Date   

locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Andy Wedge
 

On Tue, Jan 5, 2021 at 12:20 PM, Chris Jones wrote:
For many the absence of advertisements and tracking was a key reason for migrating to groups.io in the first place; both absences were "trumpeted" by Mark.
The lack of adverts and tracking was also a key motivator for my club to switch to Groups.io.

I would be deeply dismayed if there was a move to monetise Groups.io (or any part thereof).
I am not suggesting adverts if that's what you mean by monetise?  What I am saying that the lack of adverts and tracking is a saleable feature so make Basic groups chargeable. if you don't want to pay anything then there are other platforms that claim to be free,  Of course, they're not really free, the price you pay is having to suffer advertising and tracking.


Have a trial period by all means but after that, people should pay for the level of service they use.
No and yes in that order. :)
I take it that means you are not in favour of trial periods?

The planned pricing structure change from 18-Jan does mean there is a big step from Basic (I'll avoid the 'F' word) to Premium group.  Some level of intermediate group may be preferable and I would also look at splitting the Collaboration Suite. There are currently 7 features in that  (Polls, Calendar, Chat, Database, Photos, Files & Wiki) so perhaps split them into two sets with one of the more popular features in the set attached to Premium groups to entice people to upgrade. A more flexible approach may be to price each of the features separately to allow a fully customisable set with the most popular features attracting a higher price.

Arguably messy.
But perfectly doable and will give group owners the ability to create a group with the functions that meet their needs.


At the end of the day, I believe that group owners are those that should be liable to pay for their groups. If an owner has created a group for others (because they have the technical skills to do that) and doesn't want to be on the hook for the cost then a simple solution would be to promote someone else to owner and demote themselves to a Member or a Moderator. 
That assumes that they can find someone willing to pony up to meet group costs. Big assumption IMHO.
Then let the group be downgraded and see what the members think. Perhaps when they lose features they may start to appreciate the value of what they had.   If an owner keeps paying then there's no incentive for anyone else to do anything.  If nobody does then you have to question the value and reason for doing it in the first place. 


if subscribers had to pay a small fee for their Accounts (as I have previously suggested) the question of a groups such as GMF attracting a charge simply doesn't arise. What could arise is owners and moderators who have second accounts for test and "as the members see it" purposes finding themselves paying for their second accounts, but that is not insurmountable.
I think having members pay for their accounts would create utter confusion. My group members already pay (in effect) as they pay club membership fees and the club then pays for a premium group (or reimburses me to be exact). I'm sure a good many wouldn't even consider they had an account at Groups.io as they just use email.  Then we get into how many groups can account belong to and complex solutions such at that suggested by Samuel Murrayy (with two Ys since the start of last year I noticed) earlier in this topic.

I say keep it simple, let the the group owners pay and charge for basic groups.  I'd much rather see charges for Basic groups than higher prices for Premium and Enterprise groups to subsidise them.  As Mark has already confirmed, he's pretty much on his own apart from Nina doing the documentation.  The less time he needs spend on finance admin, the more time he can devote to Groups.io features and extras like the Apps (and I would expect there to be a nominal fee for those too after all time and effort being invested in them).


Regards
Andy




moderated #suggestion Extracting and filing a single message from a digest #suggestion

Dan Halbert
 

Our organization recently switched a bunch of lists from Mailman2 to groups.io. One user presented the following issue: they used to get a Mailman MIME digest, and, with Outlook, were able to file individual messages from the digest into Outlook folders. They can no longer do that. The best suggestion I was able to come up with was for them to subscribe to individual messages and use an Outlook filter to dump all the messages from a list into a separate folder for perusal later.

I see that there was some discussion of MIME digests in the past: https://beta.groups.io/g/main/topic/1436074
and of a Send To Me feature, which was never added: https://beta.groups.io/g/main/topic/2195268

If anyone has some other suggestions I be interested. Thanks.


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Chris Jones
 

On Tue, Jan 5, 2021 at 10:26 AM, Andy Wedge wrote:
Mark has ruled out adverting but that along with no tracking cookies are marketable features and money can be made from that.
For many the absence of advertisements and tracking was a key reason for migrating to groups.io in the first place; both absences were "trumpeted" by Mark. I would be deeply dismayed if there was a move to monetise Groups.io (or any part thereof). That aside, as Mark noted earlier in this thread "adverts by email" don't work very well.

