Date   

locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

billsf9c
 

Wikipedia has a stumbling blick for me. Each time aI try to donate, I read the P&Qs, and learn they didn't just eant my money... they wanted my name and details beyond what anybody needs... and they demand permission that they can have '3rd party' folks be given/sold the info.

I write them each time and explain my willingness to make a donation but that I won't give other info... lack of which blocks the/my donation.

BillSF9c


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Herb Gellis
 

On Fri, Dec 25, 2020 at 03:24 PM, Bärbel Stephenson wrote:
I am glad that you have found a way that works for you :).
My own personal circumstances are very different by the sound of it and your solution would not work for me.
Barbara
Any chance you could have another co-owner (and you really really should have another co-owner for safety) do the money collecting (i.e., receipt of monetary gifts)?


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Herb Gellis
 

On Fri, Dec 25, 2020 at 12:17 PM, Shal Farley wrote:
Also, maybe there could be donation incentives at the group level, either within the current Donation method and/or within the simplified (no Stripe) method I suggested.

What the perks would be in an email group context it isn't obvious to me either. Some toss-out ideas (each imagined perk being a group option):
(list of perks, that are otherwise restricted by the group)

I don't think anyone should be able to bypass what the group's owners have specified as how the group operates. If on the other hand the group owner(s) are agreeable to allowing (some) members do things (like creating hashtags, post in HTML, etc., as Shai had postulated), then sure these could done as "perks" allowed by payment of a donation, and not allowed otherwise. It doesn't really sit right in my own mind, but it certainly is possible.

The code to implement this should not be actually a lot - added data structure to the definition of each group that indicates which features may be overridden on donation (and the parallel display code in the GIO group definition), each GIO member which shows features they are allowed to override above the groups settings (and the parallel display code in the member definition that allows them to select a perk override), and a small routine that does the member lookup to determine if that member is allowed to do that function.

A small variation on this would be that the perk features would have to be turned on (as opposed to being an override), and then the lookup code would determine if the member had paid and also marked this feature as their choice. Thus, members who haven't donated anything would still not be able to perform this feature, even though the feature was selected as available in the group definition.

Nevertheless, it doesn't sit well with me. There might be some features that a higher level of use might feel ok, if the member paid the donation, but not for all features. Basically, we would be creating a different level of member within each group, based on whether they donate or not.


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Bärbel Stephenson
 

I am glad that you have found a way that works for you :).
My own personal circumstances are very different by the sound of it and your solution would not work for me.
Barbara

On Fri, Dec 25, 2020 at 8:49 PM Herb Gellis <herbg@...> wrote:
On Fri, Dec 25, 2020 at 06:19 AM, Bärbel Stephenson wrote:
If I collect money to pay for a group, that money would be counted as my income (since I would have to collect it) and would be taken off the income I have to live on as legally I would have to declare it.
I thought this was true too, which is one reason I stopped asking for donations to keep a website going in the past (after having spoken to an IRS rep who said if you are collecting money you would have to declare the website as a business, etc.)

Anyway, the way around that, at least here in the U.S., is that people can give small gifts of money to other people, which is not a tax event for either the giver or receiver. So, for the groups.io Premium group I co-own, I now receive small monetary gifts from my friends in the group. The actual limit on gift amount is I believe pretty high, something like $14,000, so a gift of $10-20 each from a group of people is hopefully easy-peasy.


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Herb Gellis
 

On Fri, Dec 25, 2020 at 06:19 AM, Bärbel Stephenson wrote:
If I collect money to pay for a group, that money would be counted as my income (since I would have to collect it) and would be taken off the income I have to live on as legally I would have to declare it.
I thought this was true too, which is one reason I stopped asking for donations to keep a website going in the past (after having spoken to an IRS rep who said if you are collecting money you would have to declare the website as a business, etc.)

Anyway, the way around that, at least here in the U.S., is that people can give small gifts of money to other people, which is not a tax event for either the giver or receiver. So, for the groups.io Premium group I co-own, I now receive small monetary gifts from my friends in the group. The actual limit on gift amount is I believe pretty high, something like $14,000, so a gift of $10-20 each from a group of people is hopefully easy-peasy.


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Ken Schweizer
 

Shal,

Apparently, I didn't explain myself properly. I was referring to the concept of GROUPS.IO making each user a customer and charging each user rather than the group owner.

Ken

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless.
Not to speak is to speak.
Not to act is to act.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer


moderated Rewrite From field in member's own messages when "I always want copies of my own emails" is checked #suggestion

 

Mark,

Earlier I may have opposed rewriting the From field in member's own messages when "I always want copies of my own emails" is checked, but a few factors have changed by viewpoint.

