Date   

locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Jim Betz
 

Mark Fletcher,

  I know that you are opposed to a 'per member' type of payment that goes from the
group member directly to you.  (Yes, I get it that you need to make a living.)  I'd like
to propose a variant that you may not have considered.

  How about a payment - per member, directly to groups.io, using PayPal or a
credit ... that is a single payment for unlimited number of groups joined.  And
perhaps you add in a discount for pre-paying several years in advance.  The
point is that only you have to figure out how to accept and monitor membership -
but the membership is at the groups.io level and not at the individual group
level.  
                                                                       - respectfully ... Jim


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Patty Stokes
 

I’d like to share my thoughts on large groups and the perhaps-inevitable necessity of monetizing them, sooner or later:

I’m curious if there are other large groups (mine is just over 3000) that are entirely non-commercial? I manage Berlin Scholars, basically a mutual aid network for expat scholars living in Berlin, Germany. People use it to find housing, choose a doctor, navigate the visa and health insurance bureaucracies, and much more. I allow job offers to be posted but forbid ads for professional services (people outside the scholar/artist/writer communities were trying to join just to advertise their services). We’re not any sort of official nonprofit (too many countries involved!) but the ethos has always been that people shouldn’t be using the group to make money (e.g., sublet offers should be close to regular market prices, not Airbnb rentals).

In short, my group is noncommercial, but big. It’s large enough that it would be prohibitively expensive for me as the volunteer owner to pay for if we were no longer grandfathered. We don’t really use functions apart from email messaging and the archive of old messages. I paid the $220 out of pocket during our mad flight from Yahoo last year. We switched back to free last month.

Though noncommercial, groups of this size represent juicy potential revenue that Groups.io would benefit from tapping. I think the majority of my members would grumble initially and a few would flounce, but most would be willing to pony up, say, $5 per year. 

However, this would only be feasible if there were a way to require payment annually - and automatically collect/track payments, issue reminders to those who haven’t paid, and then remove people who don’t pay after 2-3 reminders.

It that weren’t automated, it would be an utter nightmare, and we’d need to move, probably to Google.

As a group owner, I think it is ethically reasonable to expect my members to help ensure the sustainability of Groups.io. However, the logistics of collecting fees would have to be automated, or it's too burdensome for the group owner. I now have a co-moderator but ran the group solo until we moved to Groups.io a year ago. I’ve never asked for compensation.

However, Susan’s mention of member fees in the Park Slope Parents group makes me think it would be reasonable for moderators of large groups to get a modest honorarium. So, say GIO wanted $2 per member, and we charged $5 annually, $3 per person could be split between the moderators. 

I do think that mandatory fees would result in culling of inactive members in groups like mine that have existed for nearly 20 years. So it’s possible we’d be left with 1000 members instead of 3000. It’d still be a large group tho.

Again, I’m well aware that my group is grandfathered! I’m just trying to think long-term and imagine how current free groups - especially large ones - could be reasonably asked to bear some of the expense of running Groups.io and ensure its sustainability. I appreciate Mark’s promise to stick to the original terms, and I trust his intentions. I also know that GIO has to be financially viable or it will end.

Patty Stokes
Group owner, Berlin Scholars



On Dec 30, 2020, at 6:52 PM, J_Catlady <j.olivia.catlady@...> wrote:

Royal Pita as in pita bread? I mean, if we’re talking about loaves of bread and pieces of cake. 😊


On Dec 30, 2020, at 3:47 PM, KWKloeber via groups.io <KWKloeber@...> wrote:

Wirtz:



Mark:

When I previously said "bait n switch" I wasn't referring to the current issue.   
I know that wasn't the nefarious plan so I even hate to clarify it, but here goes:  I meant in the big picture like, "I know gio couldn't be a success if I start out with huge charge$$$, so I'll get it started by offering a bunch of free groups to gain a foothold/share then start building into paid groups once the platform is out there.  But I'm keeping that plan in my vest for now."
I know that isn't the history of it. 

