Date   

moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

 

Shal,
Here is the connection between member payment and specific group - from Mark's original message in this thread:
"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."

This creates a direct connection between a specific group, on the one hand, and a member having, or wanting, to get a paid membership, on the other.  And this is what I mean by the space warping around groups. People would not be just signing up for a yearly paid membership in groups.io, no matter what groups they want to join, and no matter whether or not those groups are "full." People would try to join a group, discover that it's at its limit, and THEN have to pay groups.io in order to join it. In all respects except technically, that's the same as someone paying to join a specific group.  

--
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
 

What I am strongly opposed to is a new member payment NOT tied to a specific group, that would be required to even access any groups that are grandfathered, free Basic and/or already sponsored and paid for by owners. Not tying a member payment to a specific group implies that the requirement for a new Groups.io user access fee is system wide.
 
I have a tiny grandfathered Basic Group that I personally paid $220 to migrate. If any of my current or even future members are forced to pay a user fee in order to just gain access to Groups.io, my free content is then behind a new paywall and my group will die.

None of my members will pay Groups.io a fee to access my group content. Not one of them. I'm OK with encouraging voluntary donations to Mark or donations to owners of premium groups, but I am not OK with any kind of Groups.io paywall that puts all groups behind a ubiquitous system-wide user-access fee.
 
Scott


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

 

J,


Shal is diametrically opposed to Mark’s original idea, in which only owners pay, in that case. 

Yes.

I recognize that Mark will almost certainly follow through with his original Pricing Changes, but I'm opposed to it alone (without adding Samuel's proposal or other mitigations).


Also please don’t put words in my mouth. ... What I am strongly opposed to is member payment being tied to a specific group or groups.

I didn't think I had.

So, what do you mean by "member payment tied to a specific group or groups"? I'm not aware that such a thing is under consideration.

As I understand it the only payments tied to specific groups are in Mark's original Pricing Changes: the base fee for Premium and Enterprise groups, plust the per-member fees charged to those groups above the base number of members. But those are payments made by the group, not the member.

Samuel's proposal (this Topic) is that fees paid directly to Groups.io by the member will be for membership "at large" - the user with a paid account can join any number of groups irrespective of that group's available "free slots".

Shal


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

Joanie
 

I know I'm a little late to this proposal but I'm wondering what problems are being solved by changing the payment strategy. If the problem is disk space cost then charge more for space. If basic operating costs like server hosting and advanced feature development is a problem then charge more for the base cost if groups have a larger resource footprint. We are charitable organization and we do raise money to help pay for our costs and we have memberships to provide extra benefits to our members like discounts to event tickets. We really like groups.io but I think what it is lacking is a membership model and donation capability. If there was a membership model so that groups could charge some of their users a fee for more benefits like adding them to certain forums then groups could raise the necessary funds to pay groups.io for the services. Donation capability would also help.

Another interesting idea is to structure a storage space allocation by user and charge the user based on their specific storage usage. Free users get a fixed amount (50MB) and members of each group have an adder placed on their membership for the amount of storage space they request. This way the group gets their membership fee and groups.io gets their storage cost fee.

This type of model requires very little administration and allows small footprint groups to exist for free or for a very small fee. This allows small groups to flourish and hopefully some of then will flourish into larger groups and thus more revenue for groups.io. It provides those groups who need more capability to collect revenue from their users in terms of memberships and provides a way for groups.io to collect revenue from these memberships. groups.io could charge a membership fee of 5% and then a surcharge for member space usage. All the administrator would need to do is set up the membership levels and turn on the donation module to get it working. Then send out announcements to their community and post the information on their websites or social media. Members would be self managed with reminders for membership renewal and possibly an autopay feature which is a great tool to retain members.

I think this type of model would provide a foundation to reduce barriers to entry, encourage growth and also increase revenue. I would definitely support this type of model from the administration side, user side and hopefully it makes sense to groups.io and keeps it financially viable.

Just my 2 cents.

Hugs,

Joanie


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

 

Shal is diametrically opposed to Mark’s original idea, in which only owners pay, in that case. 

Also please don’t put words in my mouth. I never said things “must” be one way or the other. My feeling is that that would be the best and the simplest. I said that I would not be opposed to a hybrid. What I am strongly opposed to is member payment being tied to a specific group or groups.