Now I think the option should control the rewriting of both the Message-ID and the From fields when a member's post is sent to their own address.

1) You've since begun using the DMARC rewriting for Gmail users when their messages go back to themselves. That was forced by Gmail's imposition of a BIG scary message on one's own messages when received from Groups.io (and presumably any other email list or forwarding).

2) "Why doesn't this feature work" (referring to that checkbox) has been an ongoing FAQ in GMF. The wording of that option has always seemed too broad to me, and almost no one understands why it only applies to Gmail users (or other Google-powered domains).

3) I've tracked down some cases where a member's email service is clearly rejecting or quarantining messages specifically because they list the member's own email address in the From. I believe the DMARC rewriting would resolve these cases.

This might allow you to eliminate some of the special cases for From rewriting for specific mail domains, when the condition can be replaced by conditioning on this checkbox. You could, as part of this implementation, automatically check the box for any account previously covered by a special case test.

Shal


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

 

Janice,

Could there be a *_Groups.io with ads option _*to eliminate or reduce
the cost for those needing that consideration?
What Donald and others have said.

Yahoo Groups did have discrete two-line text ads in the footers of email messages at one time. They gave up on that really early on because the few advertisers who they could convince to try them gave up on it. The problem with ads in email is that the advertiser can't track if you've seen the ad. Without knowing that, the ad isn't worth paying for.

The later failure of Yahoo Groups likely has many parts, but most assuredly one of them was that advertisers lost faith that their money spent would be effective. I agree with Mark about staying away from that treadmill / arms race.

Shal


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

 

JohnF,

What if, in exchange for $20/year as an individual, I could join any
group that would have me and not count toward their member limit? So
even if a basic group was packed with 100 non-paying members, I could
still join it. A premium group would not have to pay 55 cents per
year for me. Something like that would not be a "donation", where the
person gets no individual benefit over someone who does not donate,
nor would it be a mandatory fee,
I like that idea.

If there are any other special perks that could be given to paying
members, that would be nice, but I don't have any ideas what those
might be at the moment.
Sort of like joining a YouTuber's Discord channel. I like that too.

Also, maybe there could be donation incentives at the group level, either within the current Donation method and/or within the simplified (no Stripe) method I suggested.

What the perks would be in an email group context it isn't obvious to me either. Some toss-out ideas (each imagined perk being a group option):

o Membership in subgroups designated by the group owner as perks (that can be done now, with some bookkeeping, using Restricted membership in the subgroup). But the suggestion here is to reduce the owner's bookkeeping by automating the donation and the granting of the perk.

o The ability to post HTML message content (bypassing the group's Plain Text Only setting).

o The ability to Create Hashtags (if that's otherwise restricted to mods).

o The ability to Upload/Add content in various Feature areas (Hashtags, Chats, Calendar, Photos, Files, Databases, Wiki). This is a level of control that can't be simulated with bookkeeping at the moment.

o The ability to Download the Message Archive.

Shal


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Charles Roberts
 

Given TIME, and changes in circumstances........ANYTHING that has been "cast in stone", is subject to change.

Chuck, CABGx3

On Dec 25, 2020 12:35 PM, Peter Cook <peterscottcook@...> wrote:
On Fri, Dec 18, 2020 at 10:53 AM, Mark Fletcher wrote:
Hi All,
 
Ads are not an option.
For the purposes of planning, I am going to assume that - as is generally the case - Mark means what he says.

Pete


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Peter Cook
 

On Fri, Dec 18, 2020 at 10:53 AM, Mark Fletcher wrote:
Hi All,
 
Ads are not an option.
For the purposes of planning, I am going to assume that - as is generally the case - Mark means what he says.

Pete


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

 

If I go wayyyyyyyy back in time, like to the 1980s, I was a member of several bulletin board systems, accessed by dial-up modem. They had to pay for phone service, quite a lot if they were a multi-line system, and to defray the cost of that, they asked for donations. Donating got a member special perks, like extra time online, access to special sections, or a tag by their name showing their support.

What if, in exchange for $20/year as an individual, I could join any group that would have me and not count toward their member limit? So even if a basic group was packed with 100 non-paying members, I could still join it. A premium group would not have to pay 55 cents per year for me. Something like that would not be a "donation", where the person gets no individual benefit over someone who does not donate, nor would it be a mandatory fee,

If there are any other special perks that could be given to paying members, that would be nice, but I don't have any ideas what those might be at the moment.

Just one more idea.