Have a trial period by all means but after that, people should pay for the level of service they use.
No and yes in that order. :)

The planned pricing structure change from 18-Jan does mean there is a big step from Basic (I'll avoid the 'F' word) to Premium group.  Some level of intermediate group may be preferable and I would also look at splitting the Collaboration Suite. There are currently 7 features in that  (Polls, Calendar, Chat, Database, Photos, Files & Wiki) so perhaps split them into two sets with one of the more popular features in the set attached to Premium groups to entice people to upgrade. A more flexible approach may be to price each of the features separately to allow a fully customisable set with the most popular features attracting a higher price.

Arguably messy.

  Of course, if most users are email only, this may have little impact.
Quite.

At the end of the day, I believe that group owners are those that should be liable to pay for their groups. If an owner has created a group for others (because they have the technical skills to do that) and doesn't want to be on the hook for the cost then a simple solution would be to promote someone else to owner and demote themselves to a Member or a Moderator. 
That assumes that they can find someone willing to pony up to meet group costs. Big assumption IMHO.

There are very good cases for Groups.io to waive the cost of certain groups such as GMF and Group_Help as they provide a service to others and are cost effective in terms of reducing the number of support queries raised directly.
Clearly true, but if subscribers had to pay a small fee for their Accounts (as I have previously suggested) the question of a groups such as GMF atttracting a charge simply doesn't arise. What could arise is owners and moderators who have second accounts for test and "as the members see it" purposes finding themselves paying for their second accounts, but that is not insurmountable.

Chris


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Jeremy H
 

As an informational aside: at 55 cents a member, under the new charging structure, a new Premium group with 1820 members will cost its owner $1000 per year (annual payment) - I don't know how many groups exceed this. Looking at the list of public groups, there are 10 exceeding 18,200 (so cost > $10,000), for the largest, cost > $36,000.

How many group owners could afford to be in that league? How many group owners would start their group(s) with the deliberate intention of staying out of it?

Jeremy


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Andy Wedge
 

On Tue, Jan 5, 2021 at 01:06 AM, Jeremy H wrote:
Groups.io, Inc's service - providing the underlying system - is, of itself, of no end value: it only becomes valuable because people (group owners) are prepared to run groups,
I don't necessarily disagree with that. The value of the various aspects of what Groups.io offers will vary depending upon how people interact with the service provided. For email only users, the Groups.io website may be irrelevant for example.

in summary, the question for Mark is whether he is in a B2B (to business) or B2C (to consumer) market? (And whether he expects group owners to be 'businesses' or 'consumers'?)  
I think it goes beyond that and also depends upon Mark's long term ambitions for Groups.io. Does he want to keep it going enough to make a living from it as long as possible and then maybe let it fade away or does he want to build it up and eventually sell it off so he can retire? Either way, it costs money to run and costs need to be covered.

Mark has ruled out adverting but that along with no tracking cookies are marketable features and money can be made from that. Have a trial period by all means but after that, people should pay for the level of service they use.

The planned pricing structure change from 18-Jan does mean there is a big step from Basic (I'll avoid the 'F' word) to Premium group.  Some level of intermediate group may be preferable and I would also look at splitting the Collaboration Suite. There are currently 7 features in that  (Polls, Calendar, Chat, Database, Photos, Files & Wiki) so perhaps split them into two sets with one of the more popular features in the set attached to Premium groups to entice people to upgrade. A more flexible approach may be to price each of the features separately to allow a fully customisable set with the most popular features attracting a higher price.  Of course, if most users are email only, this may have little impact.

At the end of the day, I believe that group owners are those that should be liable to pay for their groups. If an owner has created a group for others (because they have the technical skills to do that) and doesn't want to be on the hook for the cost then a simple solution would be to promote someone else to owner and demote themselves to a Member or a Moderator.  There are very good cases for Groups.io to waive the cost of certain groups such as GMF and Group_Help as they provide a service to others and are cost effective in terms of reducing the number of support queries raised directly.

Andy


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Drew
 

On 12/31/20 17:36, Chris Jones via groups.io wrote:
On Thu, Dec 31, 2020 at 09:27 PM, Drew wrote:
Up to 3 groups: FREE
4 to 10 groups: $5.00/yr
More than 10 groups: $10.00/yr
Superficially attractive, certainly. but it includes a major flaw.
I have 2 email addresses immediately available, and I could set up 4 or 5 more without it costing me anything. That would immediately give me access to 20 or so groups without it costing me a single, solitary, bean.
A large portion of the hand-holding that our group owners do is untangling the mess that subscribers cause for themselves by using multiple email addresses, not knowing which they are posting from and why they keep receiving individual messages after they (think) they have switched to digest, etc., etc.

I'm sure some would be able to set up their multiple email addresses for multiple groups in order to avoid the $5 or $10 per year fee, and manage to keep it all straight but, really? To save $10 per year????

