Until I moved to Bangalore I was never a member of any yahoo group. Now I'm linked to four: one for the OWC, one for our gated community, and one for parents to communicate for each grade at the school. The idea is to communicate events or concerns. Of course it can turn into more than that.
The Gr. 7 group is pretty non vocal but the Gr. 5 parents are another story. Next year our kids go from PYP (primary) to MYP (middle school) which means they move to a different building (with evil big kids, grade 6-8) and will get different teachers for different subjects. Well, the emails from parents - "how will our children handle this?" Concern that they will get "too much homework," or "they will not get enough homework" and the biggest concern seemed to be about choosing second lanquages and how they are taught.
That settled down and now the big issue is a program that the school is implementing OLPC (one laptop per child). Of course the group has been in an uproar, "it will be too heavy to carry," "will the children still be taught to write?" (seriously?) "my child will be on the computer too much." (not if you monitor them).
As for our "gated community" the Yahoo issue has been regarding clubhouse fees - owners feel they are too high and have banded together not to pay the fees until certain measures have been taken: decrease in fees, more lounge chairs at the pool (that seems to be a big issue), and better pool maintenance. Good for them for sticking together and fighting for what they want.
But now that memberships are past due, some people who haven't paid are trying to sneak in anyway and then it becomes a show down when they get caught and security forces them to leave. Well, you know, if you are trying to take a stand - don't try and get the service for free. We, on the otherhand have the fees included in our rent so I guess we are going to "cross the picket line" and enjoy the facilities.
Most often the groups are informative about upcoming events, items for sale, and even warnings to keep doors closed due to snake sightings. The biggest problem is those that "reply" instead of posting a "new message" as the thread becomes nauseatingly long.