Date   

moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

 

On Fri, Jan 8, 2021 at 12:39 PM, Mike Hanauer wrote:
Related to Catlady's thinking,
 
Groups.io High Level Pricing Concerns:
  1. If a current member, without grandfathering, might not sign on, is that not a clue of an unsustainable pricing structure?
You totally misread and are misstating what I said. I said I would not sign on if Samuel's (new proposed) plan were in effect. I was perfectly happy with Mark's original proposed plan. My sole objection is to a structure wherein members have to pay rather than the group owners.
 
--
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: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

 

On 7 Jan 2021 at 14:11, Mark Fletcher wrote:

What else am I
missing?
Don't payment processing compaies like Stripe and Paypal impose a minimum fee
per transaction? Isn't there a danger that this would make these small payments
per member non-viable?

Jim Fisher


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

Samuel Murrayy
 

On Fri, Jan 8, 2021 at 09:11 PM, Marv Waschke wrote:
I prefer a model where I as owner pay for the service and figure out myself how to pay for the service.
On Fri, Jan 8, 2021 at 09:18 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
I would not start my group today if members had to pay.
My suggestion does not preclude any group owner from paying.  If a group owner wants to pay $220 herself and tell all of her [potential] members "there is no need to become paid members of Groups.io if you want to join my group; joining my group is free [for you]", then that is perfectly doable within the suggested system.  Or if a group owner wants to pay $220 himself and then tell his members "you must each pay me $25 amount per year to be a member of this group", then that is also perfectly within the design of the system.

Samuel


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

Mike Hanauer
 

Related to Catlady's thinking,

Groups.io High Level Pricing Concerns:
  1. If a current member, without grandfathering, might not sign on, is that not a clue of an unsustainable pricing structure?
  2. If there is a monthly charge per user per group, how much do you think you can take from one person per month where some might belong to more than one group? Would that not limit the number of groups he/she would join?
  3. Is there provision for an owner/moderator to get part of a fee if that is desired?
  4. How much control can/should you take from an owner? Owners, group creators, are perhaps the most important person.
I think most of the plans, including the presumed one, are leading Groups.io in a difficult direction.


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 Friday, January 8, 2021, 03:18:56 PM EST, J_Catlady <j.olivia.catlady@...> wrote:


I’m agreeing w Marv. Would not start my group today if members had to pay. I keep coming back to that. Many of our membets are volunteers there to help other people with their cats’ illnesses, and for some, including out volunteer but eminent specialist referral vet who probably charges hundreds per hour, we are the only group they belong to. If I had to start my group with any of the member-pay structures being proposed, I would have to figure out a way to front these people the membership fee. It would be I appropriate for me to expect them to donate their services AND to pay for the privilege of doing so.


On Jan 8, 2021, at 12:11 PM, Marv Waschke <marv@...> wrote:

The proposal is fine as an option, but I don't think I would start any more groups on groups.io if I had no choice but to follow that model.

I prefer a model where I as owner pay for the service and figure out myself how to pay for the service. I might charge users a fee based on usage, (lurking is free, but members pay to be heard), I might run a yearly donate-a-thon until I receive enough to pay the fee, I might request that a core group pay something to keep the group alive, there are many ways I can think of to do this and they would all depend on the nature of the group and its membership.

Stating it a little differently, I like things just as they are in that group owners are left figure out how to fund a group for themselves. I don't like the idea, no matter how much I respect Mark, of having groups.io collecting directly from members of groups I own. In my view of online group ownership, that's my responsibility, not something I will relinquish to the platform. I expect having an online group of any kind will become more expensive as time goes on and the nature of tech business evolves, but I accept that as my problem.

Best, Marv

--
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: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

Jeremy H
 

My thoughts:

Groups.io service benefits both groups (i.e. group owners) and members (in varying proportion), in a three way relationship. As Groups.io costs money to run (including providing a living for its owner), it is reasonable for both categories to contribute to the costs, and unreasonable to expect the costs to fall only on one category, of those Groups.io has a relations

Mark's original model was that, to a large extent, it would be free, to both groups owners and members, being paid for by some group owners, who would for a flat charge per group get extra features ('Premium' and 'Enterprise') for their groups, Subsequently, he rebalanced the features and benefits between 'free' and 'paying' groups, with the intentention of improving Groups.io financial performance. He has had a long term policy of 'grandfathering' their original terms for existing groups.

