Topics

Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion


billsf9c
 

forget about grandfathering. That would work. 

It would be ok, voluntarily... otherwise it would destroy the trust he has managed to create.

BillSF9c


ro-esp
 

On Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 03:14 PM, Andy Wedge wrote:
On Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 12:25 PM, Chris Jones wrote:
Some have argued that "people will leave if charged"; well... let them.
Why should Mark or anyone else have to subsidise a group of people who
expect a service such as Groups.io to be free in perpetuity? What right
have freeloaders (for want of a better term) to more or less demand that
Premium or Enterprise Groups pay for them for ever?
Because apps, Facebook and Googlegroups are free?

We all understand that there is no free lunch, but some people (maybe in the third world - several of my Esperanto-related groups are worldwide) can't afford a subscription, and some will think some groups don't provide enough value (too few members, too little info) yet. Heck, some people have no experience with nor appreciation for list-serves. Put in what one person calls a "paywall" and they may never learn to appreciate what we have here..

Ultimately, it doesn't matter WHO pays, as long as Mark can pay the bills and hire assistants. I would gladly pay a modest fee for the groups I own (or maybe even for an extra feature of choice) and I assume some group-members are willing and able to pay/donate a modest fee for the service.

at 88000 groups, would 10 or 20 euro/dollar a year per group suffice?

groetjes, Ronaldo


Andy Wedge
 

On Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 09:28 PM, Chris Jones wrote:
For the reasons stated above, I disagree. Even an account charge of $1 would see a 10-fold increase in our current costs.
This might be an instance of the "nuance" I mentioned playing a part. As you should be able to prove your charitable status (albeit IIRC to UK rather than US standards) this might be a way of organising a waiver. At the same time if any of your members are also members of other Groups.io groups I would not expect any waiver to apply across the board so I would hope that they would have to pay as individuals for ongoing access to those.
The majority of our members had never heard of Groups.io before we joined and are also email only so don't connect with the fact that they have a Groups.io account. There are a handful of our members that I know have connections with other groups but the overwhelming majority do not so any potential 'savings' for us because of that approach will be negligible. 


Um... well IMHO the ongoing "free" provision of Basic groups (esp the legacy ones) is completely unsustainable, and the proposed charging scheme is a barrier to future growth of new free groups.

I tend to agree and it's why I suggested a small charge for Basic groups and some kind of paid intermediate group between Basic and Premium to provide a smaller step up to the next level.

Andy


Chris Jones
 

On Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 02:14 PM, Andy Wedge wrote:
For the reasons stated above, I disagree. Even an account charge of $1 would see a 10-fold increase in our current costs.
This might be an instance of the "nuance" I mentioned playing a part. As you should be able to prove your charitable status (albeit IIRC to UK rather than US standards) this might be a way of organising a waiver. At the same time if any of your members are also members of other Groups.io groups I would not expect any waiver to apply across the board so I would hope that they would have to pay as individuals for ongoing access to those.

Unsustainable for us and I suspect many others. 

Um... well IMHO the ongoing "free" provision of Basic groups (esp the legacy ones) is completely unsustainable, and the proposed charging scheme is a barrier to future growth of new free groups.

A further potential snag is that if I have read things correctly future group owners would be able to game the system to avoid incremental charges, resulting in Groups.io's projected increased income not materialising at all.

Not really the intended outcome.

Chris


 

Of course you don't need to leave my group, Sara! I am fine with lurkers at the moment.

I'm just pointing out that if the burden falls on owners in the future, nobody could reasonably expect me to pay $4000 a year out of my own pocket to run just one of my groups (I have another group with almost 3000 members, which would also cost a fortune); but i also would not be guaranteed enough sponsorship to ensure that I don't have to pay a large percentage of that $4000. Plus all the additional admin with no benefit to me or my mods.

Therefore i think the simplest solution is that everybody using groups.io pays $5 a year. But YMMV

HTH

Helen


Andy Wedge
 

On Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 12:25 PM, Chris Jones wrote:
With all due respect to Mark I think that the proposed charging scheme is messy and unduly complex
I don't think it's complex although I do think some intermediate group priced between Basic and Premium would soften the blow for those that was to grow their group beyond 100 members

not improved by the addition of the Donate function.
It is now called Sponsorship (if we're talking about the same thing?)

