Date   

locked Re: First Impressions of Groups.io

 


On 7 November 2014 16:22, Mark Fletcher <markf@corp.groups.io> wrote:
You're not the first person who's said their FB group gets significantly more traffic than their Yahoo Group. I'm trying to understand the reasons why that seems to be the general case. Is it just a function of FB having massive traffic?

​Hi Mark,​
 

​No - a private FB group gets only group traffic, so a small group is a quiet backwater.
 
Or do their groups have a set of features or are set up in a particular way that encourages this?
 

​Yes.

The group I mentioned that has both FB and Yahoo versions has a wide demography​ - I've got a few dinosaurs who write impeccable English and rather more youngsters with limited vocabularies. Both wish to communicate - the dinosaurs think that Zuckerberg is the devil incarnate, the youngsters wish they could write like the dinosaurs but prefer short comments and pictures posted from their mobile (cell) phones, would be embarrassed to attempt any sort of prose and are thus easily seduced by FB.

Even I, a prime dinosaur, have been infected; last weekend I was at an engineers' reunion and wanted to post a "look what I'm doing" note to the engineering group. I only had my iPhone; with FB it's a couple of taps - I wouldn't even countenance attempting to post a photo to the Yahoo group.

In my view a group must have a mobile version or it will die. More and more people possess only mobile phones or tablets. IMHO you will have to cater for them with an iOS and Android app.

​regards,
Ian​




--


locked Re: Calendar is live

 

Mark,

And I really wanted to avoid having a second, group timezone, because
I think that'd be totally confusing.
I think the experience with Yahoo Groups' calendar proves you right on that. Of course they failed every opportunity to explain it clearly, so there was likely more confusion than needed be.

Event reminders are not added to the archive. They're treated as
notifications, like when moderators are notified of pending messages.
Reminders didn't feel like the type of message that should be in the
archives. Plus you have the varying timezone issue, as you pointed
out. Do you think they should be added to the archives?
I do. Or if not actually in the archives, then prominently displayed somehow when a member looks at the archive.

One of the common use cases in Yahoo Groups are members that elect to have no email delivery, who read the group's archives instead. They've been clamoring for Yahoo to track which messages they've read and be able to show them "new" messages, just as many forums do, but that's a whole other issue.

Also, I don't send out a message when an event is created. Should I
add that feature?
That could be a sort of a special case of a reminder, one with "now" as its set time. I haven't looked yet to see how your reminders are set up, but if the user can set up more than one or two of them perhaps "now" could be just another choice. In any case, I'd make it optional.

-- Shal


locked Re: Roadmap

 

Thanks Shal. I must do some research to find out what the rules are, and then
try to adjust the hit counters on my site accordingly.

Jim

On 6 Nov 2014 at 19:10, Shal Farley wrote:

Jim,

Would the count be confined to "real" hits, or would it include visits
by search engine spiders?
Ideally "real" hits, I would think.

Is there any way to distinguish them?
Beyond my knowledge. As I understand it there are rules spiders are supposed to
follow, but perhaps not all do.

-- Shal
--
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: Calendar is live

 

Hi Shal,

On Fri, Nov 7, 2014 at 11:36 AM, Shal Farley <shal@...> wrote:
Mark,

> When calendar events are created, we store the timezone of the person
> creating the event as the event's timezone.

That's an excellent default, but in a geographically dispersed group the member creating the calendar event may not be at the location of the physical event - such users may need a way to specify the event's timezone independent of their own.


The way I thought about it was that the most important timezone is the one that a given user is in, and I should always try to show them dates and times in their own timezone. If they're going to a physical event, it seems like they'd be in the timezone for that event anyways. And I really wanted to avoid having a second, group timezone, because I think that'd be totally confusing. Actually, I didn't want a user timezone either, I wanted it all to be automatic, but I think this is an ok compromise.

 
> Every event reminder email is customized to the particular
> subscriber's timezone.

