Date   

locked Re: Roadmap

 

Good point. Although initially, a service that utilises private URLs might be sufficient. It depends heavily on the nature of the groups though.


locked Re: Roadmap

 

Chris,

Photos/Wiki being external is less of a pain than other features because
people will most often just want to view the content and hence don't
need to log in.
That depends strongly on the nature of the group and its members. In many cases access control is a key component of using the feature - just as with the message archives.
People don't necessarily want to share their photos with the world, or their comments on those photos.

-- Shal


locked Re: Roadmap

 

I think when deciding what features to add that it might be worth considering inconvenient it will be for people to emulate those features if you don't provide them.

For most of those features, the disadvantages are that you need to make an extra click and that you need to log in. One way to make external tools easier to use would be to allow people to add extra links in the sidebar.

Photos/Wiki being external is less of a pain than other features because people will most often just want to view the content and hence don't need to log in. However, with polls, people will typically be responding.

With some of these features, you may be able to integrate in a third party tool, rather than writing it yourself. Since this would be so much quicker, these integrations might deserve a higher priority.


locked Re: about messages from non-members

 

That does seem like a common use case. If the workflow around this could be simplified, then it could be group for advice groups.


locked First email in thread plus digest

Frances
 

My son who boycotts our family Yahoogroups suggests this:
He would like to be able to set up preferences so that he receives the first post in any thread to the groups he subscribes to - automatically and right away. After that any responses to that thread would be digested for delivery once a day.
He finds that he feels obliged to silence his Blackberry if there is too much traffic especially while at work.
Getting the digest would give him the option of going to the website if he wishes.

Frances


locked Re: Roadmap

 

Thanks Shal.

That might work for us as long as it was searchable.  

We do have our current links broken down into subfolders by category.

Trish

On Sat, Nov 1, 2014 at 5:02 PM, Shal Farley <shal@...> wrote:
Trish,

> I'm not understanding how you feel a wiki could replace links.

Fundamentally Wiki pages are rich text pages which can edited by site users. In the case of a group, that would mean the group members (if permitted).

So, members could write descriptions and include links with those descriptions. So a collection of links could be written as just a list of paragraphs, each with a link in it. An additional wiki page, linked on this page, serves as a "sub-folder" and provides a way to organize the links into collections.

But where a simple wiki falls short compared to the kind of links feature Yahoo Groups has is in the organization of the links - in a simple wiki it would all be manual, no sort by contribution date, versus alphabetic by title, versus "who". Likewise, the access control is all or nothing - if members can edit the wiki they can edit anyone else's supplied links as well as their own.

-- Shal



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locked Re: Roadmap

 

Trish,

I'm not understanding how you feel a wiki could replace links.
Fundamentally Wiki pages are rich text pages which can edited by site users. In the case of a group, that would mean the group members (if permitted).

So, members could write descriptions and include links with those descriptions. So a collection of links could be written as just a list of paragraphs, each with a link in it. An additional wiki page, linked on this page, serves as a "sub-folder" and provides a way to organize the links into collections.

But where a simple wiki falls short compared to the kind of links feature Yahoo Groups has is in the organization of the links - in a simple wiki it would all be manual, no sort by contribution date, versus alphabetic by title, versus "who". Likewise, the access control is all or nothing - if members can edit the wiki they can edit anyone else's supplied links as well as their own.

-- Shal


locked Re: about messages from non-members

 

Ronaldo,

This feature would make groups consultable. Of course messages from
non-member should always be moderated. Ideally, the entire thread that
results should be sent to the person who started it (unless a moderator
prevents that).
Oh, that's an interesting thought. Sort-of a temporary membership, subscribed only to that person's own thread. That could revolutionize how some help and advice groups operate. Even Freecycle/Freegle types.

And of course the replies in that conversation contain the footer info that make it easy for this person to formally join the group.

-- Shal


locked Re: about using email-commands

 

Ronaldo,

Could you make it so that people would need a slightly modified reply
to confirm they want to be a member or to approve a moderated message?
If the addressee's email service follows RFC3834 it would be possible to distinguish an auto response from a manual one. In particular there is an Auto-Submitted field which the responder SHOULD include the header of the response.
http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3834

That may need some thought in regard to Invitations, as those will be sent at times to email services with unknown conformance to standards. But for the major services I'd rather not unnecessarily make it any harder for the invitee than a simple reply.

And in the case of notifications to moderators, I _really_ don't want it made any more complicated than reply and send. Here some responsibility can be put on the moderator not to choose and configure his/her email service so as to avoid auto-response problems.

