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moderated Add optional view styles for topic/messages #suggestion

nijineko prismaticpsion
 

 #suggestion 
Requesting addition of feature which enables a forum-like view and a directory tree-like view of the topics/messages sections as optional viewing styles. 


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Mike Hanauer
 

Please read again my main points about trust and common good.

Nobody is suggesting anyone work for free or anything less than reasonable wage. Nobody. Even those running non-profits and B corporations often do quite well. We can have a good platform that considers trust and the common good and rewards all involved -- in monetary and non-monetary ways. That is called a win-win. I believe anything less will turn into a lose-lose.

See below what I and other believe must be turned around. 

Consider Better, not Bigger. So many advantages. Just ask. USA adds a Chicago to our overpop each year.
"Still more population growth is not our way to a healthy community, a healthy planet, OR enjoyable cycling."

    ~Mike


On Tuesday, December 29, 2020, 10:52:09 AM EST, Mike Hanauer via groups.io <mghanauer@...> wrote:


Hi Mark and All,

First, thank you for creating a groups platform that has been a refreshing change from the usual. However,

I think the new model, and even changing the model in this way, will be good for Google and bad for Groups.io, Mark, and society. It's not just a model change - it feels like a signal of a changed philosophy and value system. It feels too like a trust issue.

Here are my concerns,
  1. Many have moved their groups to Groups.io because of the perceived notion that it can be trusted as offering a platform that truly values its customers and the common good. That trust is critical.
  2. Changing the model in itself creates doubt about trust. This feels like profit creep, like bait and switch.
  3. There are many groups of over 100 members that are wonderful community groups. Trying to charge these groups is a problem in many ways, especially with alternatives available.
  4. Groups grow. Going over 100 (or whatever number) now will become a burden.
  5. The fact that existing groups will be grandfathered is a recognition of this fact. 
I urge you to see the big picture here. 

Personally, I have been recommending Groups.io to potential moderators. With the new philosophy, I can no longer do so. It is feeling like bait and switch. It is feeling like just another business. I urge you to rescind the change, reconsider the values you really value, and get more creative. I think understanding customer values and trust is crucial.

I offered the following recently. It resulted in no comment, but I do feel that it should be discussed and considered as an alternative that will bring to credibility to Mark and the Groups.io platform

Mike Hanauer via groups.io <mghanauer@...>
To: main@beta.groups.io

Mon, Dec 21 at 8:23 AM

I believe Groups.io is an important resource for our society. 

How about considering becoming a non-profit and asking for donations similar to what Wikipedia does to fill in the shortfall, at least for those who are not profit making businesses?

    ~Mike

AllTheBest and thanks for listening.

    ~Mike


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Ken Schweizer
 

Duane said:

 

>While the system may handle things well on average,

>it's the peak load that determines what infrastructure is

>needed to support the site, and that has a cost. 

>I'll continue to support Mark and GIO as much as I can.

IMO, not one of us using GROUPS.IO would build a network and work for nothing except the joy of seeing others use it. So why expect Mark to do so?

 

I am not a mind reader, so I would not speculate on why Mark set up GROUPS.IO. I do know if it were me I would make sure the endeavor would be self-supporting and would support my efforts and my family's needs if GROUPS.IO took 100% of my time.

 

As a member and co-owner of a "BASIC" group that doesn't receive anything except e-mail from our members, I understand Mark's needs and thank Mark for "BASIC GROUPS". If Mark decides he needs to change his pricing to support himself and his family, so be it. Then each of us must put on our adult pants and decide if we can afford to continue using his services.

 

My only suggestion is a simpler and better way for owners and members to make support contributions. Temporarily Upgrading a group or setting up a temporary dummy upgraded group just doesn't make it.

