Topics

moderated Make Basic level accounts paid


Paul W. Rankin <paul@...>
 

HI Mark,

I'm a big believer in paying for the web services I use. I tend to agree with this (archived) post from the Pinboard blog: https://web.archive.org/web/20120921032442/https://blog.pinboard.in/2011/12/don_t_be_a_free_user/ and related Hacker News: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13449875. And there's evidence that paying users appreciate the product they pay for more than free users.

Looking at the plans, the Basic level offers so much that I'm really surprised it's offered for free, but then looking at the Premium feature set, there's nothing there that I really want. I'd like to use my own domain, but mostly out of vanity, which is not enough to prompt me to go Enterprise (which is actually far too expensive for me). I'd like to pay for Groups.io but at the current pricing levels I don't have much motivation to do so.

I saw your note regarding increasing revenue: https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/16791. IMHO the most obvious and easiest way to do this is to charge for Basic level accounts. If the Basic level cost something like $3/month or $30/year this would be an easy decision, and I'd be very skeptical of anyone who says they couldn't/wouldn't pay that to maintain their group.

(This said, I also understand that people do run open source projects or volunteer groups where any expenditure becomes a sticking point, so I'd suggest there's still a space for a public-only free accounts that lack some/most of the features in Basic.)

Paul


Frances
 

Agree with a cheaper way to pay for what we have.
i too feel i’d like to pay but I am not an enterprise.  

Or a way to make a donation through PayPal?

Frances


 

I have a premium group, but for the sake of generally being my general argumentative self with strong opinions, I will say that I think there does need to be a free level of service to compete with other services. Until people realize the difference in quality and features between groups.io and, say, Facebook groups, they will be more inclined to go with the latter. Also, people will be quick to pay a small monthly amount for really well-known entities (like, say, the NYT) but would be justified, in most cases, in being skeptical of signing up and giving their payment info to a still-unknown quantity like groups.io. So I think that even a $3/month fee for basic service would be a very bad idea, at least at this point in time. On top of that, and generally speaking, as has been said, with volunteer groups you run into the politics of "which one of us will pay for this," even if it's a trivial amount. 

If more revenue is required, I would sooner add three bucks to the premium fee. I would be willing to pay $13 instead of $10, for example.

In terms of the advantages of premium, to me the Direct Add feature, and being able to see histories of past members, not to mention the near-real-time support from Mark, are priceless.
--
J

 

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.

I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't. - Desmond Tutu


 

I'd pay for enterprise if:
The service was $15.00 or less per month. All features included. Even
if it was the only plan available.
The more people who started a group, the more money you would make.
Free is just a model many tend to abuse. I think the more emails
someone sends out, the more people should have to pay for that. You
pay an additional $0.05 per email. therefore you're getting your
money's worth. On top of the premium basic network fee.
I also think paying for features should be a thing. Each additional
integration, each additional setting change, charge for it. That way
you learn to truly appreciate and use what you pay for. Make each
additional post something members can pay to access. That way you as
the creator are also earning revenue.
Quit the free service. You'll thank your lucky stars when you get paid
more when you do it.

On 4/24/18, Paul W. Rankin <paul@...> wrote:
HI Mark,

I'm a big believer in paying for the web services I use. I tend to agree
with this (archived) post from the Pinboard blog:
https://web.archive.org/web/20120921032442/https://blog.pinboard.in/2011/12/don_t_be_a_free_user/
and related Hacker News: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13449875. And
there's evidence that paying users appreciate the product they pay for more
than free users.

Looking at the plans, the Basic level offers so much that I'm really
surprised it's offered for free, but then looking at the Premium feature
set, there's nothing there that I really want. I'd like to use my own
domain, but mostly out of vanity, which is not enough to prompt me to go
Enterprise (which is actually far too expensive for me). I'd like to pay for
Groups.io but at the current pricing levels I don't have much motivation to
do so.

I saw your note regarding increasing revenue:
https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/16791. IMHO the most obvious and
easiest way to do this is to charge for Basic level accounts. If the Basic
level cost something like $3/month or $30/year this would be an easy
decision, and I'd be very skeptical of anyone who says they
couldn't/wouldn't pay that to maintain their group.

