Date   

moderated Re: Paid vs free policy- request

Maria
 

Thank you for your thoughts Shal,

On Thu, May 23, 2019 at 10:09 AM, Shal Farley wrote:

... have some kind of delusion and distorted perception that revenue
from premium groups is used to “finance the promotion of the left-wing
political view”.
In what way is that even a stretch, much less delusional? Revenue from Premium Groups finances Groups.io, and Groups.io subsidizes the support of at least one partisan organization (Indivisible). That's not too many dots to follow.

The wording used was: to “finance the promotion of the left-wing political view”.

At best it's an exaggeration.

It's a broad statement about the company as a whole financing the "promotion" of the "left wing political view".
I mean, what's a premium group cost? $110 x year. 
Come on.

Look I get it. Indivisible, because of their stated goal to defeat the "Trump Agenda" and promote progressive policies and progressive candidates is partisan. Agreed.

My main concern - which I don't think I've expressed -  is that having the line about the waiver as a headline, could give the false impression that Groups.io is not a welcoming or excellent platform for all kinds of groups ( except those that are clearly outlined as not welcome). I would hate for groups who don't agree with indivisible's specific approach to not feel welcome here - because again - I think their using other platforms that exploit them, doesn't help anyone, and because I know it's the best platform out there. I enjoy diversity and freedom of speech, and well, would never join a club that would have just me as a member - as they say.

My other concern is that there are other good orgs/non-profits who may need help and who may thrive on Groups.io  - and I'd rather see the policy defined so that the umbrella of who gets a free upgrade is not limited to one ( now) non-profit.  But obviously who, what, groups.io wants to support and who they don't - and how much room there is in the budget for waivers is none of my business.


Maria


moderated Re: Paid vs free policy- request

Maria
 

PS: I didn't realize, but Indivisible is now a registered 501(c)(4) ( I don't think it was back in 2017 when it was just a grassroots thing ).
The groups that are associated with it are probably chapters of the home org? non-profits too?
So maybe it all falls under a paragraph re: non-profits in the FAQ and then another for grassroots orgs that meet criteria as defined in a link to a values page. In addition to the clear guidelines re: what kind of groups will not be hosted.



moderated Re: Need help figuring out a policy on this

Samuel Murrayy
 

On 2019/05/21 06:51 AM, Mark Fletcher wrote:

Also, suggestions for features to make this more difficult in the future would be appreciated.
How about a living will for groups? I mean, the owner of the group fills in information about who may be considered the owner of the group in case he fails to respond himself. The form can specify how long he must not be responding, and what kinds of rights people can get when that happens, etc. The form can be sent to the owner (and anyone else he nominates to receive it) once a month or once every 3 months, for confirmation.

Samuel


moderated Re: Need help figuring out a policy on this

andy t
 

Hello Victoria, thank you for your comments and I agree with you.

In my case there was absolutely no discussion of what was wrong between me and my co-owner I just found that I could no longer log in to my group and after that I found that I was removed for no reason and I thought I had a true friend and I knew him for 4 years and we talked over everything but I was booted for no apparent reason but I had permission to take over the group and move it from yahoo to groups.io and all went smoothly for over a year and that is why I ask the question of is there a way to protect the founder of a group from being removed for no reason at all.

 

From: main@beta.groups.io <main@beta.groups.io> On Behalf Of Victoria via Groups.Io
Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2019 6:41 AM
To: main@beta.groups.io
Subject: Re: [beta] Need help figuring out a policy on this

 

As the postings here have shown, it´s not an easy thing…

I have two examples to add to this issue:

  • In a Yahoo group I was a member of, the owner had “disappeared” and was not reachable over years (mail, telephone, etc.). The two existing moderators tried to keep the group running all this time. Very hard job for both, their disparate opinions creating additional conflicts among members. In the end both moderators left the group. One of the two founded a new forum, the other one changed to an already existing yahoo group and was made moderator there. Each person took along her followers. The whole thing cost a lot of nerves since it implicated troublesome procedures for a long time. The acutal problem here was the missing co-owner.
  • In a Yahoo group in which I was a moderator, the founder and owner lost interest in the group after a few years and “disappeared” gradually. For years she could not decide to pass ownership on to someone else. Since I felt very connected to the group, I helped manage it for a couple of years as well as I could. But since I was not able to take owner-related decisions, non-solvable issues arose. At last I could convince the owner to pass ownership on to a moderator of her confidence. This achieved, the new owner died a few years later, but she had learned from experience and was smart enough to make someone co-owner in time. This new co-owner manages the group since then and moved it successfully to I.O. in 2018. It´s a cats health group called “siebenkatzenleben”. I am co-owner there.

