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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


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

Samuel Murrayy
 

Hello

I've noticed that there is no way to see whether a message is held for moderation due to it being from a new member or due to it being from a member who is currently moderated.  For messages from "new user" moderated people, we generally just check if the message is spam or a scam, and if it isn't, the moderator approves it.  But I would like my moderators to look more closely at a message if that message is sent from someone who is currently being moderated (i.e. manually moderated, not "new user" moderated).

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 that is sent to the moderator, and that the reason is also stated on both approval screens on the web.

Samuel


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

Samuel Murrayy
 

On Fri, Jan 8, 2021 at 12:33 PM, Duane wrote:
One thing I'm not clear on is whether this Paid User Proposal would be a per group fee or a per account fee.
Allow me to clarify my original suggestion:

There would be two payment routes:
1. Group owners can pay money to increase the number of "free members" that their group can have.
2. Users (i.e. people with a Groups.io account that is tied to an e-mail address) can buy a Groups.io user membership, which allows them to join groups without using up a "free member" slot.

In other words, a user whose e-mail address is foo@... and who has an account at Groups.io under the account foo@... would buy a paid Groups.io user membership, and that one payment (per year) would give him the ability to join any group (that is, any group that accepts him!) without using up a free-member slot in that group.

It was not my suggestion that users would have to pay per-member-per-group.  In fact, that it what I was trying to avoid: the problem with payment per-member-per-group is that some people are members of many, many groups, and a payment per-member-per-group would discourage people from joining more groups, and that's the opposite of what you want to happen.

Duane, you wrote "How about offering an annual membership to anyone that wants it, regardless of which groups they may be in or join" but I think that that is what my suggestion comes down to.  Charge people an annual membership fee regardless of how many groups they're in.

The problem is: how do you convince people to pay?  I suspect most folks don't care for extra features.  (Also, a specific intention of my suggestion was to allow a mechanism whereby free groups can have an unlimited number of members even though the group owner doesn't pay anything, or whereby premium groups can also have unlimited number of members while limiting the financial strain on the owner.)

Samuel


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

Sandi D <sandi.asgtechie@...>
 

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

Duane
 

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

 

And by the way, if implemented, Samuel’s proposal (and in fact, any proposal in which members, rather than group owners, have to pay) woukd affect the entire system, not just groups created after the grandfather days. Members could or would be confronted with a tangled mish-mosh of different types of groups: grandfathered vs nog grandfathered.

I think the worst feature of any proposal wherein members, rather than owners, pay is actually that. The new structure affects 100% of the membership, old as well as new. Essentially nothing and nobody is untouched. The grandfathering doesn’t really affect anything.


On Jan 8, 2021, at 3:04 AM, J_Catlady via groups.io <j.olivia.catlady@...> wrote:

I have to agree with Dave. Way too complicated. I recommended groups.io to someone a few days ago. I unfortunately and reluctantly have to say that with things getting so complicated, I will have to rethink that. Or maybe tell people to rush and get their group in before the grandfather date.
--
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

 

I have to agree with Dave. Way too complicated. I recommended groups.io to someone a few days ago. I unfortunately and reluctantly have to say that with things getting so complicated, I will have to rethink that. Or maybe tell people to rush and get their group in before the grandfather date.
--
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

Dave Sergeant
 

I have not read Marks' proposal in detail but from what I have it seems
incredibly complicated. Although existing groups are grandfathered I
can well imagine the case where an owner starts a new group which has
to operate under the new system and gets totally tangled up with a
mixture of groups with the different arrangements. Remember many of us
are members of 20-30 groups and owner of perhaps up to 5, it will soon
get unmanageable. I can see I will no longer be recommending GIO to
others.

Dave


http://davesergeant.com


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

Samuel Murrayy
 

On Fri, Jan 8, 2021 at 12:02 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
All of the below pertain to when the group has reached 100:
(I assume they also pertain to when a premium group reaches its free-member cap.)