But he has come to the conclusion that this model (of some group owners paying a set charge per group) is not working.

His proposal was that new free, basic, groups would have their membership number severely restricted; and that new, paying, groups would have an additional, potentially unliimited, charge for extra members (but payable by owners) beyond a base number: charges would continue to be payable only by group owners. Existing groups would retain their current terms (features and prices). 

A point: any scheme which charges owners for members (in whatever manner) imposes a burden on owners, will lead to them to have to make decisions as to whether a member (new or continuing) is 'worth it'. And for existing members, groups.io does not provide the tools to judge how valuable a member is.

Samuel's proposal is (AIUI) that (for new groups):
  • Groups would have a base number (dependant on plan - free/basic or paying/premium or enterprise) of 'free membership' slots; with the ability to purchase/pay for more
  • 'Free' members of Groups.io would only be able join groups with 'unoccupied' free membership slots; but could pay Groups.io to upgrade to a 'premier' or 'contributing' [name wanted] grade of membership, entitlng them to join any group, whether or not it had 'free' slots available, and without taking up a slot, in addition to other benefits: future extra membership (profile) features, and the satisfaction of contributing to groups.io. 
My comments on this:
  • I am - given the need - in favour of this proposal: it seems the best, and simplest, way of improving Groups.io finances, while balancing the burden of costs between members and owners (let me be honest: I'd prefer a fully free service: but I recognise this is not possible).
  • Someone has to pay!
  • There is no good (easy, simple and fair) option in going forward: it is a case of choosing which disadvantages are preferable.
  • It lets those owners who are willing and able to do so to fully fund their groups; and those who are not to be able to rely on payments made by their members for theirs.
  • Possibly there should be a 'free to owner' 'premium' group category, with no 'free' slots, open only to 'premier' members?
  • How goup owners pay for 'extra' members is something else to debate (extra block for so much? so much per member, with a limit on number?) 
  • Whether existing groups should continue to receive all their current benfits is debatable: my suggestion is that they continue to enjoy their current features; with number of 'free membership' slots based on current membership, plus an allownce (the higher of X% or N extra members?)
  • If a 'premier' member stops paying, they down grade to 'free' membership, and if there is not a 'free' slot available, they lose their membership of any groups they are in (unless they are the group owner?)
  • If a 'free' members upgrades to 'premier', they free up a 'free' membership slot.
  • If the number of 'free' slots in a paying group reduces (by owner not paying, or paying less) below the number of 'free' members of it, then the owner should be required to reduce the membership (by expelling members), failing which groups.io will do so, based on some arbitrary basis (last in, first out? priority for moderators? frequent contributors?)
  • Should only 'premier' members be able set up (and hence own) new groups? Should 'paying' group owners get free 'premier' membership? How might these be related?
  • A pending 'free' member contigently occupies a slot - they either either fully take or lose it when their membership is confirmed or not.
  • If a 'free' member attempts to join a full group (i.e. no available slot), they should receive a 'sorry, group full. please consider taking out a premier membership' type message.
  • It is up to Mark to decide to what extent he 'encourages' people to take up 'premier' membership.
  • Possibly there should be a free. trial, period of 'premier' membership? 
My tenpennyworth!

Jeremy


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

 

I’m agreeing w Marv. Would not start my group today if members had to pay. I keep coming back to that. Many of our membets are volunteers there to help other people with their cats’ illnesses, and for some, including out volunteer but eminent specialist referral vet who probably charges hundreds per hour, we are the only group they belong to. If I had to start my group with any of the member-pay structures being proposed, I would have to figure out a way to front these people the membership fee. It would be I appropriate for me to expect them to donate their services AND to pay for the privilege of doing so.


On Jan 8, 2021, at 12:11 PM, Marv Waschke <marv@...> wrote:

The proposal is fine as an option, but I don't think I would start any more groups on groups.io if I had no choice but to follow that model.

I prefer a model where I as owner pay for the service and figure out myself how to pay for the service. I might charge users a fee based on usage, (lurking is free, but members pay to be heard), I might run a yearly donate-a-thon until I receive enough to pay the fee, I might request that a core group pay something to keep the group alive, there are many ways I can think of to do this and they would all depend on the nature of the group and its membership.

Stating it a little differently, I like things just as they are in that group owners are left figure out how to fund a group for themselves. I don't like the idea, no matter how much I respect Mark, of having groups.io collecting directly from members of groups I own. In my view of online group ownership, that's my responsibility, not something I will relinquish to the platform. I expect having an online group of any kind will become more expensive as time goes on and the nature of tech business evolves, but I accept that as my problem.

