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locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Chris Jones
 

On Thu, Dec 31, 2020 at 09:27 PM, Drew wrote:
Up to 3 groups: FREE
4 to 10 groups: $5.00/yr
More than 10 groups: $10.00/yr
Superficially attractive, certainly. but it includes a major flaw.

I have 2 email addresses immediately available, and I could set up 4 or 5 more without it costing me anything. That would immediately give me access to 20 or so groups without it costing me a single, solitary, bean.

FWIW I have serious concerns about Mark's idea of charging owners when a group exceeds 100 members. Owners would either have to pay it themselves or pass the charge on to individual members. Now if a group has a physical existence (e.g. a neighbourhood group) collecting "subs" would be easy, very possibly by rolling Groups.io charges into a wider membership fee. But what about a group with wide geographical dispersal and no physical entity? Collecting what are actually trivial amounts per member would be almost impossible, so the owners would be incentivised to keep group sizes to not more than 100, meaning that there would be no income to Groups.io.

I am reluctant to say it but IMHO Groups.io's financial model looks a bit fragile; it probably worked perfectly well with the ratio of Enterprise & Premium to Basic groups that existed (say) 30 months ago but the influx of groups - almost certainly mainly "free" - following Yahoo's 2 spasms of withdrawal from this market sector radically changed the ratio such that the financial balance was seriously impaired, hence the need for a revised payment structure.

Chris


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Peter Cook
 

Just one last point. My comment is really a response to some posts on this thread that seem to imply that Mark is entitled to cover his costs, or maybe make a little money for his efforts. That's fine by me. It's also fine by me that he make something hugely valuable, sell it for a boatload, and move on. Or something somewhere in between.

I learned the futility long ago of arguing with someone else's business plan. What I'd like to do instead - and this is for GMF rather than beta - is to brainstorm about how to fund our groups within the new pricing framework. It's clear some folks are going to need help with that.

Pete


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Peter Cook
 

On Thu, Dec 31, 2020 at 04:37 PM, Shal Farley wrote:
it can fairly be inferred that in Mark's view making money is necessary in support of developing and supplying the service, not the other way around.
Shal, I was being glib, of course, and I'm not inferring any particular purpose or set of values on Mark's part based on this thread. What I should have said is simply that it's been obvious for quite some time that groups.io is moving in the direction of being a profitable enterprise. And - speaking as a businessman, an investor, and a capitalist - Mark deserves to have it be profitable. It's an extraordinary service, the only one of its kind, really, and the result of a great deal of ongoing investment.

Pete


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

 

Peter,

I sincerely hope this* wasn't an epiphany for anyone here.
I think in reading the Groups.io announcement it can fairly be inferred that in Mark's view making money is necessary in support of developing and supplying the service, not the other way around.
https://wingedpig.com/2014/09/23/introducing-groups-io/

Which is a distinction Jeremy had pointed out:
https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/27493

Faced with that, I think what Mark is most interested in is finding a pricing scheme that is effective, acceptable to the payers, and consistent with his view of what groups are for.

This is largely a practical question, and Mark's view has evolved over time. From the first Mark expressed a preference to avoid reliance on advertising, but in the very early discussions in beta it was proposed that Basic groups would be ad-supported and Premium groups remove the ads, increase capacity, and add features.
https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/2
https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/14

It wasn't much later that investigation and introspection convinced Mark that using advertising was an unappealing prospect, for several reasons, and so it was taken off the table without ever having been implemented.

Shal
*Referring to Samuel's comment:
I think we can be clear that the purpose of Groups.io is to make money


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Drew
 

I might have made the original suggestion to charge subscribers a fee. Since that was a while back, and my scheme for doing so was split among two message posts, and since we are repeating earlier ideas, here it is in complete summary:


- Charge subscribers on a tiered basis for the number of free/basic groups they want to subscribe to. For example:

Up to 3 groups: FREE
4 to 10 groups: $5.00/yr
More than 10 groups: $10.00/yr

- Owners retain the option to pay for their group as in the current pricing structure;

- Any subscriber can join an unlimited number of Paid groups (assuming they are invited or accepted by group owners);

- Subscribers can join or leave groups at any time, subject to the maximum number of groups in the tier they have paid for. (Example: If a subscriber in the FREE tier wants to add a 4th group they must either pay for a higher tier or unsubscribe from one of their existing groups in order to join the new one.)