In the case of my own yahoo group (cushinghundevital) which I founded in 2006 and which I moved to I.O. in 2018 and learning from all those experience, I made one of my moderators (and good friend) co-owner. The above experience showed me that you never know what can happen to you, no matter how old or healthy you are. I know it´s natural for people to have disagreements or even conflicts, so there is no perfect solution for this issue but trying to stay in touch among moderators and owners. Discussing divergencies any time they occur might help them to stay befriended. That´s my policy anyway.

The idea that a co-owner dismisses the founder, is something hard to imagine, but it seems to happen as your example shows.

I also like the idea of a special status as founder or alternatively the idea that the founder of a group cannot be removed by someone else, but I do not know if this is technically achievable. As to the question if a group founder could be “wrong” - as someone wrote – I do believe that the group of the founder is and stays his or her group, and even if he might be “wrong” from the point of view of a member, moderator or co-owner, then this may be so, but it´s still his or her group. Besides, the dissenting person can always try to address the owner or leave the group if there is no consensus possible. To solve conflicts by throwing each other out of the game is - in my opinion - the worst solution possible, as my two furry family members would state:

 

Peace

Victoria

 


moderated Re: Paid vs free policy- request

Maria
 

On Wed, May 22, 2019 at 11:08 PM, Ken Kloeber wrote:
Can someone, please, enumerate, logically, only those things that Mark can do that meets his two stated desires? 
Yes.

1- Fix the link to Indivisible so that it redirects properly to Indivisible :)
In all of this - no one noticed that actually that link is broken. ( the www. needs to be removed)

2- Move : "Is your group associated with Indivisible? Please contact support, and we will upgrade your group to Premium for free. " to the FAQ section under the "Are There Non-Profit Discounts?". Add a "Are their complimentary upgrades or discounts available for other types of organizations/groups?" - and provide an answer that perhaps could include the above sentence re: indivisible (and others eligible) - or a link to a Groups.io for Good / Groups.io Values page* which lists either specific organizations/NGO's/grassroots advocacy groups - etc - that are eligible to apply for a waiver of the upgrade free - or general criteria.

3 - Add a section in FAQ re: what groups Groups.io does not take on as clients/permit - and a link to community standards.

If a "Values" page is created, use it to express the ways in which Groups.io hopes to make the world a better place. Be it through highlighting examples of public groups (or groups that give permission to be included) that it hosts that are doing good, or causes it supports via free upgrades - or eventually causes it's employees support through employer/ employee matching donations etc.

in similar manner as examples I previously listed.

None of this hides what Groups.io supports - it's just not the headline for the pricing page, which I agree is not the best spot for it.
It allows room for Mark / Groups.io to grow in their efforts to do good
It creates even more transparency
It will also communicate effectively to orgs dedicated to doing good that this is a place that won't exploit their good work by: sucking out data from them, by using their member's data to target ads to them  - and that the business model here is so straight forward, it's the ideal place or home for those trying to do good work.



Maria




moderated Re: Paid vs free policy- request

 

Maria,

- The fact that we are having this debate because two - yes two -
members of a current Yahoo group ...
What difference does it make how many members have spoken up (so far)? In any (U.S. based) apolitical group there are potentially quite a few members (approximating half) that may oppose Indivisible's politics, but are unaware of or not willing to speak up about Groups.io's support for it.

Note that the group owner also stated (of one of those members) that "there are a huge number of posts that he started and also his replies to posts made by other members. Do we need to delete each and every such post that has any reference to him? That would be a herculean task and even if it is done, it would make us lose a big lot of useful archive data."

So we're not just talking about a couple of lurkers here. In at least one case we're talking about the loss of substantial content from the group.

That said, the group owner has apparently resigned himself to that loss, if Groups.io can provide a practical means for him to transfer without that member's content. But right now, he's stuck.
https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/21158

There are companies who show their support for causes through
advertising.
That's a false comparison to this topic: "causes" are wholly a different thing (to me, if not to those members). Did any of those companies or organizations you cite advocate for or against any specific candidates? That's the partisan issue I'm discussing.