(This said, I also understand that people do run open source projects or
volunteer groups where any expenditure becomes a sticking point, so I'd
suggest there's still a space for a public-only free accounts that lack
some/most of the features in Basic.)

Paul




 

On Tue, Apr 24, 2018 at 07:54 am, Elshara Silverheart wrote:
Free is just a model many tend to abuse.
Maybe so, but it's also way to get customers through the door, a way to get them to see how good the service is, and to develop trust. After they become familiar with the service, and trust it, they can be tempted to pay for an upgrade. I think nearly all services, of various kinds, have a free "entry level" version. Sort of a first date. :-)
 
--
J

 

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.

I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't. - Desmond Tutu


Barbara Byers
 

I totally disagree on charging for every level.  You've gotten all these groups to come over with the promise of free service, and then you're going to take it back?  I just don't think that is a great idea.  The hurdle of paying anything is kind of a big one for many groups who are just social or volunteer.s 

I do totally support the idea of making it really easy to make a "suggested" donation though.  I would definitely do that every once in a while.

Barb B

 


On 2018-04-24 10:41 AM, Frances wrote:

Agree with a cheaper way to pay for what we have.
i too feel i’d like to pay but I am not an enterprise.  

Or a way to make a donation through PayPal?

Frances


 

I do totally support the idea of making it really easy to make a
"suggested" donation though. I would definitely do that every once in a
while.
If you want to donate then you can use
Admin - Upgrade - View/Change Plan - Premiun For One Month
as many times as you want.


 

True. I'm only saying it just can't last for ever. At some point,
loyalty will win in the end. Loyalty will prove as well as separate
paying customers from those who don't pay. The abusers, from the
users.
It's not fool proof, but it will severely cut down on things like spam.
If you need it, you pay for it.
If you don't need it, don't complain.
a lot of people who use the free service just take rides because it's
free. So while it gets members through the door, how many of them are
dedicated to what you alone offer? Let alone who wish to stay and
participate? Particularly in an email group separate from Facebook?
The reason why we are having to work extra hard to keep people
interested, is because Facebook and other services are a free for all.
It's a huge data mining operation especially provable now with the
recent news media coverage on the subject. We're not going to treat
paying customers as just another identity taking up space in the
database. That's what you are if you don't pay because although you
may be active, you'd consider leaving if you were asked to pay.
It's time to test who really wants the service, versus who uses it to
advertise their stuff for free. Nothing in life is free. Everything
costs you something. So traffic should be one such idea. As for non
profit organizations, they two rely on money to keep going. At some
point, they'll charge for donations and then want more to continue. If
they charged for membership in the first place, and were likewise
charged to be able to do so, the problem would solve itself. Members
would either stay if they cared enough, or they'd leave if they
didn't.

On 4/24/18, J_Catlady <@J_Catlady> wrote:
On Tue, Apr 24, 2018 at 07:54 am, Elshara Silverheart wrote:


Free is just a model many tend to abuse.
Maybe so, but it's also way to get customers through the door, a way to get
them to see how good the service is, and to develop trust. After they become
familiar with the service, and trust it, they can be tempted to pay for an
upgrade. I think nearly all services, of various kinds, have a free "entry
level" version. Sort of a first date. :-)

--
J



Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.

I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't. - Desmond Tutu


 

Another advantage of a free basic level is that in addition to my premium group, I can create, and have created, a few little groups "on the side." Because these are free, I am not limited. And creating these groups, and getting people to join them, attracts more people to groups.io in general.

So I see nothing but advantages in having a free level of service, and a whole lot of disadvantages in eliminating it.
--
J

 

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.

I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't. - Desmond Tutu


Dave Sergeant
 

Agreed. Paid for services may work for some clubs and societies, many
of which have one or more groups.io groups. But there is an issue with
more informal groups. One of my groups is for TV repair technicians and
is a more of less informal group of like minded people. If charging
becomes the norm the question arises of who is going to be paying - OK
some donation system may work but it is not ideal. There should always
be a free option with limited but adequate facilities to cater for
these 'group of friends' lists.

But there again the current levels of paid options is not ideal - I can
see little advantage in upgrading to premium and even less to
enterprise, even the increased storage is not really required for small
groups who are not into file sharing. Some clear benefit which would
help many rather than the few may well be the answer to increase the
funds flow (ideas?).

