Yahoo FAQ sheet
by Dennis Allen

A few astronomy club members are still confused about the nature of Yahoo accounts, Yahoo email, and Yahoo groups. I'll try to explain.

A Yahoo account is a lot like our club web site, a way to customize the Yahoo web site to your wants and needs. News, weather, stock quotes, calendar events, etc. can all be customized to your Yahoo account. When you create a Yahoo account, you can also signup for free email service. Say I go to www.yahoo.com and create a Yahoo account with a user id 'starrysky'. If I also signup for free email service, I'll get the new email address starrysky@yahoo.com. With me so far?

The Yahoo email service is free. A big drawback, however, is that you need to login to your Yahoo account to read your email. Someone might send an email to starrysky@yahoo.com, but I can't read it until I go to www.yahoo.com and login as user 'starrysky'. I can have starrysky@yahoo.com email forwarded to my current email address, but that feature is a $20/year upgrade to an otherwise free 'starrysky' email account.

Oh, a warning: If you don't login to Yahoo once in a while, Yahoo will deactivate your Yahoo account. A deactivated account no longer accepts email. To reactivate an account, just sign-in and follow the activation instructions. It's a problem our astronomy club already faced using a Yahoo account for email to our paypal account.

Now our astronomy club has a Yahoo group. When someone joins our club, they're added to our Yahoo group by me, the group administrator. A Yahoo group is a listserver, not an account. It allows any member of the group to email all members of the group. Members of the group don't need to keep track of who joins or who drops from the group. All you need to know is when you email the group, all members get a copy.

You DON'T need a Yahoo account to belong to a Yahoo group or to receive a group's email. You only need a Yahoo account to access the Yahoo group's web site and thus it's services. Services include the ability to read prior messages, summarize messages, change an email address, add/download images from the photo database, etc.

To gain access to our Yahoo group's web site, you first need to login to Yahoo. If you don't have a Yahoo account, create one. Once logged onto Yahoo, go to our Yahoo Group. In the lower left corner, you'll see a message asking if you already receive email from our group. If you do receive email from the group, click the [yes] link and answer the questions. Yahoo will send you a verification email. Follow it's instructions. This email will allow you to associate your Yahoo account with your membership in our Yahoo group, thus giving you access to the Yahoo group web site.

When assigning a Yahoo account to our Yahoo group, some members are making the mistake of using a Yahoo email address as the destination address. When you do that, you need to first sign-up for the free Yahoo email service. With the free Yahoo email service, you have to login to your Yahoo account to read our group email. Forgetting to sign-in, of course, leads to the account being eventually deactivated and you not getting you're email.

Everything clear as mud? Before using Yahoo accounts and their free email service, I suggest you visit the help section on the Yahoo web site. There is extensive information on Yahoo accounts, Yahoo email service and Yahoo groups.

Another bit of advice: If you ever change the email address in your Yahoo account, your email address in our Yahoo group also needs to be changed.  Log on your Yahoo account and enter our Yahoo group.  At the top of the screen you should see [Group Member  - Edit Membership]. That link should allow you to add/change to the new address.

As our Yahoo group moderator, I cannot assign a Yahoo account or fix an erroneous email address. All I can do is remove your old entry and add you back with whatever email address you prefer...Dennis

One more bit of advice: Some members are having troubles uploading their images to the Yahoo group. 99% of the time, it's the result of too big an image. I strongly suggest you keep your images less 1Mb in size. You also need to make your own photo album. Putting images in someone else’s album may or may not work. And don't forget that Yahoo groups will only accept jpeg images in the photo section.

Newsletter Email

A related problem is the newsletter, when it is emailed. Some members still have a difficult time trying to read it. To read the newsletter, you need to have a copy of Acrobat reader downloaded AND installed on your computer. If you don't have Adobe Acrobat Reader, download a free copy from www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html . Once you get the correct version for your computer downloaded, you need to open and install it.

After you installed Acrobat reader, open your email and double-click on the newsletter attachment. Acrobat reader should automatically open the newsletter. If you are still unable to read the newsletter attachment, just let me know. I can always print and postage mail your newsletter. Not that big a deal!

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This web page was last updated 08/20/14