moderated Re: Changes to new basic groups #update

Robin Whittle

Regarding Mark Fletcher's changes:

Stan/jp wrote, in part:

Just a thought, but, what about creating a "Free" plan that
is mailing list and possibly Wiki only, and keeping "Basic"
as is but adding a nominal monthly charge ($5/month ?). This
avoids legacy plan tracking.

Those on the Basic plan who only need mailing list can
downgrade to Free plan if they wish. The Wiki feature would
be used to document rules-of-engagement, and links to other
sites for files/photos/etc.

This seems like a good idea to me, but I can't anticipate how Mark wants and needs to run his business. 

The private group I run could exist as a current Basic group, but I chose to pay for Premium for three reasons:

1 - I greatly value the system.  In terms of pure time and motion, it is worth paying for a system like this which is very carefully thought out and, in my experience, beautifully implemented, without being infiltrated by the Googleplex's data vacuuming plumbing and without adverts and extraneous stuff like Yahoo Groups.   Also, I had enormously positive experiences 20 years ago with Yahoo Groups and am happy to support the guy behind it, whose social, programming and entrepreneurial experience and energies all came together to create what later became Yahoo Groups, and now this much improved system which seems to work perfectly with HTML emails.

2 - I wanted to be able to directly add members if they had some difficulty navigating the normal system for joining.

3 - I really wanted at least one sub-group - for "Other Topics".   I used a separate Yahoo Group for this in the past and it was a vital part of maintaining the signal-to-noise ratio of the main group.   Discussion mailing lists are potentially wonderful, powerful, arrangements, but they are fragile.  Crap on the main list, in the eyes of the recipient, will drive people away very quickly.  This is especially so for some of the very busy academics and management people I want in the group.  In principle this could be done with a separate private Basic group, but I wanted it encompassed by the main group.

Some other reasons include being able to edit the archives to get rid of extraneous quotations (I never figured out how to train members to do this when replying) to make the archives easier to read and search - and the simple, clear, graphic design of the whole system.   Full integration of a robust mailing list system and web archives with web posting is a very difficult thing to achieve - and it even has measures against viruses.

The Basic group would have been OK, though I guess eventually we would hit the 1GB attachment limit.   I have left the Chat option open, but no-one has tried it yet.  I turned off Database, Calendar, Photos, Polls and Wiki to keep things simple.  Files are active and I guess we might use that someday.   I might enable the Wiki once we get more members.  I haven't looked into hashtags but I can imagine them being very useful if and when the discussions become more structured than in the current early days.

Some of us have out-of-date concepts of the value of money.  USD$220 a year is about Australian $1 a day - and its worth it to know I have a good, ad-free, long-term reliable system for running what is always going to be quite a time-consuming project. 

I think most people have no idea what it costs them to rely on advertising supported systems.   If you are not paying money  for it, you are the product.   Facebook is total brilliance in this regard - even better than network TV: there's no need to create any programs etc.  Just sell people back to their friends and then most people, to stay "connected" have to be a part of this advert-infested thing for most of their waking hours.   The cost of the advertising is far more than financial.  It is a pervasive suck on the psyche.

Thanks Mark!


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