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moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

 

Making members pay is a dealbreaker for me. I know some feel the opposite. My feeling is that I am hosting. I’m not running a paid business here.

And the refund issue is orders of magnitude more complicated when members pay. There are synchronization issue between confirmation, pending questionnaires for restricted groups, multiple vs single groups, etc.

For me its a dealbreaker. It radically changed the entire model and what we’re all doing here. But that’s just me.


On Jan 9, 2021, at 9:07 AM, Sandi D <sandi.asgtechie@...> wrote:

On Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 10:21 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
I think it would be clearly unethical for a member to pay for a year's worth of a group, get kicked out, and not get their money back.
What happens to groups who have paid and get closed down for not following the rules?

If a member of a group has paid $3-5 a year for an individual GIO account, they can join a different group. Maybe they have learned their lesson after the banned behavior. I have paid many a $69 a year no refund fee for a service I was not satisfied with. I don't think a non refundable $5 a year for an individual account is going to break anyone. They aren't banned from GIO. They have all their GIO benefits including joining another group. 

The optional model of allowing individuals to become paid supporters of GIO is in addition to the optional model of allowing group owner to become paid supporters of GIO. 

If the groups I helped create are forced to pay at any point they will leave GIO. If the members in those groups are given the option to pay at any point, many will continue on as members and the created groups they are in will remain as groups and attract more paying and non paying members. 

Someone has to pay. Allowing both group owners and GIO account holders the option to pay seems like it should be reasonably to considered. 
 
--
Sandi Dickenson

--
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

Duane
 

On Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 10:34 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
So I can juwt tell anyone I don't think should be forced to pay
No one would be forced to pay as I read it.  There would be 'free slots' for each pricing tier that could be used or the group owner could upgrade to a higher tier with more free slots, as well as having the option of paying the incremental fee for additional members.   Unless/until the 'site membership' (assuming that's the plan) is implemented, there's no way to know how many people would get one.  Even though I have several grandfathered groups, including a Premium group, I'd still be willing to pay up to $10 per year to GIO for a membership.  I'm guessing/hoping that there would be quite a few people that feel the same, but we can't know unless it happens.

Based on Mark's comments and some research on my part, large groups are the exception rather than the rule.  Yes, it would be of some concern for those groups that attract a large number of members, but a site membership option might minimize the need to upgrade a group while still bringing in $$$ for GIO.

While I do appreciate the grandfathering that is in place, at some point I expect it to end.  Maybe not while Mark is in charge (hopefully for a long time ;>), but someday.

Duane


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

Samuel Murrayy
 

On Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 05:34 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
On Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 08:15 AM, Samuel Murrayy wrote:
a very generous no-questions money-back policy
Great. So I can just tell anyone I don't think should be forced to pay, "Don't worry, you can just request a refund"?
I'm serious.
When word gets out that the refund policy may be more generous than the web site officially lets believe, no doubt some group owners might go ahead and tell their members that they should claim refunds willy-nilly.  But remember: if a member gets a refund, then their account reverts to free-member status. So, if your group has insufficient free-member slots available, they won't be able to rejoin your group (and they will also be removed from all their other groups where there are no free-member slots available or where the group owners decide not to award a free-member slot to them).

But you make a good point: I believe there are certain types of groups where people typically join only for a month or two (or for 6 or 9 months), before leaving again, so this possibility needs to be taken into account.

Samuel


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

Sandi D <sandi.asgtechie@...>
 

On Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 10:21 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
I think it would be clearly unethical for a member to pay for a year's worth of a group, get kicked out, and not get their money back.
What happens to groups who have paid and get closed down for not following the rules?

If a member of a group has paid $3-5 a year for an individual GIO account, they can join a different group. Maybe they have learned their lesson after the banned behavior. I have paid many a $69 a year no refund fee for a service I was not satisfied with. I don't think a non refundable $5 a year for an individual account is going to break anyone. They aren't banned from GIO. They have all their GIO benefits including joining another group. 

The optional model of allowing individuals to become paid supporters of GIO is in addition to the optional model of allowing group owner to become paid supporters of GIO. 