JohnF


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Charles Roberts
 

I would be willing to bet that there is a LONG line of folks salivating to be able to start putting ads on Gio.  Doubt if any soliciting would be needed......ever.

Chuck, CABGx3



On Dec 25, 2020 12:05 PM, J_Catlady <j.olivia.catlady@...> wrote:

I think Mark has made it pretty clear that he doesn’t want to be in the business of selling advertising. And I don’t blame him. I myself run a business providing and selling service X. I would not in any lifetime consider providing that service free to my customers and selling advertising attached to my service to make a living. It’s not the business I’m in, I have no interest in it, I would probably not be any good at it and would no doubt have to hire yet others to do it, and I’m against in principle foisting ads on my clients do they don’t have to pay. I’m surmising all or most  of the above applies to Mark.
> On Dec 25, 2020, at 8:43 AM, Donald Hellen <donhellen@...> wrote:
>
> Janice . . .
>
>> On Fri, 25 Dec 2020 09:26:49 -0700, "Janice" <jbahrt@...> wrote:
>>
>> Could there be a Groups.io with ads option to eliminate or reduce the cost for those needing that consideration?  The default would be Groups.io without ads and a higher cost per such groups.  Groups willing to suffer through ads could opt out of the default and keep their costs down.
>
> I wondered about this too but it would only work if the members had to
> get their messages at the group web site and not by email.
>
> Yes, ads could be put in the posts emailed out to members but those
> aren't as catchy as the ones on a web site, and some email clients,
> like the one I use, don't render the HTML formatting in a message
> unless I allow it to, as a security precaution. Ads would probably not
> be effective at all in plain text.
>
> Donald -- AD8DY
> Formerly KJ3I
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------
> Some ham radio groups you may be interested in:
> https://groups.io/g/ICOM   https://groups.io/g/Ham-Antennas
> https://groups.io/g/HamRadioHelp    https://groups.io/g/Baofeng
> https://groups.io/g/CHIRP  https://rf-amplifiers.groups.io/g/main
>
>
>
>
>


--
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







locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Charles Roberts
 

Best idea I've heard yet.

Chuck, CABGx3


On Dec 25, 2020 11:26 AM, Janice <jbahrt@...> wrote:
My group is a Premium group grandfathered in from years ago so these changes do not affect me.  I currently pay the $10 a month fee out of my own pocket for my 2000+ group.  I know that if I were not grandfathered in, I would not be able to continue my group.  The headaches of trying to collect donations would not be worth it  There are probably many in that same situation.  BUT,  I know that I would be willing to suffer through some limited number of ads to help Mark make a profit and still keep the cost of Groups.io reasonable for certain groups.  Could there be a Groups.io with ads option to eliminate or reduce the cost for those needing that consideration?  The default would be Groups.io without ads and a higher cost per such groups.  Groups willing to suffer through ads could opt out of the default and keep their costs down. 

Just Saying.

Janice B
New Statler Siblings Group
A group for long arm quilters


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

 

I think Mark has made it pretty clear that he doesn’t want to be in the business of selling advertising. And I don’t blame him. I myself run a business providing and selling service X. I would not in any lifetime consider providing that service free to my customers and selling advertising attached to my service to make a living. It’s not the business I’m in, I have no interest in it, I would probably not be any good at it and would no doubt have to hire yet others to do it, and I’m against in principle foisting ads on my clients do they don’t have to pay. I’m surmising all or most of the above applies to Mark.

On Dec 25, 2020, at 8:43 AM, Donald Hellen <donhellen@roadrunner.com> wrote:

Janice . . .

On Fri, 25 Dec 2020 09:26:49 -0700, "Janice" <jbahrt@gmail.com> wrote:

Could there be a Groups.io with ads option to eliminate or reduce the cost for those needing that consideration? The default would be Groups.io without ads and a higher cost per such groups. Groups willing to suffer through ads could opt out of the default and keep their costs down.
I wondered about this too but it would only work if the members had to
get their messages at the group web site and not by email.

Yes, ads could be put in the posts emailed out to members but those
aren't as catchy as the ones on a web site, and some email clients,
like the one I use, don't render the HTML formatting in a message
unless I allow it to, as a security precaution. Ads would probably not
be effective at all in plain text.

Donald -- AD8DY
Formerly KJ3I


----------------------------------------------------
Some ham radio groups you may be interested in:
https://groups.io/g/ICOM https://groups.io/g/Ham-Antennas
https://groups.io/g/HamRadioHelp https://groups.io/g/Baofeng
https://groups.io/g/CHIRP https://rf-amplifiers.groups.io/g/main




--
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


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Donald Hellen
 

Janice . . .