Drew


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

 

On Mon, Jan 4, 2021 at 06:01 PM, Jeremy H wrote:
you're puttting money into your group, instead of giving it Cats Protection,
Actually I do both. ;)
 
--
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

Jeremy H
 

My compliments. And yes, it is a dichotomy which ignores a grey area in the middle - I would accept there are many group owners who run their groups for similar motives, and so get non-financial recompense. But I would say that perhaps what you are doing is runing your own private charity (not something to criticise), as a form of business - you're puttting money into your group, instead of giving it Cats Protection, or whatever, for them to give it back to you, for you to do the good you do.

Jeremy


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

 

I think that’s a false dichotomy. I get at least as much reward out of helping the cats in my group as their owners (my group members) do, and I am happy to pay for the group out of my own pocket. I consider it my little contribution to the world, or to cats, or something. And it’s also interesting and intellectually stimulating for me, as well as a growth experience. I think many cats group owners feel the same.


On Jan 4, 2021, at 5:06 PM, Jeremy H via groups.io <jeremygharrison@...> wrote:

In the related "Simplified Donation feature", On Mon, Jan 4, 2021 at 09:37 PM, Andy Wedge wrote, but (this part) is I think more relevant to this thread:
<snip>
I can understand the option to deal with group owners for payments (less people to deal with so less of an admin overhead) and I'm happy with that. I use a service and I pay for it. The trouble with saying things are 'free' is that people don't appreciate the value of what they're getting.  Personally I think there should be a charge for basic groups.  Even if Mark reversed his decision on grandfathered basic groups and said there would be a nominal $10 per year fee I bet most people would stay with Groups.io.

Andy
While I too can understand Mark's preference to deal with group owners for payment, I would ask the question, who benefits from a group being run? who gets the value? so who should pay? Is it the group members? the group owner? or even Groups.io, Inc? I would suggest, in the end, it is primarily the group members, receiving messages, etc., and maybe posting them.

Groups.io, Inc's service - providing the underlying system - is, of itself, of no end value: it only becomes valuable because people (group owners) are prepared to run groups, and put in the effort to manage them. For some groups, their members provide recompense to the owner (in another word, money) - somehow, directly or indirectly - for their membership, and this case it is proper that some of this should be paid on to Groups.io, Inc. For other groups, they won't. And in this case, it is appropriate for members to pay Groups.io, Inc direct. How (donation? charge per group? per 'profile'?), and how much, are in a sense details.

But I know if i were setting up a group, simply because I thought it would be useful for  people to be able to discuss something, or provide mutual support, or whatever (rather than make money out of it), while I would be prepared to put in the management effort, I wouldn't be prepared to fund it on an open ended basis, or even a token one (beyond any normal 'member' payment). It is for Mark to decide whether, or how, such a group would be beneficial to Groups.io, Inc - noting that it (or should I say he) would be getting a 'free' group.   

I suppose, in summary, the question for Mark is whether he is in a B2B (to business) or B2C (to consumer) market? (And whether he expects group owners to be 'businesses' or 'consumers'?)

Jeremy

--
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

Jeremy H
 

In the related "Simplified Donation feature", On Mon, Jan 4, 2021 at 09:37 PM, Andy Wedge wrote, but (this part) is I think more relevant to this thread:
<snip>
I can understand the option to deal with group owners for payments (less people to deal with so less of an admin overhead) and I'm happy with that. I use a service and I pay for it. The trouble with saying things are 'free' is that people don't appreciate the value of what they're getting.  Personally I think there should be a charge for basic groups.  Even if Mark reversed his decision on grandfathered basic groups and said there would be a nominal $10 per year fee I bet most people would stay with Groups.io.

Andy
While I too can understand Mark's preference to deal with group owners for payment, I would ask the question, who benefits from a group being run? who gets the value? so who should pay? Is it the group members? the group owner? or even Groups.io, Inc? I would suggest, in the end, it is primarily the group members, receiving messages, etc., and maybe posting them.

Groups.io, Inc's service - providing the underlying system - is, of itself, of no end value: it only becomes valuable because people (group owners) are prepared to run groups, and put in the effort to manage them. For some groups, their members provide recompense to the owner (in another word, money) - somehow, directly or indirectly - for their membership, and this case it is proper that some of this should be paid on to Groups.io, Inc. For other groups, they won't. And in this case, it is appropriate for members to pay Groups.io, Inc direct. How (donation? charge per group? per 'profile'?), and how much, are in a sense details.