... have some kind of delusion and distorted perception that revenue
from premium groups is used to “finance the promotion of the left-wing
political view”.
In what way is that even a stretch, much less delusional? Revenue from Premium Groups finances Groups.io, and Groups.io subsidizes the support of at least one partisan organization (Indivisible). That's not too many dots to follow.

and make sure you don't serve Ben & Jerry's then at your next in
person meeting, cause that might not go down well either.
The situation for the owner of an apolitical group is far more difficult that choosing which brand of ice-cream to serve. That choice is of little lasting consequence. Staying with a failing communications platform, or being forced to leave an excellent one, has potentially serious consequences. At the least is wastes a great deal of time, something that is precious to most of us.

Shal


moderated Re: Paid vs free policy- request

 

jonathon,

In light of Mark's message dated 20190521 14:33:45 -0700, Message ID
<CAEO096pBb3J5VbwNRsxR4ux4QTH5N=7jSueAN-aOojA4kcLe_g@mail.gmail.com>
can you elaborate on how that would work?
Luckily Thunderbird lets me search on Message ID, or I'd have been lost.

Actually, I'm sort of lost anyway - that message doesn't seem to bear on my assertion about my PTA group.
https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/21214

I somewhat hesitate to tread here for fear of creating a self-fulfilling prophesy, but the California PTA bylaws state:

" *** ARTICLE III — Basic Policies and Principles

The following are basic policies and principles of California State
PTA, in common with those of National PTA:

a. The organization shall be noncommercial, nonsectarian, and
nonpartisan;
...
h. The organization or members in their official capacities shall not
— directly or indirectly — participate or intervene (in any way,
including the publishing or distributing of statements) in any
political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate
for public office;
..."
http://toolkit.capta.org/know-the-pta/bylaws-of-the-california-state-pta/

If a member of our PTA unit came to the executive board and alleged that our unit was providing member funds (indirectly) to a partisan organization, by way of our occasional upgrade to a Premium Groups.io group, then the board might have no real option other than to tell me to stop using this service. Otherwise the unit membership might get embroiled in a debate over the issue, and that's the kind of debate an all-volunteer organization just does not need.

I'll grant that the scenario seems a bit on the far-fetched side. But consider a thought-experiment. Imagine (if you can) that instead of Indivisible, the Groups.io pricing page named an organization with a different political agenda, a group that promotes the re-election of President Trump as vigorously as Individual promotes his defeat. Would you then bet against such an objection being raised?

If you can't give the same answer to this issue in either case, then you're looking at the issue through partisan glasses, rather than principled ones.

Shal


moderated Re: Paid vs free policy- request

Douglas Swearingen
 

There is nothing anyone else but Mark can do about the subject.

Can we let it die???


From: main@beta.groups.io <main@beta.groups.io> on behalf of Ken Kloeber via Groups.Io <KWKloeber@...>
Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2019 6:56 PM
To: main@beta.groups.io
Subject: Re: [beta] Paid vs free policy- request
 
It's telling (I think) that we continue to stray from the central issue, and continue mentoring Mark on what a certain policy change might or might not do.  Focus elsewhere when you can't solve the two objectives Mark stated:

To refresh, Mark said:

Is the issue more that a group that perhaps not all of your members like is mentioned on the pricing page, [Yes, that's the root cause] or is it that I would support that group at all ...? [Absolutely, unequivacably, not] I certainly don't want to make group owners' lives more difficult. But I also have my beliefs and would like Groups.io to support things I believe are good. [and members appear to support that too, and there's a way to accomplish both the above.]
Now notice, Mark did not say not more difficult "unless I sell less ice cream," or "in a way that I can sell more ice cream," or "I don't care if group A stops buying ice cream," or "I could care less if it's harder for only group B owners," or any other qualification. 

Can someone, please, enumerate, logically, only those things that Mark can do that meets his two stated desires?  Without dragging into a proposed "fix" the business practices' of others, or his ice cream sales, or about IO being successful, and bla bla...?  I have suggested one, can anyone suggest an one alternative?
Can we take on it's face, that Mark already knows and can logically weigh out all that?  And that the "real-life" difficulty to a group owner is not a subjective notion.  More difficult is more difficult, only the degree to which is variable.



moderated Re: Paid vs free policy- request

KWKloeber
 

It's telling (I think) that we continue to stray from the central issue, and continue mentoring Mark on what a certain policy change might or might not do.  Focus elsewhere when you can't solve the two objectives Mark stated:

To refresh, Mark said:

Is the issue more that a group that perhaps not all of your members like is mentioned on the pricing page, [Yes, that's the root cause] or is it that I would support that group at all ...? [Absolutely, unequivacably, not] I certainly don't want to make group owners' lives more difficult. But I also have my beliefs and would like Groups.io to support things I believe are good. [and members appear to support that too, and there's a way to accomplish both the above.]
Now notice, Mark did not say not more difficult "unless I sell less ice cream," or "in a way that I can sell more ice cream," or "I don't care if group A stops buying ice cream," or "I could care less if it's harder for only group B owners," or any other qualification. 