IMHO a large part of that messiness and complexity is down to the the intention of maintaining grandfather rights to all the Basic (free) groups created hitherto and I honestly believe that nice as though those rights are they are no longer sustainable, and will become even less so as time passes.
I tend to agree that so called grandfathered groups effectively represent a financial hit to Groups.io at the moment. It has been pointed out that over time, the number of grandfathered groups as a percentage of the total number of groups will diminish over time.  It will be important to attract new groups in order for this to happen and an attractive pricing structure must also be in place therefore.

In large part that is why I suggested the introduction of a charge per Account in the previous thread on the subject. As then mentioned the sort of charge I was suggesting was in the order of $5 per annum (or its equivalent in other currencies) which (if you think about it) is less than it costs to buy a newspaper every day for a week. Hardly unaffordable I would suggest; Dave mentioned hobby - based groups and $5 per annum is certain to be a great deal less than people spend on their hobbies.
My group is for a club which is a registered UK charity and has just over 1000 members.  We moved to Groups.io for a number of reasons (including no tracking and no advertising) from a number of disparate Y! groups that previous members had created over the years, and over which the club and Committee had no control.  Each club member pays a membership fee and the cost of our Premium group is taken from club funds. We are currently 'grandfathered in' and so pay $110 per year.  Under your proposal of charging account holders of $5 per year, that would mean our costs would jump from $110 to in excess of $5,000 (approx. £3,700) which is simply not sustainable for us.  We could turn around and say to our members that an additional $5 (£3.60) is required from each of them to cover the costs but given that probably two thirds of them are email only, there are probably quite a few that will baulk at that just to receive club based emails and participate in email based discussions when they view email as free.  The net result will be that instead of 98% of our club members being on Groups.io (the majority of email based users do not equate this with having a Groups.io account) that percentage will reduce substantially and defeat the main purpose of us moving here in the first place, that being a simple and effective communication platform that can reach all members (everyone has email).

Some have argued that "people will leave if charged"; well... let them. Why should Mark or anyone else have to subsidise a group of people who expect a service such as Groups.io to be free in perpetuity? What right have freeloaders (for want of a better term) to more or less demand that Premium or Enterprise Groups pay for them for ever?
I don't believe that Premium and Enterprise groups should subsidise free groups in perpetuity either and for that reason I would rather see a small charge for Basic groups from the outset. A small charge from a large number of Basic groups may mean that price increases for Premium and Enterprise groups are less substantial.  I think this, combined with an Intermediate group price point and perhaps even individual pricing for items in the Collaboration Suite would provide a more flexible approach and give group owners a smoother step up to the level they need to effectively run their group. The Sponsorship feature just introduced will provide some financial support for group owners but on its own, I don't think it's final solution.  Although Mark has, until now, managed to maintain grandfathered prices and features based upon group creation/upgrade date I don't think this will be sustainable in the long term. If prices need to rise to cover costs then it's probably better to start sooner and do it in smaller steps to avoid sudden shocks.

  I honestly believe that an "Account Charge" is the cleanest and best way forward, ensuring that Groups.io has sufficient income for the future;
For the reasons stated above, I disagree. Even an account charge of $1 would see a 10-fold increase in our current costs. Unsustainable for us and I suspect many others. 

Regards
Andy


Dave Sergeant
 

eg $5 for up to 10 groups, $10 for up to 25, $20 for unlimited groups,
for everybody, forget about grandfathering. That would work. $5/year
for EACH of my current 21 groups would be a bit different and is
getting into the realms of unaffordable for many. When you reach the
limit of your current subscription you have the option of paying to the
next level or unsubscribing one of your less used groups.

Maybe also scrapping the current Basic/Premium/Enterprise and giving
most facilities to everybody with individual groups able to purchase
more storage and the like.

But having tiers based on number of members is far too complicated and
any attempts at trying to simplify it just makes it more complicated.

Mark may decide differently, but if I were Mark I 'wouldn't start
there'...