Dave

On 24 Apr 2018 at 8:39, J_Catlady wrote:

So I see nothing but advantages in having a free level of service, and a
whole lot of disadvantages in eliminating it. --

http://davesergeant.com


Sharon Villines
 

On Apr 24, 2018, at 10:49 AM, J_Catlady <@J_Catlady> wrote:

in being skeptical of signing up and giving their payment info to a still-unknown quantity like groups.io. So I think that even a $3/month fee for basic service would be a very bad idea, at least at this point in time. On top of that, and generally speaking, as has been said, with volunteer groups you run into the politics of "which one of us will pay for this," even if it's a trivial amount.
One of the issues for paid lists is who pays? Many lists are community of interest groups, not organizations. They don’t have a system for collecting and paying fees. No mechanism for taking money and transferring it.

Better I think would be an obvious but unobtrusive method for donating a small amount. Click here to donate $1, $3, $5. Don’t become PBS or even Wikipedia — I have an automatic monthly contribution to Wikipedia set up on Paypal and I resent visiting the site and getting another plea for donations — but allow people to pay voluntarily. I think it’s worth a try.

One of my lists is a community list of neighbors, city officials, etc., in NW DC. I am the owner and there are 3 moderators, but that is as close as we come to an organization. I do call the shots in terms of off-topic messages, posts that are derogatory, moderating members who are repeatedly off-color, etc. People welcome a well-moderated list so there are no complaints (well, few).

I try to stay invisible as the “owner.” Communities like to think the list is theirs. For me to collect even donations would change the nature of the list. But a donation would work, I think, if it went to Groups.io. People could click a button. Like iTunes' 99 cent price point, it might work.

The free brings people in to both test your service to find out how useful it is to them and to grow a business that they might not be sure of yet. If the services allows a group to grow and become an enterprise, it is worth its weight, maybe not gold but its cost balanced with the income of the group. Consultants often now function completely online with webinars, email lists, resource files, etc. Groups.io has the features that would allow this person to get started with collecting members and building resources and then move to enterprise when they have income themselves.

A special resource for teaching people how to use Groups.io for small businesses might be a real asset — even an income source.

I have a lot of Wordpress sites. I almost never pay for a plug-in unless I have used the free version to see if I really need it, if it works, and I can understand how to use it.

Time Banks USA has now instituted a fee to use their online banks to keep track of hours exchanged. That means setting up and monitoring membership fees, a bank account, and double signatures on checks to maintain transparency. Ugh. It isn’t that people wouldn’t pay in this case but how is the larger issue. I suggested to National that they have an individual fee for members — $10 a year to join as many time banks as many time banks as desired. Once people start using timebanks, they continue. A thousands of people at $10 a year adds up.

A national membership relieves time banks that are not connected to institutions from the whole financial records and membership tracking systems. But National considers timebanks to be their clients, not the individual members, and they didn’t go for it.

Since Groups.io is centered on the needs of users, not marketing or selling data, there are many options available. Educating people about the use of features and solutions for their own enterprises is something a market-based site doesn’t do very well.

Sharon
----
Sharon Villines
TakomaDC@Groups.io


Bruce Bowman
 

I believe in paying for what I get, but my primary reasons are not ethical. Gratitude and mutual goodwill simply do not make for a sound business model, and Groups.io isn't going to survive long-term unless someone can make a living doing so. If we're also unwilling to put up with ads (remember neo?), that means user fees.

There will always be a place for the free, entry-level option, but in my opinion Mark is already giving away too much. I don't know what the GIO cash flow looks like, but as long as he is forced to keep his day job the only reason most of us are here and living off the fat is because someone with the last name of Fletcher still happens to enjoy his hobby.

My $0.02,
Bruce


Sarah k Alawami
 

Personally I don't think this is a good idea. I'm one of the ones who can't pay $30 a year which is why I went with groups.io when making my switch from mail man..

On Apr 24, 2018, at 1:03 AM, Paul W. Rankin <paul@...> wrote:

HI Mark,

I'm a big believer in paying for the web services I use. I tend to agree with this (archived) post from the Pinboard blog: https://web.archive.org/web/20120921032442/https://blog.pinboard.in/2011/12/don_t_be_a_free_user/ and related Hacker News: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13449875. And there's evidence that paying users appreciate the product they pay for more than free users.