 

Ken

 

"Simply put, Socialism rewards sloth and penalizes hard work, while Capitalism rewards hard work and penalizes sloth."  C. Bradley Thompson

 

 


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Samuel Murrayy
 

On Tue, Dec 29, 2020 at 02:17 PM, Ellen Moody wrote:
I can't find the whole of my original message -- which Samuel Murrayy quoted a part of a sentence from (or it could be a whole sentence without a period at the end).  Yes I was suggesting that maybe Mark Fletcher had in mind charging the basic (now called free) groups.io all along but I didn't say he did because I cannot know that. I did not have any inference in mind beyond that, logical or intuitive or not. 
I apologise if I had misunderstood what you meant.  Looking back, I think it must have been the word "so" that threw me off :-)  Anyway, it doesn't matter.  My reply basically speculated about (a) whether this pricing is truly 'industry standard' (my conclusion is that they are not) and (b) whether they must have been known originally (my conclusion is that that could be argued).

I gather [that Samuel Murrayy] is saying that Mark Fletcher originally meant to build a new business model and saw groups.io as groups intent on business operations.  Really?
I'm not sure what you mean.  I do have the distinct impression that Mark originally wanted to build communities, and there is nothing to suggest that his original motive was deceit.  I have no idea what direction Mark is hoping that Groups.io as a whole should take in future.  I do not believe that Mark thinks that non-business groups generally have lots of money available to pay for this type of service.  However, do I speculate freely that Mark is aiming at increasing the use of Groups.io by businesses, and that he hopes that businesses who use Groups.io will choose to pay for it.  I don't know of Mark's original motive for Groups.io was to make money or to have a nice hobby, but it doesn't affect my opinion of him or his venture.

Some of Mr Murrayy's sentences floor me: "I'll wager Mark's main problem isn't getting money from basic groups that are truly communities, but rather getting money from basic groups who are free-loading in a community habitat for non-community-like purposes."  What could this possibly mean?
In that particular part of the argument, I mentally classified Groups.io users into two groups, namely (a) those that don't make money from having a group and (b) those that that do make money from having a group, and I tried to imply that users who do make money from having a group should be wiling to pay for having a group (and if they don't, they are "free-loaders").

How is the new pricing structure going to kill groups.io as a community? I don't understand. ... We [Ellen's groups] still have files and photos in our basic/free group.
Remember, my comments relate to the future, not the past.  Grandfathered groups are a special case, a group of users who will over time become smaller and smaller.  My comments about what such a pricing structure will do to basic groups relates to what it will do to *future* basic groups.  Your current three groups are fine.  My comments relate to what will happen to your next three groups (if any).

(In case you don't understand what "grandfathered" means, it means that existing groups or users are not affected by changes in policy.  In this particular case, it means that your existing three groups will continue to enjoy all the privileges that they had previously, despite the fact that new groups no longer have those privileges.  When you tell your friends about how fantastic Groups.io is, and they join and create their own groups, their new groups will not have all the features that your existing groups have, even if they pay the same price as you do, because your groups are "grandfathered in".)

To call a group hitherto named Basic to Free in our capitalist society stigmatizes the Free group.
I don't have an opinion on that, but I can point out that since 2015 the names of the three tiers have not changed.  They have always been called "Basic", "Premium" and "Enterprise", and the Basic tier has always been free (until now).  This is probably why people refer to the Basic groups as "Free" groups and why people use the terms "free" and "basic" interchangeably here.

There is nothing about the design of these three tiers to suggest that a Basic group has to be free.  For example, it would be fine to say that e.g. Basic groups are free if they have fewer than 100 members but not free if they have more than 100 members.  We're not entirely sure what Mark has in mind -- so far, he has resisted clarifying whether Basic groups that exceed 100 members would be forced to become Premium groups.  I would encourage him to consider having paid Basic groups that are much cheaper than Premium groups (e.g. $10 per year per 1000 members exceeding the initial 100 members).