Dave

On 15 Jan 2021 at 5:25, Chris Jones via groups.io wrote:

Paying *to join groups.io* is different and acceptable.
And that is precisely what I am suggesting.

http://davesergeant.com


 

Yes, Chris, I agree. I proposed that same thing very early in this thread.


On Jan 15, 2021, at 5:25 AM, Chris Jones via groups.io <chrisjones12@...> wrote:

On Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 01:21 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
Paying *to join groups.io* is different and acceptable.
And that is precisely what I am suggesting.

Chris

--
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


 

typo, (a) should read “owner pays”

On Jan 15, 2021, at 5:21 AM, J_Catlady via groups.io <j.olivia.catlady=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:

I’ve said this already but I’ll chime in to say that for me, the only realistic options are (a) owner o okays all plus enhanced donations and (b) everybody pays. To use the word “convoluted” to describe the Samuel plan, as Sara did, is understatement. The complexities are so bad that they’re laughable (I literally lol’d reading his and Sandi’s posts about the care and maintenance of the “free slots” - no offense to Samuel, it does sound great on the surface and at first glance). IMO that plan is so bad that it could actually have fatal consequences. I don’t even think all the downsides have been recognized or appreciated yet.

That all said, I don’t know how “everybody pays” woukd work for my block group. Most members are silent snd just receiving posts. It’s affordable here, but it woukd be difficult to round everyone up to pay. But we are grandfathered so I’m not worried in our particular case. Membership is critical for people on the block (information during emergencies, etc) so it’s important at this point that the group stay as is. The people in my cats group I don’t think would have a problem paying, and if they didn’t, it’s not as critical for them. But again, grandfathering is important to me because I want to avoid the perception that people are paying *to be in the grouo*, with all the inherent possible legal problems. (Paying *to join groups.io* is different and acceptable.)
On Jan 15, 2021, at 5:05 AM, Tanya's Feline CKD Website <helen@felineckd.com> wrote:

I agree. I am grandfathered at the moment and pay for the group out of my own pocket, which is OK by me. But I am a realist and I do not expect grandfathering to last forever, so what do I do then?

I could enable the donate button, but I can't see me ever reaching the $4000 I would need for my group as it currently stands (it will doubtless have even more members when grandfathering ends so the price will be even higher). So then I am in the awkward position of kicking people out, probably starting with the people whose cats died years ago and who just lurk; but who knows their true circumstances.

If everybody simply just got charged US$5 or equivalent (with a 30 day money back guarantee), there is no additional work for me and no awkward choosing who to keep and who to remove.

I don't really care about the free members either way, but if the option remained, I would choose the members who post regularly to help others.

Helen





--
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




--
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


Chris Jones
 

On Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 01:21 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
Paying *to join groups.io* is different and acceptable.
And that is precisely what I am suggesting.

Chris


 

Sara,
It would be $5 for any number of groups. The fee is to join groups.io, not to join a group. I am totally against members paying to join an individual group, not because of the cost to them but for other reasons.


On Jan 15, 2021, at 5:21 AM, monamouroui <monamouroui@...> wrote:

On Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 08:05 AM, Tanya's Feline CKD Website wrote:
So then I am in the awkward position of kicking people out, probably starting with the people whose cats died years ago and who just lurk; but who knows their true circumstances.
Tanya, I'm one of those lurkers. My cat had PKD. I joined you on Yahoo when he went into acute kidney failure at 8 yrs old. Despite my vet issuing him a execution order, with the help of your group and my new vet, he lived another 3 years. Unlike his replacement who developed FIP and passed after 3 months, not years, I was able to do something for Sparky to prolong his life.

I continue to lurk out of respect for you and your group. So that when people join, they can see there are thousands of others who have either gone through or are going through what they are experiencing. And of course in case one of my 4 new cats gets sick. I never considered it a burden, so might leave now that I realize this could be a problem for Mark and you to support all these lurkers.

The biggest issue I have with the $5/group group fee is it will limit how many groups someone might want to join. So not to complicate matters too much, I wonder if there could be a multi-group fee for those of us who join 10, 20, 30 groups?

