Like many, I wasn't enamored with hashtags when I started out using groups.io. They seemed pretty superfluous.
But as I looked into them further, I came to realize that they are a very powerful feature that allows us to customize the behavior of our groups in a manner that cannot be achieved in any other way.
- Are people receiving digests or daily summaries not getting their calendar reminders in a timely fashion? Set the Special flag on the the #cal-reminder hashtag and they go out immediately.
- Don't want old group guidelines cluttering the message archive? Set the #guidelines topic duration to one month and after that, they disappear like magic.
- Don't want chat notifications to go out as emails? Set the "no email" flag on the #chat hashtag.
- Don't want regular subscribers sending administrative notices? Set up an #admin hashtag that's usable only by moderators.
- Want to initiate a polarizing discussion and moderate the responses? Add a hashtag with the "moderate" flag set.
- Want to force people to reply directly to you, overriding the group setting? Set up a hashtag with "reply only to sender" and groups.io will block attempts to do otherwise.
I do understand why folks wouldn't want their group to become a hashtag-fest...I don't either...but you don't have to let subscribers create them.
Oh well. I'm running out of steam, and not entirely sure where I was going with this. I guess I'll close with the suggestion that those who are looking for a listserv-type experience could just turn off the calendar, polls, and chats.