Can someone, please, enumerate, logically, only those things that Mark can do that meets his two stated desires?  Without dragging into a proposed "fix" the business practices' of others, or his ice cream sales, or about IO being successful, and bla bla...?  I have suggested one, can anyone suggest an one alternative?
Can we take on it's face, that Mark already knows and can logically weigh out all that?  And that the "real-life" difficulty to a group owner is not a subjective notion.  More difficult is more difficult, only the degree to which is variable.



moderated Re: Paid vs free policy- request

Barry_M
 

I’ve continued following this thread just amazed at the sheer volume of comments.  I’ll add one more thought since the puppy pics haven’t appeared yet and. somewhat surprisingly, I think it still incremental!

 

I wonder if some or many here aren’t conflating an unasked business strategy question with a philosophical opinion since it does seem that everyone on the thread does understand that the waiver of the premium is both entirely legal and the business owner’s right?

 

Some of the comments opine about what might be better or worse for Mark if his goal is to build a “successful” business.  In the real world, there are consultants who do that for a living but none who are credible and trained would recommend doubling down or pulling back without more data and information about Mark’s goals, his target market(s), his current or desired growth strategy, his financials and a whole lot more.  Most of all, I don’t think Mark asked for that kind of advice anyway.

 

The philosophical bucket includes comments talking about the commenter’s sense of propriety (or lack thereof) or "preference" concerning the discount, along with other comments mentioning what might make things “harder for groups,” a highly subjective notion. Also an interesting (at least to me) implied definition of “discrimination.”  That last one prompted some pause for me since cops get free coffee, vets and other groups get favorable treatment by businesses all the time.  I’ve always thought of “discrimination” as words or actions that involve something more about oppression or persecution of a group based on some uncontrollable characteristic or belief. In the same way that a discount at the coffee shop for teachers isn't so much oppressing the non-teachers who buy their lattes at the same shop, I think it may be a stretch to claim that an upgrade-fee waiver oppresses others (including me) who pay full price for premium.

 

With my own comment a few days ago, I didn’t opine on the strategy piece since that hadn’t been asked.  And, on the philosophical side, I’ll cite two well-known companies just to underscore a point I and others have made here. That point being that numerous companies (B2C and B2B) take stands of all kinds, and in a myriad of ways, all the time.  It’s first Amendment stuff and I think we’re very lucky to live in a country where individuals and organizations are allowed to do that.

 

Penzeys Spice Company in Wisconsin.  Politics aside, fabulous herbs and spices.  Any cook/chef will agree high quality and knowledgable staff.   A business with a long track record and, by all account doing well financially.  Their CEO is an unabashed Democrat how puts out statements  and takes position all the time consistent with the US Democratic party.  No doubt some conservatives avoid the company like the plague, as is their right. Meanwhile, Penzeys has prospered for a long time.

Chick-fil-A, headquartered in Georgia.  More than 2200 locations and maybe the best quick-serve chicken sammies in America.  Also a very established and successful company. But, their CEO is a well-known conservative who has made a good number of statements and taken positions wholly consistent with US Republican political thinking.  As with the Penzeys example, zero doubt some on the left boycott this business due to the politics.  Also clear the business is doing very well.

Both of those businesses (and a great many more) are very political AND successful.  And, because we have the 1st Amendment, they are both on terra-very-firma to run their businesses as they like, make political statements and risk the alienation of some while engaging a great many others.  This is just how America works.

Mark and Groups.io could or should do a million things but, at the end of the day, there’s a ton of precedent for what Mark is doing and what he might decide to do along the same line in the future and most any other communications decision.  And, as we all acknowledge, I think without exception, Mark has the right to do as he likes as do we to embrace, ignore or be offended by what he might write or say.  


moderated Re: Paid vs free policy- request

 

Just addressing what Ken K calls being “in your face” about supporting any particular cause: it bears keeping in mind that, as Maria points out about cause advertising, you may also garner more loyalty and customers from being upfront (or “in your face”), not less.