If the groups I helped create are forced to pay at any point they will leave GIO. If the members in those groups are given the option to pay at any point, many will continue on as members and the created groups they are in will remain as groups and attract more paying and non paying members. 

Someone has to pay. Allowing both group owners and GIO account holders the option to pay seems like it should be reasonably to considered. 
 
--
Sandi Dickenson


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

 

On Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 08:15 AM, Samuel Murrayy wrote:
a very generous no-questions money-back policy
Great. So I can juwt tell anyone I don't think should be forced to pay, "Don't worry, you can just request a refund"?
I'm serious.
 
--
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 Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 04:16 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
Here's another problem if members rather than owners are the ones who pay: what happens to the member's payment if and when a member is removed and/or banned from a group? What happens if that was their only group... ? What if they have only been in the group for a very small part of the year vs. the whole year?
This is a good point -- one of those points that are not really problematic to solve but which needs to be considered.  I would personally try to find a solution that is likely to lead to the fewest support requests (because support requests eat into profits).

So, off the cuff, my solution to this problem would be for Groups.io to have a very generous no-questions money-back policy for user memberships (note: user memberships, not group owner payments), since it's only $2.50, and it's not a huge loss to pay back that amount, and it's too little money to spend support time on.  I recall having read various views and experiences about internet-based no-questions refunding, and the impression that I got was that it is not abused nearly as often as one might have expected.  With this solution, a user would automatically get a refund if he requests it, regardless of his reasons.

Refunds for group owners are a different matter, but since the amounts are higher, it's also less problematic to spend support time on such requests.


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

 

In my business, if someone has already paid me for something and then I am the one to fire them, I think it's only ethical to give them a refund. I think it would be clearly unethical for a member to pay for a year's worth of a group, get kicked out, and not get their money back.

The more I think about it, the more I think that I would not stay in groups.io if members were forced to pay. If I understand the proposal correctly, this would affect all members of all groups, and the grandfathering would be toast. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

On Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 7:16 AM J_Catlady via groups.io <j.olivia.catlady=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
Here's another problem if members rather than owners are the ones who pay: what happens to the member's payment if and when a member is removed and/or banned from a group? What happens if that was their only group vs. if they are in more than one group? What if they have only been in the group for a very small part of the year vs. the whole year? How is the communication handled between the group owner and groups.io in case there has to be a refund?
--
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


--
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

 

Here's another problem if members rather than owners are the ones who pay: what happens to the member's payment if and when a member is removed and/or banned from a group? What happens if that was their only group vs. if they are in more than one group? What if they have only been in the group for a very small part of the year vs. the whole year? How is the communication handled between the group owner and groups.io in case there has to be a refund?
--
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

Duane
 

On Fri, Jan 8, 2021 at 04:47 PM, billsf9c wrote:
Wikipedia demands a lot of info unneesed for a simple.donation and demands you give it to donate AND that it allows.them and "~their friends" ability to send junk mail.

From what I read of the IO donation setup, it is similar.
The person setting up a Stripe account to accept donations for a group does need to furnish information.  Those making a payment to GIO or a donation to a group only need to enter credit card info.  In the case under discussion, people would be paying GIO, so no extra info needed.

Duane


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

Mike Hanauer
 

I do apologize to Catlady for misreading her intent. I do still think the points below are important...

    ~Mike

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

David M
 

In reading this proposal and the comments, one thing that seems not to be addressed is the situation where groups.io is used as a mailing list handler only. The members of the group do not actually ever login to the system. They are just subscribed and send/receive e-mail.

More to the point, these people are not groupies. They just want e-mails and the idea of making them have an account and login to pay is not going to work. Simplicity for the members is the goal.

I have no idea what would work best, but wanted the perspective of e-mail-only users considered.

