moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion



More to the point, these people are not groupies. They just want
e-mails and the idea of making them have an account and login to pay
is not going to work. Simplicity for the members is the goal.
For those running such a group the choices seem stark: pay up, go small, or go elsewhere.

That is, pay extra for additional members (beyond the number included in your group plan), don't pay extra and will limit the size of your group, or move your group to a service that uses third parties (advertisers) to pay for the service. Mark has said he's ok with the idea that might not be the best fit for some types of groups.

I have no idea what would work best, but wanted the perspective of
e-mail-only users considered.
As the founding owner of a handful of groups whose members interact entirely or almost entirely by email, I understand the concern.

Two of my groups are likely never to exceed 100 members; they are restricted groups, one for family and one for classmates - though the latter arguably should have attracted a greater fraction of the class and would then have been a few hundred members.

Another classmate group is a couple hundred members, and a PTA group that has ranged from about a hundred to several hundred.

I don't think I can honestly imagine what I'd have done, four to six years ago when I migrated those groups off of Yahoo Groups, if had then the pricing structures proposed now. Or even the feature set reductions already enacted for new groups. I /think/ I would have gone ahead with Premium for the classmates groups, as I could likely count on those members to help pay for the Premium fee, either using the Donations mechanism or informally.

With the PTA it might be dicey. They do charge unit members $10/year dues and could use some of that to pay the premium base price and some per member add-on. But the executive board might well decide that the money would be better spent elsewhere since we don't really need or use the features of a Premium group.

But for someone running a large (1000+ member) hobby or volunteer group that needs only basic email...

If having members buy accounts is off the table (for a given group) then I don't know how it can work without a very low per-member charge (for members over 100) - something that isn't part of the discussion right now - and a very benevolent group owner willing to front that cost and maybe get a few key members to help him/her pay for it.

(I'm assuming that going to a Premium plan wouldn't work for such a group because it would be ruinously expensive with high membership and very little value gained if they don't need the Premium features).


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