Looking at the plans, the Basic level offers so much that I'm really surprised it's offered for free, but then looking at the Premium feature set, there's nothing there that I really want. I'd like to use my own domain, but mostly out of vanity, which is not enough to prompt me to go Enterprise (which is actually far too expensive for me). I'd like to pay for Groups.io but at the current pricing levels I don't have much motivation to do so.

I saw your note regarding increasing revenue: https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/16791. IMHO the most obvious and easiest way to do this is to charge for Basic level accounts. If the Basic level cost something like $3/month or $30/year this would be an easy decision, and I'd be very skeptical of anyone who says they couldn't/wouldn't pay that to maintain their group.

(This said, I also understand that people do run open source projects or volunteer groups where any expenditure becomes a sticking point, so I'd suggest there's still a space for a public-only free accounts that lack some/most of the features in Basic.)

Paul



 

On Tue, Apr 24, 2018 at 09:37 am, Bruce Bowman wrote:
in my opinion Mark is already giving away too much
That's possible. I don't think it's necessarily a bad idea to cut down on the functionality in the free version. But I think there should always be a free version, if for no other purpose than to lure new people in (should I say, less cynically, "build new relationships"?) and build trust with them.
 
--
J

 

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.

I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't. - Desmond Tutu


Sharon Villines
 

On Apr 24, 2018, at 12:57 PM, J_Catlady <@J_Catlady> wrote:

On Tue, Apr 24, 2018 at 09:37 am, Bruce Bowman wrote:
in my opinion Mark is already giving away too much
That's possible. I don't think it's necessarily a bad idea to cut down on the functionality in the free version.
I think it’s very bad to take things away. Or even to leave them in the already functioning groups but new groups have fewer — people will get very confused.

Better I think would be to provide a basic wiki and database, etc, in the free version and more robust versions in the paid. In other words continue development of the paid version.

Personally, I’m finding all the changes in the version now to be not overwhelming but I have to check to see if anything has changed. That isn’t true if the community group, but it is of the 1 group plus 10+subgroups that I hope will develop into an enterprise account. The community group doesn’t use any of the features, but I want the potentially enterprise group to understand and use them.

Sharon


 

On Tue, Apr 24, 2018 at 10:08 am, Sharon Villines wrote:
I think it’s very bad to take things away.
Of course. I meant for new accounts.
 
--
J

 

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.

I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't. - Desmond Tutu


 

On Tue, Apr 24, 2018 at 10:08 am, Sharon Villines wrote:
Or even to leave them in the already functioning groups but new groups have fewer — people will get very confused.
Since the changes would only apply to group owners, rather than all members of groups, I don't think it would be overly confusing.
 
--
J

 

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.

I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't. - Desmond Tutu


Sharon Villines
 

On Apr 24, 2018, at 1:19 PM, J_Catlady <@J_Catlady> wrote:

Since the changes would only apply to group owners, rather than all members of groups, I don't think it would be overly confusing.
How could changes only affect the group owners?

Sharon
----
Sharon Villines, Washington DC

"Save Our Planet. It's the only one with chocolate."


 

Changes in moderator functions, storage space, etc would be mostly transparent to non-moderators.

On Apr 24, 2018, at 11:06 AM, Sharon Villines <sharon@...> wrote:

On Apr 24, 2018, at 1:19 PM, J_Catlady <@J_Catlady> wrote:

Since the changes would only apply to group owners, rather than all members of groups, I don't think it would be overly confusing.
How could changes only affect the group owners?

Sharon
----
Sharon Villines, Washington DC

"Save Our Planet. It's the only one with chocolate."









--
J

 

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.

I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't. - Desmond Tutu


Barbara Byers
 

I just checked this out, that is great that there actually is an option to change to premium for one month!  I was thinking I would have to toggle back and forth from Basic to Premium.  Basically the same as a one time $10 donation.  Thanks!

Barb B

 


On 2018-04-24 11:27 AM, Lena wrote:

I do totally support the idea of making it really easy to make a
"suggested" donation though.  I would definitely do that every once in a
while.

If you want to donate then you can use
Admin - Upgrade - View/Change Plan - Premiun For One Month
as many times as you want.