Date   

locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Drew
 

Sorry, I didn't follow the cable tv analogy.

In any case there are still USENET providers around who charge individuals a mostly flat fee for access to thousands of groups. (Some people may not know that USENET was the original "groups".)

Supposedly they are making a profit doing so. They do charge more than the various individual pricing plans that have been suggested for Groups.io (usually about $10/mo or less), but there are also free USENET servers for those who can live with short retention periods for posted articles.

I am considering starting a USENET group for our organization's interests. For reasons other than the present topic the internet climate these days makes it less and less desirable to comply with the designs of corporate entities who have other aspirations besides profit.

Drew

On 12/25/20 18:18, KWKloeber via groups.io wrote:
>>> It just seems like it would make more sense if the subscriber were
the customer instead of the group owner.<<<
***
This makes little or no sense (nonsense?) from Mark’s point of view operating a business.   It would be tantamount (in reverse) to cable subscribers needing to have a relationship with each and every advertiser, NBC, ABC, CBS, ESPN and every other network, and every sports franchise, and every independent station carried, microwave tower owners, satellite communications providers, and everyone else involved in bringing you cable programming — versus just paying a cable bill.  Cable subscribers wouldn’t care to do that no more than Mark should want to do the reverse with group members.
Since this was the free service that was better than sliced bread, I think Mark might provide an explanation as to how the cost is closely related to the # of members.  i.e., How does 401 members cost 55¢ more? What costs money, seems logical to me, is activity, not so much the number of members.
We have 1600+ members, about two dozen are active and post and take up bandwidth with photos etc. The remainder simply receive emails - probably less than 20% of those active actually use the web interface (strictly email posting.)
If that user model truly warrants the kind of costs proposed in the new year, it brings a few things to mind:
If something seems too good to be true, it probable is.   Migrating 1600 from what was free Y! to a new free endeavor with all new and wonderful bells and whistles seemed too good to me (I’m not the owner and wasn’t the one making decisions) and it’s proved out.
And it smacks of either a poorly thought out entrepreneurship or a bait and switch (which I “know” it wasn’t). From a 1600 free group to one at nearly a grand a year is tough to justify that this was realistically and well thought out.  Mark may be an IT genius, but on face value/history not  great at business projections.
I’m fearful that g.io will end up either costing medium-sized users out of the market or becoming nothing but an “elite” service, geared toward enterprise users.  Oh well.
It reminds me of so many friends who don’t have a clue and have said, “I’m gonna open a restaurant (or bar) and make me a fortune.”  They have no clue about the true costs and income involved.
Ken K


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

 

Herb,

Basically, we would be creating a different level of member within
each group, based on whether they donate or not.
You are right, that is exactly true of a system of perks.

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.
I agree there.

The group owner should be able to decide whether there are perks at all, and if so which features are tied to the perk system. A features which might make an appropriate perk in one group might be totally inappropriate to be perk-conditional in another group.

Shal


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

 

Ken,

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.
I understood that perfectly well.

But I reject the idea that it has to be 100% one or the other. So my suggestion is that the members (and the owner) be able to make voluntary donations toward funding the group. When the next plan fee comes due, if the donations don't cover the upgrade, the group would downgrade.

Of course this would require that at least the owner(s)/mod(s) have visibility of the group's current Donation level, so that they don't get a nasty surprise at the end of the plan period.

Shal


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Joseph Hudson
 

Ken, this is exactly what I would like to see happen.

On Dec 25, 2020, at 2:23 PM, Ken Schweizer <kensch888@outlook.com> wrote:

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





locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

 

Barbara,

I wish there was a way to give money to io groups with no strings
attached.
Use the "Upgrade ($20) for one month, w/automatic downgrade to Basic after" button. Use it in a test group if you don't want to use it in a real group. It doesn't even have to be your test group.

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.
You won't. Your Basic group's legacy features are determined by its creation date, not by the date of any upgrades or downgrades.

If I collect money to pay for a group, that money would be counted as
my income ...
My proposed simplified Donation idea avoids the issue: all payments (yours and members') would be directly to Groups.io.
https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/27410

Shal


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

KWKloeber
 

>>> It just seems like it would make more sense if the subscriber were the customer instead of the group owner.<<<
***


This makes little or no sense (nonsense?) from Mark’s point of view operating a business.   It would be tantamount (in reverse) to cable subscribers needing to have a relationship with each and every advertiser, NBC, ABC, CBS, ESPN and every other network, and every sports franchise, and every independent station carried, microwave tower owners, satellite communications providers, and everyone else involved in bringing you cable programming — versus just paying a cable bill.  Cable subscribers wouldn’t care to do that no more than Mark should want to do the reverse with group members. 

Since this was the free service that was better than sliced bread, I think Mark might provide an explanation as to how the cost is closely related to the # of members.  i.e., How does 401 members cost 55¢ more? What costs money, seems logical to me, is activity, not so much the number of members. 

We have 1600+ members, about two dozen are active and post and take up bandwidth with photos etc. The remainder simply receive emails - probably less than 20% of those active actually use the web interface (strictly email posting.)

If that user model truly warrants the kind of costs proposed in the new year, it brings a few things to mind:

If something seems too good to be true, it probable is.   Migrating 1600 from what was free Y! to a new free endeavor with all new and wonderful bells and whistles seemed too good to me (I’m not the owner and wasn’t the one making decisions) and it’s proved out.  

And it smacks of either a poorly thought out entrepreneurship or a bait and switch (which I “know” it wasn’t). From a 1600 free group to one at nearly a grand a year is tough to justify that this was realistically and well thought out.  Mark may be an IT genius, but on face value/history not  great at business projections. 

I’m fearful that g.io will end up either costing medium-sized users out of the market or becoming nothing but an “elite” service, geared toward enterprise users.  Oh well. 

It reminds me of so many friends who don’t have a clue and have said, “I’m gonna open a restaurant (or bar) and make me a fortune.”  They have no clue about the true costs and income involved. 

Ken K


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

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