Best, Marv

--
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: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

Marv Waschke
 

The proposal is fine as an option, but I don't think I would start any more groups on groups.io if I had no choice but to follow that model.

I prefer a model where I as owner pay for the service and figure out myself how to pay for the service. I might charge users a fee based on usage, (lurking is free, but members pay to be heard), I might run a yearly donate-a-thon until I receive enough to pay the fee, I might request that a core group pay something to keep the group alive, there are many ways I can think of to do this and they would all depend on the nature of the group and its membership.

Stating it a little differently, I like things just as they are in that group owners are left figure out how to fund a group for themselves. I don't like the idea, no matter how much I respect Mark, of having groups.io collecting directly from members of groups I own. In my view of online group ownership, that's my responsibility, not something I will relinquish to the platform. I expect having an online group of any kind will become more expensive as time goes on and the nature of tech business evolves, but I accept that as my problem.

Best, Marv


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

Joseph Hudson
 

Well if so, that proposal that you just made would look nice.

On Jan 8, 2021, at 1:42 PM, Duane <txpigeon@gmail.com> wrote:

On Fri, Jan 8, 2021 at 01:35 PM, Joseph Hudson wrote:
And then I guess the pricing structure could look like $50 per six months or $100 for a year
I may be wrong, but I believe Mark is thinking less than $10/yr, though that hasn't been made clear yet.

Duane


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

Duane
 

On Fri, Jan 8, 2021 at 01:35 PM, Joseph Hudson wrote:
And then I guess the pricing structure could look like $50 per six months or $100 for a year
I may be wrong, but I believe Mark is thinking less than $10/yr, though that hasn't been made clear yet.

Duane


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

Joseph Hudson
 

Hi Duane, I like your idea. And then I guess the pricing structure could look like $50 per six months or $100 for a year

On Jan 8, 2021, at 5:33 AM, Duane <txpigeon@gmail.com> wrote:

On Thu, Jan 7, 2021 at 04:11 PM, Mark Fletcher wrote:
I am concerned about how to explain and present it clearly. I also think getting the implementation right would be tricky.
I may be going off on a tangent, but thought I should toss this in. How about offering an annual membership to anyone that wants it, regardless of which groups they may be in or join. Even different levels if it might someday be tied to additional features. (Or a minimum charge to make sure the Stripe fees are covered and there's some income, but allow additional payment, for those existing owners that want to support the site without upgrading their group to Premium.) Their account would store the expiration date, so that could be used when determining whether they would use a 'free slot' on any new group. On Premium/Enterprise groups, it would keep the owner cost from increasing with 'extra' members unless they exceed the 'free slots'.

One thing I'm not clear on is whether this Paid User Proposal would be a per group fee or a per account fee.

Thanks,
Duane


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

Tom Madden
 

I like Scott's proposals too. Except.... in the craft/hobby fields (which covers all the groups I own or subscribe to), participants seem to always be on the lookout for ways to not spend money. (Which is slightly different from saving money.) I've seen people with six figure incomes at flea markets trying to get sellers to cut 25 cents off the price of a three dollar item. Most of us have multiple email addresses available. I can see subscribers dropping out at the end of their "free" year, then resubscribing from a different address. Whether it's the notion that you're getting a better deal than the next guy, you get your jollies from thinking you got away with something, or you take satisfaction in "putting it to the man", everyone seems to want to bend the rules.

Don't have an answer, just offering something for consideration. Because, in this case, I want to support "the man".

Tom Madden


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

 

100% agree with everything Scott says here, including his suggestion.
--
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: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

Scott Chase
 

RE: Once the free member slots are filled up, someone wishing to be a new member of the group would have to pay a yearly fee to Groups.io.
 
  1. Having any mix of free slots versus paid slots will create a Group culture of have/havenot members, and a perception of some being freeloaders while others are forced to pay to remain a member of a group. Free members will sit on the free slots and not release them, preventing the most valuable members to the Group from being free. Resentment, etc.

  2. We create these groups to bring people together to discuss and support each other. The threat of forcing payment to simply join, or shortly thereafter, will kill the vast majority of the not-for-profit and hobby groups on Groups.io. No one will join any group if Groups.io develops a reputation of forcing a fee for membership! Even Free Grandfathered Groups will be dodged by the masses, because people will think they have to pay to use Groups.io in general. "Groups.io isn't free!" Impressions are everything!
If something must be done for Groups.io to survive, I'd prefer...

