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locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Chris Jones
 

On Fri, Dec 18, 2020 at 04:29 PM, Peter Cook wrote:
Personally I'd prefer that any deletion in a premium group
Very fair point; I should have made it clear that I was thinking about reducing the costs of free groups; paid - for groups are not only covering their own costs but those of the free groups as well.

Disclosure: all my subscriptions are to free groups, although my "jurisdiction" only covers one of them. And I would exempt the GMF as well!

Chris


moderated Re: Automatically mark "idle" members in Admin Members list #suggestion

Larry Finch
 

I am site manager for a Listserv (L-Soft) mailing list server. One of its features is Probe, which periodically sends a message to each registered address asking them to respond positively if they wish to remain on the list. If the email bounces or they don’t respond they are removed from the list. This catches addresses that do not receive list email as well as those no longer interested. 

Larry

On Fri, Dec 18, 2020 at 11:24 AM Peter Cook <peterscottcook@...> wrote:
I would also find it useful to know who is active and who isn't. Another way to go about it would be to have a sortable "Last Post Date" column in the member list. Then the owner could decide what threshold to use.

--
Larry Finch

N 40° 53' 50"
W 74° 02' 55"


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Peter Cook
 

On Fri, Dec 18, 2020 at 11:19 AM, Chris Jones wrote:
I greatly doubt if anyone does a search on it for anything specific going back that far.
Good thought; however, my $.02:

One of my groups has an archive going back to 2001, and some of our members do use it. (It contains valuable neighborhood history.) Personally I'd prefer that any deletion in a premium group be at the discretion of the owner, not GIO.

{Pete


moderated Re: Automatically mark "idle" members in Admin Members list #suggestion

Peter Cook
 

I would also find it useful to know who is active and who isn't. Another way to go about it would be to have a sortable "Last Post Date" column in the member list. Then the owner could decide what threshold to use.


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Chris Jones
 

On Fri, Dec 18, 2020 at 03:53 PM, Mark Fletcher wrote:
Ads are not an option.
And thus there need to be alternative strategies for "balancing the books";

Mark: One thought (and I mean thought; this is not a suggestion!) is that over time the biggest cost associated with any group is the amount of storage it uses up, or at least I assume it is; please tell me if I am mistaken. 

New "free" groups no longer have a storage allowance for Files and Photos (other than attachments) but as time passes more and more space is required for a message archive. Is there a case for limiting how long messages are stored? Would it free up sufficient storage if individual groups released the older part of their message archives?

The group I co - own has an archive going back to 2002, and I greatly doubt if anyone does a search on it for anything specific going back that far. With most members seeming to rely on email communications rather than the web UI it seems (on the face of it) that an archive going back to the beginning of tiime may not be all that useful.

Any such approach might require an owner or moderator to have the ability to tag any given topic as "important; not for deletion" so that it does remain to be found in some future search.

Would this thought go any way in containing your costs?

Chris


moderated Automatically mark "idle" members in Admin Members list #suggestion

 

Suggestion: Automatically detect and add a label in the Admin Members list for members who are "idle". What that means is:

1. The group has at least one message per month. Otherwise, the group is idle, and there's no need to mark all members.

2. A member is set to No Email, or has been hard bouncing for more than 30 days.

3. If the member is No Email, the member also has no Groups.io web activity in the last 30 days.

This will enable proactive administrators to more easily remove members who "aren't really there" from groups that have membership limits.

There is otherwise no penalty for being "idle", just a label to help owners and moderators keep their membership lists clean if they so choose. If an idle member posts or has web activity, the label is removed.

"Special Notices" members wouldn't get marked idle, even if the group never sends special notices. If an administrator wishes to remove members who are Special Notices only, that can already be easily done.

Thanks,
JohnF


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

 

Hi All,

Ads are not an option. Email-based ads simply aren't available, and even if they were, they would not pay nearly enough to justify including them.

Thanks,
Mark


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Bruce Bowman
 

This service costs money, and someone has to pay for it. There is no getting around it. Basic groups are riding on the backs of those who pay, and their very existence cuts into groups.io's profit margin. By that measure, Mark is within his rights to place any restrictions on them that he deems necessary. 

GMF and Group_Help actually contribute to the groups.io experience. These forums provide support so the proprietor doesn't have to. Other than that, I'm not very receptive to the notion that any group is providing such a public service that it should be exempt from contributing to the bottom line. As a group Owner, you either believe in what you're doing -- to the extent that you are willing to support it financially -- or you don't. Expecting groups.io as a business to pony up so an Owner doesn't have to simply flies in the face of logic.

Full disclosure:  I do have a couple of Basic groups with grandfathered features. I also have a Premium group, for what that's worth.

Regards,
Bruce


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

 

On Fri, Dec 18, 2020 at 07:07 AM, toki wrote:
What is an unobtrusive add?
That sounds like a koan. (I think he meant "ad.")
 