On May 22, 2019, at 1:23 PM, Ken Kloeber via Groups.Io <KWKloeber@...> wrote:

On Wed, May 22, 2019 at 10:31 AM, Shal Farley wrote:
My preference: choose organizations that do good, rather than organizations that divide our members along partisan lines.

If you really want to have Groups.io directly make in-kind donations to politically partisan organizations I'm not sure what to suggest. I appreciate your openness on this subject, but I don't know how to reconcile that with an apolitical group's need for a service that is feels welcoming to all of its members.
Mark

Following up on Shal's.

Let's be honest that "advertising" or "not advertising" supporting any cause, left right or center, isn't going to make or break you or IO.  However, you stated the precise issue most succinctly - you don't want to make any group's life harder.    Don't worry, be happy. - life should be simpler not more difficult.  Can't be more simply stated, only obfuscated by drawing in side issues.

That's the root and only issue, not the $ or to which cause, or whether it's divisive, or how it's funded, or how many members (that we know of fewer than on one Labrador's paw) have been put off by any political advocacy.   The effect is on the innocent, not to the objectors -- in the instant example a group owner who (I figure could care less but) has to dance a jig and bob and weave because of the advertisement, which also affects all group members.because of (one? maybe more, who knows) objections.  I've suggested that they make it the objector's problem (in this instance) but that just ignores the root cause.  The objector(s) must have too little hobbies because who researches the donation/advocacy policy of a forum group?  Still, "that's not the point," as they say.

The obfuscation re: what other companies support (left right or center) or doesn't apply -- their policies might affect the bottom line but don't make innocents' lives more difficult.  One could conjure up a scenario where an organizer of a MAGA picnic is forced to find another with ice cream supplier, but s/he chooses to be associated with that event -- but a policy doesn't really affect anyone involved -- and individuals can decide what they eat or not.  Thousands of peeps on an IO or Y! group can't individually choose onto which ocean their Admiral moves their ship.  Hell, a handful can't usually decide where to have lunch.  Moreover, it's unproductive to force the Admiral to choose between values if it's a non-political group, and especially so if politics is banned from the forum discussions.  That's would be pretty high up on the hypocrisy scale.
 
The particular smooth transfer of the instant group (whichever it is) already has a BBQ fork in it.  No change is going to erase the brain of Y! members who already object (to in their minds the "IO agenda") so to speak.  And it has little to do with this topic -- it's not the current issue at all, merely evidence of the potential effect.

A question is really the solution.  Is the intention -- and take this as a question not any sort of judgement -- simply to support a cause, which can be done w/o alienating anyone, or is it intended to be an "in your face" political statement -- and if so it should continue that way, but suggest it be well known to prospective group owners -- and to hell with the effect on an infinitesimal number of innocents it might affect in the future -- it's your right to make a group go elsewhere if members don't like your advocacy.   

--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: Paid vs free policy- request

KWKloeber
 

On Wed, May 22, 2019 at 10:31 AM, Shal Farley wrote:
My preference: choose organizations that do good, rather than organizations that divide our members along partisan lines.

If you really want to have Groups.io directly make in-kind donations to politically partisan organizations I'm not sure what to suggest. I appreciate your openness on this subject, but I don't know how to reconcile that with an apolitical group's need for a service that is feels welcoming to all of its members.
Mark

Following up on Shal's.

Let's be honest that "advertising" or "not advertising" supporting any cause, left right or center, isn't going to make or break you or IO.  However, you stated the precise issue most succinctly - you don't want to make any group's life harder.    Don't worry, be happy. - life should be simpler not more difficult.  Can't be more simply stated, only obfuscated by drawing in side issues.

That's the root and only issue, not the $ or to which cause, or whether it's divisive, or how it's funded, or how many members (that we know of fewer than on one Labrador's paw) have been put off by any political advocacy.   The effect is on the innocent, not to the objectors -- in the instant example a group owner who (I figure could care less but) has to dance a jig and bob and weave because of the advertisement, which also affects all group members.because of (one? maybe more, who knows) objections.  I've suggested that they make it the objector's problem (in this instance) but that just ignores the root cause.  The objector(s) must have too little hobbies because who researches the donation/advocacy policy of a forum group?  Still, "that's not the point," as they say.

