locked Re: Pricing Changes #update
My personal experience is substantially identical.toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
My two Ercoupe (aircraft) groups date back to early 2000 and a computer talented enthusiast that then hosted them on his personal server. Several years later, he sold his plane, but generously continued to host (if not effectively moderate) these two groups.
Eventually the time came when he turned the leadership over to another computer talented enthusiast, who moved them (mostly) to Yahoo Groups. I became an active group member in 2002. Some years later, having suffered a major and continuing health issue and selling his plane, he asked me to assume ownership.
Being only minimally "computer talented”, I pretty much “led” passively until the debacle with Yahoo Groups raised its ugly head, at which time I (with the help of others) moved them to Groups.io. At the time one of these groups was believed to have over 1,000 members.
This was an illusion, built upon a “free” membership system that never removed people who sold their planes and did not require “member participation”. The few times we had earlier occasion to raise funds, the same twenty (or so) individuals would step forward. This was again the case when we needed to repay me personal funds advanced for a timely move to Groups.io almost two years ago.
It seems that the reality is that such “organizations” of “lurkers” are caught in a “catch-22”. Today, after the “weeding out” process of eliminating no longer functional or duplicate email addresses, we have 875 members.
Were we to adopt financial or activity requirements, our constituents would likely be perhaps 25% of that, or 219 members. The cold, hard truth is that in most “communities, aviation included, a 875-member group enjoys four times the credibility of a 219-member one. So that’s not an option consistent with credibility.
Instituting a “dues structure” of any sort will have identical effect; again, not a viable option for our credibility. Our “lurkership” is, in the overall, much like oysters. They satisfy their perceived needs anonymously, from gleaning the flow of information from discussions initiated by or responded to by others.
Such groups DO serve a “public purpose” as a conduit for credible and verifiable information that is valuable (in terms of general aviation operational safety, personal responsibility and personal safety). We are the rare voice that tells the Emperor the truth about his new clothes.
Independent of government funding, my forums, in addition to the as the “loyal opposition” to government agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration.
For many years the Civil Aviation Authority promoted and facilitated the expansion general aviation.
of innovation and participation by aircraft owner/operators effectively use their aircraft to one that has almost single-handedly destroyed general aviation on the period following the “glory days of 1945-1980. By every credible metric, whether planes built, planes sold, or pilots licensed, general aviation today is but a shadow of what it once was. The FAA long ago divorced its operations from any responsibility to “promote” general aviation.
So yeah, we’re here, on Groups.io, as “grandfathered” free groups; but for how long? If not here, then where?
What is the future of such groups when there are no more sponsors that will host them without excessive cost (which would prevent most from ever forming or becoming relevant)? Our society’s fate seems increasingly to become one that knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.