Thursday, May 5, 2011

Yahoo Calendar New!: Western Christian and Jewish Holidays Only; No Muslim or Muslim Country Calendars/Holidays


In light of recent events in MENA, this is an even smaller consideration than it might be otherwise--or perhaps not.

While in the old Yahoo Calendar one had the option of adding a Muslim calendar and religious holidays (the 2 Eids, Ramadan dates, but also cultural celebrations in Muslim countries, and a Hijri calendar), and world religious holidays (including Hindu ones, another major demographic worldwide), the New Yahoo Calendar--which is the one automatically offered on new accounts--has only Western Christian and a Jewish Holiday calendar options. As there are no majority Muslim country calendars as a standard option, one cannot add the Muslim holidays by selecting one or more of those countries' calendars.

Although there is a feature to add iCal or email calendars, this has proven unsatisfactory for my PC (or my competence on it--not totally sure which); and, does not obviate the fact that the standard calendars include one and a half of the world's major religions only. Half because Eastern Christianity, common among MENA Christians, whether Roman or Orthodox, which prioritizes holy days differently or observes them on different days, is also not represented.

**********

The letter I sent:
Saturday January 29, 2011 - 04:33:41


When I set up my iPod, I was automatically switched from my Yahoo Calendar to the New Yahoo Calendar on my computer.

There are 3 suggestions I would make:

1) Do not do such automatic switches

2) Offer an automatic colour choice for the new Calendar. I changed the colour by layering a new calendar but in the process lost the information from my old one which was valuable information.

3)*** NB In the choices of calendars for holidays in the New Calendar there are Western Christian and Jewish holiday calendars only. This is discriminatory.

It is also far below the much better offerings of the older Yahoo Calendar.

In my specific instance, we are a interfaith family, and need the Christian and  Muslim holidays. I do research that includes multi-faith approaches to cross cultural medical topics and so need multi-faith religious calendars.

By demographic the Muslim and Hindu holidays, at least, should have their own calendars.

A world religions calendar as a standard option in addition to more individual faith calendars would be much appreciated.

There are no Muslim majority countries among the standard calendar options either. Again, this is discriminatory.

iCal and email calendars are not a reasonable substitute.

I look forward to your reply to these suggestions.

Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.

The reply from Yahoo:
Thu, February 3, 2011 10:43:37 AM


Hello Chiara,

Thank you for writing to Yahoo! Calendar.

Before I go into addressing your concern, I'd like to first apologize
for the delay in my responding to your inquiry. We are committed to
answering your questions as quickly and accurately as possible. However,
we are currently receiving unusually high volumes which caused the
delayed response.

I understand that you would like to make the following suggestions about
the All-New Yahoo! Calendar.

1. Users should not be switched automatically.

2. Offer an automatic color choice for the default calendar.

3. We should list all religious holidays, including Muslim and Hindu
holidays.

I would like to thank you for your feedback and apologize for any
frustration this migration has caused you.

To address your first suggestion, we are migrating all Yahoo! users to
the All-New Yahoo! Calendar. Users are prompted to this before the
actual migration takes place. The old calendar will be obsolete shortly.
I understand that this migration is a little scary and frustrating for
some users.

To address your second suggestion, at the moment there is no way to
change the color on the actual default calendar. The solution you used,
color coding the calendar layers is the only option. This can be done by
following these steps:

1. Open your Yahoo! Mail.

2. Click the "Calendar" link in the left side panel.

NOTE: If the "Calendar" link is not visible, click the "Collapse
Application Panel" bar. The "Collapse Application Panel" bar is a
horizontal bar with two triangles and a dot in between the triangles.
The "Collapse Application Panel" bar will most likely located at the
bottom of the left side panel.

3. On the left side of your calendar page, click the "+" button next to
the word "Calendars."

4. Click "Create New Calendar."

5. Enter a name for this calendar layer, and select a color for it in
the pull-down menu.

6. Click "Save" at the top of the page.

Anytime you want to use this same color for an event, you can select it
from the "Calendars" pull-down menu.

