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locked Re: Growth of Groups.io

 

Actually, I was making this post to show that Groups.io has grown significantly since the last time that I posted an unofficial update here. I predict Groups.io's growth will take place in two stages. In the first, groups will primarily be coming over from another service such as Yahoo groups. You are correct that many groups will wait for particular features that have been indicated to be forthcoming (photos, databases) or for the ecosystem to have developed to the point where they believe that the service is well established. In the second stage, groups will primarily be created on Groups.io first.


locked Re: Successful groups and moderators

 

I'd like to add a few thoughts to my own comments.
1) What characteristics do you think make a successful group?
That's tough because groups can be so very different and all may be good for those that use them. I think the top criteria is activity. Do people post freely and often? IS there some good discussion? Do members feel free to post and know who they're reading? (I should explain, we had problems with anonymous trolls for a while and put a stop to it by requiring full names on posts or clearly in email addresses.) Is there respect between members and no bullying?
Another thing that's important is whether the members can easily find different subjects in the Messages or find file or images easily. Much of this last is dependent on the owner's or moderators' organizational abilities and the ability to move files, photos and attachments around as needed.
Something that is very important, even though it might seem obvious, is a defined subject matter. One of my groups has a habit of taking off on a tangent occasionally. I've learned that letting it run for a couple posts generally allows it to die off of it's own weight. But with a group of over 2000, that kind of drift from the group focus can frustrate a number of members and see them leave. It takes a light touch to guide things without being heavy handed. At that point, we're back to talking about what it takes to be a 'list janitor'.

2) What characteristics do you think make a good moderator?
The best owners and moderators are the ones that are least noticed. They can encourage and participate in discussions, but very seldom does the group see the "Moderator" hat or (heaven forbid!) the "Owner" hat. Moderators can find and append user's names and delete things like members' phone numbers from moderated messages. Any discussion about inappropriate behavior happens off-list and it would be nice if the other moderators and owner could just be BCCd to avoid embarrassing the member, even privately.
It's important for an owner or moderator to leave their ego at home if the group purpose is important to them. Running a group is worse than herding cats. I generally refer to myself as a "list janitor" simply because that's the closest to what the job really is. One must keep an eye on all the members, quietly take aside the troublesome ones for a little counseling and clean up the less-savvy members' technical problems. I just don't have a broom to lean on.

Dano


locked Re: Growth of Groups.io

 

This is another unofficial update on the current growth of Groups.io.Updates is the biggest group with 5075 members. The next two biggest groups are 1A-Travelzine (a travel discussion group) with 1412 members and CLLSLL (a cancer support group) with 1145 members. These are the only groups above 1000 members.
VCH is fourth with 724 members and the only other group above 500 members.
Including the previously discussed groups, there are now 9 groups above 200 members, 13 groups above 100 members and 25 groups above 50 members. Of the 25 above 50, 21 have been active in the last week. 
Most of the groups appear to be rather niche. ... The vast majority of these groups appear to have been moved over from another service (perhaps Yahoo groups) ...
Numbers at this point aren't a gauge of what the demand or short term potential is, and do not represent any trend in particular. I have a 2000+ group that will likely migrate as soon as a few other features are ready. Groups.io is still in beta which affects a lot of potential group transfers.
Dano


locked Re: Successful groups and moderators

 

One interesting article related to this is The Trouble with Popularity. It's important to be careful about simply measuring the value of a community in terms of the number of members. One group can have a large number of members and offer each of them a small amount of value (with many of the members no longer being active at all) or another one can have less members but offer them substantially more value.

To the end, it is important to recognise that what works for small communities doesn't always work for big communities. In a small community, if someone occasionally posts a meme or something funny, then that enhances the value of the community, but in larger communities, it is very easy for this kind of fluffy, junk-food like content to dominate. In the short term, this draws more members in, but in the longer term they will tend to get bored.

A group should try to ensure that as much content as possible is valuable to the members. This is easier in niche groups and groups which have strict content rules. However, when groups are too strict it limits the discussion. By providing tags, Groups.io has largely solved this dilemma as users can choose which content interests them.

To be successful, a group needs to reach a critical mass so that there are enough people posting content that people receive value from engaging with the group. Any feature that makes it easier for potential members to discover your group will probably provide more value than anything else.

Regarding moderators, the moderators need a few core principles regarding the group that they will stick to. Moderators have to be sensitive to popular opinion to maintain the support of the community, but they can't be populists, because most people only think about the short term, not the long.


locked Re: Help me pick a logo!

Cacky B
 

Me too!
Cacky


On 3/14/2015 4:33 PM, Linda wrote:
Hi Mark,
Forget everything I said before, I love #57!
http://en.99designs.pt/logo-design/contests/create-logo-groups-io-468799/entries/57

Linda




---
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
http://www.avast.com


locked Re: On the subject of subjects

 

Mark,

Perhaps there should be a time limit for threads we consider (i.e.
only look at threads over the past week for possible matches).
I concur. If the last appropriate thread is ages old there's little organizational harm in starting a new one, even if the message truly is a reply to that old thread.

