> Subject: Personal calendar has disappeared?
> Date: 04/03/00 06:41:05
> Dear tech support folks --
> I appear to be unable to access my personal space / calendar
> now that the changes to eGroups have been instituted.
> Where is my personal calendar? I belong to six groups and I
> want to be able to view the overlay version of the calendar,
> but cannot! I rely on this calendar function to store my
> information, so it is very important that I be able to access
> the information as soon as possible, like, today, so I know
> what appointments I have! I did not see any warnings that my
> personal space would be deleted or replaced, so what's the
> deal?
> Help?
> Thanks
> L. Towfigh

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