Wow. I'm not sure how many unique time-zone jurisdictions there are (many more than 24 I know) so that's a lot of custom engraving on the outbound reminders. And what happens to the reminder in the archive? Use the event's time zone?

Event reminders are not added to the archive. They're treated as notifications, like when moderators are notified of pending messages. Reminders didn't feel like the type of message that should be in the archives. Plus you have the varying timezone issue, as you pointed out. Do you think they should be added to the archives?

Also, I don't send out a message when an event is created. Should I add that feature?


And then I suppose there are hybrid events: where one might attend physically or via telecommunications. Meh. I guess as long as the text of the reminder message says what time zone was used to express the time then one can always figure it out.

Reminders do include the timezone that the dates are in.

Thanks!
Mark 


locked Re: Calendar is live

 

Mark,

When calendar events are created, we store the timezone of the person
creating the event as the event's timezone.
That's an excellent default, but in a geographically dispersed group the member creating the calendar event may not be at the location of the physical event - such users may need a way to specify the event's timezone independent of their own.

Every event reminder email is customized to the particular
subscriber's timezone.
Wow. I'm not sure how many unique time-zone jurisdictions there are (many more than 24 I know) so that's a lot of custom engraving on the outbound reminders. And what happens to the reminder in the archive? Use the event's time zone?

I had been thinking about whether that would be a good idea or not. The problem I see is there are two distinct use cases. One kind of event happens everywhere at once (a conference call, a webinar, a comet touchdown) and so for those having the date/time adjusted to each member's local time makes sense. And in this day and age you may not be wrong to assume that most events discussed in an email list will be of this type.

The other kind of event is tied to a place (a concert, a seminar, a flash mob) where the members are supposed to be in physical attendance. For those one would not expect the event reminder to be adjusted - just as one's airline ticket always shows your departure and arrival times in the local time of the relevant airport -- you will be there, then, in that local time.

And then I suppose there are hybrid events: where one might attend physically or via telecommunications. Meh. I guess as long as the text of the reminder message says what time zone was used to express the time then one can always figure it out.

--Shal


locked Re: about messages from non-members

Laurence Taylor
 

On 07/11/2014 06:51, J. Faulkner wrote:
Laurence, sorry for the delay in replying to your concern in #3.

There is no special software that is used. Yahoo Groups has a Photos
option where photos are put in albums. On the buyer group that I
moderate, we create a set of albums each month with various sewing
type categories and all of the members that are selling items can
post photos of their item the applicable album. Each photo must have
required information on each one. In order to do this in Yahoo
Groups, you have to load the photo in the album and then click on
Edit and the two lines will appear and the seller fills it in and
does a save.

Sellers are not allowed to attach photos in their ad. If there is a
photo, they state what album it is in.
I follow now, thanks.



--
rgds
LAurence


locked Re: Is it better for the home screen to be group details or an archive of previous messages?

David P. Dillard
 

It is my opinion that Groups.IO is the best alternative to Yahoo Groups that I am aware of and I have seen a number of other group services. If your Yahoo Group has an archive, I recommend keeping your Yahoo Group so that your group's posting history remains intact.



Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
(215) 204 - 4584
jwne@...

On Fri, 7 Nov 2014, Frances wrote:

I have a private family only group so the setting is "archives are visible to subscribers only". That's the way I want it because the group is
restricted to approved members only. I understand that many people want to market their groups, but mine would be mostly invitation-only.  We
have a Yahoo Group and plan to move over to Groups.io


locked Re: Calendar is live

 

Nerdy technical information here:

Forgot to mention how timezones are handled. Timezones only matter for displaying the calendar and for reminders. Every user has a timezone setting now, in their profile. We auto detect what timezone a user's browser is in when they register or when they login, and automatically set their timezone if it isn't already set. When calendar events are created, we store the timezone of the person creating the event as the event's timezone. There is no group timezone.