This won't catch everything. For example, Linda's message just now,
https://groups.io/org/groupsio/beta/message/2242, doesn't have a
References or In-Reply-To line, and does not have a subject that
starts with Re:. But it's clearly a reply.
That's indeed a tough case. Almost as if Linda intended it to start a thread of its own. Like the case of a too-old match, this may be one of those situations where you just have to decide not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

(It also doesn't have any quoted text).

I'll just leave the concept of correlating quoted text hanging there, to
make Mark groan.
Groan.
LOL!

-- Shal


locked Growth of Groups.io

 

Hi everyone,

This is another unofficial update on the current growth of Groups.io.

Updates is the biggest group with 5075 members. The next two biggest groups are 1A-Travelzine (a travel discussion group) with 1412 members and CLLSLL (a cancer support group) with 1145 members. These are the only groups above 1000 members.

VCH is fourth with 724 members and the only other group above 500 members.

Including the previously discussed groups, there are now 9 groups above 200 members, 13 groups above 100 members and 25 groups above 50 members. Of the 25 above 50, 21 have been active in the last week. 

Most of the groups appear to be rather niche. There are only 4 groups that seem to have a broad audience: 1A-Travelzinethe-tech-zoneAudiobookrequestpagesplus. The vast majority of these groups appear to have been moved over from another service (perhaps Yahoo groups), although some may have been created from the members of one of these groups. Of the groups with at least 50 members, most appear to be support groups for tech products and groups related to disabilities.

- Chris


locked Digest layout

Laurence Taylor
 

May I make a suggestion regarding the digest?

Put a blank line between subjects in the list of messages, so it is
easier to read what subjects are there.

Thus, instead of:
1a
1b
1c
2a
2b
3a

It would be

1a
1b
1c

2a ... and so on.

Just a thought for when you've got a minute. Thanks.
--
rgds
LAurence
<><


locked Re: On the subject of subjects

 

On Sat, Mar 14, 2015 at 12:37 PM, Shal Farley <shal@roadrunner.com> wrote:

It is a result of Groups.io's threading mechanism. For an incomming message to be part of a thread it must a) be a reply to a message in the thread and b) have an unaltered Subject line. So when a thread splits up like that it is because one or the other condition wasn't met.
Right. I've been investigating this. There are a couple of things. One
is email clients that don't include a References or In-Reply-To
header. The other issue I've seen with at least one person is that
their client will include a References line with an invalid message
id, that looks very similar to a Groups.io message id, but matches
nothing we've seen. It's really weird.

Anyways, as much as it hurts my orderly-programmer-following-rules
sensibilities, I think I need to add some sort of merging logic in
there for some of these cases. Here's what I'm thinking:

If a message has no References and In-Reply-To headers, but has a
subject that starts with Re:, we consider it a reply. Look for the
most recent thread with a matching subject, and add it to that thread.
If there is no appropriate thread, then we consider it a new thread.
Perhaps there should be a time limit for threads we consider (i.e.
only look at threads over the past week for possible matches).

This won't catch everything. For example, Linda's message just now,
https://groups.io/org/groupsio/beta/message/2242, doesn't have a
References or In-Reply-To line, and does not have a subject that
starts with Re:. But it's clearly a reply. (It also doesn't have any
quoted text).


I'll just leave the concept of correlating quoted text hanging there, to make Mark groan.
Groan.


Mark


locked Help me pick a logo!

Linda
 

Hi Mark,
Forget everything I said before, I love #57!
http://en.99designs.pt/logo-design/contests/create-logo-groups-io-468799/entries/57

Linda


locked Re: Successful groups and moderators

emily <fallenangel09@...>
 

hi. (my first post on this group)

a good group is a group that caters to it's members, it has to be on a topic that interests many people so it can get many members, it has to have firm rules set in place to keep it on track, it has to be diffrent... for example, if 2 groups are the same topic, what makes the new one diffrent and more apealing than the other.

a good moderator is a person that cares about their group. (do not let spammers join to spoil it for the others, for example). has time to put in to the group. is fair and treats all members equal. cares about the subject the group is about.


locked Re: On the subject of subjects

 

JohnF,

Looking at Thread View in the beta group, it appears "Help me pick a
logo!" has turned into five different threads.
It is a result of Groups.io's threading mechanism. For an incomming message to be part of a thread it must a) be a reply to a message in the thread and b) have an unaltered Subject line. So when a thread splits up like that it is because one or the other condition wasn't met.

Yahoo Groups has the opposite problem: it adds an incoming message to a thread if it meets either (a) or (b). With the consequence that messages with commonplace subjects ("Help", "Meeting tomorrow", etc.) get strung together in threads that may span several years, even though they really had naught to do with each other.

