Yahoo's free lunch

Yahoo Top USER award program

Two days ago, when opening my browser, the homepage of which is my Yahoo! mail box, I got a message warning me that I had been granted top user status. The reward was to follow.

I have had a Yahoo! mailbox since times immemorial. More than 10 years for sure. Now I understand why so-called “digital natives” are said to hate e-mail. It is a generational issue. We sort of grew up with it in our professional lives. Youngsters on the contrary favour instant and text messaging; to them e-mail is what is being used to to send messages to your friends’ parents.

As a result, despite my reluctance regarding the excessive usage of e-mail messaging (re. my article on the subject here) I realise now that I was granted that award that I am therefore a heavy user of this stuff. The sheer amount of time I must have spent on the Yahoo! e-mail system is just staggering. But this event also triggered the following thoughts:

  • a. it means that my e-mail usage has been tracked and traced by Yahoo! I don’t really have an issue with this personally, I’ve got nothing to hide. But yet, when did I last agreed to this and where?
  • b. (more positively) the new Yahoo! interface, all Ajax-based, is responsive, user-friendly and is a good substitute to “fat client” messaging clients like the antiquated Outlook Express or Eudora. In fact, I merged all my e-mail address into that one as soon as the new Yahoo! interface was made available. Besides, additional Yahoo! Go 3.0 and the mobile Internet version ( makes it possible to answer e-mail on the go.
  • c. it doesn’t take much to please a free customer. For one, I was happy as can be as soon as I read that I was granted the reward. Secondly the award in question was mostly made of being granted larger e-mail sizes (20 MB) which isn’t much use to me however. Thirdly I’m writing about it on his blog which means that I must be very happy about it. Lastly, I haven’t had any more details about this so-called reward. A more specific e-mail was to be sent to me but I haven’t received anything yet.

Having said that, receiving rewards for your loyalty for a free service is not bad after all, and possibly better than what you get for paid subscription services. What did I ever get from my cable TV operator
for instance except shaky service and technical problems?

At the end of the day, we were wrong to badmouth the late ‘new’ economy. It certainly went bust, but who can tell that today’s financials crisis isn’t going to end up any worse? Eventually, Yahoo! is stillhere to grant kudos to its nonpaying users. Lehman Brothers isn’t. A free – even frugal – lunch is always a good thing as long as it lasts.

  • Yahoo’s TOP USER AWARD Page
Yann Gourvennec
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