I've been a Yahoo user for more than 10 years now, probably much closer to 20 years now that I think about it.  I hadn't been thinking about it so much in the last few years until the service went down yesterday for several hours.

Years ago, I ran several Yahoo Groups and used Yahoo chat and irc channels a great deal. Of late, most of the groups have gone dormant, a testament of people waiting for someone else to do something for them.  About 8 years ago, I switched from the Windows Yahoo Messenger client to Pidgin, a cross-platform, cross-chat service client with most of the features I used most: mostly text chat.  It also doesn't waste bandwidth by showing me advertisements.

After the outage yesterday, I started thinking: when is the last time I added a new (and real) Yahoo chat buddy to my contact list?  Sure, I like you get dozens of requests from Yahoo IDs (repeatedly) wanting to be on my contact list but they aren't really people; they are automated spam scripts.   My rules are simple: if you can't start and hold a conversation, I won't add "it".

After a brief search of my contacts, I find I added four new contacts and one "migrated-from-to" contact in the last three years.  Only two were personal contacts; the others work were work related.  Of these, I only chat to one of the contacts once a month or every-other-month at best.

So, today I wonder if Yahoo text chat has run it's course?  I can still use it to contact my existing friends but that list is slowly shrinking.  Honestly, the same decline may be true for most of my other text chat services as well.

Perhaps what's changed is me.  I mean, yes, I have changed but perhaps everyone else is still happily adding value-add chat buddies and it's only me that is stuck with the spam bots. Perhaps the news feed, privacy-invading social networks are sucking up the chat interest in favor of broadcast trivia.  Or perhaps it's the lack of real-time video that makes plain text look so last century.

Or maybe I'm just getting too old to do the things necessary to generate the interest in other people such that they want to chat with me in near-real, text time.

Or maybe I should have brought enough change for the vending machine so I could have my Dr. Pepper and metabolically ignore these ponderings.