On Jan 12, 2021, at 9:34 AM, Shal Farley <shals2nd@...> wrote:


Jeremy,


The difference being that under Drew's proposals, ALL members would be required to take a paid subscription, to be able to join groups (beyond perhaps a few) whichever groups they are. As such it is the opposite of Mark's proposal - it charges members, instead of group owners.

Ah. I missed the implication that the ability of a group to pay for additional free slots, and even the base-level free slots, would be taken away under Drew's proposal.


And as such it has the same inferiority to Samuel's, which provides for a choice: either the group owner or the member can pay - if neither, then no membership of that group for that member.

Agreed.

I'm diametrically opposed to J's opinion that it must be 100% one or the other - groups are too varied in their purposes and needs for a one-size-fits-all solution to work.

Some group owners would be happy to sponsor (pay for) their entire membership (with or without donations from some members); but would anticipate near zero membership if the members were required to pay Groups.io directly (Drew's plan).

Other group owners cannot manage this and would ask their members to pay Groups.io for an account; but would be limited to their plan's base amount (100, 400, 1000) if there were no paid accounts (Mark's original Pricing Changes).
Shal


--
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: Member Page is Blank for Moderators? #bug

Sandra
 

As a mod I had permission yesterday, there is nothing in the activity log to indicate any changes, and the owner has not changed any settings. 


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

 

Jeremy,


The difference being that under Drew's proposals, ALL members would be required to take a paid subscription, to be able to join groups (beyond perhaps a few) whichever groups they are. As such it is the opposite of Mark's proposal - it charges members, instead of group owners.

Ah. I missed the implication that the ability of a group to pay for additional free slots, and even the base-level free slots, would be taken away under Drew's proposal.


And as such it has the same inferiority to Samuel's, which provides for a choice: either the group owner or the member can pay - if neither, then no membership of that group for that member.

Agreed.

I'm diametrically opposed to J's opinion that it must be 100% one or the other - groups are too varied in their purposes and needs for a one-size-fits-all solution to work.

Some group owners would be happy to sponsor (pay for) their entire membership (with or without donations from some members); but would anticipate near zero membership if the members were required to pay Groups.io directly (Drew's plan).

Other group owners cannot manage this and would ask their members to pay Groups.io for an account; but would be limited to their plan's base amount (100, 400, 1000) if there were no paid accounts (Mark's original Pricing Changes).
Shal


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

 

On Tue, Jan 12, 2021 at 08:16 AM, Marina wrote:
I can't surely see myself breaking my head over slots and who can or cannot join my group based on his/her paid membership.
That is the biggest downside to Samuel's proposal IMO. If member fees are tied to specific groups it creates all kinds of problems, most of which probably even aren't predictable. But the predictable ones already mentioned in this thread are bad enough.

Member fees completely unrelated to specific groups (as in Drew's idea); or no member fees, just owner fees (possibly tweaked to make them more acceptable to people) seem unencumbered by endless complications.
 
--
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 Tue, Jan 12, 2021 at 09:15 AM, monamouroui wrote:
I could see about 30 in the new groups search that are definitely from one person.
It really doesn't look suspicious to me. And i'm suspicious lol.
 
--
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

monamouroui
 

Ok, maybe go look at them. I could see about 30 in the new groups search that are definitely from one person. They might have more. Hopefully Mark has something in place that prevents people from selling groups.

Sara

On Tue, Jan 12, 2021, 11:46 AM J_Catlady <j.olivia.catlady@...> wrote:
I think most (in fact, all) brand-new groups start out with 1 member. 


On Jan 12, 2021, at 8:42 AM, monamouroui <monamouroui@...> wrote:


, go take a look at the "New" groups created over the past couple of weeks since Marks new pricing was announced. Any with 1 member only are place holders getting in on the grandfathered status. 

All those people have to do after Jan 18th is offer to sell their group at a discount to what GIO is charging. Mark gets zero, sneaky entrepreneur gets a small income.