I have heard a certain individual repeatedly call public schools "government schools" - wow does that stigmatize 200 years of progress...
I suspect some people are simply less sensitive to how their choice of words can be seen as stigmatizing and do not mean to stigmatize.  For example, unless it is explained to me, I would not know how calling a government-funded school a "government school" could be seen as stigmatizing.  Saying "government school" is simply shorter than saying "government-funded school", and if I were to use the shorter term, it would be for reasons of brevity and nothing else :-)

I have answered Mr Murrayy because his message distressed me:  it seems to impose on me and my groups ulterior motives we don't have and impose on Mark Fletcher various motives and goals I am not sure he has...
I was not my intention to imply that any groups of communities that make use of Groups.io or Groups.io itself or its management have ulterior motives.  My speculation about Mark's motives are based on googleable facts, but it remains speculation, and it is intended as neutral speculation, and not to make any value judgement on anyone.  It would make no difference to my opinion of Mark whether he chooses to run Groups.io as a for-profit or non-profit concern.

The fact that he offers grandfathering every time there is a pricing or feature change clearly shows that his heart is in the right place.

Samuel


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

John Wirtz SF
 

Unfortunately, this thread is only showing what individuals think based on their own circumstances.  The company owner isn’t commenting, not to say he’s not reading.

 

We will just wait and see.  If Groups io becomes too expensive, we might look at alternatives.  We pay for a premium group and I hardly use any of the added facilities. 

To me it’s a flexible mailing system and that I think is its core purpose. 

 

Sore Fingers Summer Schools is a small business so we expect to pay for services and we joined groups.io and chose to pay to avoid what is going on right now.  Every year, we review our expenditure and we assess the benefit of the services we subscribe to.  Groups.io will be part of that assessment and if it is a benefit, then we ‘continue with our subscription.  If that changes, we will review.  Simple management decision.

The list is for general communications.  We don’t use it as a repository for files, databases, etc.  The messaging service is the core service in my view.

I don’t believe in “free”, it just about always come s back to bite you, or Mark in this case.

 

Maybe a modular would help, free up to a small number of members (100 seems fine to me).  Then as one want’s additional services pay for them.  I really feel there is a need for a package which sits between Free and Premium.

I think when groups reach over a 1000 people, there’s the need for a more structured organisation.  Many interest groups do this and there is a subscription cost, same a joining a small society.  Why would some be against paying £10 a year to support their group interest.  The moderator then can pay for their groups.io service and even perhaps recover their own expenses, admins and moderators consume electricity and have to maintain a computer to manage these things.  These costs are real.

 

Anyway that’s where I am.

 

John Wirtz

 

 

 

 

 

From: main@beta.groups.io <main@beta.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mike Hanauer via groups.io
Sent: 29 December 2020 15:22
To: main@beta.groups.io
Subject: Re: [beta] Pricing Changes

 

Hi Mark and All,

 

First, thank you for creating a groups platform that has been a refreshing change from the usual. However,

 

I think the new model, and even changing the model in this way, will be good for Google and bad for Groups.io, Mark, and society. It's not just a model change - it feels like a signal of a changed philosophy and value system. It feels too like a trust issue.

 

Here are my concerns,

  1. Many have moved their groups to Groups.io because of the perceived notion that it can be trusted as offering a platform that truly values its customers and the common good. That trust is critical.
  2. Changing the model in itself creates doubt about trust. This feels like profit creep, like bait and switch.
  3. There are many groups of over 100 members that are wonderful community groups. Trying to charge these groups is a problem in many ways, especially with alternatives available.
  4. Groups grow. Going over 100 (or whatever number) now will become a burden.
  5. The fact that existing groups will be grandfathered is a recognition of this fact. 

I urge you to see the big picture here. 

 

Personally, I have been recommending Groups.io to potential moderators. With the new philosophy, I can no longer do so. It is feeling like bait and switch. It is feeling like just another business. I urge you to rescind the change, reconsider the values you really value, and get more creative. I think understanding customer values and trust is crucial.

 

I offered the following recently. It resulted in no comment, but I do feel that it should be discussed and considered as an alternative that will bring to credibility to Mark and the Groups.io platform

 

Mike Hanauer via groups.io <mghanauer@...>

 

Mon, Dec 21 at 8:23 AM

 

I believe Groups.io is an important resource for our society. 

 

How about considering becoming a non-profit and asking for donations similar to what Wikipedia does to fill in the shortfall, at least for those who are not profit making businesses?

 

    ~Mike

 

AllTheBest and thanks for listening.