-- Shal


locked Re: Roadmap

 

whofanvidme,

One solution would be to allow for several links to appear within a
single entry. It could have a main entry, the text of which would form
the basis of its alphabetical listing, and sub-links which would
automatically translate themselves into icons for things like facebook
and twitter.
Having each link entry consist of a description text plus an expandable list of links is not a bad idea. It neatly handles the case of a few related links without having to go to the formality of making a folder and putting the related links inside.

Another way to achieve this would be to allow the link description text to be rich text. Then users could put sub-links into the description, as text or as images, with no additional structure needed. Or less ambitiously, auto-linkify any URLs written into a plain-text description.

-- Shal


locked Re: Roadmap

 

The requirements in relation to structuring links will vary enormously from one
group to another. I would suggest simple links with associated (limited)
explanatory text, but with the addition of an owner/moderator-defined structure
along the lines of Yahoo's hierarchy of photo albums. Groups with limited need
for just a few links (like my own on Yahoo) would then not need any
structuring, but it would be available for others who need it.

Remember that links are not necessarily to sites (or sub-sites like blogs and
other social media) operated by members, but can be any site related to the
group's objects.

I think it would be a mistake not to make links clickable - that would just
make them more difficult to use, with no obvious benefit.

Jim Fisher

On 1 Nov 2014 at 1:11, @whoguy wrote:

Here's my idea for an improved links section layout. I was going to
post it to the Yahoo! suggestion board, but I suspect it would gain
more traction here.
Back when Yahoo! Groups was created, people tended to only have a
basic web presence. These days, they're just as likely to have
multiple links for twitter, facebook, pinterest, youtube, etc. This
leads to problems when trying to generate a usable links section. Do
you create separate folders for each platform, forcing members to
constantly switch, or create a lot of redundant entries in the main
folder for people to plow through?
One solution would be to allow for several links to appear within a
single entry. It could have a main entry, the text of which would form
the basis of its alphabetical listing, and sub-links which would
automatically translate themselves into icons for things like facebook
and twitter. These would then appear as clickable icons next to the
main entry and, possibly, in text form at the bottom of the entry.
Main Link (facebook)(twitter)(pinterest)(YouTube), etc.
Another idea would be to make Main Link a text-only descriptor,
instead of a clickable link.


--
http://www.jimella.me.uk - my personal web site covering many subjects
http://jimellame.tumblr.com - My thoughts on freedom
http://jimella.wordpress.com - political snippets, especially economic policy
http://jimella.livejournal.com - misc. snippets, some political, some not
Forget Google! I search with https://duckduckgo.com which doesn't spy on you


locked about messages from non-members

ro-esp
 

This feature would make groups consultable. Of course messages from non-member should always be moderated. Ideally, the entire thread that results should be sent to the person who started it (unless a moderator prevents that).

I don't like the idea of routing messages from non-members to the owner-adress.
In my experience it causes confusion (moderators don't always notice it's meant for the entire group) and thus delays.

groetjes, Ronaldo

--
http://www.esperanto.net http://www.moneyasdebt.net


locked about using email-commands

ro-esp
 

I do agree that email-commands are vital and practical, but because of the existence of (those darned) auto-responders we shouldn't make it TOO easy.

Could you make it so that people would need a slightly modified reply to confirm they want to be a member or to approve a moderated message?

groetjes, Ronaldo

--
http://www.esperanto.net http://www.moneyasdebt.net


locked Re: Roadmap

 

Here's my idea for an improved links section layout. I was going to
post it to the Yahoo! suggestion board, but I suspect it would gain
more traction here.


Back when Yahoo! Groups was created, people tended to only have a
basic web presence. These days, they're just as likely to have
multiple links for twitter, facebook, pinterest, youtube, etc. This
leads to problems when trying to generate a usable links section. Do
you create separate folders for each platform, forcing members to
constantly switch, or create a lot of redundant entries in the main
folder for people to plow through?

One solution would be to allow for several links to appear within a
single entry. It could have a main entry, the text of which would form
the basis of its alphabetical listing, and sub-links which would
automatically translate themselves into icons for things like facebook
and twitter. These would then appear as clickable icons next to the
main entry and, possibly, in text form at the bottom of the entry.

Main Link (facebook)(twitter)(pinterest)(YouTube), etc.