To address your final concern, I agree, more religious holidays should
be integrated into the All-New Yahoo! Calendar. At the moment, this
feature is not available. However, we are always looking for ways to
make Yahoo! Calendar more useful to our users, and we will be sure to
keep your concern in mind as we continue to make improvements to our
service.

It is through your comments and feedback that we are able to continue to
make improvements.

Again Chiara, thank you for your feedback. Please let us know if you
need any additional assistance. We would be happy to help.

Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! Calendar.

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Regards,

Kelli

Yahoo! Calendar Customer Care
Calendar E2Y

My reply:
Thu Feb 3 07:55:16 2011

Kelli,

Thank you for your comprehensive reply. I look forward to the changes regarding colour for the default calendar, and especially regarding more religious holidays calendars.

I do think that a world religions calendar which is highly inclusive generally would be one good option. Muslim and Hindu calendars would also be good, as you mentioned, primarily because of the demographic of these 2 religions.

I do appreciate certain new features of the New Calendar, such as the option to click directly on the date, and to add sticky symbols.

Thank you again for your attention to my concerns.

Chiara

Yahoo's Reply:
Tue Feb 8 17:41:51 2011


Hello Chiara,

Thank you for writing to Yahoo! Calendar.

I appreciate your reply.l We're very thankful for your feedback and
suggestions. It is through these comments and suggestions that we are
able to continue to make improvements. We're already starting to build a
database of user suggestions for our next round of enhancements.

Well, Chiara, if you need any further assistance, please feel free to
contact us again. If I don't hear back from you, have a great rest of
the week!

Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! Calendar.

Regards,

Tobias

Yahoo! Calendar Customer Care

89342951
Calendar E2Y

**********

To date there have been no changes to the standard options on the new Yahoo calendar.

If you would like to make a similar suggestion to Yahoo, please feel free to adapt my letter to your circumstances. To do so, go to Yahoo Calendar Help Form (you have to be signed in to Yahoo to do so). Under subject choose "Suggestion" or "Other". Fill in the required categories, and explain under "Additional Information (optional)". A basic outline could be:
In the choices of calendars for holidays in the New Calendar there are Western Christian and Jewish holiday calendars only. This is discriminatory.

There are no Muslim majority countries among the standard calendar options either. Again, this is discriminatory.

By demographic the Muslim holidays should have their own calendar.

A World Religions calendar as a standard option in addition to more individual faith calendars would be much appreciated.

iCal and email calendars are not a reasonable substitute.

OR

Switch to Google Calendar which has all the options the new Yahoo Calendar lacks!

Your comments, thoughts, impressions, experiences?

4 comments:

jaraad said...

That is new. Isn't the idea to attract more users from different backgrounds?
Anyway, I had with my yahoo email and decided to switch to Google. My yahoo email was a miss and I had all kind of problems with it so I decided to cancel it. Google account is the answer.

Chiara said...

Jaraad-thanks for your comment. I hesitated about writing to Yahoo at all, but I found the selection of calendars offensive. Also, a Muslim lab technician (South Asia to Saudi to Canada) I asked about it, told me in such a heart felt manner to please do so that I thought it best to at least register a "suggestion".

I have both Yahoo and Google accounts. Since I was hacked (primarily on Yahoo) last year, I found that Yahoo was more responsive, and Google impenetrable--a never ending loop of see our online information. I also back up emails, links, references to both routinely, so that if I am hacked again I have a better chance of saving more information than I did the last time. I also have hotmail accounts that are really for backup only.

I have found each service has their pluses and minuses.

For the calendar, I have switched gradually to Google as the active calendar. It offers the options I originally wanted and still use.

I find it inexplicable that Yahoo, which surely wants international adherents, offers only the 2 religious calendars most important to the US.

I know there are other calendar options available, but so far I think Google is my solution.

Anonymous said...

As a frequent traveller in Muslim countries I've kept the Muslim calendar option on my old Yahoo calendar. So I was shocked to find out that they did not include it in the new one. I applaud your criticism and will follow it up.

Richard Basham said...

Not having the Muslim Calendar is offensive to my family. My wife is Muslim; however, I am not. I am switching to Google's calendar.

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