locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Samuel Murrayy

On Tue, Dec 29, 2020 at 02:17 PM, Ellen Moody wrote:
I can't find the whole of my original message -- which Samuel Murrayy quoted a part of a sentence from (or it could be a whole sentence without a period at the end).  Yes I was suggesting that maybe Mark Fletcher had in mind charging the basic (now called free) groups.io all along but I didn't say he did because I cannot know that. I did not have any inference in mind beyond that, logical or intuitive or not. 
I apologise if I had misunderstood what you meant.  Looking back, I think it must have been the word "so" that threw me off :-)  Anyway, it doesn't matter.  My reply basically speculated about (a) whether this pricing is truly 'industry standard' (my conclusion is that they are not) and (b) whether they must have been known originally (my conclusion is that that could be argued).

I gather [that Samuel Murrayy] is saying that Mark Fletcher originally meant to build a new business model and saw groups.io as groups intent on business operations.  Really?
I'm not sure what you mean.  I do have the distinct impression that Mark originally wanted to build communities, and there is nothing to suggest that his original motive was deceit.  I have no idea what direction Mark is hoping that Groups.io as a whole should take in future.  I do not believe that Mark thinks that non-business groups generally have lots of money available to pay for this type of service.  However, do I speculate freely that Mark is aiming at increasing the use of Groups.io by businesses, and that he hopes that businesses who use Groups.io will choose to pay for it.  I don't know of Mark's original motive for Groups.io was to make money or to have a nice hobby, but it doesn't affect my opinion of him or his venture.

Some of Mr Murrayy's sentences floor me: "I'll wager Mark's main problem isn't getting money from basic groups that are truly communities, but rather getting money from basic groups who are free-loading in a community habitat for non-community-like purposes."  What could this possibly mean?
In that particular part of the argument, I mentally classified Groups.io users into two groups, namely (a) those that don't make money from having a group and (b) those that that do make money from having a group, and I tried to imply that users who do make money from having a group should be wiling to pay for having a group (and if they don't, they are "free-loaders").

How is the new pricing structure going to kill groups.io as a community? I don't understand. ... We [Ellen's groups] still have files and photos in our basic/free group.
Remember, my comments relate to the future, not the past.  Grandfathered groups are a special case, a group of users who will over time become smaller and smaller.  My comments about what such a pricing structure will do to basic groups relates to what it will do to *future* basic groups.  Your current three groups are fine.  My comments relate to what will happen to your next three groups (if any).

(In case you don't understand what "grandfathered" means, it means that existing groups or users are not affected by changes in policy.  In this particular case, it means that your existing three groups will continue to enjoy all the privileges that they had previously, despite the fact that new groups no longer have those privileges.  When you tell your friends about how fantastic Groups.io is, and they join and create their own groups, their new groups will not have all the features that your existing groups have, even if they pay the same price as you do, because your groups are "grandfathered in".)

To call a group hitherto named Basic to Free in our capitalist society stigmatizes the Free group.
I don't have an opinion on that, but I can point out that since 2015 the names of the three tiers have not changed.  They have always been called "Basic", "Premium" and "Enterprise", and the Basic tier has always been free (until now).  This is probably why people refer to the Basic groups as "Free" groups and why people use the terms "free" and "basic" interchangeably here.

There is nothing about the design of these three tiers to suggest that a Basic group has to be free.  For example, it would be fine to say that e.g. Basic groups are free if they have fewer than 100 members but not free if they have more than 100 members.  We're not entirely sure what Mark has in mind -- so far, he has resisted clarifying whether Basic groups that exceed 100 members would be forced to become Premium groups.  I would encourage him to consider having paid Basic groups that are much cheaper than Premium groups (e.g. $10 per year per 1000 members exceeding the initial 100 members).

I have heard a certain individual repeatedly call public schools "government schools" - wow does that stigmatize 200 years of progress...
I suspect some people are simply less sensitive to how their choice of words can be seen as stigmatizing and do not mean to stigmatize.  For example, unless it is explained to me, I would not know how calling a government-funded school a "government school" could be seen as stigmatizing.  Saying "government school" is simply shorter than saying "government-funded school", and if I were to use the shorter term, it would be for reasons of brevity and nothing else :-)

I have answered Mr Murrayy because his message distressed me:  it seems to impose on me and my groups ulterior motives we don't have and impose on Mark Fletcher various motives and goals I am not sure he has...
I was not my intention to imply that any groups of communities that make use of Groups.io or Groups.io itself or its management have ulterior motives.  My speculation about Mark's motives are based on googleable facts, but it remains speculation, and it is intended as neutral speculation, and not to make any value judgement on anyone.  It would make no difference to my opinion of Mark whether he chooses to run Groups.io as a for-profit or non-profit concern.

The fact that he offers grandfathering every time there is a pricing or feature change clearly shows that his heart is in the right place.


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