Another idea would be to make Main Link a text-only descriptor,
instead of a clickable link.


locked Re: Seeding groups

 

I think the use of tags would be excellent, especially if they are searchable
by search engines, which would in itself give publicity to Groups.io every time
someone searched for a word used as a tag.

I don't use Twitter, Facebook or Google, but publicise my Yahoo groups via my
personal web site. I appreciate, however, that most people don't have that
facility. I haven't found anything useful for that purpose on Yahoo, and their
categorisation is useless as far as I am concerned. Most of my groups are
family history-related, to provide contact for people researching the same rare
name or the same commoner name in a restricted geographical area, so most
members tend to be distantly related to one another but only "met" via the
group.

Jim Fisher

On 30 Oct 2014 at 14:24, Mark Fletcher wrote:

In terms of categorizing groups, that opens a big can of worms. Perhaps
instead, we could have group owners themselves create a set of tags for
their groups. I'm much more a fan of bottom-up organizational structures
than top-down taxonomies. They scale better and, I think, can be more
accurate. What do you think about this?

One thing I don't think Groups.io does a very good job with right now is
helping group owners promote their groups. We display widgets to post to
Twitter and Facebook right after you create a group, but that's about it.
Perhaps I can make those more visible. If there are other ways we can help
group owners promote their groups, please let me know.
--
http://www.jimella.me.uk - my personal web site covering many subjects
http://jimellame.tumblr.com - My thoughts on freedom
http://jimella.wordpress.com - political snippets, especially economic policy
http://jimella.livejournal.com - misc. snippets, some political, some not
Forget Google! I search with https://duckduckgo.com which doesn't spy on you


locked Re: Roadmap

 

Mark,

- Calendar/Events with reminders
I'll agree with this one on top. Reminders are useful in most of my types of groups.

Assuming the existence of general Files storage (not on your list), if a reminder can have attached files that might check off the "scheduled files" feature in a more natural and more flexible way than Yahoo Groups' mechanism.

- Photo section
I might put photos ahead of polls. I had long hoped that Yahoo Groups would integrate their Photos section with Flickr in some slick way, allowing me to present photos from my Flickr stream in a group album without having to upload it separately. Perhaps even creating an automatic linkage of some kind between a set on Flickr and an Album in a group.

- Links and/or wiki (I'm leaning towards a wiki over a links section,
but could be talked out of it)
I'd definitely choose a wiki over a links collection, if I had to choose. I long ago suggested a wiki as a feature Yahoo Groups should have. And then started using pbwiki because they didn't.

Even though one can manage a links list within a wiki, that is a bit of an artifice and won't satisfy all users (or use cases). But maybe if the wiki has a sortable table as a formatting element it would.

-- Shal


locked Re: about the group-search

 

Mark,

Hmm, I have always been against allowing non-subscribers to post to
groups, because that leads to dead groups that are festering pits of
spam.
Without moderation I'd agree. But my Yahoo Groups that operate this way in fact receive very few non-member attempted postings (sometimes months between them), either spam or valid. In Yahoo's group settings you get this effect with the combination of allowing non-member posting and selecting "Moderated" (for all messages) or "Moderated for new members".

My use case for this ability is relatively small groups - classmate groups, PTA groups, and family groups, typically with no more than a few hundred members, all of whom I know in person. I almost certainly would not elect this option for a large, public, general-interest group; probably not in any group with open membership.

What about an option so that messages from non-subscribers just get
re-routed to +owner?
The only advantage I can think of to routing it to +owner is that if it is spam I delete it and I'm done. Routed to a pending queue I have to forward the pending notice to the +reject address and then delete it.

Even so, I prefer that such messages go into the Pending queue, or perhaps into a Spam? queue, so that I can approve them if appropriate. My typical use case is a member who has changed email providers without updating their subscription, or accidentally used the wrong one today.

Now, some additional automation to help them correct the error would be welcome (but hardly an urgent need). Something like a "you used an address that is not subscribed to this list" return message that allows them to verify that address as a new subscription. I would only select that action in cases where I am sure from the message body that I'm dealing with someone who is or should be a member. And of course this only applies to groups that elect to allow non-member posting - in other groups a straight bounce of the attempted non-member post is appropriate.

-- Shal


locked Re: Roadmap

Linda
 

Hi Mark,

The top priorities for my groups are Scheduled Files and a Links Library.

Thanks,
Linda 


locked Re: Roadmap

 

Hi Mark,

Here's a rundown of our needs.