So, if we're emailing a calendar reminder to someone who's timezone we don't know (because they registered through email, haven't logged into the site since we rolled out the calendar, etc), we use the event's timezone to figure out a time to show in the reminder. Every event reminder email is customized to the particular subscriber's timezone.


Mark

On Fri, Nov 7, 2014 at 10:10 AM, Mark Fletcher <markf@corp.groups.io> wrote:
Hi All,

I pushed the calendar to the live site. The default for every group is that moderators/owners can edit the calendar and members can view it. You can change this in Settings.

Calendars are tricky beasts; no doubt there will be bugs. Please let me know if you find anything or have suggestions. I'll announce it on updates some time next week.

Thanks!
Mark


locked Calendar is live

 

Hi All,

I pushed the calendar to the live site. The default for every group is that moderators/owners can edit the calendar and members can view it. You can change this in Settings.

Calendars are tricky beasts; no doubt there will be bugs. Please let me know if you find anything or have suggestions. I'll announce it on updates some time next week.

Thanks!
Mark


locked Re: First Impressions of Groups.io

 

Ian,

On Fri, Nov 7, 2014 at 2:42 AM, Ian Gillis <tessel.bas@...> wrote:

Good. I've got a Yahoo group for which I created a parallel Facebook Group. My intention was for people to tinker with FB to see if they liked it. The FB group now gets much more traffic and has attracted twice the membership. One reason is that the few "generators of information" are encouraged by the "like" feedback - they know that their efforts have not been in vain. Whereas they could generate​ an enormously useful post on Yahoo but become totally discouraged by the feeling that no-one had read or appreciated it.

You're not the first person who's said their FB group gets significantly more traffic than their Yahoo Group. I'm trying to understand the reasons why that seems to be the general case. Is it just a function of FB having massive traffic? Or do their groups have a set of features or are set up in a particular way that encourages this? I think you're right that Likes improve usage, for example.

Thanks,
Mark 


locked Re: about messages from non-members

 

Hi Judy,

On Thu, Nov 6, 2014 at 10:59 PM, J. Faulkner <jfaulkner44@...> wrote:


Also, I can’t remember reading where groups.io would be having automated messages that would go out at various times, such as when someone joins, when someone is approve, leaves group, etc..  That’s how the potential members of the buying group get the message requesting the required information.

 

Those are called Member Notices. To access them, go to the Settings page for your group. The bi-weekly and monthly notices are going away when the calendar launches, btw.


Mark


locked Re: Is it better for the home screen to be group details or an archive of previous messages?

Frances
 

I have a private family only group so the setting is "archives are visible to subscribers only". That's the way I want it because the group is restricted to approved members only. I understand that many people want to market their groups, but mine would be mostly invitation-only.  We have a Yahoo Group and plan to move over to Groups.io


locked Re: First Impressions of Groups.io

 


On 6 November 2014 23:30, Mark Fletcher <markf@corp.groups.io> wrote:
I'd definitely 'like' (yuck yuck) to add likes as well. I forgot to include that in the roadmap.



Hi Mark,

Good. I've got a Yahoo group for which I created a parallel Facebook Group. My intention was for people to tinker with FB to see if they liked it. The FB group now gets much more traffic and has attracted twice the membership. One reason is that the few "generators of information" are encouraged by the "like" feedback - they know that their efforts have not been in vain. Whereas they could generate​ an enormously useful post on Yahoo but become totally discouraged by the feeling that no-one had read or appreciated it.

An allied reason is that not everyone is totally proficient in the use of the words; some far prefer to make a one-word comment or tick a "like" button than embark on a piece of deathless prose…

regards,
Ian



--


locked Re: Tech details

Judy F.
 

Mark, as you can imagine, I didn’t know half of what you were talking about, but when I read where Yahoo Groups started out as your creation, I was totally impressed.  Wow! 

 

Thanks for sharing the information.

 

Judy F.