But the alternative (poor business plan or poor projections?) is a definite issue here.  I don't mean that in a criticism sense -- plenty of good folks have grand schemes to make a profitable business (better than sliced bread) and end up crashing.  Some don't crash. 
But then what?  Bread isn't an issue because we can always go buy a loaf.  But it isn't exactly a pc of cake to switch/migrate groups when they fail.  It's a royal PITA, at least for our group with members who barely hang on without jumping ship to a FB group or wherever.  All I can say is, as in our instance where it would have been nearly a grand a yr for 1600 members (of which two dozen are active,) there is NO WAY the owner would have given gio a first-look, no less a second-look.     

Again, I don't see how membership is the driver of costs.  It's activity (storage/bandwidth) not the raw number of users -- unless I am missing something.  What I am saying is that the price platform/structure needs to consider what actually costs you money to provide the service, not something arbitrary like 400 vs 500 members.  That was what moved our owner to migrate to the premium level (storage GBs, not how many members we have.)

Maybe the reality is that FREE anything, just isn't a good business model for gio because it costs a lot (in infrastructure) that you just cannot support??
What would be your breakeven if you did away with all free?  Would it save enough money in infrastructure and operating costs to make gio profitable so that you can take a vacation (at least one day a year  :-) )

Thx for your service to all of us!
-ken

--
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



locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

 

Royal Pita as in pita bread? I mean, if we’re talking about loaves of bread and pieces of cake. 😊


On Dec 30, 2020, at 3:47 PM, KWKloeber via groups.io <KWKloeber@...> wrote:

Wirtz:



Mark:

When I previously said "bait n switch" I wasn't referring to the current issue.   
I know that wasn't the nefarious plan so I even hate to clarify it, but here goes:  I meant in the big picture like, "I know gio couldn't be a success if I start out with huge charge$$$, so I'll get it started by offering a bunch of free groups to gain a foothold/share then start building into paid groups once the platform is out there.  But I'm keeping that plan in my vest for now."
I know that isn't the history of it. 

But the alternative (poor business plan or poor projections?) is a definite issue here.  I don't mean that in a criticism sense -- plenty of good folks have grand schemes to make a profitable business (better than sliced bread) and end up crashing.  Some don't crash. 
But then what?  Bread isn't an issue because we can always go buy a loaf.  But it isn't exactly a pc of cake to switch/migrate groups when they fail.  It's a royal PITA, at least for our group with members who barely hang on without jumping ship to a FB group or wherever.  All I can say is, as in our instance where it would have been nearly a grand a yr for 1600 members (of which two dozen are active,) there is NO WAY the owner would have given gio a first-look, no less a second-look.     

Again, I don't see how membership is the driver of costs.  It's activity (storage/bandwidth) not the raw number of users -- unless I am missing something.  What I am saying is that the price platform/structure needs to consider what actually costs you money to provide the service, not something arbitrary like 400 vs 500 members.  That was what moved our owner to migrate to the premium level (storage GBs, not how many members we have.)

Maybe the reality is that FREE anything, just isn't a good business model for gio because it costs a lot (in infrastructure) that you just cannot support??
What would be your breakeven if you did away with all free?  Would it save enough money in infrastructure and operating costs to make gio profitable so that you can take a vacation (at least one day a year  :-) )

Thx for your service to all of us!
-ken

--
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


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

KWKloeber
 

Wirtz:



Mark:

When I previously said "bait n switch" I wasn't referring to the current issue.   
I know that wasn't the nefarious plan so I even hate to clarify it, but here goes:  I meant in the big picture like, "I know gio couldn't be a success if I start out with huge charge$$$, so I'll get it started by offering a bunch of free groups to gain a foothold/share then start building into paid groups once the platform is out there.  But I'm keeping that plan in my vest for now."
I know that isn't the history of it. 

But the alternative (poor business plan or poor projections?) is a definite issue here.  I don't mean that in a criticism sense -- plenty of good folks have grand schemes to make a profitable business (better than sliced bread) and end up crashing.  Some don't crash. 
But then what?  Bread isn't an issue because we can always go buy a loaf.  But it isn't exactly a pc of cake to switch/migrate groups when they fail.  It's a royal PITA, at least for our group with members who barely hang on without jumping ship to a FB group or wherever.  All I can say is, as in our instance where it would have been nearly a grand a yr for 1600 members (of which two dozen are active,) there is NO WAY the owner would have given gio a first-look, no less a second-look.     