 

    ~Mike

 


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Duane
 

On Tue, Dec 29, 2020 at 09:52 AM, Mike Hanauer wrote:
This feels like profit creep, like bait and switch.
I don't believe I've ever felt this was the case.  Yes, things change, BUT Mark has always kept his word to existing groups.  Though he doesn't have to (and I'm sure the record keeping would be a lot simpler without it), he's managed to maintain the terms that a group agreed to when they joined up or upgraded (other than increasing features for Premium groups in some cases.)  I keep in mind that these changes would only apply to groups created after January 18.  If someone creates a group then, they agree to the terms in effect at that time.

While I'm here, I'd like to mention something I've been thinking about.  I've been operating under the assumption that those using email create the larger load on the system.  It dawned on me that it may be those online, or more evenly distributed anyway, that create the load.  While there are a lot of emails sent from the site, ~200 per second on average by my guesstimate, using the web interface results in a large load as well.  Each time someone clicks on a link, that page and it's contents must be retrieved and displayed.  While the system may handle things well on average, it's the peak load that determines what infrastructure is needed to support the site, and that has a cost.  I'll continue to support Mark and GIO as much as I can.

Duane


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

 

Again with the non-profit??? Do some people think Mark is not entitled to make a living, and a good one, at that? Here we go again! 
Happy New Year. 😊


On Dec 29, 2020, at 7:52 AM, Mike Hanauer via groups.io <MGHanauer@...> wrote:


Hi Mark and All,

First, thank you for creating a groups platform that has been a refreshing change from the usual. However,

I think the new model, and even changing the model in this way, will be good for Google and bad for Groups.io, Mark, and society. It's not just a model change - it feels like a signal of a changed philosophy and value system. It feels too like a trust issue.

Here are my concerns,
  1. Many have moved their groups to Groups.io because of the perceived notion that it can be trusted as offering a platform that truly values its customers and the common good. That trust is critical.
  2. Changing the model in itself creates doubt about trust. This feels like profit creep, like bait and switch.
  3. There are many groups of over 100 members that are wonderful community groups. Trying to charge these groups is a problem in many ways, especially with alternatives available.
  4. Groups grow. Going over 100 (or whatever number) now will become a burden.
  5. The fact that existing groups will be grandfathered is a recognition of this fact. 
I urge you to see the big picture here. 

Personally, I have been recommending Groups.io to potential moderators. With the new philosophy, I can no longer do so. It is feeling like bait and switch. It is feeling like just another business. I urge you to rescind the change, reconsider the values you really value, and get more creative. I think understanding customer values and trust is crucial.

I offered the following recently. It resulted in no comment, but I do feel that it should be discussed and considered as an alternative that will bring to credibility to Mark and the Groups.io platform

Mike Hanauer via groups.io <mghanauer@...>
To: main@beta.groups.io

Mon, Dec 21 at 8:23 AM

I believe Groups.io is an important resource for our society. 

How about considering becoming a non-profit and asking for donations similar to what Wikipedia does to fill in the shortfall, at least for those who are not profit making businesses?

    ~Mike

AllTheBest and thanks for listening.

    ~Mike


--
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

Mike Hanauer
 

Hi Mark and All,

First, thank you for creating a groups platform that has been a refreshing change from the usual. However,

I think the new model, and even changing the model in this way, will be good for Google and bad for Groups.io, Mark, and society. It's not just a model change - it feels like a signal of a changed philosophy and value system. It feels too like a trust issue.

Here are my concerns,
  1. Many have moved their groups to Groups.io because of the perceived notion that it can be trusted as offering a platform that truly values its customers and the common good. That trust is critical.
  2. Changing the model in itself creates doubt about trust. This feels like profit creep, like bait and switch.
  3. There are many groups of over 100 members that are wonderful community groups. Trying to charge these groups is a problem in many ways, especially with alternatives available.
  4. Groups grow. Going over 100 (or whatever number) now will become a burden.
  5. The fact that existing groups will be grandfathered is a recognition of this fact. 
I urge you to see the big picture here. 