My groups are animal rescue related, so for our purposes we need links, files and spreadsheets. We are storing specific links to articles/blogs/etc related to rescue, vetting, & training type topics as well as supply and fundraising resources. 

Files contain information about our members or brainstorming discussions we've had that we feel are worth saving to be able to easily refer back to.  There are some files we like to feature regularly, so having a scheduling feature linked to files is very helpful for us.  This file goes out once a month. This file only goes out in the winter months. This file only goes out when someone joins the group. This file goes out every December 1.

For photos, it's more important for us to be able to email those out to the group and for everyone to receive them. We don't really have a need to store them.  The shelters send through pleas for rescue help and include photos. Once that dog or cat is rescued, there's no need for the other group members to have a copy of it to refer to on the group site.

We also have a transport group, specifically for our volunteer drivers.  That group of people doesn't want to have to ever deal with a group site. They want email alerts when driver help is needed and an easy way to reply back to the transport coordinator when they are available to assist. So they want about as vanilla as you can get as far as features.

So far, for our purposes, an events feature isn't something we need, but I can see a need for it should a specific rescue start a group for their adopters/followers/supporters and in that scenario an events feature would be helpful for adoption days or fundraising events. 

We rarely use polls.  In the past 10 years, probably only needed that feature once or twice.

Given how much money goes into vetting and transport costs, rescuers are looking for free services for communication purposes.  So any feature that uses a paid service is probably not a feature we'd be using..  We typically end up in services that make their money from advertising (a la yahoo). If groups.io ever goes to that model, please please please give us the opportunity to opt out of certain topics via tags.  There's nothing worse than being a rescuer and seeing ads from puppy millers.  Yes, stupid Yahoo does that because the group talks about dogs all the time so they think we'd be interested in buying these cute puppies (that we all know come from horrific breeding facilities because we save them from that and spend thousands of dollars undoing the physical and emotional damage incurred).  Sorry, just went on a bit of a rant there, but the point is if advertising is going to be tailored, there really should be an opt out feature to go along with that..  Without knowing the programming involved, tags seem like the easiest way for end users to do that.  Or maybe tags to opt in.  So for example if I'm car shopping and I like Toyota vehicles, maybe for awhile I'll add the tag Toyota to my ad choices.

I'm not understanding how you feel a wiki could replace links.  Can you elaborate on that idea?

Thanks
Trish

On Fri, Oct 31, 2014 at 1:44 PM, Mark Fletcher <markf@corp.groups.io> wrote:
Perhaps it'd be useful to share and talk about the feature roadmap for Groups.io, especially in light of the recent conversation. Here's what I've been thinking, please let me know your thoughts.

- Calendar/Events with reminders
- Event signups, a la signupgenius.com
- Event scheduling, a la doodle.com
- General purpose polls
- Photo section
- Links and/or wiki (I'm leaning towards a wiki over a links section, but could be talked out of it)

Of course, the top priority is always bug fixing and making the site easier to use. Also, thinking of ways to increase engagement (i.e. getting people to come to Groups.io and use it). So, the recent conversations have been quite helpful.

Am I missing a killer feature? Would you order things differently?

Thanks,
Mark



locked Re: about the group-search

 

I like the reroute-to-owner idea.  Then at that point give the owner the opportunity to flag them as spam.  I'm all for avoiding those festering pits. 

Trish


On Fri, Oct 31, 2014 at 1:33 PM, Mark Fletcher <markf@corp.groups.io> wrote:
Hmm, I have always been against allowing non-subscribers to post to groups, because that leads to dead groups that are festering pits of spam. I had not considered making it an option that those messages would be moderated. What about an option so that messages from non-subscribers just get re-routed to +owner?

We already log attempts by non-subscribers to send messages to groups. The email address of the sender and the subject of the message are logged.

Thanks,
Mark

On Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 10:38 PM, Shal Farley <shal@...> wrote:
Mark,

>> Is there an option for allowing non-members to send to the groups?
>
> There is not. But you can create an email integration, which is a unique
> email address, that can be used to send messages to the group.

Ah, I was wondering how that differed from the group's posting address. Very important that messages to that address be moderated (at least optionally) - which I think you said has or will be added to integrations.

I've found the ability to allow (moderated) non-member posting to be very helpful in letting would-be members or lost members get in touch with the group (they wouldn't be expected to know about the +owner address). So in that respect being able to allow non-member posting using the regular group posting address would be preferable.

At the very least non-member attempted posts should be logged, but for the purpose above I prefer the notification of a pending message so that I am alerted when it happens.

-- Shal



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