David


moderated Site updates #changelog

 

Changes to the site this week:

  • APP: A lot of work on the new version of the app.
  • INTERNAL: More work on converting templates to quicktemplate.
  • DOCS: Updates from Nina.
  • CHANGE: For messages that don't follow group hashtag requirements (missing a hashtag/using a restricted hashtag/etc), we would save a copy as a pending message and allow people to edit the message. We now just do not accept the message in the first place, and return an error message.
  • BUGFIX: The bouncing email notification wasn't properly escaping the email address encoded in the unbounce URL.
  • BUGFIX: When clicking Send Message from the view pending message screen, an erroneous You must include a message error message was displayed in the compose screen.
  • NEW: When direct adding or inviting an email address that is an alias of an existing member, show that existing member's email address in the error message.
  • BUGFIX: Fixed the Taken display when viewing individual photos.

Take care everyone.

Mark


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

Glenn Glazer
 

On the subject of free trials, this just showed up in my feed:



Best,

Glenn

--
PG&E Delenda Est


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

 

As a long time “owner” of multiple cats people have thrown out (to their great loss), I thank you for your service to felines everywhere.
Thank you, and thank you for rescuing multiple cats.

That said I respectfully point out that by paying annually for a Premium group with your own funds is, quite literally, funding the lurkers who comprise the great majority of your present member.
I don't mind that at present. They may well be lurking and learning, that is fine by me.

Your group presently enjoys the prestige of numbers these many lurkers “bring to the party”, even though the great majority of them would quickly disappear were you to ever impose a “subscription fee”.
I know many view large memberships as prestigious, but I don't personally. However, at present it doesn't cost me anything to have many lurking members (many of whom, as you say, would leave if they had to pay to remain a member), so they are welcome to lurk. If i were facing a personal cost of US$4000 a year, with no guarantee of much support from members, as you yourself have experienced, I would have to have a ruthless clearout; and how do you decide who should stay?

It is fortunate that the value of your services rendered is both immediately apparent and tangible.
Thank you. I like to think that people would therefore be prepared to pay a small amount per year to be a member. One possible downside with this would be that once people pay for something, they want more for their money. I can envisage people complaining if their posts are not answered promptly (however they personally define that), even though the people who try to help them are just regular folk who do not get paid, they do it because of their love of cats.

I still favour the member paying and not the group.

The longer we are grandathered, the better!

Helen


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

billsf9c
 

> I think the worst feature of any proposal wherein members, rather than owners, pay is actually that. 

Just and ONLY for a perspective;

Costco charges a 2 (3?) tiered membership fee. Then the charge a profit on each item. They could easy get that 50 or 125$ fee by increasing the profit margin and maybe get more folks in the door.

There must be a reason for them taking a lil here and a lil there. There are some parallels w IO.

That said, I'd hate to have 123 year old Edith denied joining a knitting list for lack of a dime or the plastic or paypal savvy. She probably has numbered instructions on how to start her donated computor and access her group email taped to her desk. 🙄😏😑 If she gets a bump notice telling her to pay up, she'll think it's another ekderly bilking scam and will fear asking for help because of her getting scolded for slumming somewhere, without cause, if her children don't know about "how IO works." ~"It's not LIKE that Mom. I checked before we signed you up! You must have clicked somewhere by ass-ident. Be more careful."

BillSF9c


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

 

Bill,

Just to clarify,


Wikipedia demands a lot of info unneesed for a simple.donation and demands you give it to donate AND that it allows.them and "~their friends" ability to send junk mail.
From what I read of the IO donation setup, it is similar

you mean the current (Stripe) setup, not any potential setup we are discussing, right?

Cheers,
Christos


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

 

My group, as everyone (?) knows, is also to help sick cats. I don’t denigrate lurkers or feel that they’re in any way less deserving of membership. Many of them are following very closely and learning, which I often find out about years after they have joined even though they never post. I don’t feel they are less valuable for not contributing. In fact, I’d rather that members without a solid knowledge base *not* contribute, for the most part, except gif giving emotional support. There is too much of that going around.

I do, however, strictly limit membership to people with cats with a proven or near-proven diagnosis of the specific disease we deal with. It is a very small and focused group so even the lurkers are people with something at stake, not just people who have a casual interest in the disease and are what’s called “frequent fliers” (members of dozens of cat health groups, giving out mostly bad advice and with great authority, and generally pretending to be vets -msynd they should join Glenn’s Second Life instead..:-)

If members were charged, and if i weren’t already grandfathered in, I would not be willing to ask the vet, for example, to pay for the privilege of donating his valuable time and expertise. There seem to be many different kinds of members in many different kinds of groups - everyone from lurkers to hard-working “volunteers” to unpaid experts - and in my group, I would not want to force everyone to pay a yearly fee. Perhaps it makes sense for less focused groups with larger, unrestricted membership.