But I know if i were setting up a group, simply because I thought it would be useful for  people to be able to discuss something, or provide mutual support, or whatever (rather than make money out of it), while I would be prepared to put in the management effort, I wouldn't be prepared to fund it on an open ended basis, or even a token one (beyond any normal 'member' payment). It is for Mark to decide whether, or how, such a group would be beneficial to Groups.io, Inc - noting that it (or should I say he) would be getting a 'free' group.   

I suppose, in summary, the question for Mark is whether he is in a B2B (to business) or B2C (to consumer) market? (And whether he expects group owners to be 'businesses' or 'consumers'?)

Jeremy


moderated Re: Simplified Donation feature #suggestion

 

Andy,


If Groups.io is holding group members' donations made on the understanding that they would be used to pay group subscription fees, what happens if a Group owner decides to close the group down in the meantime?

My concept stated "No Refunds". In that case the remaining prepayment would convert to Groups.io. 

I'm sure there must be lots of legal and financial rules that would need to be satisfied in order to operate in this manner.

I'm not a lawyer, but I doubt it amounts to anything more than prior notice of the policy. There are always exceptional cases, and Mark may need to use his judgement about such cases.

 
if that's not the intention then a simpler solution (from an Admin point of view) would probably be to have members make donations. I think the downside of that though is that there is less certainty of cash flow which doesn't really help business planning.

I don't follow what you said there. The current Donation mechanism and my proposed Simplified mechanism are both based on the idea that members will donate to a shared goal. The significant difference is that the current mechanism allows donation for unrestricted purposes: It is up to the group owner to follow-through with the stated purpose.

I can understand the option to deal with group owners for payments (less people to deal with so less of an admin overhead) and I'm happy with that.

That is the current mechanism. And while it is simpler in that sense, it has also proven unable to bring in enough income for Groups.io - hence the other topic about the Pricing Changes.

Necessity being the mother of invention, this suggestion is motivated in large part to increase that income by making it easier for group owners to raise the funds necessary to pay the group's plan fees.

Even if Mark reversed his decision on grandfathered basic groups and said there would be a nominal $10 per year fee I bet most people would stay with Groups.io.

I don't want to engage in the Pricing debate on this topic, there's enough of that in the other.
Shal


moderated Re: Discard button on Send Message page #bug

 

On Sat, Jan 2, 2021 at 1:37 PM Duane <txpigeon@...> wrote:
While attempting to send a message to a member this morning (accessed using Send Message at the bottom of that member's page), I noticed that the Discard button on the page doesn't seem to do anything.  There's no draft created, but I can't leave the page using the button.  I think it used to take me back to their member page.

This should be fixed now.

Thanks,
Mark 


moderated Re: Include Email Aliases in Member List #suggestion

 

On Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 10:27 AM Shal Farley <shals2nd@...> wrote:

Bruce 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.

I've made that change.

Thanks,
Mark 


moderated Re: Simplified Donation feature #suggestion

Andy Wedge
 

Hi Shal

On Mon, Jan 4, 2021 at 08:13 PM, Shal Farley wrote:
Overpayment rolls over to next plan payment.
If Groups.io is holding group members' donations made on the understanding that they would be used to pay group subscription fees, what happens if a Group owner decides to close the group down in the meantime?  You could end up with lots of people demanding refunds.  I'm sure there must be lots of legal and financial rules that would need to be satisfied in order to operate in this manner.   if that's not the intention then a simpler solution (from an Admin point of view) would probably be to have members make donations. I think the downside of that though is that there is less certainty of cash flow which doesn't really help business planning.

I can understand the option to deal with group owners for payments (less people to deal with so less of an admin overhead) and I'm happy with that. I use a service and I pay for it. The trouble with saying things are 'free' is that people don't appreciate the value of what they're getting.  Personally I think there should be a charge for basic groups.  Even if Mark reversed his decision on grandfathered basic groups and said there would be a nominal $10 per year fee I bet most people would stay with Groups.io.

Andy


moderated Re: Database buttons #suggestion

Leeni
 

I am glad you suggested that as I have some databases that are getting pretty long and when I have to add a new entry, it takes quite some time to get down to the bottom to add a row.
 
Another suggestion if it is easier then adding the row of buttons at the top too, put an arrow to we can click on to bring us down to the bottom, like you have an arrow to bring us up to the top.
 