Again, I don't see how membership is the driver of costs.  It's activity (storage/bandwidth) not the raw number of users -- unless I am missing something.  What I am saying is that the price platform/structure needs to consider what actually costs you money to provide the service, not something arbitrary like 400 vs 500 members.  That was what moved our owner to migrate to the premium level (storage GBs, not how many members we have.)

Maybe the reality is that FREE anything, just isn't a good business model for gio because it costs a lot (in infrastructure) that you just cannot support??
What would be your breakeven if you did away with all free?  Would it save enough money in infrastructure and operating costs to make gio profitable so that you can take a vacation (at least one day a year  :-) )

Thx for your service to all of us!
-ken


Re: Add ability to reply to specific message #suggestion

Marisa-ATLAS
 

On Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 02:57 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
To do that from the site, simply copy the section you want to quote into your browser and then click "Reply."
Good deal! I didn't realize this was the way to do it--thanks so much, everyone!


Re: #bug Reply area blank #bug

 

This same thing happened with a member of one of my groups using Thunderbird awhile back. I first reported it here thinking it was a groups.io digest-reply bug, It turned out to have nothing to do with groups.io or digests and instead was a Thunderbird bug.
Here's the thread.
https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/26708
--
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


Re: Include Email Aliases in Member List #suggestion

Christos G. Psarras
 

On Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 01:27 PM, Shal Farley wrote:
... Failing that, if you attempt to invite or direct add an aliased address, the error message could say something more helpful, along the lines of "already a member (as an alias of xx@ yy.com)."
 
I'd vote for that as the primary suggestion. Then the moderator wouldn't have to search for it.
 
That would be the quickest one to implement as well so I second that.  And I guess even if it'd probably be implied, save an Activity Log entry as well, so the display error message displayed wouldn't be just transient, but also searchable for troubleshooting purposes if need be.

As for possibly adding something in the Member List, Bruce's suggestion of a "[Has] Aliases" badge would be a quick and easy option, display that badge for the addresses that have aliases and when one hovers over the badge, display the alias list.  Or instead, possibly enhancing Searching Member List could also help by allowing to search for the alias and return you the actual member's account it belongs to.

Cheers,
Christos


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Samuel Murrayy
 

On Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 07:06 PM, John Wirtz SF wrote:

The sentiment that is coming across is that the owners of free groups want those who pay for premium or enterprise to subsidise the free/basic groups.

To the contrary, several of the messages and sub-threads were about possible ways to reduce the dependency of free groups on premium subscriptions.

It is true, however, that those who support the existence of very large free groups would like very large free groups to continue to be an option.  For some (for many, I suspect), this is more of a moral issue, or even a sentimental one, which has nothing to do with "fair trading".

Samuel


Re: Add ability to reply to specific message #suggestion

Donald Hellen
 

On Wed, 30 Dec 2020 12:57:54 -0800, "J_Catlady"
<j.olivia.catlady@gmail.com> wrote:

You can make it clear what message you're responding to quoting all or part of it. To do that from the site, simply copy the section you want to quote into your browser and then click "Reply." Your quoted text will automatically be pasted into the top of your response, with an attribution referencing the author of that message.
Yes, what Catlady says, and I'll add that most of your members are
going to post, read, and reply by email and not on the web site.

The reply feature works for the rest of those who reply on the web
site and not by email, so I doubt Mark would want to make changes to
it.