--
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

Dan Halbert
 

I recently helped move a group of parents of special-needs children from Yahoo Groups to groups.io. The groups has been in existence since 2001, so many of those original children have grown up, but the parents never unsubscribed. Many of them I believe created @yahoo.com addresses solely to subscribe to the group. When we sent out groups.io invitations to the ~880 members, over 270 of those bounced as inactive or invalid email addresses. Ultimately about 110 accepted the invitations, after multiple prompts.

If we had to move to Premium, I assume we'd use the Donations mechanism to round up some contributions, but yes, it would be nice if this was automated in some way.


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

 

On Fri, Dec 18, 2020 at 07:18 AM, Drew wrote:
as group owners we are like Chichikov in Gogol's "Dead Souls"-- continuing to pay a tax on the inhabitants of our estates even though they may have "moved on" since the last census was taken years ago.
That makes me wonder (going off-topic here) if there could or should be a feature wherein we can ask members to actively confirm that they want to stay in the group. I know we have a bunch of deadwood (not, as you say, to be morbid) as well. The monthly guidelines, which we send as a special notice, often results in one or two people unsubscribing because they haven't been active for years, and the special notice gives them an easy way to unsubscribe. But I'm sure there are countless other inactive mebers who no longer have any interest in the group, and  simply ignore emails, never look at the site, etc. Particularly if there's going to be a charge based on member count, this seems like it would be a helpful feature.
 
--
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

toki
 

On 18/12/2020 14:58, ro-esp wrote:
On Thu, Dec 17, 2020 at 11:55 PM, M K Ramadoss wrote:

I suggest that "If you are legally recognized as a non-profit organization" be
reworded as

"If you are a non-profit organization tax exempt under  IRC Sec 501(c)(3) and
other sections"
and once again, a USAmerican doesn't grasp the concept "rest of the world"...
And once more, a non-USAmerican fails to understand the huge difference between what 501(3)(c) status means, and what non-profit status means, under US law.

To be snarky, I'll point out that IKEA is, in Europe, a non-profit organisation, but in the US it emphatically does not have 501(3)(c) status.

Phrasing it as "non -profit organization with 501(3)(c) status, or the functional equivalent in the country in which the organization is legally incorporated and domiciled" would be more appropriate wording.

Mark might have to rewrite the criteria for qualifying for the educational discount, because accreditation is not dependent upon 501(3)(c) status. (Most accredited educational institutions in the US are not 501(3)(c) entities.)

jonathon


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Drew
 

We are a 6,000+ membership international group going back 15 years. I have no idea how many of those members are actively reading the group; or, not to be morbid, are even still alive, but their email addresses continuing to live on...

Even though we will supposedly remain a free group I'd welcome the ability for interested subscribers to easily pay a few cents a year to subscribe, and be automatically removed if they don't pay the token fee. But there is no easy mechanism to accomplish this and no way for us to do so without spending much time and effort that could easily be valued in additional hundreds of dollars.

[ Humorous aside for literary types: as group owners we are like Chichikov in Gogol's "Dead Souls"-- continuing to pay a tax on the inhabitants of our estates even though they may have "moved on" since the last census was taken years ago. ]

Drew

On 12/18/20 05:44, Samuel Murrayy wrote:
On Thu, Dec 17, 2020 at 11:40 PM, Drew wrote:
Yes, but collecting 55 cents a year from each of several thousand
members, then unsubscribing those who don't pay, might not be so
easy to
do in practice. I sure wouldn't want that chore!
I agree, and micropayments isn't an easy thing yet, particularly internationally.
No, I think it's clear from the description that the intention is not that each member pays 55c but that the group's owners pay 55c per member out of their own pockets.  In other words, the proposed (or ideal) model of operation for such groups would be to have a committee that does fund raising (e.g. donations from long-time members who don't want to see the group die) and then pay for the group from that.
I am a member of a number of unofficial software user support groups. One has 4000 members, one 1300 members and one 1200 members (99% of them are lurkers) -- granted, these numbers have grown over a period of 5-15 years, but I don't think anyone would want to join a group where the mantra is "please don't grow".  I recently started a new software support group and I haven't done any large-scale promoting of it yet --
"word of mouth" got me to over 100 members in two weeks, but I don't expect traffic to pick up in the next month or two, and even then it may not be more than 20 messages per week.
Samuel


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Peter Cook
 

On Fri, Dec 18, 2020 at 09:58 AM, ro-esp wrote:
groetjes/ĝis, Ronaldo

 

 
Ronaldo, the point about non-US non-profits was already made. The snark is unnecessary - folks are doing their best to contribute meaningfully.


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

toki
 

On 18/12/2020 04:46, Russell Courtenay via groups.io wrote:
I think that is a good, legitimate question, I really wouldn’t mind unobtrusive ads to help defray the cost, I really hate begging lost members to support us.
What is an unobtrusive add?

jonathon


moderated Strip digital signatures (smime.p7s) #suggestion

Bruce Bowman
 

Mark -- It's come to our attention that some mail clients now add digital signatures by default. These are carried as attachments, causing problems with attempts to post to a group that does not allow attachments. It might be beneficial if groups.io simply stripped these signatures instead of applying the group's attachment policy to them.