Personally, I have been recommending Groups.io to potential moderators. With the new philosophy, I can no longer do so. It is feeling like bait and switch. It is feeling like just another business. I urge you to rescind the change, reconsider the values you really value, and get more creative. I think understanding customer values and trust is crucial.

I offered the following recently. It resulted in no comment, but I do feel that it should be discussed and considered as an alternative that will bring to credibility to Mark and the Groups.io platform

Mike Hanauer via groups.io <mghanauer@...>
To: main@beta.groups.io

Mon, Dec 21 at 8:23 AM

I believe Groups.io is an important resource for our society. 

How about considering becoming a non-profit and asking for donations similar to what Wikipedia does to fill in the shortfall, at least for those who are not profit making businesses?

    ~Mike

AllTheBest and thanks for listening.

    ~Mike

_._,_._,_


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

 

To Ellen,

First of all, great message. Second, thanks for the vocabulary word (antepenultimate)! :-)
--
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

Ellen Moody
 

I can't find the whole of my original message -- which Samuel Murrayy quoted a part of a sentence from (or it could be a whole sentence without a period at the end).  Yes I was suggesting that maybe Mark Fletcher had in mind charging the basic (now called free) groups.io all along but I didn't say he did because I cannot know that. I did not have any inference in mind beyond that, logical or intuitive or not. 

I don't understand many of the parts of Mr Murrayy's message. I gather from intuition insofar as I can understand he is saying that Mark Fletcher originally meant to build a new business model and saw groups.io as groups intent on business operations.  Really?

I am no businesswoman, have never worked in private industry except decades ago as an Executive secretary in a (I could see profoundly corrupt) corporation in the US for 2 weeks and just before that for 6 months in a business in the UK (not a bad place) where I was a personal assistant. In neither place did I ever have anything to do with any digital stuff: this was 1968-69.  My three groups are not businesses. We are groups made up of (it was originally hoped by me and is true in part) of friends reading books together.  No one is making any money, no one is making any profit; to participate in such a thing in the academy (where I used to  work) is infra dig, in fact it is looked up as useless and used to give you lower status.  Nowadays it depends on where it is coming from and who is in it.  But still tenured people think you are mad to do this kind of thing. The other lists I am on as a member are just the same -- all reading groups, or I know of knitting groups, or people sharing like opinions (feminist -- yes there are still feminists in the world -- lists about womens' problems)

 So if there are services given and taken away because they are business ones I don't recognize this. 

Some of Mr Murrayy's sentences floor me:   "I'll wager Mark's main problem isn't getting money from basic groups that are truly communities, but rather getting money from basic groups who are free-loading in a community habitat for non-community-like purposes ...:
What could this possibly mean?  I understand the individual words; I even know the usual meaning of habitat but what are "the non-community like purposes" he is impugning?  Who are the people who are "target users for paid services?"

How is the new pricing structure going to kill groups.io as a community? I don't understand. I was hoping and do think my three lists of active members (I concede that some maybe many of the silent members are not truly members of our community; they are mostly what's called free riders) are small communities. Yes to ask us to pay would destroy us because most of the people I fear would not pay.  Some might but not enough if the price were prohibitive for them.

In the antepenultimate paragraph (third from the last) I gather services seen as for businesses are in premium groups.  We still have files and photos in our basic/free group.  We never had any wiki that I know of.  I don't know what you mean by many of your words --  like database

I wish people would stop using the word "brand" and all its cognates -- rebranding and so on. Vague buzz noises.  Mark changed the names of things and yes that can stigmatize. To call a group hitherto named Basic to Free in our capitalist society stigmatizes the Free group.  I have heard a certain individual repeatedly call public schools "government schools" - wow does that stigmatize 200 years of progress for enabling all the members of our society to go to school, learn to read and write and many skills and gain knowledge of all kinds. It is a profoundly sickening stigmatizing.  But I am not a brand.  I am an individual with a name. 

I don't know what most basic groups have in mind if they have anything in mind. From the 3 I moderate/run and the 3 I join in on I think the people don't have the money to pay anything considerable. They probably already as individuals have enough monthly and yearly payments for what they may consider they need -- like water, electricity, gas ...