Sara


On Tue, Jan 12, 2021, 10:23 AM Samuel Murrayy <samuelmurray@...> wrote:
On Tue, Jan 12, 2021 at 03:13 AM, Shal Farley wrote:
As I understand it, in this proposal there's only one price available to a member: $2.50/yr for all the subscriptions they want (maybe there would have to be some cap, but I think it ought to be 10 subscriptions or higher). ... Some people have proposed tiers for paid accounts, maybe even Samuel in other posts (I don't recall)...
Allow me to clarify the $2.50 (I have done so in the original mail, too).  From Mark's new pricing structure I deduced that he would like to earn $0.55 per member per year.  I assumed that most people belong to no more than 2-3 groups (while a relatively very small percentage of people belong to dozens of groups).  And I assumed that a payment portal (e.g. Stripe) is likely to shave off about 50c in transaction fees.  So with this back-of-the-envelope calculations, $2.50 sounded like it could work.

I do not propose nor favour tiers for paid accounts at all.  The $2.50 should be enough to cover all costs.


--
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: Member Page is Blank for Moderators? #bug

 

The mod has to have member-page permissions. Are you sure the mod you’re testing with has that?


On Jan 12, 2021, at 8:43 AM, Sandra <sancole827@...> wrote:

Hi, 

Sometime yesterday, when a moderator clicks on a members name in the membership listing, pending members or past members, they are directed to a blank page. 

There is no information on membership, activity history, email delivery history, notes or owner messages, just a blank page. 

I have checked as an owner and can see all of the member information, but am directed to a blank page as a moderator. No group settings have changed, and I still have access to the membership listing. 

Thanks, 

Sandra

--
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

 

I think most (in fact, all) brand-new groups start out with 1 member. 


On Jan 12, 2021, at 8:42 AM, monamouroui <monamouroui@...> wrote:


Samuel, what's to stop group owners from creating dozens of basic groups before Jan 18 with the hope of having "X" number for free slots per group and duplicating their archives in each group? Particularly on the announcement only groups?

If you think that wouldn't happen, go take a look at the "New" groups created over the past couple of weeks since Marks new pricing was announced. Any with 1 member only are place holders getting in on the grandfathered status. 

All those people have to do after Jan 18th is offer to sell their group at a discount to what GIO is charging. Mark gets zero, sneaky entrepreneur gets a small income.

Sara


On Tue, Jan 12, 2021, 10:23 AM Samuel Murrayy <samuelmurray@...> wrote:
On Tue, Jan 12, 2021 at 03:13 AM, Shal Farley wrote:
As I understand it, in this proposal there's only one price available to a member: $2.50/yr for all the subscriptions they want (maybe there would have to be some cap, but I think it ought to be 10 subscriptions or higher). ... Some people have proposed tiers for paid accounts, maybe even Samuel in other posts (I don't recall)...
Allow me to clarify the $2.50 (I have done so in the original mail, too).  From Mark's new pricing structure I deduced that he would like to earn $0.55 per member per year.  I assumed that most people belong to no more than 2-3 groups (while a relatively very small percentage of people belong to dozens of groups).  And I assumed that a payment portal (e.g. Stripe) is likely to shave off about 50c in transaction fees.  So with this back-of-the-envelope calculations, $2.50 sounded like it could work.

I do not propose nor favour tiers for paid accounts at all.  The $2.50 should be enough to cover all costs.


--
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 Page is Blank for Moderators? #bug

Sandra
 

Hi, 

Sometime yesterday, when a moderator clicks on a members name in the membership listing, pending members or past members, they are directed to a blank page. 

There is no information on membership, activity history, email delivery history, notes or owner messages, just a blank page. 

I have checked as an owner and can see all of the member information, but am directed to a blank page as a moderator. No group settings have changed, and I still have access to the membership listing. 

Thanks, 

Sandra


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

monamouroui
 

Samuel, what's to stop group owners from creating dozens of basic groups before Jan 18 with the hope of having "X" number for free slots per group and duplicating their archives in each group? Particularly on the announcement only groups?

If you think that wouldn't happen, go take a look at the "New" groups created over the past couple of weeks since Marks new pricing was announced. Any with 1 member only are place holders getting in on the grandfathered status. 

All those people have to do after Jan 18th is offer to sell their group at a discount to what GIO is charging. Mark gets zero, sneaky entrepreneur gets a small income.