SW Florida - USA

 

From: Mark Fletcher [mailto:markf@corp.groups.io]
Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2014 1:15 PM
To: beta@groups.io
Subject: [beta] Tech details

 

fyi, if anyone is interested in some of the technical details behind groups.io, I've started posting about it over on my blog. http://wingedpig.com

 

Mark


locked Re: about messages from non-members

Judy F.
 

Hi Mark, thanks for the note.  You definitely have a non-nerd here!  Sometimes thing are being said and if we non-nerds don’t understand what is being discussed, it hard to say that will or won’t work. 

 

It’s nice to have members, but I prefer to have those that will stay and not join and unsubscribe in a couple of days.  As long as the ‘guest’ subscription or whatever the final name will be allows the moderator/owner to approve it, then it sounds OK.  Like I mentioned in my other note, the buying group requires all people who join to provide the required information.  That’s why it’s important that nothing happens without being pended first. 

 

Also, I can’t remember reading where groups.io would be having automated messages that would go out at various times, such as when someone joins, when someone is approve, leaves group, etc.  That’s how the potential members of the buying group get the message requesting the required information.

 

Thanks so much for doing this and having the beta group for input. 

 

Judy F.

SW Florida - USA

 

From: Mark Fletcher [mailto:markf@corp.groups.io]
Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2014 11:21 AM
To: beta@groups.io
Subject: Re: [beta] about messages from non-members

 

Hi Judy,

 

Thanks for the feedback. I'm constantly concerned about making the system as easy to use as possible, and I do worry whenever adding a new feature that it adds to the complexity of the system. I depend on people like you (non-nerds :) ) for feedback and suggestions, because I, as a nerd, sometimes don't realize when something is too complicated or techy.

 

As I'm sure you know, one of the 'pain points' of email groups is getting people subscribed to them. That's why I'm interested in figuring out this 'guest subscription' idea, because it could help people with subscription issues. Rest assured that any feature added will not compromise the owner's complete control of their group, including who can post and who can subscribe.

 

Thanks,

Mark

 

On Mon, Nov 3, 2014 at 5:03 PM, J. Faulkner <jfaulkner44@...> wrote:

Mark, since all groups aren’t used as discussion groups, so to speak, I would like for you to keep something in mind.  I moderate a group that is a buying and selling group.

 

1) All messages submitted as ads and they are pended for approve my the moderator.  Once that message is approved and posts on the group, from then on the discussions is between the seller and potential buyer personally.  So the potential buyer will do a reply in the group to the seller to discuss things..  Same thing if they are sending the message through their email program.  At no time, does that conversation appear on the group again. 

2) All members are pended for approval until that member provides specific information to the group name_owner@.....  I then approve or deny that request.   No members can join by sending an email request where they would automatically be approved as a member. 

3) All photos are posted by sellers of items they had submitted an ad for.  They have to provide required information on each photo that is done by posting the photo, click Edit and then adding the information on the two available lines below the photo. 

 

Based on what I’ve described, will groups.io allow all of this to happen without jumping through hoops to perform?

 

One more thing, like I’ve said I have read all of the messages and some things I understand and others sound way to complicated and technical.  Not that they aren’t good ideas, but just too complicated and technical for those of us that aren’t super techs like Shal.  I believe that’s part of the Neo problem now.  Instead of using the philosophy of ‘keep it simple stupid’, they are providing all of these bells and whistles that a lot of the groups don’t need or want and only half work.   So many of the members, moderators and owners of the various sewing/embroidery groups on Yahoo Groups are not computer literate or very little, so hopefully you are aware of this and keep those people in mind.  Same thing with those that are visually impaired.  That was a big issue when Neo was dropped on us.  Those people could no longer navigate the groups  because no one thought about that issue when they were doing their great job of developing this new Neo.  (This was said with tongue in cheek. LOL)

 

There is such a diverse group of people on Yahoo Groups that use the groups for different things, I’m afraid that if they aren’t providing some type of input in this Beta (maybe because they don’t even know about this), that their needs aren’t going to be met.

 

Sorry this was so long.

 

Thanks for all the work you have already done on this new venture.

