locked Re: Seeding groups


 

Walkraft,

Thank you! Your passion and desire to help are awesome. 

I approached Groups.io as a project that would most likely grow slowly. It's in a field with established competitors, and at first blush, many people would say it's not 'new and sexy' (I disagree of course). And I'm ok with it growing slowly, at first, so that I can get the bugs out, smooth out the rough edges, and add needed missing features. So, I'm not disappointed that there aren't many public groups right now, as I'm heads down fixing and adding features.

That said, I've been thinking about ways to increase engagement. I think your idea of seeded groups is interesting, but I'm weary of having groups that look like they're sponsored by management, because I think that might deter other people from starting similar groups ("well, we can't compete with Groups.io themselves"). I'd be curious about how others feel about that.

In terms of categorizing groups, that opens a big can of worms. Perhaps instead, we could have group owners themselves create a set of tags for their groups. I'm much more a fan of bottom-up organizational structures than top-down taxonomies. They scale better and, I think, can be more accurate. What do you think about this?

One thing I don't think Groups.io does a very good job with right now is helping group owners promote their groups. We display widgets to post to Twitter and Facebook right after you create a group, but that's about it. Perhaps I can make those more visible. If there are other ways we can help group owners promote their groups, please let me know.

Also, I've been banging my head with trying to think of ways to make moving groups from Yahoo and Google over to Groups.io more easily. The best I've come up with so far is creating a mechanism where we subscribe a special email address to the Yahoo/Google group. Then we post a message to the group saying "Reply to this message to be subscribed to the new Groups.io group". But that's clunky, to say the least. And I don't see a way to move archives over. If anyone has any thoughts about this, I'd appreciate it.

So that's where my head's at. I could be wrong about all of this, and if I am, I hope everyone here convinces me so. :-)

And please keep suggesting ways to improve the service!!!


Thanks,
Mark


On Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 7:13 AM, <walkraft@...> wrote:

Currently, updates and beta are the only public groups of any note. Since I would like to see this platform take off, I would like to make a suggestion about how this could occur.

Instead of the default tab of groups being "Most popular", I would suggest temporarily making the default a new "Featured" tab instead. Featured would include the updates and beta groups, but also some generic groups that you create yourself, such as "Linux", "Apple", "Startups", "Programming", or "Web Development". By making these the most prominent displayed groups, people would be more likely to join them. The groups should be chosen to be the groups that members are most likely to join. If any public groups start to succeed organically, then they could be added to featured as well. Regardless, having the fourth group in the list being "Poop" isn't a good look. I would also suggest promoting this set of initial seed groups via your mailing list.

At the start, you should be able to handle moderation of these groups yourself, but once they take off you should be able to pass moderation onto the community members. Hopefully this would be enough to get the Groups.io community started.

I would be willing to join these groups and make a few posts so that they at least have some content..

Potential issues

1. Mightn't this make the site unwelcoming to those who aren't programmers?

I imagine there would other topics for which you could create default groups, but I could only think of programming one's off the top of my head. Also, the nice aspect of the featured tab is that it enables you to promote groups in order to expand the audience of the site to different kinds of people.

2. Wouldn't it be better for groups to form organically?

As soon as some groups do form organically, then they could be moved on top of the featured tab or the featured tab could be removed. Furthermore, the ability to create sub-communities mitigates many of the issues. If a "Programming" community is too broad, then they can change their focus to general programming questions and shift questions on specific languages to sub-communities such as Java, C++ or PHP.

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Anyway, I just thought I'd throw this suggestion out there because I'd love to see this product gain more traction.


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