Donald


----------------------------------------------------
Some ham radio groups you may be interested in:
https://groups.io/g/ICOM https://groups.io/g/Ham-Antennas
https://groups.io/g/HamRadioHelp https://groups.io/g/Baofeng
https://groups.io/g/CHIRP https://rf-amplifiers.groups.io/g/main


Re: Add ability to reply to specific message #suggestion

 

And if you're replying via email, and you reply directly underneath a specific message within the thread, that specific message will be quoted in your reply (although encapsulated in ellipses saying "show hidden text").
--
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


Connect past deleted-account member history with current if resubscribed under same email address #suggestion

 

A past member of my group just resubscribed after a number of years under the same email address. Usually when this happens, the member's history comes back automatically. But in this case, it's blank, which I'm assuming/guessing is because in the past members page, her account shows as "Deleted Account." I can find the member's history by clicking on "Deleted Account," which is somewhat helpful, but it is not, as is usually the case, connected with the new membership.

Is it possible to resurrect history in a resubscription under the same email address, as usually happens, even when the member left due to deleting their account? The history is still there, but is just not hooked up to the email address.
--
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


Re: Add ability to reply to specific message #suggestion

Duane
 

On Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 02:53 PM, <mgeisler02@...> wrote:
when I click on the Reply arrow for a specific message, my reply shows up at the end of the list instead of showing up underneath that message
And if you don't want to highlight the info to quote when you click Reply under the message, the reply box will open under the message so you can easily refer to the original, though a bit more difficult on a phone or tablet.  You can also click Reply, then click the Quote Post icon to copy in the entire thing.  There are many, many features here that may take some getting used to.  Reading the Owners Manual (for group settings) and/or the Members Manual (for things that apply to everyone, such as replies) can answer a lot of questions you may have.

Duane


Re: Add ability to reply to specific message #suggestion

 

You can make it clear what message you're responding to quoting all or part of it. To do that from the site, simply copy the section you want to quote into your browser and then click "Reply." Your quoted text will automatically be pasted into the top of your response, with an attribution referencing the author of that message.

I don't think anything in particular needs, or even should, be done to implement the request beyond what already exists. I think it could actually cause confusion.
--
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


Add ability to reply to specific message #suggestion

Marisa-ATLAS
 

I just set up a new account and am exploring the features to see if it will work for our group. One thing I can't do it respond to a particular message within a topic; when I click on the Reply arrow for a specific message, my reply shows up at the end of the list instead of showing up underneath that message--so it's impossible to see what exactly I'm replying to. Is there any chance that this will ever be changed? It's pretty important in order to follow what's being commented upon. Thanks for considering!


#bug Reply area blank #bug

Hank Seamon
 

When I choose to REPLY in out Roadtrek CyberRally, I can see the topic, my FROM, but the area to type a reply is blank.

this is in  rti.groups.io 

As you are noticing, I do not have this  problem with this Beta Group.

Here is a clip of what I see:


--
Hank S.
Littlestown, PA
One mailbox from a Gettysburg address


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Joseph Hudson
 

John, you could easily use the mute this topic button in any of the threads if you were no longer interested. Which it sure seems like you're not.

On Dec 30, 2020, at 6:51 AM, John Wirtz SF <john@sorefingers.co.uk> wrote:

I think what would be really useful as the thread now becoming slightly confrontational is that Mark bring this discussion to a close with a statement either re-iterating his pricing structure going forward or letting us know it is still under review.

If I worked for Mark, and I was tasked with sorting this out, this would be my approach:

Groups.io isn’t in the business of assessing how much of a service each individual group provides to its subscribers. It exists to maintain and improve the platform.
So collecting subscriptions from individual subscribers is a non-starter.

When one creates a group, it might be simple support group restricted to a number of subscribers of, as suggested up to a hundred who want an easy way to communicated.
On the other hand, if you’re creating an interest group that is likely to attract 10,000, then you might need to reconsider the status of the group and make a small charge for membership. That is the group administrators responsibility, no that of Groups.io.

I don’t think that beyond a hundred members, there should be free groups and I would recommend that an intermediate package – if commercially realistic – was offered to smaller groups who relied on member subscriptions.

But, it is up to group creators and owners to take responsibility for their groups and charge their subscribers, not the platform provider.

One final point about income. Yahoo, Google, etc have many income streams, not least by sharing your personal data, so they can afford to offer free groups. Group’s io have only one source, payments for premium and enterprise packages. He needs more of the group to pay for the service. Simple.