  

 

Judy Faulkner

SW Florida - USA

 

From: Mark Fletcher [mailto:markf@corp.groups.io]
Sent: Monday, November 03, 2014 4:08 PM
To: beta@groups.io
Subject: Re: [beta] about messages from non-members

 

Cherrill,

 

If I add this feature, it will be something you can turn on or off. Here's how it would work (if turned on for your group):

 

A non-member sends a message to your group

It looks like a pending message to you, ie. you'll get a notification that you need to approve or reject it

If you approve it, the person is given an 'instant subscription' to your group and is set to receive only replies to their message

You will be able to see these instant subscriptions in your member list, and can unsubscribe or ban these people

 

A couple of things I haven't figured out yet:

 

There will be some mechanism to convert these instant subscriptions to normal subscriptions, which may very depending on whether the group is restricted or not (ie. requires approval before joining the group)

Does the user have to confirm their subscription or not?

 

Make sense? Please let me know what you think.

 

Thanks,

Mark

 

 

On Mon, Nov 3, 2014 at 1:03 PM, Cherrill <cdjamieson@...> wrote:

I have a question about this because I am not sure I understand.

 

I own a group here so does this mean that someone who isn't a member of my group can send an email to my group via instant subscription.  

 

Cherrill

I've learned that being kind is more important than being right.

 

On Nov 3, 2014, at 1:13 PM, Mark Fletcher <markf@corp.groups.io> wrote:

 

On Mon, Nov 3, 2014 at 10:23 AM, Shal Farley <shal@...> wrote:


> And what should we call these? Temporary subscriptions?

Perhaps "instant subscriptions". It has a more positive connotation, and doesn't imply a time limit where there is none (they're limited to a thread, which may continue indefinitely). Or "reply-only subscriptions", which is descriptive (but a bit of a mouthful).

 

I like instant subscriptions.

 

Here's a possible hitch I've come up with. If you are not a Groups.io user at all, and send a message to a group and are instantly subscribed, you've effectively bypassed the email confirmation step and could receive email from the group without being opted-in. Do I have a confirmation step in there somewhere? Am I worrying too much about this?

 

Thanks,

Mark

 

 

 


locked Re: about messages from non-members

Judy F.
 

Laurence, sorry for the delay in replying to your concern in #3.

There is no special software that is used. Yahoo Groups has a Photos option where photos are put in albums. On the buyer group that I moderate, we create a set of albums each month with various sewing type categories and all of the members that are selling items can post photos of their item the applicable album. Each photo must have required information on each one. In order to do this in Yahoo Groups, you have to load the photo in the album and then click on Edit and the two lines will appear and the seller fills it in and does a save.

Sellers are not allowed to attach photos in their ad. If there is a photo, they state what album it is in.

Hope this clarifies item #3.

Thanks,



Judy F.
SW Florida - USA

-----Original Message-----
From: Laurence Taylor [mailto:g7mzh@...]
Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2014 10:08 AM
To: beta@groups.io
Subject: Re: [beta] about messages from non-members

On 04/11/2014 01:03, J. Faulkner wrote:
Mark, since all groups aren’t used as discussion groups, so to speak,
I would like for you to keep something in mind. I moderate a group
that is a buying and selling group.

1) All messages submitted as ads and they are pended for approve my
the moderator. Once that message is approved and posts on the group,
from then on the discussions is between the seller and potential buyer
personally. So the potential buyer will do a reply in the group to
the seller to discuss things. Same thing if they are sending the
message through their email program. At no time, does that
conversation appear on the group again.
This sounds like the "Reply to Sender" option (as opposed to "Reply to List"). Does Groups.Io have this facility?


2) All members are
pended for approval until that member provides specific information to
the group name_owner@.... I then approve or deny that
request. No members can join by sending an email request where they
would automatically be approved as a member.
I think this was a bug in Yahoo groups whereby joining by email could bypass the approval process. Mark, do you have the means to send a prepared file to applicants, regardless of how they join or apply to join?