The obfuscation re: what other companies support (left right or center) or doesn't apply -- their policies might affect the bottom line but don't make innocents' lives more difficult.  One could conjure up a scenario where an organizer of a MAGA picnic is forced to find another with ice cream supplier, but s/he chooses to be associated with that event -- but a policy doesn't really affect anyone involved -- and individuals can decide what they eat or not.  Thousands of peeps on an IO or Y! group can't individually choose onto which ocean their Admiral moves their ship.  Hell, a handful can't usually decide where to have lunch.  Moreover, it's unproductive to force the Admiral to choose between values if it's a non-political group, and especially so if politics is banned from the forum discussions.  That's would be pretty high up on the hypocrisy scale.
 
The particular smooth transfer of the instant group (whichever it is) already has a BBQ fork in it.  No change is going to erase the brain of Y! members who already object (to in their minds the "IO agenda") so to speak.  And it has little to do with this topic -- it's not the current issue at all, merely evidence of the potential effect.

A question is really the solution.  Is the intention -- and take this as a question not any sort of judgement -- simply to support a cause, which can be done w/o alienating anyone, or is it intended to be an "in your face" political statement -- and if so it should continue that way, but suggest it be well known to prospective group owners -- and to hell with the effect on an infinitesimal number of innocents it might affect in the future -- it's your right to make a group go elsewhere if members don't like your advocacy.


moderated Re: Paid vs free policy- request

Donald Hellen
 

Mark . . .

On Tue, 21 May 2019 22:57:49 -0700, "Shal Farley" <shals2nd@gmail.com>
wrote:


If you really want to have Groups.io directly make in-kind donations to
politically partisan organizations I'm not sure what to suggest. I
appreciate your openness on this subject, but I don't know how to
reconcile that with an apolitical group's need for a service that is
feels welcoming to all of its members.
Shal has a point, but I think you could support that organization
behind the scenes. Instead of advertising on GIO that you will give
free premium group status to their members, just let them know
directly and not on the pages of GIO.

I don't really care myself about this, but looking at it from an
impartial viewpoint and how some have taken offense to it, if you let
the organization know what you are willing to do for their members
through their newsletter, you would achieve your goals and not get
others upset over what you're doing.

Donald


----------------------------------------------------


Join the Icom group, a general Icom (amateur radio) discussion
group on Groups.io:
https://groups.io/g/ICOM (recently launched, growing slowly)
**also, a new self-help group dedicated to your cat's health:
https://groups.io/g/CatVet (just launched)


moderated Re: Paid vs free policy- request

 

On Wed, May 22, 2019 at 07:35 AM, HR Tech wrote:
I completely respect Mark for being willing if anything to compromise profits to stand by his values and being honest and transparent in all aspects of Groups.io.
Same here. AND (sorry, caps) I don't think it will compromise profits in any way, shape, or form in any case.
 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: Paid vs free policy- request

toki
 

On 5/21/19 8:40 AM, Shal Farley wrote:
In the case of the PTA group it is conceivable that PTA bylaws could be cited to prohibit me from running the unit's email list here.
In light of Mark's message dated 20190521 14:33:45 -0700, Message ID
<CAEO096pBb3J5VbwNRsxR4ux4QTH5N=7jSueAN-aOojA4kcLe_g@mail.gmail.com> ),
can you elaborate on how that would work?

jonathon


moderated Re: Paid vs free policy- request

Maria
 

On Tue, May 21, 2019 at 05:34 PM, Mark Fletcher wrote:
What changes would you propose?
Not Shal - but some thoughts and suggestions below:

Having now read the post in GMF that Ken K is referring to in his posts, and gotten over my initial annoyance with the tone of the original post in this topic - I find myself still struggling with:
 
- The fact that we are having this debate because two - yes two -  members of a current Yahoo group  (whose owner would like to transfer to Groups.io and who has stated he doesn’t personally care about what groups Groups.io upgrades for free) have some kind of delusion and distorted perception that revenue from premium groups is used to “finance the promotion of the left-wing political view”. I mean, I can’t even, 🙄. Not sure where to begin with that one, so will leave it right there. 
 
- That even if Groups.io didn’t explicitly state which groups are eligible for a free upgrade, those 2 people, I am sure,  would simply refuse anyway given who the company belongs to and the fact that Mark is transparent and open  about the causes and values he supports, and that Groups.io is crystal clear about those groups they will NOT host - as clearly stated in their terms.
 