Thanks for your consideration,
Bruce


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

ro-esp
 

On Thu, Dec 17, 2020 at 11:55 PM, M K Ramadoss wrote:

I suggest that "If you are legally recognized as a non-profit organization" be
reworded as

"If you are a non-profit organization tax exempt under  IRC Sec 501(c)(3) and
other sections"
and once again, a USAmerican doesn't grasp the concept "rest of the world"...

groetjes/ĝis, Ronaldo


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

txercoupemuseum.org
 

My personal experience is substantially identical.

My two Ercoupe (aircraft) groups date back to early 2000 and a computer talented enthusiast that then hosted them on his personal server.  Several years later, he sold his plane, but generously continued to host (if not effectively moderate) these two groups.  

Eventually the time came when he turned the leadership over to another computer talented enthusiast, who moved them (mostly) to Yahoo Groups.  I became an active group member in 2002.  Some years later, having suffered a major and continuing health issue and selling his plane, he asked me to assume ownership.

Being only minimally "computer talented”, I pretty much “led” passively until the debacle with Yahoo Groups raised its ugly head, at which time I (with the help of others) moved them to Groups.io.  At the time one of these groups was believed to have over 1,000 members.  

This was an illusion, built upon a “free” membership system that never removed people who sold their planes and did not require “member participation”.  The few times we had earlier occasion to raise funds, the same twenty (or so) individuals would step forward.  This was again the case when we needed to repay me personal funds advanced for a timely move to Groups.io almost two years ago.

It seems that the reality is that such “organizations” of “lurkers” are caught in a “catch-22”.  Today, after the “weeding out” process of eliminating no longer functional or duplicate email addresses, we have 875 members.  

Were we to adopt financial or activity requirements, our constituents would likely be perhaps 25% of that, or 219 members.  The cold, hard truth is that in most “communities, aviation included, a 875-member group enjoys four times the credibility of a 219-member one.  So that’s not an option consistent with credibility.

Instituting a “dues structure” of any sort will have identical effect; again, not a viable option for our credibility. Our “lurkership” is, in the overall, much  like oysters.  They satisfy their perceived needs anonymously, from gleaning the flow of information from discussions initiated by or responded to by others.

Such groups DO serve a “public purpose” as a conduit for credible and verifiable information that is valuable (in terms of general aviation operational safety, personal responsibility and personal safety).  We are the rare voice that tells the Emperor the truth about his new clothes.  

Independent of government funding, my forums, in addition to the  as the “loyal opposition” to government agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration.  

For many years the Civil Aviation Authority promoted and facilitated the expansion general aviation.

of innovation and participation by aircraft owner/operators effectively use their aircraft to one that has almost single-handedly destroyed general aviation on the period following the “glory days of 1945-1980.  By every credible metric, whether planes built, planes sold, or pilots licensed, general aviation today is but a shadow of what it once was.  The FAA long ago divorced its operations from any responsibility to “promote” general aviation.

So yeah, we’re here, on Groups.io, as “grandfathered” free groups; but for how long?  If not here, then where?  

What is the future of such groups when there are no more sponsors that will host them without excessive cost (which would prevent most from ever forming or becoming relevant)?  Our society’s fate seems increasingly to become one that knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

Best!

WRB

— 

On Dec 18, 2020, at 6:19 AM, Chris Jones via groups.io <chrisjones12@...> wrote:

"Much as I would like that to work a recent example suggests otherwise.

I am a member of a "large" group (>1600) which I joined by default when it adopted another group of which I am a member as a subgroup when both migrated from Yahoo. The large group is Premium, and its owner recently put out an appeal for funds to renew it.

Over the next few days he put out public acknowledgements of those who donated. Now he may since have been overwhelmed by donations (via Paypal) so stopped those acknowledgements,  but up to that point (over several days) the number of donations received was depressingly small; less than a couple of dozen.

By all accounts that was not the first occasion on which that had happened to him. Getting money out of members is not straightforward, however easy it may be "technically".

Chris
_._,


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Russell Courtenay
 

I think that is a good, legitimate question, I really wouldn’t mind unobtrusive ads to help defray the cost, I really hate begging lost members to support us.


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Mark Murphy
 

The good news: 
 
  • The change only applies to new and upgraded groups starting January 18, 2021.
  • You are free to purchase new premium and and enterprise groups until then and keep legacy pricing.
  • All current and new Premium groups will bump up to 30GB storage.
 
Premium and Enterprise groups subsidize Free groups. As Free or paid groups consume more of the costs ("the larger the group, the more it costs us to host"), something has to give. You can limit the resources consumed by Free groups or charge paid groups more or some combination of both.
 
Revenue from all groups must at least recover costs. Mark has set some points in his business model pricing which allow him to do this, and hopefully make a reasonable profit. I think we can discuss how the new pricing might be accepted, pricing relative to competitive services, impacts for quiet vs busy groups, additional options for supporting GIO such as donations, how group members might contribute to groups costs, etc. However, only Mark is in a position to determine what is sustainable for his business.
 
Thank you.

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