On Fri, 25 Dec 2020 09:26:49 -0700, "Janice" <jbahrt@gmail.com> wrote:

Could there be a Groups.io with ads option to eliminate or reduce the cost for those needing that consideration? The default would be Groups.io without ads and a higher cost per such groups. Groups willing to suffer through ads could opt out of the default and keep their costs down.
I wondered about this too but it would only work if the members had to
get their messages at the group web site and not by email.

Yes, ads could be put in the posts emailed out to members but those
aren't as catchy as the ones on a web site, and some email clients,
like the one I use, don't render the HTML formatting in a message
unless I allow it to, as a security precaution. Ads would probably not
be effective at all in plain text.

Donald -- AD8DY
Formerly KJ3I


----------------------------------------------------
Some ham radio groups you may be interested in:
https://groups.io/g/ICOM https://groups.io/g/Ham-Antennas
https://groups.io/g/HamRadioHelp https://groups.io/g/Baofeng
https://groups.io/g/CHIRP https://rf-amplifiers.groups.io/g/main


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Janice
 

My group is a Premium group grandfathered in from years ago so these changes do not affect me.  I currently pay the $10 a month fee out of my own pocket for my 2000+ group.  I know that if I were not grandfathered in, I would not be able to continue my group.  The headaches of trying to collect donations would not be worth it  There are probably many in that same situation.  BUT,  I know that I would be willing to suffer through some limited number of ads to help Mark make a profit and still keep the cost of Groups.io reasonable for certain groups.  Could there be a Groups.io with ads option to eliminate or reduce the cost for those needing that consideration?  The default would be Groups.io without ads and a higher cost per such groups.  Groups willing to suffer through ads could opt out of the default and keep their costs down. 

Just Saying.

Janice B
New Statler Siblings Group
A group for long arm quilters


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Sandi D <sandi.asgtechie@...>
 

On Thu, Dec 24, 2020 at 02:20 PM, Scott Chase wrote:
Members really need to have a sense of responsibility in helping to fund the existence of Groups.io. If Members having a sense of responsibility is not addresses at some point, I fear there won't be enough benevolent Owners to keep this thing alive long-term, especially as other competing service inevitably come online (e.g. Google). And losing Groups.io would hurt us ALL,... Mark, Owners and Members alike.
Scott, Thanks for this prospective. Like you, I have created and "own" groups that are not "mine". They belong to others who lack the skills needed to create/own/manage a group. I have no desire to impose myself as their "money collector".

I don't want to create multiple Stripe accounts. Believe me the true owners (governance boards) are not capable and/or desirous of creating a Stripe account either. I don't want to create or manage even one Stripe account and keep tabs on what is being collected from whom and which group needs more money to pay their GIO bill. Its not a nightmare I want to delve into. 

Nor am I willing to bump a "free" group up to Premium to donate to GIO. That makes sense if I truly saw myself as the GIO Group Owner but I don't. I am only an Owner in the eyes of GIO because that is to only way I can access the functional menus and safeguard the group's continued existence. 

I contribute annually to many free Wikis and other free online services. I use them and I feel sense of belonging and pride to be able to donate to them. I would most definitely donate periodically to GIO because I have a GIO member level account. The fact that I have created GIO groups for others or happen to be made an Owner because of my technical abilities does not mean I want to donate on their behalf. 

Before Oct 2019, GIO offered something very different. Seeing the rapid pace of GIO pricing and feature changes over the past 14 months makes me wonder what it will look next year and if clubs and organizations will find it competive with other forum/communication apps and platforms. 

--
Sandi Dickenson


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Bärbel Stephenson
 

I wish there was a way to give money to io groups with no strings attached.

I have a couple of grandfathered groups I will not make into paid groups for a short time and then have to go back to a free group, I do not want to loose the benefits I have because I moved my groups quite some time ago.
Saying that I really value and appreciate io groups and the work Mark Fletcher does and would happily give some money.  It would be great if there was a e.g. PayPal account one could send money to.

Apart from the fact that the chances of my group members picking up the cost of having a paid group, I have an additional problem.  If I collect money to pay for a group, that money would be counted as my income (since I would have to collect it) and would be taken off the income I have to live on as legally I would have to declare it. Most of the groups I own have very many elderly and very elderly and/or disabled members on fixed incomes who usually belong to several (can be quite a lot) of groups.
Barbara

On Thu, Dec 24, 2020 at 7:20 PM Scott Chase <Scott.A.Chase@...> wrote:
I agree with Drew about Members needing to be viewed and treated as Customers, instead of just the "Owners". Many Members even belong to multiple Groups. There needs to be a way for Mark to get money directly from tens of thousands of Members, who far outnumber group Owners [willing to pay for everything with their own money].