Now that 2017 is 2 years ago - and Groups.io has grown globally, I would suggest the following :
 
For Groups.io to set up a “values” page:

Like Ben & Jerry's: https://www.benjerry.com/values
Like Twitter: https://about.twitter.com/en_us/values/twitter-for-good.html
Like T-Mobile: https://www.t-mobile.com/responsibility/community
Like AT&T: https://about.att.com/csr/home/issue-brief-builder/people/international-highlights.html
Like Microsoft: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/philanthropies
Like Eileen Fisher: https://www.eileenfisher.com/grants/grants-overview/
Like Whole Foods: https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/mission-values/caring-communities
And many more.
 
There are companies who show their support for causes through advertising. For example: Target/Ben&Jerry’s/Levis/Tide/JCPenney/Amazon/The Gap/Chobani and even Doritos and Budweiser all did ads in support of same sex marriages - for example. Or companies that have done ads in support of women’s rights, civil rights, against racism - etc. [Cause Marketing - ie: attach yourself to a cause to a) show support and b) gain clients by doing so - and maybe even lose some]
 
There are companies who show their support to causes through the establishment of foundations that give charitably -see above and:
https://www.verizon.com/about/responsibility/grant-requirements
http://fortune.com/2016/06/22/fortune-500-most-charitable-companies/
 
There are companies that directly fund politics/ politicians in the USA via PACS. It's all easily found online.
 
And there are companies who offer reduced/subsidized rates to groups, members of organizations, or categories of individuals. 
 
What I hear those who object to the current statement on the pricing page say is to take a don’t ask/don’t tell kind of approach. I find that distasteful, lacking in transparency, and much worse than the current mention of one progressive grassroots (diverse) coalition. 
 
This idea that groups.io is advertising for a group by merely mentioning which groups are eligible for a free upgrade or is somehow rubbing something in people's faces is countered by all the links above. For exanple: is Twitter advertising for all these orgs too then?: https://about.twitter.com/en_us/values/twitter-for-good/twitter-for-good-partners.html
 
I completely respect Mark for being willing if anything to compromise profits to stand by his values and being honest and transparent in all aspects of Groups.io.
If the way Groups.io can contribute to groups/causes/orgs, it feels will make the world a better place is by comping their upgrade fee - then it makes sense for that to be on the pricing page, and my suggestions is for it to now be with a link to a Values page. 
 
Whether it’s a specific list of identified groups that qualify based on the company’s values, or a general statement with specific criteria required in order to qualify - I don’t think it matters. But I prefer transparency and specific lists like you see on twitters partnerships and on public releases of recipients of grants like this:
https://benandjerrysfoundation.org/grantees/


Either way, I can guarantee that the 2 members that one group owner is struggling with won’t like it anyway. To that Group owner who is wondering what to do about those two members who have somehow taken something, distorted it, and blown it way out of proportion - and created essentially a conspiracy theory - and are using it to manipulate you - it sounds like you have bigger fish to fry with those folks,oh - and make sure you don't serve Ben & Jerry's then at your next in person meeting, cause that might not go down well either.
 
I don’t think I have anything else to add that hasn’t already been said. 
 
Maria


moderated Re: Paid vs free policy- request

 

Mark,

Is the issue more that a group that perhaps not all of your members
like is mentioned on the pricing page, ...
Yes. The issue is both the nature of the organization (partisan political agenda) and it being subsidized by Groups.io as a service.

or is it that I would support that group at all ...
No, your money is your money.

I've tried to be extremely clear that my objection has nothing to do with the particular agenda, but with the fact that it is a divisive agenda. I believe that divisiveness is potentially harmful to every apolitical group that uses Groups.io, or that might want to move here, and is therefore bad for Groups.io as a business.

(myself and Groups.io being basically the same thing)?
I disagree on pragmatic grounds that you should treat Groups.io as basically the same thing as yourself. If the service is to outlast your active interest in running it, if it is intended to be a viable business in its own right, the two cannot remain fungible. To misquote a recent obsession, "Kill the toy, let the corporation be born."

I certainly don't want to make group owners' lives more difficult. But
I also have my beliefs and would like Groups.io to support things I
believe are good. What changes would you propose?
My preference: choose organizations that do good, rather than organizations that divide our members along partisan lines.