So, the subscriber fees would be an additional revenue stream along with the current owner fees.

There is little or no additional help desk activity since group owners continue to do the management and subscriber hand holding for their own groups.


Drew

On 12/31/20 14:58, J_Catlady wrote:
On Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 09:40 PM, Jim Betz wrote:
  How about a payment - per member, directly to groups.io, using
PayPal or a
credit ... that is a single payment for unlimited number of groups
joined.
That has already been suggested in this thread (what? you haven't read al 250 messages?;) and it still means asking people to pay to take part in a bunch of unknown mailing lists. I really doubt it would fly. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential, not current, customer. Would you really be willing to pay money for the privilege of being able to sign up for mailing lists before even knowing WTH they are or what groups.io is all about?  It's a huge disincentive and might destroy the business altogether.
--
J
/Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones./
/My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu
//
/


moderated HTML format for incoming emails #suggestion

Shahid
 

The group changes the HTML formatted email it recieves instead of accepting what was sent. Here is an example of a message I composed in Thunderbird and how it appears in Thunderbird and how it appears on the group.

This is what it looks like in Thunderbird (and suppose to look like on groups too):


And this is what it looks like when it is posted on the group:

The font size and text alignment is lost and changed to whatever the group sets as default. Please make changes so that the group posts the message as it was sent instead of changing it.


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Duane
 

On Thu, Dec 31, 2020 at 02:14 PM, Chris Jones wrote:
with the number of individual "Poster IDs" that are on record a $5 annual charge would bring in in excess of $20,000,000
Based on one of my recent members, I'd say closer to $25M. ;>)  That does sound like an idea worth looking into (with a 6-12 month grace period.)  I don't think I know anyone that doesn't 'waste' more than $5 in a week (sometimes a day), including me, so $5/yr is a bargain.  Even my 3 accounts would only be $15 per year, so I might do without a few snacks that I don't really need anyway!

On Thu, Dec 31, 2020 at 02:34 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
I think you’d be left with a small fraction of that figure.
Even if 90% leave (or have left), that leaves $2-2.5 million annual income.  I realize that's a drop in the bucket for a large company, but might cover many things that may be on the back burner for now.

Duane


moderated Re: #bug Reply area blank #bug

Bruce Bowman
 

On Thu, Dec 31, 2020 at 03:34 PM, Hank Seamon wrote:
I just removed the image from my signature as that was the latest change that I could think of doing.

This seems to have fixed my problem.
Hank -- That's interesting. I didn't know you even could insert an image in your subscription's sig line.

I will report this to the other guy who's having the problem and see if it fixes his issue, too.

Thanks,
Bruce


moderated Re: Member list format issues #bug

 

On Thu, Dec 31, 2020 at 7:43 AM Andy Wedge <andy_wedge@...> wrote:

After a brief discussion on GMF I'm raising this as a bug.  The format of the member list has changed so that it now takes two lines per member for those in my group due to the number of badges that are displayed after the delivery method. Others report different results depending on the OS platform.  Was this an attempt to fix a bug for something else?

I tightened up that column as part of some changes to improve the mobile site (and upcoming app). It should be fixed now.

Mark 


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

 

Amazon Prime is $130 per year but I don’t think that’s at all comparable.

Sure if you go by the number of current IDs it’s huge. But some unknown and probably very large fraction would quit immediately if made to pay. There are for sure a heap ‘o inactive accounts lying around, a heap of people with multiple accounts, and a heap of people who would just plain quit. I think you’d be left with a small fraction of that figure.


On Dec 31, 2020, at 12:14 PM, Chris Jones via groups.io <chrisjones12@...> wrote:

On Thu, Dec 31, 2020 at 07:58 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
It's a huge disincentive and might destroy the business altogether.
It would be, but a simple solution would be to give every new account holder a 12 month grace period before any charge applies. In addition, I think the amount charge could be very modest; with the number of individual "Poster IDs" that are on record a $5 annual charge would bring in in excess of $20,000,000, unless I have miscounted somewhere.