On Jan 8, 2021, at 2:32 PM, txercoupemuseum.org <ercoguru@txercoupemuseum.org> wrote:

As a long time “owner” of multiple cats people have thrown out (to their great loss), I thank you for your service to felines everywhere. That said I respectfully point out that by paying annually for a Premium group with your own funds is, quite literally, funding the lurkers who comprise the great majority of your present member.

Your group presently enjoys the prestige of numbers these many lurkers “bring to the party”, even though the great majority of them would quickly disappear were you to ever impose a “subscription fee”. It is fortunate that the value of your services rendered is both immediately apparent and tangible.

My groups are a single amalgamation of people owning or interested in a particular aircraft that is relatively unique in design, operation and maintenance. The “technical” discussions are kept separate from the “social”, which is really the only reason we maintain two groups.

Subscriber’s interests may be historical, operational or mechanical (maintenance). We have requested financial participation from them twice.

The first time was to help the Smithsonian restore the first example of our aircraft, then in restoration. By the time it was donated, it had period-inaccurate metal for the front cowling, and the “right” part had popped up on eBay. I requested donations, and about twenty people stepped forward, we bought the part and sent it to Washington.

The second time was our migration from Yahoo to Groups.io. My crystal ball was cloudy, so we didn’t make it in until there was a $220 charge mandatory for a year’s “Premium” membership, after which we could (and did) revert to “Basic” (free) status.

The exact same twenty (or so) were the ones who again stepped forward. So, of almost 900 subscribers, so some 2% “support” the rest.

The fact that information we discuss could frequently relate to “safety of flight” means it may be possible to reconfigure some minority of this bunch to pay nominally to belong. That might significantly increase the number that view what we do is of value, and get greater participation. That’s been a long term wish that has never “caught fire”.

So that’s the “good news”. The “bad news” is this would greatly increase my uncompensated administrative time “invested”, and I’m really not in a position to do that. Of course, delegation is certainly a possibility.

So again, it appears we confront, in common, human nature…everyone wants something for free; thus some things are possible for “free” that aren’t possible when a charge is involved. And then there is the matter of our own egos, finances, and desire to help others help themselves from accumulated wisdom.

One size definitely does not “fit all”.

Best!

WRB




On Jan 8, 2021, at 3:14 PM, Tanya's Feline CKD Website <helen@felineckd.com> wrote:

I utterly reject this idea that lurkers should get membership for free. They are contributing nothing to the group other than increased numbers (which clearly will soon be far less attractive than it once was), and would not pay a penny for the information they receive, whilst those who give freely of their time to help others (I fortunately have a small number of excellent hardworking selfless contributors) would have the dubious privilege of paying for doing so.

I have a large group that, if not grandfathered in, would cost almost US$4000 a year under the original proposal, which clearly I could not and would not pay. I also have zero interest in additional admin work regarding membership fees for my mods and me that would not benefit us in any way.

My group offers help to people with sick cats, often with an urgent need to consult others in the same boat. I would have no problem with people wishing to join my group being asked to pay US$5-10 a year (which pales into insignificance against their vet fees) directly to groups.io. Ideally they would have 15-30 days in which they could cancel, which those whose cats died or who didn't like the group could then do.

HTH

Helen (out of lurkdom since this is an important topic)








--
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

billsf9c
 

> 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.

Nice thought. One poroblem...
Wikipedia demands a lot of info unneesed for a simple.donation and demands you give it to donate AND that it allows.them and "~their friends" ability to send junk mail.

From what I read of the IO donation setup, it is similar. Wiki has lost 4 or 5 small donations from me and I write them about it. It remains the same so I am guessing noone reads the fine print.

BillSF9c


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

billsf9c
 

> My sole objection is to a structure wherein members have to pay rather than the group owners.