  1. A uniform price for ALL members of Groups.io;

  2. And the first YEAR is free, so members become very well established in a Group, and for them to develop a sense of value and belonging, before a time-is-up, pay-up or be forced-out scenario occurs.
As it is now, only owners are able to give Mark money. I still think a Wikipedia-style 'Groups.io depends on donations' button needs to be added to help support the funding of individual groups and Groups.io as a whole. If donations alone don't generate enough income, Mark could figure out an accounting method to credit group owners for member donations, where the owner then would only be charge the remaining balance for a Group at the end of the billing cycle.

Scott


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

Drew
 

When group management consists of denying subscriptions in order to reduce costs I think there is something wrong.

Drew

On 01/08/21 08:20, Sandi D wrote:
I am in support of the proposal of GIO offering the option of a paid level of service to GIO account holders. GIO account holders who want to pay GIO a nominal sum should have a mechanism to do so. What those advantages are to paid GIO account holders should be explored. One might be the ability to have to be additional features or the ability to join groups with capped memberships. These and others would seem worthy of study.
For example, GIO paid account holders could be given the privilege of join future newly created groups that are be capped at a set number of members. Then GIO paid account holders would not count against the proposed Basic group owner's 100 slots or Premium group owners 400 slots.
In the current paid tier proposal, newly created Basic groups would never grow over 100 members unless the owner had the ability to pay. If a GIO paid account holder joined such a group, they would show up in the group with a badge reflective of their GIO paid account status. If the GIO paid account holder didn't then they would be given automatically removed from that group.
I can envision that when GIO paid account holder renewal fees were due, that person would receive an email from the GIO system showing which GIO groups they had joined as a paying GIO account holder and advising them that if they didn't renew they would be automatically removed from those groups.
They could of course chose to reapply to the group owner to join. If it were a Basic group and all 100 slots were filled then it's up to the Basic group owner to make a decision. The same decision they need to make under the current proposed tier. The group owner could say no, that the group is full, put them on a waiting list, remove an existing "deadwood" member to open a slot, or pay the GIO Premium rate.
Introducing a GIO paid account holder level would be tweak on the proposed paid tier system. It would take the burden off basic new group owners who cannot afford a paid tier.
I have stated before I would personally pay GIO annually for the privilege of having a GIO account. I created a group with only me in it just for that reason. So I am essentially already a GIO paid account holder but it's up to me to upgrade and downgrade. I could delete that group if GIO offered paid accounts to individuals.
However I don't know that paid individual accounts translates well to new GIO account holders. They do not have the same loyalty or past experience. Unlike legacy group owners, they do not realize the value of what they have and will have for perhaps a few more years. I think there may well be a reluctance for new GIO account holders to pay for an individual account. Giving them a 30 day trial make sense to me. They would then have time to explore and join a variety of groups.
As to the argument that the members in groups can't afford it, they don't have too. The owners of newly created groups can select a paid tier of service and direct add the number of members they desire up to the limits proposed in the new pricing structure. That's going to happen anyway.
A see a benefit to clubs, hobby enthusiasts and organizations. They essentially create a group, tell their members to join GIO for a 30 day trial, evaluate the service and then at the end of 30 days their members will know if there is value in continuing the group with each member paying GIO $5 a year to maintain their group. Something like that would bring in money. The alternate is no money and caps on membership.
I think paid individual GIO accounts are worth of more discussion.
--
Sandi Dickenson


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

 

On Fri, Jan 8, 2021 at 07:19 AM, Glenn Glazer wrote:
I would like to think that someone who can understand how to own and run a groups.io group is capable of understanding all of the proposals so far.
The group owners should be able to understand, and it's reasonable to expect them to understand, or to expect them to get some help understanding if they can't understand on their own. But I don't think it's reasonable (and/or profitable?) to expect millions of group members to understand and deal with something complicated. I think the current (Samuel) proposal as it stands is probably too complicated in that sense, and I think any plan that requires the users rather than owners to pay runs the risk of being too complicated, although there may be something else besides the current (Samuel) plan that isn't.
 