I have answered Mr Murrayy because his message distressed me:  it seems to impose on me and my groups ulterior motives we don't have and impose on Mark Fletcher various motives and goals I am not sure he has, all of which tend to corrode trust and belief in good decent motives. The worst thing in our society as to values over these past 4 years and more is the corrosion of trust and belief there can be good pro-social goals between individuals and groups of people.  

Ellen Moody





On Tue, Dec 29, 2020 at 5:10 AM Samuel Murrayy <samuelmurray@...> wrote:
On Mon, Dec 28, 2020 at 06:22 PM, Ellen Moody wrote:
I am told in this one these changes are "industry standard,"
so these pricing strategies were known originally.

Although Mark did mention a per-member or per-user pricing structure a year ago, I don't think your logic follows.   Mark's comment that per-user pricing is "industry standard" is just his personal opinion.  There isn't really an industry standard for services such as Groups.io.  It all depends on how you classify Groups.io.

If you classify Groups.io as a messenger service and further classify it as a business-to-business or company-internal messenger service, then yes: per-member pricing appears to be the norm, but that makes sense because the employer pays for his employees to be able to use the service, or because the group owner or group members make money from using the service (i.e. they will make less money if they don't use the service).  However, my impression is that in 99% of cases in Groups.io, group members are not the employees of the group owner, nor do the group owners or group members have any reasonably quantifiable financial benefit from their membership, so it can be argued that this classification is irrelevant to Groups.io despite it being a "messenger" service.

I have sympathy with Mark -- I speculate that he was hoping that by adding business-like services to Groups.io he could exploit Groups.io in that particular niche, but if he intends to go that route, then he needs to ensure that customers who can pay do pay, and this means reducing the value of free or basic groups to a level that makes it unsuited for any such commercial purposes except in the miniature.  The problem with Groups.io is that there is nothing that distinguishes the community use from commercial use (although Mark did try, by removing certain barely business-like features from the free groups), and you can't just rely on people's honesty that they will register a "business" account when they [start to] make commercial use of it.

I see a lot of posts here about donations this and donations that, but I'll wager Mark's main problem isn't getting money from basic groups that are truly communities, but rather getting money from basic groups who are free-loading in a community habitat for non-community-like purposes.  I mean, solving the problem of how to give donations isn't going to solve Mark's main problem of how to get money from people who are target users for paid services.

To get back to your original comment: while it may have been known to some that some kind of per-user pricing structure was in the pipeline, "these pricing strategies" were not "known originally".  I don't think many people here considered that Groups.io would change the pricing structure to one that essentially kills it as a "community".  But perhaps the writing could have been seen, if you look at the history of basic, premium and enterprise groups on Groups.io:

In 2015 and 2016, premium groups were essentially the same as basic groups, except 10 GB of storage instead of 1 GB of storage, and enterprise groups were envisaged as some kind of privately branded Groups.io service (own domain name, own home page, presumably own branding, essentially unlimited control, and more storage).  By 2017, business-like features began to be added to premium groups -- RSVP tracking, membership tracking, direct adding. By 2018, premium groups also got API access, locking groups, banning domains, reposting, editing members, so the shift was clear that while premium groups previously were simply community groups with higher limits, now premium groups got more aimed at business use.  2019 saw calendar sync, event summaries and "donations" added to premium groups.

Then came the whole Yahoogroups closure and with it some emergency pricing changes (the price for moving groups increased 20-fold, and this had [unintended?] knock-on effects on premium group pricing), but the nature of basic, premium and enterprise groups remained the same.  I suspect that this sudden increase in membership prompted Mark to rethink his business model and focus more aggressively on coaxing basic groups to choose to become premium.  April 2020 saw subgroups become a premium service.  May 2020 saw size limit increases for premium groups.  A big change came in September 2020 when files, photos, wiki and database got rebranded as a "collaboration suite" and removed from the basic groups altogether.