Both have merit. There's no reason both cannot be had. Some list owners can pay. Some members xould oot fir a plan that allows them to oay a flat fee fir up to 5 geoups... or up to 10, 20, 40, & 100.

Owners who have 4000 members and 500 of those were folks who opted to pay themselves, would not be counted by Marks machine. The owner would get billes for 3500. Their email addy would be somehow tagged. Some tags on members exist now. This might make everyone happy on this single issue.

Still outstanding are other issues which can be decided separately, such as the chasm between free/basic and the (low larger) Premium gigantam memory and cost leap, for example. My huge list of 2000 lasted 10 years on 750 Megs. I'll need a 2nd Gig someday. Not 19 or 29 more. Collecting a dime apiece is simply as undoable as me paying 20$ / mo. And with Wells fargo involved with the donation method, many won't use it due to their rep against the poor / elderly. Maybe that's in the past. I left them and won't look back.

HNY!
BillSF9c


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

txercoupemuseum.org
 

As a long time “owner” of multiple cats people have thrown out (to their great loss), I thank you for your service to felines everywhere. That said I respectfully point out that by paying annually for a Premium group with your own funds is, quite literally, funding the lurkers who comprise the great majority of your present member.

Your group presently enjoys the prestige of numbers these many lurkers “bring to the party”, even though the great majority of them would quickly disappear were you to ever impose a “subscription fee”. It is fortunate that the value of your services rendered is both immediately apparent and tangible.

My groups are a single amalgamation of people owning or interested in a particular aircraft that is relatively unique in design, operation and maintenance. The “technical” discussions are kept separate from the “social”, which is really the only reason we maintain two groups.

Subscriber’s interests may be historical, operational or mechanical (maintenance). We have requested financial participation from them twice.

The first time was to help the Smithsonian restore the first example of our aircraft, then in restoration. By the time it was donated, it had period-inaccurate metal for the front cowling, and the “right” part had popped up on eBay. I requested donations, and about twenty people stepped forward, we bought the part and sent it to Washington.

The second time was our migration from Yahoo to Groups.io. My crystal ball was cloudy, so we didn’t make it in until there was a $220 charge mandatory for a year’s “Premium” membership, after which we could (and did) revert to “Basic” (free) status.

The exact same twenty (or so) were the ones who again stepped forward. So, of almost 900 subscribers, so some 2% “support” the rest.

The fact that information we discuss could frequently relate to “safety of flight” means it may be possible to reconfigure some minority of this bunch to pay nominally to belong. That might significantly increase the number that view what we do is of value, and get greater participation. That’s been a long term wish that has never “caught fire”.

So that’s the “good news”. The “bad news” is this would greatly increase my uncompensated administrative time “invested”, and I’m really not in a position to do that. Of course, delegation is certainly a possibility.

So again, it appears we confront, in common, human nature…everyone wants something for free; thus some things are possible for “free” that aren’t possible when a charge is involved. And then there is the matter of our own egos, finances, and desire to help others help themselves from accumulated wisdom.

One size definitely does not “fit all”.

Best!

WRB

On Jan 8, 2021, at 3:14 PM, Tanya's Feline CKD Website <helen@felineckd.com> wrote:

I utterly reject this idea that lurkers should get membership for free. They are contributing nothing to the group other than increased numbers (which clearly will soon be far less attractive than it once was), and would not pay a penny for the information they receive, whilst those who give freely of their time to help others (I fortunately have a small number of excellent hardworking selfless contributors) would have the dubious privilege of paying for doing so.

I have a large group that, if not grandfathered in, would cost almost US$4000 a year under the original proposal, which clearly I could not and would not pay. I also have zero interest in additional admin work regarding membership fees for my mods and me that would not benefit us in any way.

My group offers help to people with sick cats, often with an urgent need to consult others in the same boat. I would have no problem with people wishing to join my group being asked to pay US$5-10 a year (which pales into insignificance against their vet fees) directly to groups.io. Ideally they would have 15-30 days in which they could cancel, which those whose cats died or who didn't like the group could then do.

HTH

Helen (out of lurkdom since this is an important topic)




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