I don't know what Amazon charges for a Prime account in the US but in the UK the charge is more than that per month.

I value what Groups.io has to offer and want it to be on a sound financial footing. IMHO voluntary donations simply won't generate anywhere near enough revenue.

Chris

--
J

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


moderated Re: #bug Reply area blank #bug

Hank Seamon
 

Got it figured out. The other day I got 'cute' and inserted an image in the SIGNATURE area.  It was an image of our Roadtrek RV with my Name, State and YR/make of the RV below the image.
It did not show always when looking at my settings, but it DID show in any reply. 
Then I ran into the problem of not having the place to type any reply.

I just removed the image from my signature as that was the latest change that I could think of doing.

This seems to have fixed my problem.
--
Hank S.
Littlestown, PA
One mailbox from a Gettysburg address
--
Hank S.
Littlestown, PA
One mailbox from a Gettysburg address


moderated Re: Member list format issues #bug

 

Mark,

Andy wrote:

The format of the member list has changed so that it now takes two
lines per member for those in my group due to the number of badges
that are displayed after the delivery method.
I'm seeing this also in the Delivery column, even when the width of the display window is more than adequate. It looks like the Delivery column has a fixed width that is inadequate.

This behavior is not replicated in the Email column. It and the Display Name column resize with the window width, and the badges in the Email column are still clipped by the Delivery column when the window size is too narrow.

Was this an attempt to fix a bug for something else?
If it was an attempt to fix the display of badges then I'd say the fix is incomplete because it did not include the Email column.

Shal
also Firefox 84.0.1 (64-bit) under Win10 Pro


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Chris Jones
 

On Thu, Dec 31, 2020 at 07:58 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
It's a huge disincentive and might destroy the business altogether.
It would be, but a simple solution would be to give every new account holder a 12 month grace period before any charge applies. In addition, I think the amount charge could be very modest; with the number of individual "Poster IDs" that are on record a $5 annual charge would bring in in excess of $20,000,000, unless I have miscounted somewhere.

I don't know what Amazon charges for a Prime account in the US but in the UK the charge is more than that per month.

I value what Groups.io has to offer and want it to be on a sound financial footing. IMHO voluntary donations simply won't generate anywhere near enough revenue.

Chris


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

 

On Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 09:40 PM, Jim Betz wrote:

  How about a payment - per member, directly to groups.io, using PayPal or a
credit ... that is a single payment for unlimited number of groups joined.
That has already been suggested in this thread (what? you haven't read al 250 messages?;) and it still means asking people to pay to take part in a bunch of unknown mailing lists. I really doubt it would fly. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential, not current, customer. Would you really be willing to pay money for the privilege of being able to sign up for mailing lists before even knowing WTH they are or what groups.io is all about?  It's a huge disincentive and might destroy the business altogether.
 
--
J

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


moderated in pending messages, "You must include a message" red warning shows up even when there's a message #bug

 

In the "Send Message" feature from within viewing a pending message, a red warning "You must include a message" shows up even when a message has been entered. I think I reported this before but don't remember what happened. The bug is still there and is very disconcerting. You think something may have gone wrong with the message causing the member not to receive it. This time, after the member didn't respond, I contacted her outside groups.io to make sure she got it.
--
J

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


moderated Member list format issues #bug

Andy Wedge
 

Hi Mark,

After a brief discussion on GMF I'm raising this as a bug.  The format of the member list has changed so that it now takes two lines per member for those in my group due to the number of badges that are displayed after the delivery method. Others report different results depending on the OS platform.  Was this an attempt to fix a bug for something else?

Thanks
Andy

(Win 10 & Firefox 84.0.1)


moderated Re: #bug Reply area blank #bug

 

Oh, good point. 


On Dec 31, 2020, at 6:28 AM, Bruce Bowman <bruce.bowman@...> wrote:

On Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 03:52 PM, Hank Seamon wrote:
When I choose to REPLY in out Roadtrek CyberRally, I can see the topic, my FROM, but the area to type a reply is blank.

this is in  rti.groups.io  As you are noticing, I do not have this  problem with this Beta Group.
Hank -- A second person has now reported this same problem in GMF.