-Is the group owner supposed, or is groups.io going, to maintain a wait list?
I think the waiting list should simply be a useful way for the group owner to see and keep track who had tried to join and may still be willing to join, or who used to be joined as a paying member but then stopped paying.

I don't think its a good idea for people to automatically move from the waiting list to subscription status (e.g. when a free slot opens up).  The group owner should be notified when free slots have opened up (and have been open for, say, at least 7 days), but then it's up to the group owner to decide what he wants to do, and he would have to do it manually.  For example, he could go to the waiting list page, select a member and then either add them directly, send them an invite, or send them a personal message first.

Group owners who are even a little bit organised should be able to maintain a "waiting list" offline :-) But having a waiting list on Groups.io would certainly help group owners keep track of people who had wanted to join.

(Also my original suggestion for the waiting list included the option that people on the waiting list would be allowed to view messages on the web, in case of a group with restricted archives).

Samuel


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

Samuel Murrayy
 

On Fri, Jan 8, 2021 at 12:13 AM, Andy Wedge wrote:
One of Samuel's opening comments in his message was that your current proposal puts the onus on group owners to manage membership fees.  I think with his proposed solution group owners will spend even more time trying to manage group subscriptions and determine whether members are active or not so they can potentially remove them and free up so called 'free slots' (and there have been recent topics either here or on GMF asking about tools to determine active users - no easy solution exists).
It is unclear from Mark's original announcement (which I will call the "status quo") whether premium groups can set a cap on memberships (so as to prevent moderators from adding 500 new members even though the owner only has enough money to pay for 200 new members when the year-end invoice arrives), though I get the impression that there would be no cap, and group owners would have to actively, and carefully, manage the actual numbers, to protect themselves from unpleasant financial surprises.

With the status quo, there would be a lot of additional administration by group owners anyway.  For free basic groups, once the magic number is reached, the owner would have to perform this same task: figure out which members to drop.  For premium groups, under the status quo, IF owners are allowed to place a cap on membership numbers, the same thing applies: once the cap is reached, the group owner has to choose between paying extra himself or figuring out which members to remove. Or, if there is no cap, the group owner would still have to do this, but also keep track of how many members there are.  (In both cases the owner can also post a request to his list for some members to donate (or, in my suggestion, to become paying members)).

Samuel


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

Samuel Murrayy
 

On Fri, Jan 8, 2021 at 02:25 AM, JohnF wrote:
Oh, one more thing: What happens if someone pays expecting to get into a particular group, then can't get in for whatever reason (not approved), and gets mad?
My immediately idea for a solution was: an e.g. 30-day (or 90-day) risk-free no-questions cancellation period.  However, then I remembered that with Groups.io, new member applications are silently dropped after 14 days (unsuccessful applicants are not informed that they were not added to the list, nor are they told that the reason why they were not added was purely because of moderator tardiness or owner absenteeism).  This means that a person who bought membership on the assumption that he'd be allowed in would not be notified on time that he needs to cancel his membership.

It must be considered whether this suggested system would potentially increase the number of support requests, especially if those tickets are worth only $2.50 each.

Samuel


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

 

Hi Mark,

Truth be told, I'm not a fan of that Jan-2021 group membership cap plan, that's why I didn't participate in that topic then, I'm more in the additional pricing tiers vs features camp (as far as generating income out of groups themselves).  Similarly as far as this idea is concerned, I'm also not a fan of it, even if it does have merit and I can see it work in some ecosystems/scenarios, I'm not convinced Groups.io is one of them.  There's quite the complexity (cost) involved; here's another complicating scenario not already mentioned as of me writing this: When someone gets unsubscribed due to spam, if they are a free-slot member, the code must maintain that slot available, for a while at least, because we wouldn't want that member to click on the resubscribe link only to be told, "sorry, you now have to pay".  But then, how long do we keep that slot reserved??  Glenn alluded to it, complexity introduces costs in both the short and long runs, and we know complex business rules, even if properly understood, designed, and implemented, still always make for complex code to write and especially maintain.  I'm not crazy about these per-user group pricing schemes because they invariably become a complex rules migraine.