Is this a problem, or unavoidable?
I don't know. Several years ago I spent some time delving into how threading worked in Yahoo Groups, and trying to think of ways to make it better. One of the issues at the time was that some email services didn't include the "In-Reply-To" header field on replies. I don't think at the time Yahoo Groups used the "References" header field, but I think Groups.io accepts either as evidence of "this message is a reply to that message".

Trish's message #2207 appears to be an example of a message that is missing the (a) criteria because it lacks either an "In-Reply-To" or "References" field in its header. So I guess such email services still do exist. To human eyes it looks like a reply, because it has the same Subject and even includes a quote of an in-thread message. But without requiring Mark's software to attempt to correlate quotes, it became a new thread because it lacks those header fields.

The Groups.io feature of merging threads is there so that moderators can put fragmented threads like this back together.

I'll just leave the concept of correlating quoted text hanging there, to make Mark groan.

-- Shal


locked Re: Successful groups and moderators

cshenk1@...
 

Hi Mark,

 

Lost how to quote again.  Anyways...

A successful group is one that meets the needs of it's members.  This is a combination of easy use (such as controlling quoting) and reasonable threading plus ability to read in unthreaded versions with control over direction in threaded mode (earliest first or most recent first, user selects).

 

On a good moderator, one who can work within the group's interface and entice members to participate without overwhelming the group.  If too opinionated, you will never hear the voices of others.  Facilitate is what they should be doing.  Too many try to guide members to their own set opinions. 



locked Re: Help me pick a logo!

vickie <vickie_00@...>
 

 I see there are more options added.
I like also  #  #27 by sulistyawan


However  the  black  background should  be changed  to a different color
Interesting thing is colors have meanings. 

 Gold symbolizes  wealth, prosperity , wisdom
Orange symbolizes vitality with endurance
Gray symbolizes  sorrow, isolated feeling, emptiness 
Green symbolizes life, nature, fertility, well being
Black symbolizes death, earth, stability,  threatening unknown
´






 





 



locked Re: Help me pick a logo!

Frances
 

#41 by kcts is interesting but on my small Mac Air, I couldn't see the lettering. Only when it was opened in a new tab was it readable. Not good for poor eyesight. Not sure what it would look like on a smartphone.


locked Re: Help me pick a logo!

Frances
 
Edited

There are now 46 active designs. 

I like #52 by Reivan. But #51 is probably better. Both have a good font and the envelopes. My only concern - the .io suffix is a little unusual and I am not sure the light orange highlights it enough. Mark, it seems that you don't own .com so getting that right is important. BTW, somehow the .io is clearer on #51.


locked Re: Successful groups and moderators

cshenk1@...
 

Mark, It will depend on the type of group but one of the sigil items is a concerned moderator who is also active in the group.  Without that, there will never be a real 'group'.

 

For good moderators, it depends on what tasks they have n the group  so that is complex to answer.   

- In my Freecycle main group, they have to use Modtools on rejection of a pending message or be technical enough to copy the reply to our group archive (a separate group on yahoo with just us) or leave it thre.  They don't have to use the exact standard repiies like 'Sorry, we appreciate you using feecycle but we need some reasonsble cross streets people can mapquest here so please repost and your text is below....

- Its very different in the Café where we need topic generators and in the Recipes group, similar but ability to approve posts

 

Freecycles need some fairly significant splitting of duties.  Also, sorry to be late but the hashtag idea for us as you can tell, didn't work or we would have replied that it was workable.

 Carol 

 

 

 

 


locked Re: On the subject of subjects

 

Looking at Thread View in the beta group, it appears "Help me pick a logo!" has turned into five different threads.  Is this a problem, or unavoidable?

JohnF



locked Site Updates #changelog

 

Changes to the site today:

  • Use the existing email address in the From line when re-writing From line with the name that appears in your subscription. This fixes the instance where a subscriber has an alias that is different from their main email address.
  • Added text on home page and features page talking about Slack member sync.
  • Changed the #updates hashtag to #changelog for these messages.

Off-line, did a lot of work on photo albums.

Have a good weekend!

Mark


locked Re: On the subject of subjects

 

Ronaldo,

I do not understand this policy. When someone changes the subjectline
[traditionally from "old topic" to "new topic (was:old topic)"], it's
usually because part of the discussion has drifted to another topic.
This has to do with when a moderator changes the Subject of an entire thread of already posted messages. That's something that can't be done in Yahoo Groups.

A good example of its use might be in support groups when a member posts a new message with the Subject simply "Help". In Groups.io the moderator can edit the subject on that message, and any replies to it, to something more useful, such as "How do you fix the tuning indicator on a Pioneer SX-750?".

In Groups.io, if a member posts a reply using a changed subject line that automatically starts a new thread (because of the subject line change). This also differs from Yahoo Groups, which would tag the reply into the old thread because it is a reply (ignoring the subject change).

-- Shal