Sara

--
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


 

I’ve said this already but I’ll chime in to say that for me, the only realistic options are (a) owner o okays all plus enhanced donations and (b) everybody pays. To use the word “convoluted” to describe the Samuel plan, as Sara did, is understatement. The complexities are so bad that they’re laughable (I literally lol’d reading his and Sandi’s posts about the care and maintenance of the “free slots” - no offense to Samuel, it does sound great on the surface and at first glance). IMO that plan is so bad that it could actually have fatal consequences. I don’t even think all the downsides have been recognized or appreciated yet.

That all said, I don’t know how “everybody pays” woukd work for my block group. Most members are silent snd just receiving posts. It’s affordable here, but it woukd be difficult to round everyone up to pay. But we are grandfathered so I’m not worried in our particular case. Membership is critical for people on the block (information during emergencies, etc) so it’s important at this point that the group stay as is. The people in my cats group I don’t think would have a problem paying, and if they didn’t, it’s not as critical for them. But again, grandfathering is important to me because I want to avoid the perception that people are paying *to be in the grouo*, with all the inherent possible legal problems. (Paying *to join groups.io* is different and acceptable.)

On Jan 15, 2021, at 5:05 AM, Tanya's Feline CKD Website <helen@felineckd.com> wrote:

I agree. I am grandfathered at the moment and pay for the group out of my own pocket, which is OK by me. But I am a realist and I do not expect grandfathering to last forever, so what do I do then?

I could enable the donate button, but I can't see me ever reaching the $4000 I would need for my group as it currently stands (it will doubtless have even more members when grandfathering ends so the price will be even higher). So then I am in the awkward position of kicking people out, probably starting with the people whose cats died years ago and who just lurk; but who knows their true circumstances.

If everybody simply just got charged US$5 or equivalent (with a 30 day money back guarantee), there is no additional work for me and no awkward choosing who to keep and who to remove.

I don't really care about the free members either way, but if the option remained, I would choose the members who post regularly to help others.

Helen




--
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


monamouroui
 

On Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 08:05 AM, Tanya's Feline CKD Website wrote:
So then I am in the awkward position of kicking people out, probably starting with the people whose cats died years ago and who just lurk; but who knows their true circumstances.
Tanya, I'm one of those lurkers. My cat had PKD. I joined you on Yahoo when he went into acute kidney failure at 8 yrs old. Despite my vet issuing him a execution order, with the help of your group and my new vet, he lived another 3 years. Unlike his replacement who developed FIP and passed after 3 months, not years, I was able to do something for Sparky to prolong his life.

I continue to lurk out of respect for you and your group. So that when people join, they can see there are thousands of others who have either gone through or are going through what they are experiencing. And of course in case one of my 4 new cats gets sick. I never considered it a burden, so might leave now that I realize this could be a problem for Mark and you to support all these lurkers.

The biggest issue I have with the $5/group group fee is it will limit how many groups someone might want to join. So not to complicate matters too much, I wonder if there could be a multi-group fee for those of us who join 10, 20, 30 groups?

Sara


 

I agree. I am grandfathered at the moment and pay for the group out of my own pocket, which is OK by me. But I am a realist and I do not expect grandfathering to last forever, so what do I do then?

I could enable the donate button, but I can't see me ever reaching the $4000 I would need for my group as it currently stands (it will doubtless have even more members when grandfathering ends so the price will be even higher). So then I am in the awkward position of kicking people out, probably starting with the people whose cats died years ago and who just lurk; but who knows their true circumstances.

If everybody simply just got charged US$5 or equivalent (with a 30 day money back guarantee), there is no additional work for me and no awkward choosing who to keep and who to remove.

I don't really care about the free members either way, but if the option remained, I would choose the members who post regularly to help others.

Helen


monamouroui
 

On Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 07:25 AM, Chris Jones wrote:
In large part that is why I suggested the introduction of a charge per Account in the previous thread on the subject. As then mentioned the sort of charge I was suggesting was in the order of $5 per annum (or its equivalent in other currencies) which (if you think about it) is less than it costs to buy a newspaper every day for a week. Hardly unaffordable I would suggest; Dave mentioned hobby - based groups and $5 per annum is certain to be a great deal less than people spend on their hobbies.
That is fine, but then charge it to everyone. The issue with me is the convoluted idea of having free member slots and paid member slots. Of having badges of "honor" showing who isn't paying and who is will create discord between members. Not to mention the incredible amount of additional work on the owners part.