--
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: Make it clearer, when messages needs approval, if user is manually moderated #suggestion

Samuel Murrayy
 

On Fri, Jan 8, 2021 at 03:38 PM, Andy Wedge wrote:
On Fri, Jan 8, 2021 at 01:55 PM, Samuel Murrayy wrote:
I've also noticed that it's unclear in other cases when messages need approval as to WHY they need approval.  I would suggest that the reason be stated clearly at the top of the message
The reason for moderation is stated in the activity log. There may be a case for putting the reason in the email sent to Mod also but the detail is recorded if yo look for it.

The activity log is web-based, and there is no direct link to it, so you'd have to either bookmark it or navigate to it each time.  But I suspect my moderators approve via e-mail, mostly.  I currently don't approve via e-mail but only because I take a more active role in group management.  I'm sure that if I were a moderator only, I might do just that: moderate via e-mail.

Samuel


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

Glenn Glazer
 

On 01/08/2021 05:20, Sandi D wrote:
I am in support of the proposal of GIO offering the option of a paid level of service to GIO account holders. GIO account holders who want to pay GIO a nominal sum should have a mechanism to do so. What those advantages are to paid GIO account holders should be explored. One might be the ability to have to be additional features or the ability to join groups with capped memberships. These and others would seem worthy of study.

This is how it is where I work, in the virtual world of Second Life. People can be free members or they can be Premium at various levels. One level of Premium allows entry into areas that are nominally full, because we set aside space under the real cap for Premium members. It's a big incentive for our residents because it lets them join popular events and regions.

On the other subject, all systems are going to be "too complicated" for someone. I'm sure there are those that find the current system hard to understand. The question is not whether the system is objectively hard to understand, but whether or not it is understandable by a majority of the target audience. I would like to think that someone who can understand how to own and run a groups.io group is capable of understanding all of the proposals so far.

Best,

Glenn

--
PG&E Delenda Est


moderated Re: Make it clearer, when messages needs approval, if user is manually moderated #suggestion

Andy Wedge
 

On Fri, Jan 8, 2021 at 01:55 PM, Samuel Murrayy wrote:
I've also noticed that it's unclear in other cases when messages need approval as to WHY they need approval.  I would suggest that the reason be stated clearly at the top of the message
The reason for moderation is stated in the activity log. There may be a case for putting the reason in the email sent to Mod also but the detail is recorded if yo look for it.

Regards
Andy


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

Andy Wedge
 

On Fri, Jan 8, 2021 at 01:27 PM, Samuel Murrayy wrote:
any group that accepts him!
or her!

Andy


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

monamouroui
 

Mark,

I think this is all too complicated and would create more work for you and the group owners. I would look to simplify your pricing structure. 

Basic groups pay $1/week, $52 annually
Premium $4-5/week $208-260/annually
Enterprise $25/wk or whatever number you need to make it valuable to both yourself and the group owners

I think at some point you could phase in the pricing to grandfathered groups.

Even if all groups drop down to basic (which won't happen) and you have 20,000 groups that's a little over $1mil.

Same revenue for 5,000 premium with the above pricing structure and about 800 enterprise.

My opinion, keep it simple. 

Sara


On Thu, Jan 7, 2021, 5:11 PM Mark Fletcher <markf@corp.groups.io> wrote:

Hi All,

Thank you all for the vigorous but respectful discussion on the planned pricing changes. I'd like to discuss Samuel's proposal for paid users, as outlined here: https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/27515. I'm less interested in specific details, and more about the overall concept, which if I can summarize, is:

  • Groups have a set number of "free member slots". Someone filling one of these slots does not have to pay anything to Groups.io.
  • Paid groups would have more "free member slots".
  • Once the free member slots are filled up, someone wishing to be a new member of the group would have to pay a yearly fee to Groups.io.

There are other aspects, but that's the general outline. One could also imagine that paying the yearly fee to Groups.io would unlock additional per-user features at some point (like the ability to star/save messages, or the ability to delay the sending of a message to a group for a few minutes in case you want to change it, for example).

I think it's an interesting idea, although I am concerned about how to explain and present it clearly. I also think getting the implementation right would be tricky. Questions for the group:

  • Are there any problems with this idea/reasons to not implement it?
  • Does there need to be a try before you buy period where someone could subscribe to a group for 14 days (let's say) before having to become a paid member?
  • In Samuel's proposal, there's potentially a lot of member management that has to be done by the owners and I wonder if we reduce/simplify that? Ideally this is something owners would not have to think about.
  • What else am I missing?

Thanks,
Mark

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