3) All photos are posted
by sellers of items they had submitted an ad for. They have to
provide required information on each photo that is done by posting the
photo, click Edit and then adding the information on the two available
lines below the photo.
I don't follow this; it sounds like you're using specific software to do that. Can't they just send the photo with their post? (Or are the photos stored separately from the posts?)


Thanks for all the work you have already done on this new venture.
Seconded.

--
rgds
LAurence


locked Re: Roadmap

 

Jim,

Would the count be confined to "real" hits, or would it include visits
by search engine spiders?
Ideally "real" hits, I would think.

Is there any way to distinguish them?
Beyond my knowledge. As I understand it there are rules spiders are supposed to follow, but perhaps not all do.

-- Shal


locked Re: Is it better for the home screen to be group details or an archive of previous messages?

 

Mark,

The group name should be displayed on every page at the top, basically
directly to the right of the 'Home' link in the sidebar. Is it not
showing up for you? Should it be made more prominent?
Hmm... Now that I see it I remember seeing it previously. But last night I must have been blind or something.

Never mind.

-- Shal


locked Re: Is it better for the home screen to be group details or an archive of previous messages?

Judy F.
 

Chris, Yahoo Groups  allows you to see a few messages on the About page when you access the group.  From there you can then select the option you want.  Maybe if something similar to that could be set up.  

 

I want my potential members to be able to access the group, read about it to see if it is suitable to their needs and then join or not join. 

 

Currently Yahoo Groups has various options that can be set on how you view conversations, photos, etc.  I would think if members had an option to select where they want to appear when they access the group is better than forcing all members to see conversations.  Again, since there is such a variety of groups, there needs to be more options so each member can see what they want when they access the group. 

 

Judy F.

SW Florida - USA

 

From: Chris Leong [mailto:walkraft@...]
Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2014 5:03 AM
To: beta@groups.io
Subject: [beta] Is it better for the home screen to be group details or an archive of previous messages?

 

I wonder if people would be more likely to join a group if the messages were displayed first, rather than the group information page, once the group has a few messages.

 

Additionally, seeing that page each time you come back to the group probably is less useful given that you are more likely to want to see the messages, then the group information that you've seen fifty times before.


locked Re: First Impressions of Groups.io

 

I'd definitely 'like' (yuck yuck) to add likes as well. I forgot to include that in the roadmap.

Thanks,
Mark

On Thu, Nov 6, 2014 at 12:03 PM, Ian Gillis <tessel.bas@...> wrote:
Here's a case where I'd like to acknowledge receipt of your thoughtful message, but don't have anything to add. In this case Facebook has a "Like" feature - which is a simple click.

Maybe something to bear in mind?

regards,
Ian

On 6 November 2014 18:38, Mark Fletcher <markf@corp.groups.io> wrote:
Ian,

Thanks so much for the feedback. It looks like after I complete the calendar (next day or so), I should work on the file section next.

Thanks,
Mark

On Thu, Nov 6, 2014 at 2:02 AM, Ian Gillis <tessel.bas@...> wrote:

I own a number of Yahoo groups and have been casting around for alternatives - for obvious reasons. I've tried Google Groups and Facebook..

My first impressions of Groups.io are very favourable - the UI is clean, user-friendly, intuitive and attractive, with the better bits of Yahoo Neo plus the minimalism of Google.

My main groups are a mixed bag; a help group for expatriates in France, a group for expat engineers, a former employees group and a golf society group.

The following are the facilities I would like to see added ASAP:

A File Section

A Link Directory

The following would be nice but isn't immediately essential:

A Photo section (being able to post inline or attached photos in messages answers the primary need for photos).

I have no need for:

Database

Polls

I hope this helps and I wish those working on groups.io every success in their venture.

regards,

Ian

--
_____________________________________________________
tessel.bas@... or iangillis@...
Site Web http://www..notrevieenfrance.net
Blog http://stecolombedevilleneuve.wordpress.com/







--