Perhaps Mark thought that stripping basic groups of services and making these same services available in premium groups would convince many basic groups to become premium groups, but the sad fact (that Mark must have realised in the end) is that most basic groups have no intention of paying... ever.

Samuel

Disclaimer: I don't know Mark personally, and my conjecture about what he might have been thinking is just that: conjecture.  The same applies to my impressions about what other people might have been thinking.


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Samuel Murrayy
 

On Mon, Dec 28, 2020 at 06:22 PM, Ellen Moody wrote:
I am told in this one these changes are "industry standard,"
so these pricing strategies were known originally.

Although Mark did mention a per-member or per-user pricing structure a year ago, I don't think your logic follows.   Mark's comment that per-user pricing is "industry standard" is just his personal opinion.  There isn't really an industry standard for services such as Groups.io.  It all depends on how you classify Groups.io.

If you classify Groups.io as a messenger service and further classify it as a business-to-business or company-internal messenger service, then yes: per-member pricing appears to be the norm, but that makes sense because the employer pays for his employees to be able to use the service, or because the group owner or group members make money from using the service (i.e. they will make less money if they don't use the service).  However, my impression is that in 99% of cases in Groups.io, group members are not the employees of the group owner, nor do the group owners or group members have any reasonably quantifiable financial benefit from their membership, so it can be argued that this classification is irrelevant to Groups.io despite it being a "messenger" service.

I have sympathy with Mark -- I speculate that he was hoping that by adding business-like services to Groups.io he could exploit Groups.io in that particular niche, but if he intends to go that route, then he needs to ensure that customers who can pay do pay, and this means reducing the value of free or basic groups to a level that makes it unsuited for any such commercial purposes except in the miniature.  The problem with Groups.io is that there is nothing that distinguishes the community use from commercial use (although Mark did try, by removing certain barely business-like features from the free groups), and you can't just rely on people's honesty that they will register a "business" account when they [start to] make commercial use of it.

I see a lot of posts here about donations this and donations that, but I'll wager Mark's main problem isn't getting money from basic groups that are truly communities, but rather getting money from basic groups who are free-loading in a community habitat for non-community-like purposes.  I mean, solving the problem of how to give donations isn't going to solve Mark's main problem of how to get money from people who are target users for paid services.

To get back to your original comment: while it may have been known to some that some kind of per-user pricing structure was in the pipeline, "these pricing strategies" were not "known originally".  I don't think many people here considered that Groups.io would change the pricing structure to one that essentially kills it as a "community".  But perhaps the writing could have been seen, if you look at the history of basic, premium and enterprise groups on Groups.io:

In 2015 and 2016, premium groups were essentially the same as basic groups, except 10 GB of storage instead of 1 GB of storage, and enterprise groups were envisaged as some kind of privately branded Groups.io service (own domain name, own home page, presumably own branding, essentially unlimited control, and more storage).  By 2017, business-like features began to be added to premium groups -- RSVP tracking, membership tracking, direct adding. By 2018, premium groups also got API access, locking groups, banning domains, reposting, editing members, so the shift was clear that while premium groups previously were simply community groups with higher limits, now premium groups got more aimed at business use.  2019 saw calendar sync, event summaries and "donations" added to premium groups.

Then came the whole Yahoogroups closure and with it some emergency pricing changes (the price for moving groups increased 20-fold, and this had [unintended?] knock-on effects on premium group pricing), but the nature of basic, premium and enterprise groups remained the same.  I suspect that this sudden increase in membership prompted Mark to rethink his business model and focus more aggressively on coaxing basic groups to choose to become premium.  April 2020 saw subgroups become a premium service.  May 2020 saw size limit increases for premium groups.  A big change came in September 2020 when files, photos, wiki and database got rebranded as a "collaboration suite" and removed from the basic groups altogether.

Perhaps Mark thought that stripping basic groups of services and making these same services available in premium groups would convince many basic groups to become premium groups, but the sad fact (that Mark must have realised in the end) is that most basic groups have no intention of paying... ever.

Samuel

Disclaimer: I don't know Mark personally, and my conjecture about what he might have been thinking is just that: conjecture.  The same applies to my impressions about what other people might have been thinking.