Sara


On Tue, Jan 12, 2021, 10:23 AM Samuel Murrayy <samuelmurray@...> wrote:
On Tue, Jan 12, 2021 at 03:13 AM, Shal Farley wrote:
As I understand it, in this proposal there's only one price available to a member: $2.50/yr for all the subscriptions they want (maybe there would have to be some cap, but I think it ought to be 10 subscriptions or higher). ... Some people have proposed tiers for paid accounts, maybe even Samuel in other posts (I don't recall)...
Allow me to clarify the $2.50 (I have done so in the original mail, too).  From Mark's new pricing structure I deduced that he would like to earn $0.55 per member per year.  I assumed that most people belong to no more than 2-3 groups (while a relatively very small percentage of people belong to dozens of groups).  And I assumed that a payment portal (e.g. Stripe) is likely to shave off about 50c in transaction fees.  So with this back-of-the-envelope calculations, $2.50 sounded like it could work.

I do not propose nor favour tiers for paid accounts at all.  The $2.50 should be enough to cover all costs.


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

Marina
 

Marv Waschke:
I prefer a model where I as owner pay for the service and figure out myself how to pay for the service.

I agree as long as the members limit is lifted or a more affordable pricing introduced.
My group is in the range of 2100 members, at the moment using 29 MB total storage out of 1GB.
I am very thankful to Mark for all the brilliant work and for considering us legacy.

I can envisage raising (or paying myself) something around 200 USD yearly, but anything over that would simply and sadly mean leaving GIO.
I can't surely see myself breaking my head over slots and who can or cannot join my group based on his/her paid membership.
Last but not least, I agree with Catlady when she says:
"I don't think it's reasonable (and/or profitable?) to expect millions of group members to understand and deal with something complicated."
I respectfully wish to remind that GIO has an international membership. We may be a small minority, but not all my members have a good command of English, which makes complicated things even more complicated.


My 2 euro cents,
Marina


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

Sandi D <sandi.asgtechie@...>
 

On Mon, Jan 11, 2021 at 06:54 PM, Joanie wrote:
Right now, our paid memberships and fundraisers generate enough revenue to cover the costs of the Premium membership level. I know that every group is different and accommodating all these various use cases is difficult. I'm just trying to provide some insight to this particular use case.
I don't see anything in Samuel's proposal that would change your current way of doing things. You are grandfathered in as a legacy Premium Group. That fact would not change unless you decided to download to Basic or upgrade to Enterprise. Or if legacy groups were no longer grandfathered in at some future point. 

What might change under this proposal, is that some of your group members might favor the option to become paid GIO account holders so that they could join future groups with a capped membership. The choice to use an email address to pay for a GIO account should continue to be theirs alone.

The proposal gives people, including your existing members the option of a paid GIO account and that in turn gives them the ability to join other groups including those with capped membershios. Yes, incidentally if they choose this option, they may or may not show up in your member area as having a badge reflecting their paid GIO account status. I don't see how such a badge would translate into a changed membership role. It merely signifies their desire to pay GIO for a service they value and in return GIO may give them a badge (or perhaps some other benefit outside of the existing benefit of being a member in your group.)

This seems confusing to many current owners. They are of the opinion that they will see a badge or other indication in their member list showing one of their members has opted to obtain a paid GIO account. In their option, if they see such a badge, they feel it places a burden on them. That they need to look differently at members who opt to hold paid GIO accounts. Or perhaps treat them differently. I have yet to understand that rationale. Other than some owners are more protective of "their" members then other owners. Almost to the point of treating their members as property.

Some owners are opposed to the concept of optional paid GIO user accounts and have offered a variety of reasons. So far I have read that some owners feel that the paid GIO account holder will demand more service from the group owner, that others in the group will see the paid account holder as having elevated status in the group, that it will violate the terms the owners set it on place at the time their group was created and that it could violate statue and codes because the person does not hold a license and therefore cannot dispense the information if they are paying in some way. Or things along those lines. 

As a licensed health care professional in a variety of states and the federal systems, and as a former state level Executive Director aware of state codes and statues, my informed opinion is an unlicensed professional cannot dispense "information of a professional body that is defined by statue or code" for free or "for value". Doing so places them in violation. So having a paid account holder within their membership is a moot point.