I prefer simpler/less complex approaches if at all possible, and maybe I should start a new topic, but IMO, since you want to also tap the income-generating potential of the GIO membership itself due to their large number, maybe trying to do that using the groups as the "middleman" may not be the best way, I don't know; I get this image in my mind of a large lot of firefighters trying to enter through a single door to fight the fire inside, and none of them uses their axe to break down that second padlocked door nearby and allow twice the firefighters to enter simultaneously.  In the same vein, there is only some much that can be squeezed out of groups as it is without resorting to complex schemes, if the Jan-2021 plan (or this) doesn't work as hoped-for, what then?  Why keep using the group "entrance" exclusively as a way to generate income when you could start another Groups.io account-based pricing-tier vs feature concurrent "entrance" and offer it to the members directly?

You may want to explore pursuing your account-based pay-for-bonus-features idea but offer it directly to the members and leave groups out of it; you still are getting to your end goal of generating income from the membership count itself, no extra work for group owners, try-before-you-buy would be very easy to implement on such a system and overall, implementing a Groups.io account-based single or tiered pricing structure that gives extra value/user experience in exchange for a yearly account-based [$/donation/sponsorship/"VIP"/Enhanced membership/subscription/callitwhatever] in the form of goodies like you mentioned, should be simpler to design and implement than the aforementioned per-user group schemes I'd think.

If that extra value/experience you have in mind is stuff that people really would love to be able to do/use in their everyday Groups.io interaction, and/or it's something (user-experience related) that has been requested a lot in the past but hasn't been implement, this could be a good opportunity to roll these into a user account-based "account+" feature upgrade pricing tier structure.  Some research on beta may reveal some suggested user-experience features that if implemented could be offered to the users using this feature; a quick example, and I may catch flak for this, but the translation/foreign language display/similar requests for example may fall under this plan and are offered to users for a yearly $.  Or similar user-experience/convenience/value enhancing abilities to the ones you mention.

Maybe start at $2.50, then have $5, $7.5 and $10 tiers and arrange & offer features accordingly.  I suspect that if the value of the features is such that they create a very enhanced user experience in every day use/interaction, some percentage of people would gladly pay even $10 a year for the convenience and features, and because the Groups.io membership is pretty-large, even if only a small percentage of users opt for this, it could still generate some respectable numbers; a simple example, ~ 1,300,000 users, if only 1% of them get just the cheapest $2.50 yearly feature upgrade, that comes to 32,500$ yearly; I have no clue whatsoever of your costs and 32K is most likely a tiny amount in the bucket, but change that 1% to 5% and it now becomes 162K yearly income, a respectable contribution from just this plan, hopefully it can be a larger % and income in actual use.

Cheers,
Christos



moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

txercoupemuseum.org
 

An inflexible idea is about as sellable as an inflexible proposal.  Much of the structure of a house or other building is  flexible and relatively weak until complete.  That weakness is accepted because it is unavoidable and temporary.

The natural progression is idea, concept, proposal, contract, construction.  While flexibility in a completed program may, indeed, be complex, such is unlikely to be intentional unless important to the purpose intended (and thus economically justified).

Best!

WRB

— 

On Jan 7, 2021, at 7:30 PM, Glenn Glazer <glenn.glazer@...> wrote:

On 01/07/2021 15:53, txercoupemuseum.org wrote:
I think Samuel’s idea is flexible enough to explore as to practicality.

In programming, flexibility is the sibling of complexity, opposed to practicality (of implementation).

Best,

Glenn

--
PG&E Delenda Est
_._,_._,_


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

Glenn Glazer
 

On 01/07/2021 15:53, txercoupemuseum.org wrote:
I think Samuel’s idea is flexible enough to explore as to practicality.

In programming, flexibility is the sibling of complexity, opposed to practicality (of implementation).

Best,

Glenn

--
PG&E Delenda Est

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