I helped move a small group from Yahoo (free). It was created on Yahoo because Yahoo Groups was FREE. I didn't want to see the Yahoo Group just die. So, I even paid the $220 myself to migrate it. But, I didn't create the original Yahoo Group and I don't consider myself its "Owner". This isn't a business for me. I'm a retired IT professional and simply had the skills to help migrate it to Groups.io.

After nearly a year of experience on Groups.io I decided to just downgrade it to Basic, because it was going to be a big hassle for ME to try to raise the money to pay for it otherwise, year after year. I had never used Stripe and I knew I wasn't going to be successful in convincing enough of the Members to do all that Stripe stuff to Donate enough to cover anything. And I wasn't going to spend countless hours of my time trying to get Members (who I've never even met in person), to start donating money through Stripe. I felt bad for Mark when I downgraded, but I just knew I would not be successful at doing all this myself. And to be honest, that's not what I want to be doing now year after year. I suspect there are a lot of groups now with a couple moderators who don't consider themselves owners, like myself. They have just volunteered their time to be moderators.

Now that I've downgraded to a Basic Group here at Groups.io, there's not even a way for our members to pay anymore. I completely understand that Mark needs to make a living doing this, else Groups.io will cease to exist. But, I alone can't save Groups.io. Every time I see these threads about more feature limits, grandfathering and Pricing changes, and then Owners chiming in about this paradox, I think about how this model isn't failing, not just for Mark, but ultimately for all of us if Groups.io goes out of business.

And I always come back to thoughts of Wikipedia, and their story of making it with end-user donations. Wikipedia doesn't try to charge the people who create a Wiki page, putting that page owner on the hook for the cost of its existence, and then trying to convince the Wiki page creator to get donations from all the page visitors who benefit from that page creator's Wiki page. Wikipedia just asks for donations from ALL who benefit from Wikipedia. Wikipedia would have instantly failed, if it tried to charge page creators. And that also would have prevented Wikipedia from growing into the amazing service it is today for ALL of us to benifit.

Here is my idea, for what it's worth. Provide a way for each Member (email address) to directly pay Groups.io with Visa, PayPal and Amazon Pay, just like Wikipedia does. This can be done in parallel with Owners still on the hook for payment of the Group service level they subscribe to. Simple divide a Member Payment "credit" between all the Groups they are members of. I appreciate Mark's service, even as a grandfathered Basic Group now. I would still be willing to periodically encourage Members to click on a "Donate to Groups.io" button during a fundraising campaign. If at some point this proves to generate a lot more money than just charging Owners, then maybe Groups.io can eventually transition to a free service like Wikipedia, letting Owners off the hook. Maybe these direct payments aren't enough, but could help Owners collect more Group funds through Mark's new button, and simply help keep Mark's company afloat.

Members really need to have a sense of responsibility in helping to fund the existence of Groups.io. If Members having a sense of responsibility is not addresses at some point, I fear there won't be enough benevolent Owners to keep this thing alive long-term, especially as other competing service inevitably come online (e.g. Google). And losing Groups.io would hurt us ALL,... Mark, Owners and Members alike.

Scott

On Thu, Dec 24, 2020 at 04:18 AM, Drew wrote:
It just seems like it would make more sense if the subscriber were the customer instead of the group owner.

Drew


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

 

Mark,

There's a lot of ground to cover in this topic, but having read through it now I do have some 1st impression comments.

I agree with what many have said about 100 being too low an absolute limit for a Basic group, and with those who've suggested a per-member price above 100 as a useful solution, for you and for many (not all) groups.

That comes from a feeling that the feature-set differences between Basic and Premium are likely orthogonal to the number of members in the group, as far as the group's purpose, culture, and needs are concerned.

The pricing model you've proposed suggests that the feature set weighs more heavily than the transmission costs in your total cost outlook ($2.20/member for the Enterprise feature set versus $0.55/member for the Premium feature set). I'm skeptical of that inference, but going with it anyway I'd suggest a yet lower rate per member over 100 for the Basic feature set.

Something I just noticed, that I don't see mentioned elsewhere, is that your original post in this topic doesn't actually mention "Basic" groups, instead it says "Free". Is this a mere change in terminology, or are there other implications (besides the 100 member limit)?

In particular, what does "Single mailing list only" mean in this context? Is it another way of saying "No Subgroups", or does it mean something broader?

Shal

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