As for the aurgument of an elevated status, if a badge were to be displayed, it would not be visible to other members of the group unless they were Owners (or Mods with that privilege). Members do not see the badges of other members. Some people dwell more over the issue of "stars" and "no stars". That's human behaviour. We will always have those who want to sow divisiveness. There are mechanisms available to control unwanted behavior. 

In regards to the argument that paid GIO account owners will be more demanding that may be true in the sense that some paid account holders will feel they have more of a voice in the GIO community as a whole. But again, do paid groups have more of a voice than basic groups? It all depends on the issue. Perhaps their GIO support inquires will be elevated above the inquires of free, basic account holders. Whether that comes to pass or not is outside this discussion.  

Then there is the issue that a group created under earlier terms may see those terms as being violated if they admit paid GIO account holders. Admitting members after GIO introduces new terms and policies is not something new. As time goes by and GIO policies change, it's quite possible both groups and account holders will have to comply and "being in compliance" may well change the terms the group operates under or the terms the account holder operates under. 

Some group owners seem to forget that individuals may join GIO with more than one email address. GIO does not inform group owners which of their members have more than one GIO account. As a group owner you may never know that one of your members is using a different email address that is attached to a paid account. It's very possible a discrete person may continue to be a member in your existing legacy group and you will never see evidence of his/her paid account. So all the discussions of having to treat paid GIO account holders is in some ways absurd since you are relying soley on an email address to identify them. 

People may decide to create a mixture of GIO accounts, some free and some paid. Some may use their paid GIO accounts in order to seek out capped membership groups. A person not "out" yet may want to use two different accounts to more freely express their different or conflicting personalities/perspectives in various groups. Some use different GIO accounts to keep family groups separate from professional groups and keep of those separate from transitory hobbies and interests.

I want to thank Mark for allowing individual account holders to weigh in on the proposal. Personally, I am one who will opt in on at least 3 of my GIO accounts, should this proposal be implemented. 

--
Sandi Dickenson


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

M K Ramadoss
 

Whatever Mark decides, the pricing should be simple to administer.
Today it is one billing per group. Increasing the number of billings will exponentially increase workload!
KISS

MKR


On Tue, Jan 12, 2021 at 9:29 AM Peter Cook <peterscottcook@...> wrote:
On Tue, Jan 12, 2021 at 10:23 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
Why would one do that unless the plan/proposal is merely a draft?
It's pointless to sit here and debate whose assumptions are correct. One of three things is true: Mark will implement his pricing changes on the 18th, or he won't, or he's still considering input. I'd sure like to know which of those is true.

Pete


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

Peter Cook
 

On Tue, Jan 12, 2021 at 10:23 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
Why would one do that unless the plan/proposal is merely a draft?
It's pointless to sit here and debate whose assumptions are correct. One of three things is true: Mark will implement his pricing changes on the 18th, or he won't, or he's still considering input. I'd sure like to know which of those is true.

Pete


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

 

On Tue, Jan 12, 2021 at 07:16 AM, Peter Cook wrote:
there are some comments here that seem to imply otherwise.
That would include Mark's, on asking for our input. Why would one do that unless the plan/proposal is merely a draft?
 
--
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

Samuel Murrayy
 

On Tue, Jan 12, 2021 at 03:13 AM, Shal Farley wrote:
As I understand it, in this proposal there's only one price available to a member: $2.50/yr for all the subscriptions they want (maybe there would have to be some cap, but I think it ought to be 10 subscriptions or higher). ... Some people have proposed tiers for paid accounts, maybe even Samuel in other posts (I don't recall)...
Allow me to clarify the $2.50 (I have done so in the original mail, too).  From Mark's new pricing structure I deduced that he would like to earn $0.55 per member per year.  I assumed that most people belong to no more than 2-3 groups (while a relatively very small percentage of people belong to dozens of groups).  And I assumed that a payment portal (e.g. Stripe) is likely to shave off about 50c in transaction fees.  So with this back-of-the-envelope calculations, $2.50 sounded like it could work.

I do not propose nor favour tiers for paid accounts at all.  The $2.50 should be enough to cover all costs.

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