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

KWKloeber
 

Marv ~

Apologies, spellcheck changed my reply to you to "Marc".  Damn Seri.

-Ken


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Laurence Taylor
 

billsf9c <OOWONBS@Netscape.net> wrote:

The problem may not be so much the amount but collection... (with a
side of sticker-shock.) Buck a person may be ok per list but 50+
cents to mail it in ranckles folks. We don't all use plastic. Paypal
might sorta work if they take checks.
Can you use BACS (Credit Transfer)? Most banks can do this online or
over the phone. You just need the recipient's account details. I pay
nearly all my bills this way.

--
rgds
LAurence
<><


moderated Re: Sent Invitations - search field #suggestion

Duane
 

On Mon, Dec 28, 2020 at 11:39 AM, Steven Knowles wrote:
A feature that I've found would be handy would be for a moderator / owner to be able to search the Sent Invitees log.
A tad more work, but you can find the information in the group Activity Log unless/until this is added.  Select "Invited Member" from the Actions list and search.  If you're looking for a specific person, use their email address (up to the @ sign) in the Search box.  I don't think you could use the Display Name though.

Duane


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

billsf9c
 

The problem may not be so much the amount but collection... (with a side of sticker-shock.) Buck a person may be ok per list but 50+ cents to mail it in ranckles folks.  We don't all use plastic. Paypal might sorta work if they take checks.

If the donor site becomes free for this one purpose maybe folks will have a relative with plastic - although I can pay a bill over the phone or 'net with a checking account. Sometimes they want $1.35 without a human and 4.95 with one.

I have 1 beehive. For years I was a yahoo member of all surrounding counties. Gradually half moved to use private forum services. Membership being 20-35$. I can't afford that for 3 different groups, (whose member-benefits I cannot use anyway, even if local,) much less 10 groups.

I audit so many groups. Many are very low activity. Maybe like some cell phone systems. Pay X for a base 10MBytes. Or 100 for unlimited, per annum, with something inbetween.

In a sense, this business should get better w Covid - but as subscribers are suffering financially, maybe Mark can get Covid business assistance. 

At $50 total a year to cover just 5 of the 25ish groups I'm in... I'm gone. No can do. Old vet barely scraping by.

BillSF9c


moderated Sent Invitations - search field #suggestion

Steven Knowles
 

Apologies if this has previously been suggested. I did search past topics within this group however I don't know whether the search function accommodates boolean operators and so don't know how effective my search has been.

A feature that I've found would be handy would be for a moderator / owner to be able to search the Sent Invitees log. For example, if I wanted to find out whether I'd already sent an invitation to John Smith, it'd be useful to be able to search John or Smith or "John Smith" from within the Sent Invitees page. Rather than scroll page by page.


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Ellen Moody
 

Okay.  Now thank you.  These changes take place January 18th, 2021. I am told in this one these changes are "industry standard,"
so these pricing strategies were known originally.

I haven't read them because it would take time and I would probably have questions (not understand everything) and since
they do not (I hope "not as yet") apply.

Ellen Moody


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Peter Cook
 

On Mon, Dec 28, 2020 at 12:10 PM, Ellen Moody wrote:
There were no dates cited.
Ellen, it's in the first message of the thread, here: https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/27191 

              "For groups upgraded after Monday, January 18th, 2021 at 9am Pacific Time,..."

{Pete


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Ellen Moody
 

Peter, that main message did not tell me the date.  There were no dates cited.  Do I have to go through that whole thread (it's long) to
 discover the date (s) all the new stuff is to begin?

Ellen


moderated Re: All photos show "Taken" date as 12/31/1969 #bug

 

On Mon, Dec 28, 2020 at 7:35 AM Peter Cook <peterscottcook@...> wrote:
Every photo in every album in my groups (including some taken yesterday) have a "Taken" date of 12/31/1969. Discussed on GMF  - https://groups.io/g/GroupManagersForum/message/35939 .

This should be fixed now.

Thanks,
Mark 

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