If you really want to have Groups.io directly make in-kind donations to politically partisan organizations I'm not sure what to suggest. I appreciate your openness on this subject, but I don't know how to reconcile that with an apolitical group's need for a service that is feels welcoming to all of its members.

Also, I'm a bit surprised no one has mentioned the list of group
subjects I explicitly don't allow (like anti-vaxxers, alt-right,
conspiracy theories, etc). I guess I'm not clear how the two wouldn't
raise the same concerns.
I think in part that J's right for the current instance: it hasn't been noticed. The only place I know of where that is listed is on the Create A Group page - a page my group members are unlikely to visit. To the extent that list offends anyone (and I'm not implying that it does or should) such a person would likely just close the page and look for another service.

But the other part of it is that excluding certain kinds of advocacy groups from your service is, I think, qualitatively different than having what is effectively a partisan declaration on your pricing page. The former does not drive a wedge between the members of apolitical groups, the latter does.

Shal


moderated Re: Need help figuring out a policy on this

 

As the postings here have shown, it´s not an easy thing…

I have two examples to add to this issue:

-        In a Yahoo group I was a member of, the owner had “disappeared” and was not reachable over years (mail, telephone, etc.). The two existing moderators tried to keep the group running all this time. Very hard job for both, their disparate opinions creating additional conflicts among members. In the end both moderators left the group. One of the two founded a new forum, the other one changed to an already existing yahoo group and was made moderator there. Each person took along her followers. The whole thing cost a lot of nerves since it implicated troublesome procedures for a long time. The acutal problem here was the missing co-owner.

-        In a Yahoo group in which I was a moderator, the founder and owner lost interest in the group after a few years and “disappeared” gradually. For years she could not decide to pass ownership on to someone else. Since I felt very connected to the group, I helped manage it for a couple of years as well as I could. But since I was not able to take owner-related decisions, non-solvable issues arose. At last I could convince the owner to pass ownership on to a moderator of her confidence. This achieved, the new owner died a few years later, but she had learned from experience and was smart enough to make someone co-owner in time. This new co-owner manages the group since then and moved it successfully to I.O. in 2018. It´s a cats health group called “siebenkatzenleben”. I am co-owner there.

In the case of my own yahoo group (cushinghundevital) which I founded in 2006 and which I moved to I.O. in 2018 and learning from all those experience, I made one of my moderators (and good friend) co-owner. The above experience showed me that you never know what can happen to you, no matter how old or healthy you are. I know it´s natural for people to have disagreements or even conflicts, so there is no perfect solution for this issue but trying to stay in touch among moderators and owners. Discussing divergencies any time they occur might help them to stay befriended. That´s my policy anyway.

The idea that a co-owner dismisses the founder, is something hard to imagine, but it seems to happen as your example shows.

I also like the idea of a special status as founder or alternatively the idea that the founder of a group cannot be removed by someone else, but I do not know if this is technically achievable. As to the question if a group founder could be “wrong” - as someone wrote – I do believe that the group of the founder is and stays his or her group, and even if he might be “wrong” from the point of view of a member, moderator or co-owner, then this may be so, but it´s still his or her group. Besides, the dissenting person can always try to address the owner or leave the group if there is no consensus possible. To solve conflicts by throwing each other out of the game is - in my opinion - the worst solution possible, as my two furry family members would state:

 

Peace

Victoria

 


moderated Re: Feature Requests

 

However the original post reads Automatic notification to owners and moderators when files, photos are uploaded would be very helpful... which is not the same thing as an optional notification to members when something is uploaded, which currently exists for Files if not Photos.
Exactly. I am not talking about the notification box I can click when I upload a file. I am talking about an additional feature within the moderator and owner notifications such as below:
Notifications
Email when there are messages needing approval.
Email when there are members needing approval.
Email when a member joins/leaves this group.
Email when group storage limits are reached.
Email when someone creates or deletes a subgroup.
Email when someone reports a message.
my suggestion: "Email when someone uploads a file or a photo."
If a moderator or owner does not want to be notified, then there is no need to affirm.

Victoria
 


moderated Re: Feature Requests

 

to miss" smething means thst you once had it or the ability to use it on groups.io.
to the best of my knowledge these did not exist here.
No, they do not. It is a feature yahoo has, and since my group was moved from there, I said I miss it.
Sorry for not understandable abbreviations. I was sure everyone understands s.o. as someone and s.th. as something...

Victoria

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