locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Scott Chase

I agree with Drew about Members needing to be viewed and treated as Customers, instead of just the "Owners". Many Members even belong to multiple Groups. There needs to be a way for Mark to get money directly from tens of thousands of Members, who far outnumber group Owners [willing to pay for everything with their own money].

I helped move a small group from Yahoo (free). It was created on Yahoo because Yahoo Groups was FREE. I didn't want to see the Yahoo Group just die. So, I even paid the $220 myself to migrate it. But, I didn't create the original Yahoo Group and I don't consider myself its "Owner". This isn't a business for me. I'm a retired IT professional and simply had the skills to help migrate it to Groups.io.

After nearly a year of experience on Groups.io I decided to just downgrade it to Basic, because it was going to be a big hassle for ME to try to raise the money to pay for it otherwise, year after year. I had never used Stripe and I knew I wasn't going to be successful in convincing enough of the Members to do all that Stripe stuff to Donate enough to cover anything. And I wasn't going to spend countless hours of my time trying to get Members (who I've never even met in person), to start donating money through Stripe. I felt bad for Mark when I downgraded, but I just knew I would not be successful at doing all this myself. And to be honest, that's not what I want to be doing now year after year. I suspect there are a lot of groups now with a couple moderators who don't consider themselves owners, like myself. They have just volunteered their time to be moderators.

Now that I've downgraded to a Basic Group here at Groups.io, there's not even a way for our members to pay anymore. I completely understand that Mark needs to make a living doing this, else Groups.io will cease to exist. But, I alone can't save Groups.io. Every time I see these threads about more feature limits, grandfathering and Pricing changes, and then Owners chiming in about this paradox, I think about how this model isn't failing, not just for Mark, but ultimately for all of us if Groups.io goes out of business.

And I always come back to thoughts of Wikipedia, and their story of making it with end-user donations. Wikipedia doesn't try to charge the people who create a Wiki page, putting that page owner on the hook for the cost of its existence, and then trying to convince the Wiki page creator to get donations from all the page visitors who benefit from that page creator's Wiki page. Wikipedia just asks for donations from ALL who benefit from Wikipedia. Wikipedia would have instantly failed, if it tried to charge page creators. And that also would have prevented Wikipedia from growing into the amazing service it is today for ALL of us to benifit.

Here is my idea, for what it's worth. Provide a way for each Member (email address) to directly pay Groups.io with Visa, PayPal and Amazon Pay, just like Wikipedia does. This can be done in parallel with Owners still on the hook for payment of the Group service level they subscribe to. Simple divide a Member Payment "credit" between all the Groups they are members of. I appreciate Mark's service, even as a grandfathered Basic Group now. I would still be willing to periodically encourage Members to click on a "Donate to Groups.io" button during a fundraising campaign. If at some point this proves to generate a lot more money than just charging Owners, then maybe Groups.io can eventually transition to a free service like Wikipedia, letting Owners off the hook. Maybe these direct payments aren't enough, but could help Owners collect more Group funds through Mark's new button, and simply help keep Mark's company afloat.

Members really need to have a sense of responsibility in helping to fund the existence of Groups.io. If Members having a sense of responsibility is not addresses at some point, I fear there won't be enough benevolent Owners to keep this thing alive long-term, especially as other competing service inevitably come online (e.g. Google). And losing Groups.io would hurt us ALL,... Mark, Owners and Members alike.


On Thu, Dec 24, 2020 at 04:18 AM, Drew wrote:
It just seems like it would make more sense if the subscriber were the customer instead of the group owner.


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