I think both would work.
Thanks, Leeni 
 
 
 
 

-------Original Message-------
 
Date: 1/4/2021 2:13:03 PM
Subject: [beta] Database buttons #suggestion
 
It would be very handy if there was an option to have the database buttons at the top so you don't have to scroll all the way down to get to them:

 


moderated Re: Gray out option for mods to receive notifications without the corresponding permissions #suggestion

 

On Sun, Jan 3, 2021 at 10:20 AM, Andy Wedge wrote:
I think it would be best if they had nothing unless they have 'Set Moderator Privileges'.
After "further consideration" (aka sleeping on it;) I now agree with you that this is the best compromise. So something does need to be fixed here, as you outlined: make the Subscription page for a Mod match their own Member page in the sense that they see the notification options panel if and only if they have Set Moderator Privileges set.
 
--
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 Simplified Donation feature #suggestion

 

Mark,

I thought I'd break this out as a separate Suggestion, since it is actually separate from the Pricing Changes topic.

If any aspects of this suggestion reflect a naivety with regard to the existing Donation mechanism that's my fault: so far I've neither used or tested it, I've only read the Owners Manual sections about it.


Simplifications:

No reliance on group-owner to sign up with a processing service to collect payments.

Only a single Donation request may be created, its proceeds are credited as a prepayment to the group's next plan payment.


Motivation:

The need to create a Stripe account is a stumbling block for many group owners who might otherwise rely on members to (help) support the group's plan payments:

o Complexity of the setup
o Dealing with a third-party to collect payments
o Exposing their personal bank account to said third party
o Concern over tax implications of receiving funds
o Concern over fiduciary responsibilities to donees.

Avoids double-payment of Stripe fees - first when the member donates to the group owner, and again when the group payor pays the plan fee.


Concepts:

From the group management (owner/moderator) viewpoint similar to the existing Donation mechanism, absent the step of setting up a Stripe account, and with the creation of a Donation request limited to a single one for prepayments.

From the Member's viewpoint no significant difference from the existing Donation mechanism.

Overpayment rolls over to next plan payment.

Underpayment must be made up by group payor on normal plan payment terms.

No refunds. When a group is closed any unused prepayment is retained by Groups.io.


Enhancement:

Extend the Simplified feature to Basic Groups, facilitating a "bootstrap" from Basic to Premium.

Shal


moderated Database buttons #suggestion

Chris Smith
 

It would be very handy if there was an option to have the database buttons at the top so you don't have to scroll all the way down to get to them:


locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

Mike Hanauer
 

Many, perhaps most, business owners are out to please, business schools often say delight, their stake holders. For GIO, this is users and moderators. I only learned of the price and feature changes 2 weeks ago. I am concerned.

GIO has a survey function!! Has it been used to survey stakeholders?

Most businesses need to make some profit. And, most businesses have a mission statement that deals with broader issues. Does GIO have a mission statement? Perhaps even a Board of Directors or Steering Committee to provided diverse opinions to such matters? Yes, this forum may be it, but it is limited, not generally known, and perhaps not really representative of the big picture and future considerations. 

AllTheBest.

Consider Better, not Bigger. So many advantages. Just ask. USA adds a Chicago to our overpop each year.
"Still more population growth is not our way to a healthy community, a healthy planet, OR enjoyable cycling."

    ~Mike


On Sunday, January 3, 2021, 03:25:50 PM EST, ro-esp <ro-esp@...> wrote:


On Sat, Jan 2, 2021 at 01:37 PM, Tom Madden wrote:

> > 4. Mark’s expenses, what he needs to charge, and what he feels is a fair
> > return for his efforts, are none of our business.

Mark thinks it is, that's why this thread exists. Of course he can charge whatever he likes, but if he doesn't manage to find enough people willing to invest thousands of dollars in his one-man (!)  operation, and will have to either shut down the service or demand payment from all owners/group-members, it will be our business.

It would be nice (and useful for advertising purposes) to know how big groups.io is, like number of groups, number of moderators, number of users, number of messages, number of cancelled groups...

It would also be nice if we could invest a modest amount of money to get things going and finance some continuity.

                                                groetjes/ĝis, Ronaldo





locked Re: Pricing Changes #update

ro-esp
 

On Sat, Jan 2, 2021 at 01:37 PM, Tom Madden wrote:

4. Mark’s expenses, what he needs to charge, and what he feels is a fair
return for his efforts, are none of our business.
Mark thinks it is, that's why this thread exists. Of course he can charge whatever he likes, but if he doesn't manage to find enough people willing to invest thousands of dollars in his one-man (!) operation, and will have to either shut down the service or demand payment from all owners/group-members, it will be our business.

It would be nice (and useful for advertising purposes) to know how big groups.io is, like number of groups, number of moderators, number of users, number of messages, number of cancelled groups...

It would also be nice if we could invest a modest amount of money to get things going and finance some continuity.

groetjes/ĝis, Ronaldo

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