But, please kill or close this boring thread, there’s been enough opinion and it’s getting tiresome now.

John Wirtz






From: main@beta.groups.io <main@beta.groups.io> On Behalf Of Chris Jones via groups.io
Sent: 30 December 2020 11:37
To: main@beta.groups.io
Subject: Re: [beta] Pricing Changes

On Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 11:04 AM, Samuel Murrayy wrote:
I think we can be clear that the purpose of Groups.io is to make money,
And why do you go to work, exactly? I would argue that the purpose of Groups.io is to provide a service. At some point in the chain providing that service costs money, and the person coordinating everything (Mark) has to put food on the table. What is so dreadfully wrong with persons using a service being the people who pay for it?

Not many businesses survive very long by losing money.

Chris


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Susan Fox
 

Coming a little late to the support box, but just wanted to throw in my appreciation for what Mark has done for my community of over 6,000 members which started on Yahoo Groups in 2002.  We also have a membership platform but they are not half as responsive to our needs despite charging exponentially more for their services.

 

About 7 years into running Park Slope Parents I had to make a decision to charge members to join Park Slope Parents because I couldn’t keep volunteering my time—my kids needed a college savings account. There were so many people who felt like things should be free, and Gawker and the press shamed us, but we’ve never looked back and also never been stronger.


THREE CHEERS FOR MARK!

 

Susan Fox

Founder, Park Slope Parents

Susan@...

 

 

 


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

 

On Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 11:49 AM, Glenn Glazer wrote:
we may have gone off topic and into the weeds.
Haha. But maybe the weeds are fun. Mark has provided us with some great entertainment during these awful winter doldrums! Right?
 
--
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


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Glenn Glazer
 

I would like to suggest that at the point where we start debating economic philosophies, we may have gone off topic and into the weeds.

Best,

Glenn

--
PG&E Delenda Est


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Jeremy H
 

On Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 11:36 AM, Chris Jones wrote:
On Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 11:04 AM, Samuel Murrayy wrote:
I think we can be clear that the purpose of Groups.io is to make money,
And why do you go to work, exactly? I would argue that the purpose of Groups.io is to provide a service. At some point in the chain providing that service costs money, and the person coordinating everything (Mark) has to put food on the table.
There is a difference between providing a service, and hence making money, and making money by providing a service, I think Mark is, to his credit, trying to do the former: but needing to make enough money, and finding it difficult, under his current businsess plan, to do so.
 
What is so dreadfully wrong with persons using a service being the people who pay for it?
Nothing. The problem is that Mark's business plan (current and future) is that group owners are the people who make the payments.

But they are not the the people using using the service: those are the group members (and Mark's future pricing plan, based on 'per user' pricing, reflects this)

Some group owners, for some groups, are, and will be, willing and able to pay for their groups, because they make money from their members (somehow - by charging for a greater membership, or selling stuff, or... ) or (occasionally) just have money to burn (and these are likely to be put off by an open ended per member price, when the old $110 pa unlimited members premium group charge might have been acceptable).

But others are not: while they are willing to put in the effort of setting up and running groups, they have neither the funds, nor (easily) the means of raising them, to be able to pay for them. And while $0.55 per member per year is not a lot - so you might ask why can't they just pay out of their pocket - it mounts up: 100 members is $55, 1000 $550. And I would suggest that most do not set up groups without at least the hope, if not the expectation, of achieving those sorts of numbers.

So the Achilles heel of Groups.io comes down to the difficulty, and cost, of taking (and accounting for) such small payments (c$0.50 pa) - whether by Groups.io, or group owners... 

And, if you believe that 'free' (or minimal cost) and open basic groups are a 'good thing', It is a pity - in the absence of alternative suggestions - that the suggestion of soliciting donations from members, or charging them (perhaps an annual charge $5 for 'some' groups, extras a bit more) has been rejected. 

A further point: that - in all these posts - the implications of 'excess' members becoming (for future groups) a cost, rather than a benefit (or something that could just ignored), for group owners haven't really been discussed, as owners come to face the issue. 

Jeremy

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