We need to look into what combination of group settings might do this, particularly those in your Message Policies block.

On Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 06:13 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
This same thing happened with a member of one of my groups using Thunderbird awhile back.
Hank's provided screenshot demonstrates that he's attempting to reply using the GIO web interface, not an email client.

Regards,
Bruce

--
J

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


moderated Re: #bug Reply area blank #bug

Bruce Bowman
 

On Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 03:52 PM, Hank Seamon wrote:
When I choose to REPLY in out Roadtrek CyberRally, I can see the topic, my FROM, but the area to type a reply is blank.

this is in  rti.groups.io  As you are noticing, I do not have this  problem with this Beta Group.
Hank -- A second person has now reported this same problem in GMF.

We need to look into what combination of group settings might do this, particularly those in your Message Policies block.

On Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 06:13 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
This same thing happened with a member of one of my groups using Thunderbird awhile back.
Hank's provided screenshot demonstrates that he's attempting to reply using the GIO web interface, not an email client.

Regards,
Bruce


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Sandi D <sandi.asgtechie@...>
 

On Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 06:04 AM, Samuel Murrayy wrote:
My reasoning for the silver group is to allow groups who might want to be come larger or use more features to be able to do so without a very sudden change in pricing...
I can't afford $20 a month but I want to pay something to GIO for the service being offered which is the ability to find and join basic groups. 

I agree with everyone on this thread who has suggested there needs to be something between $0 for 99 member groups and $20 a month for 101 member groups (not counting the owner). I don't know what that something looks like. 

I want to pay something for the use of my personal GIO accounts and not because I am made one of the group Owners so I can assist them with the technology side of group administration.

There is no way for me to show my appreciation for GIO as an account holder other than to create a group with myself as the sole member so I could "donate" periodically by upgrading and downgrading.

I buy a number of monthly services that cost me $0.99 to $2.99 a month. I would pay something in that range for the privilege of having a GIO account so that I could find and join the basic groups who are on GIO.

These are 2 different issues/suggestions.
One is introducing a group owner price point between $0 and $20.
The other is a mechanism to allow GIO account holders to pay for the privilege of GIO membership should they want to "donate" to a business model (not to a non profit) or should they want to become a paying member of GIO.

Of note, I have created a group with me alone in that group so I can pay Mark for what I consider a valuable service. I found it very simple to do. Create a basic group. Go to Admin, Upgrade, select Premium for one month and enter your credit card.

--
Sandi Dickenson


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Dave Sergeant
 

groups.io, as was Yahoo, revolves around a very large number of totally
informal groups whose members have only one thing in common - an
interest in the subject of the group. I am in 21 of those (which puts
paid to Samuel's suggestion of an average of 5. A few of those are very
active. Many are less active but I remain subscribed for historical
reasons and some of those I have set to 'special notices' as they are
for past interests but want to keep a passive interest. A few were
joined for a specific interest which came up, like information on a
particular type of software, which I joined at the time that interest
appeared but could probably leave. Around half of my groups have over
100 members, some well into the thousands.

A very few of those groups are tied in with a national
club/organisation which has an annual membership fee. To some extent a
Premium or tiered Free subscription could be absorbed in that. There
again one of these national organisations is indirectly responsible for
many groups to cover all its interests, 50 or so as a finger in the
air. No way could a reasonable annual fee for all these diverse groups
be done that way, the membership fee would increase above that which
most members could justify - result, a reduced membership of the
national organisation as people decide it is too much.

Remember also that membership of GIO groups is a dynamic variable, with
people coming and going all the time. Is it fair to charge for those 50
or so who happened to have joined on the eve of a billing date who
leave a week later?

I appreciate that Mark has to cover his costs but the model of free
sponsored by the relatively few Premium and even less Enterprise groups
is not going to work. This is very clear in that the proposed rates are
totally out of the question for most non-commercial enthusiast groups
that must make up most of their market.

Dave

http://davesergeant.com

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