Either every member pays to participate on a group. Or only owners pay to create, mold and manage a group. I will agree with Dave though, and maybe that won't matter, but you will see the flow of groups slow down with all of the new pricing structures.

But by all means, keep it simple.

Sara


Chris Jones
 

On Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 10:15 AM, Dave Sergeant wrote:
When the reality of the situation becomes clear to the wider world (the new plans currently
don't seem to be widely known outside here and GMF) I think a bombshell is about to hit Mark.
I have quoted just a part of Dave's post but I think it is all relevant. Although his last sentence is arguably apocalyptic it might just be true, even though I sincerely hope it isn't.

With all due respect to Mark I think that the proposed charging scheme is messy and unduly complex, not improved by the addition of the Donate function. IMHO a large part of that messiness and complexity is down to the the intention of maintaining grandfather rights to all the Basic (free) groups created hitherto and I honestly believe that nice as though those rights are they are no longer sustainable, and will become even less so as time passes.

In large part that is why I suggested the introduction of a charge per Account in the previous thread on the subject. As then mentioned the sort of charge I was suggesting was in the order of $5 per annum (or its equivalent in other currencies) which (if you think about it) is less than it costs to buy a newspaper every day for a week. Hardly unaffordable I would suggest; Dave mentioned hobby - based groups and $5 per annum is certain to be a great deal less than people spend on their hobbies.

Some have argued that "people will leave if charged"; well... let them. Why should Mark or anyone else have to subsidise a group of people who expect a service such as Groups.io to be free in perpetuity? What right have freeloaders (for want of a better term) to more or less demand that Premium or Enterprise Groups pay for them for ever? 

To me such an expectation is nothing short of outrageous. I honestly believe that an "Account Charge" is the cleanest and best way forward, ensuring that Groups.io has sufficient income for the future; OK - it might need to be "nuanced" even if that increases the complexity a bit, but I still cannot see a better way of ensuring Groups.io's solid financing.

Chris


Dave Sergeant
 

This discussion keeps going in the various threads and there seems no
easy answer. Whatever, and appreciating that Mark has to make ends
meet, it seems GIO is no longer the preferred home for many hobbyist
groups that just want somewhere to chat. The 100 member limit is too
low for many of these groups and most of them are unable to fund more.
When GIO surfaced a few years ago many of us queried how it could
function with no funding from the free groups and that has now become
apparent. Grandfathered groups cannot be considered immune whatever
assurances are made. I used to recommend GIO as a home for those
looking for lists, I can no longer do this. When the reality of the
situation becomes clear to the wider world (the new plans currently
don't seem to be widely known outside here and GMF) I think a bombshell
is about to hit Mark.

Dave


http://davesergeant.com


 

Donald,

I believe it morphed into an optional group sponsorship approach where
an owner could enable it to let members donate to pay for a premium
group.
Actually, I believe this #suggestion is still under consideration.

Donations towards group fees was a separate suggestion, made by a few people (with varying details):
https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/27638
https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/27610
https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/25957
https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/25931

As well as multiple expressions of support for the idea of donation (Sponsoring) by members made in the original Pricing Changes topic.

Shal


Donald Hellen
 

Mark . . .

On Thu, 14 Jan 2021 18:02:26 -0800, "Mark M" <mark@mmurphy.net> wrote:

I've completely given up trying to understand the complications and rules of the paid user proposal being discussed here, and I believe most group owners would do the same. I really did try.
I should have included this message from Mark:

group sponsorship:
https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/27874


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


Donald Hellen
 

Mark . . .

On Thu, 14 Jan 2021 18:02:26 -0800, "Mark M" <mark@mmurphy.net> wrote:

I've completely given up trying to understand the complications and rules of the paid user proposal being discussed here, and I believe most group owners would do the same. I really did try.
I believe it morphed into an optional group sponsorship approach where
an owner could enable it to let members donate to pay for a premium
group. Then the funds would be used toward paying the premium fee. If
there were more funds than needed, it would completely pay for the
fee, and if less, then the owner would make it up or the group would
drop to a basic group.

I think that covers it, but it was, indeed, confusing to follow.

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